The new Tony Bellew – Dave Coldwell backs new Irish pro to be a fan friendly knockout success

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Dave Coldwell see’s glimpses of Tony Bellew in Ireland’s newest pro Paul McCullagh and believes the Belfast big man will is a fan favourite certainty.

The respected manager, coach and indeed boxing voice was made aware of the Ulster Senior heavyweight champion by friend and former Irish middleweight champion Jonathan O’Brien.

Despite only seeing video footage the former Brendan Ingle trained fighter was impressed enough to put a managerial contract on the table and has since negotiated a promotional deal with MTK.

The coach who cornered Tony Bellew to world title success as well as victories over David Haye is certainly excited to be working with the 20-year-old and predicts he will soon hold the affection of fight fans.

“This is a kid that fans are going to absolutely love watching. He’s a 6ft 4in light-heavyweight and he’s still growing and developing. He reminds me of when Tony Bellew was young and maybe that’s why I’m so excited about him,” Coldwell beamed before explaining how the relationship came about.

“Paul’s coach John O’Brien is a long-time friend of mine. I’ve known him nearly 30 years and he rang me up and told me about this big-punching kid.

“John told me he’d like me to manage him and he sent me some videos. I saw the videos and he was so exciting. I called up and said: ‘Yep. I want him!”

There were those predicting a Coldwell link up may lead to a Matchroom relationship for the fighter whose family are steeped in the sport, but MTK have managed to sign up last years National Elite semi finalist.

It’s a move Coldwell explains makes sense.

“With Paul being Irish, I thought the smartest thing to do would be to team up with MTK Global and start building him there because I believe he’ll be a big star.”


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 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: