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Paul McCullagh ready to step out of the amateur shadows and into the pro spotlight

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Paul McCullagh is ready to emerge from the shadow of fighters he feels were less worthy in the amateur game and bask in the pro spotlight.

The reigning Ulster heavyweight champion announced he was turning over last month.

The light heavyweight has relocated to Lanzarote where he will train under Jonathan O’Brien and alongside Francy Luzoho, will be managed by Dave Coldwell and advised by MTK.

The 19-year-old, who was part of a talent stacked 81kg National Elite Championships late last year, explains he made the decision to ditch the vest because he wasn’t feeling too much amateur love.

The fighter whose family are steeped in the fight game felt he was overlooked by the powers that be and thus in the shadow of some fighters he feels he should have been ahead of.

He now turns over and is confident he can grab some of the pro spotlight.

“The decision now to turn over because no much was happening amateur,” McCullagh told Irish-boxing.com.

“They were putting guys in front of me, bringing them away on trips that I should have been on as Ulster champion. I was in the know and I wasn’t going to be fighting in the shadows of anybody.”

Despite his misgivings with all things amateur, McCullagh doesn’t turn over bitter, rather he is filled with excitement thinking about the road ahead.

He reveals he has moved to Spain to train full time and is doing all he can to ensure he gets the best out of himself.

“I’m very excited to start a new journey as a professional athlete. I’ve moved country away from family and friends to give this a shot I’ll not be doing anything half heartedly it’s all or nothing,” he adds before telling fans what they can expect when he fights.

“I’ll be a very exciting fighter a slick boxer and explosive fighter.”

Like most new to the scene pros McCullagh has a world title goal, but in the short term has just targeted improving.

“Long term goal is to become world champion. Short term I want to be getting top class sparring, doing things in training, bringing them into fights with me and picking up titles along the way.”

The big punching son of BBBofC referee and grandson of late respected trainer, both also Paul, McCullagh has Dave Coldwell fighting his corner – and he believes he couldn’t have gotten much better in terms of a a manager than Tony Bellew’s coach.

“Working with Dave is brilliant and I’m very excited to be getting the ball rolling. In my eyes I’ve got one of the best managers in the world in my corner.”


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com