Barry's big plans as he lands top two prospects
Barry McGuigan and his Cyclone Promotions company have pulled off a major coup by snapping up hot prospects Marc McCullough and Jamie Conlan on long-term promotional deals.
McGuigan, who has guided Carl Frampton to the brink of a world title, is now aiming to run more Belfast shows as he seeks to drive McCullough and Conlan towards major title honours.
It's a real statement of intent by McGuigan, who wants to develop a Belfast base for the long term. McCullough and Conlan are already pencilled in for the April 4 show at the Odyssey Arena which is headlined by hard hitting Frampton in his WBC final eliminator with Hugo Cazarez.
Cyclone Promotions CEO McGuigan said: "Boxing gave me an opportunity to better myself in life, now I want to give boxing an opportunity in Belfast, a true boxing city.
"Belfast boxing is alive at the moment as a result of Carl Frampton's incredible rise in the boxing world. Marc McCullough and Jamie Conlan represent the future of Belfast boxing and along with our other new signing Conrad Cummings, they can go on to achieve great things with the right guidance. We at Cyclone Promotions aim to give them the best possible platform to achieve this.
"McCullough is second only to Lee Selby in the UK in the featherweight division but he can quickly be breathing down Selby's neck, he just needs a lot more experience and Jamie Conlan is a great prospect, he just needs the opportunities that we intend to give him."
Both McCullough and Conlan have struggled in their careers to gain any momentum but Barry's son Jake – who is also part of the Cyclone set-up – is adamant that is about to change for the duo.
"We have already lined some dates for Jamie and Marc to headline shows together and we're looking at the Waterfront Hall and the Ulster Hall," said Jake.
"Of course they'll be on Carl's bills but they need to be boxing in between in order to develop their careers and they have to be in risky, exciting fights.
"The great thing from our point of view is that they are two guys who are prepared to take risks to further their careers. I think these two signings show that we have a long-term vision."
Featherweight McCullough, who faces hard man Andrei Isaeu in a vacant WBO European title fight at the Odyssey next month, hopes his career will now truly take off after signing with Cyclone.
"I'm delighted to be joining Cyclone Promotions. I boxed for a title then and I am now boxing for another title on their upcoming show on April 4. I know that Cyclone are the right promotional team to take my career forward and I can't wait to go on to bigger and better things with them."
Conlan, who calls himself 'The Mexican', is relieved as much as anything else to now have greater direction to his career having signed the new promotional deal.
"I haven't been as active as I would have liked so far in my professional career and that has been the biggest issue for me, but with Cyclone Promotions I will be boxing more regularly and boxing at home as much as possible," said Conlan.
"Right now the super flyweight division is very competitive and I believe I am knocking on the door of major titles and I believe Cyclone Promotions will deliver those opportunities to me."
Both men are managed by Belfast man John Breen, who believes the time is right to sign up with Cyclone Promotions as both men look ahead to headlining bills at the Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall.
Breen said: "I believe that with the help of Barry McGuigan and Cyclone Promotions both Jamie and Marc can go right to the top.
"These are exciting times for Belfast boxing fans and I know that Marc and Jamie are the two best guys following in the footsteps of Carl Frampton. If Barry can do the half job with Jamie and Marc that he has with Carl they'll both be fighting for world titles, no doubt."