At the end of the third round of his vacant BBBoC Celtic super bantamweight title fight with Joe Ham the Derry southpaw got clocked square on the chin and hit the floor following a full-bodied overhand right from the Scot.
A genuine knockdown, McCullagh took the shot, collected himself, and was straight back up with a clear head.
There were no lasting effects for ‘White Chocolate’ – he had been outboxing Glasgow’s Ham up to that point and continued to do so from the fourth round on, eventually winning a wide unanimous decision to be crowned champion of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
It was a first career knockdown for McCullagh who has been taking some stick ever since.
— Jamie Conlan (@JamieConlan11) July 1, 2018
He described how “t was no joke because it was a proper knockdown but the first thing that went through my head when I hit the canvas was: ‘My mates are going to give me some grief’.”
“I didn’t think of any of them specifically but then you see the things like Jamie Conlan put up on his Twitter afterwards and it would have been so much less funny if I’d lost!”
McCullagh can take positives from the experience and noted how “I got up from the knockdown quickly and I felt 100%. It was a brilliant shot but I’d trained right and my legs were perfect; my head clear. I was annoyed to get caught with a silly shot.”
“As much as I was disappointed, the majority of boxers are going to get put in a hole at some stage. Now I know that when it happens, I’ve got it in me to get up. It’s not a good thing to get dropped but there are positives if you go on to win.”
The fight was a TV debut for McCullagh and he wants to quickly add to first career belt.
The boxing nurse outlined how “there are a few routes I could go down now. It was a British title eliminator but that title doesn’t appeal to me and my club-mate Jazza Dickens is fighting for it anyway.”
“I’d like to fight for the European or the WBO Inter-Continental title next. I don’t want to go backwards now I’ve experienced being in one of the main fights on a big TV show.”
“The buzz was brilliant.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)