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I've learned my painful lesson, says Marc McCullough

By David Kelly

Marc McCullough's last fight was so tough he couldn't enjoy his holiday and this Saturday night the hot featherweight prospect is ready for another battle with former World champion Dmitry Kirillov on the undercard of Frampton-Martinez.

Fans leaving the Waterfont Hall in June certainly received value for money when the Shankill Road man came through a 10-round epic with Slovak Martin Parlagi, which saw both men on the floor and McCullough's face a bloody mess.

Parlagi was by far the toughest assignment of his career and McCullough is adamant that lessons have been learned – if only that he can enjoy his next break away.

"I went on holiday with my girlfriend straight after the fight and for two or three days I didn't enjoy a bit because I was in so much pain. I was sore all over, it was absolute war with Parlagi," said McCullough.

"There were times when she had to help me get out of bed I was that sore and I couldn't even enjoy lying in the sun. The both of us were wondering why we had booked it! But thankfully, the last few days I could enjoy it a lot more.

"If there's one thing I learned from the fight, it's to listen to John Breen more. He was telling me to box and I was just wanting to have a fight with the guy.

"I got caught early on and for about three rounds I was looking through this mist and it was affecting my judgement of distance and he was so dangerous, my head was aching.

"I was thinking I was out of range and suddenly I would get caught and I was thinking 'how did that happen?' but when my head cleared and I got back to boxing, I took over. I don't think I'll fight many as hard as he was.

"Now I'm facing a former World champion in Kirillov. He has a very good record and he would be a very good name to have on my record but I know that I have to show I've learned from the last fight.

"This whole camp, I have been working on my boxing and using my jab a lot more and it makes such a difference. John has told me that I have the boxing skills and the natural power so rather than loading up the big shots I just need to let them flow."

McCullough, ranked 12 in the WBO, has also brought in good sparring for this fight as he has been working with former British featherweight champion Paul Appleby – and believes it will help bring out the best in him at the Titanic Quarter on Saturday night.

"It's such a difference working with someone like Appleby, who's a former British champion and a very good pro.

"I wanted to see how I would handle it and working with Paul has been great and given me even more confidence.

"Josh Warrington, the British and Commonwealth champion, is moving on to fight for the European title so I don't see why I cannot be next in line for the British or Commonwealth title.

"It's up to me to give another good performance on Saturday night and I'm ready for that and for the atmosphere as well – 16,000 open air is going to be unbelievable."

Belfast Telegraph

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