The Romanian christened himself the ‘Irish Slayer’ and became known as ‘Irish Kryptonite’ after back-to-back wins over former world champion TJ Doheny and Olympian David Oliver Joyce.
World Championship gold medal winner Michael Conlan pulled one back for the Irish when he defeated ‘Il Capo’ in late April – and ‘White Chocolate’ would like to make it two apiece for the Irish.
The Derry super bantamweight believes it’s a fight that makes sense, sells and helps him to put further distance between himself and his first pro career defeat, suffered to Ryan Walsh in Febraury 2021.
“I still like the Baluta fight,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“That’s the fight I’d love and I think it makes sense. It’s a tough tough fight for me, he’s really proved his worth but that’s what I want.”
McCullagh was meant to return in May in a fight with undefeated Welsh prospect Jacob Robinson, son of Welsh boxing legend Steve Robinson, and that’s also a future option.
“Maybe the Robinson fight can still be done as well but if I had to pick I wanna square things up for us against the Romanian,” he adds before explaining why the Robinson clash didn’t happen.
“[Rumours of the Robinson fight were] true, I was meant to fight him on the original card in May but a few weeks before it I got word he’d injured himself on sparring and I’d be fighting someone else, then that card was postponed – Murphy’s law.”
Before he can even consider Baluta, Robinson or any other options, the tricky southpaw has to register a win in Bolton tonight.
The 30-year-old fights Brett Fidoe on a card that includes bouts for Kildare’s Gary Cully and Dublin’s Pierce O’Leary.
Fidoe has lost a lot more than he has won but is known for bringing it and for lasting the distance.
“It’ll be a tough test against Brett. He’s a lot better than his record suggests and can turn it on in fights when he wants to,” warns the Derry City favourtie.
“He takes rounds off everyone and has took a lot of 0’s,” he continues before predicting he will win while getting back into the swing of things.
“I should win and get the rust off which is badly needed. And I need to stay active afterwards. I’ll be straight back to camp.”