False dawns may be too strong a word, but there have been a number of potential opportunities that have not gone to plan this year for the Derry super bantamweight.
During the Summer McCullagh got his first spot on an arena card, featuring on the undercard of Ryan Burnett v Lee Haskins at the Odyssey. However his fight ended up being the show opener in the late afternoon, and he was faced with negative Nicaraguan Jose Aguilar.
Then, in September, McCullagh headlined the Ginley Promotions ‘Danger at The Devenish’ card, but saw numerous fight week pull-outs and was forced to face super flyweight Craig Derbyshire – who disqualified himself in the second round.
Now though is McCullagh’s chance. Headlining again, he tops the Ginley Promotions ‘Danger at The Devenish 2’ bill where he will face #1-ranked German Tommy Tran [6(1)-0] over eight rounds – one of the aforementioned fight week pull-outs in September.
Looking back on the Derbyshire fight, McCullagh admitted to Irish-Boxing.com that “I was annoyed at the time mostly for my fans some of whom who had travelled half the country for about four minutes – but it was out of my control and these things happen in boxing.”
“It’s all part of it. I was still happy to get the win in the long run. ”
“It was brilliant [to headline], a great buzz and a fantastic atmosphere. I’m just expecting more of the same this time although hopefully a fight to match it.”
McCullagh is fired up for his bill-topping appearance, and noted how “it’s fantastic. An undefeated German, ranked number one.”
“These are the fights I want. I am delighted with it and looking forward to getting in there and putting on a show.”
McCullagh is familiar with his opponent, having once shared a amateur card with him in Germany. That night Tran was defeated (5-0) by Mick Conlan and McCullagh was edged (8-10) by European champion Denis Makarov.
‘White Chocolate’ however isn’t looking to draw on this and outlined how “I just intend to focus on my own performance on the night and if that is good then the result will follow.”
“He’s a good kid, seems a bit flashy. I’d seen him about as an amateur at competitions but can’t remember too much of his style and that. ”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)