It is understood that enquiries have been made about WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete making a voluntary defence versus Derry’s McCullagh this summer.
Top Rank and MTK Global are exploring the possibility of putting the fight on the Michael Conlan versus Vladimir Nikitin card set for the Falls Park and August 3rd.
‘White Chocolate’ couldn’t confirm talks had begun with the 24-year-old world title holder who is co-promoted by Top Rank and Zanfer, but did admit he heard ‘whispers’ as recent as Monday that it is being explored.
“I have heard whispers,” he confirmed to Irish-Boxing.com.
“Whispers at most and a few more at the press conference [to announce the Féile fight].”
Having defended his belt for the first time last weekend with a final-round rematch stoppage of Isaac Dogboe in Arizona, replicating his upset away corner win last year, ‘Vaquero’s’ profile has risen substantially.
As a result, he may be keen to build on his relatively new-found fame Stateside, there is also a possibility of mandatory complications – not to mention money
Currently next in line is Filipino Albert Pagara – a one-time mooted opponent of Carl Frampton – but this fight has yet to be officially ordered and the 28-year-old boxing nurse believes if the price is right the fight may be made.
“I definitely think it’s makeable. It’ll come down to money at the end of the day I believe. It would be great to have a world title fight on the card.”
“I’d love to share the ring with him.”
“If it happens on August 3rd then so be it!”
McCullagh [13(6)-0] is currently ranked #13 with the organisation but is expected to move up in the next update of the Top 15 following his first defence of the WBO European rankings belt versus Spanish champion Alvaro Rodriguez earlier this month in Newcastle.
The win over Rodriguez followed successive triumphs over Scottish champion Joe Ham and English champion Josh Kennedy.
However, it is a big jump from national titleholders to world champions and McCullagh is well aware of this.
Indeed the former European Championships bronze medallist believes Navarrete is the best in the world at 122lbs.
“Obviously I’m getting a bit ahead of myself but you’re going to jimp at the opportunity if it comes back.”
“Navarrete is the best world champion out there at super bantamweight, he’s unbelievable.”
“You see Danny Roman [IBF and WBA champion] calling out Rey Vargas [WBC champion], I don’t think anyone wants to fight Navarrete. Stopping Dogboe is an unbelievable result.”