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Marc keeps cool to get back on trail of success

By David Kelly

Marc McCullough sparked his career back into life with a comprehensive 100-90 points victory over Spain's Sergio Prado at the Waterfront Hall last night.

Following this 10-rounder, the popular Belfast featherweight will now be hoping for a shot at the British or Commonwealth title.

McCullough was tagged early with a flush left hand. However, unlike in the past, he didn't lose his composure but rather stuck to his boxing off the jab and managed to tag the Spaniard with his own solid right cross. The Belfast man then controlled the second with his stiff left lead and a short left hook forced Prado to hold on.

McCullough started to find the target with ease in the third with a series of chopping right hands forcing Prado to cover up in the third, though the Irish champion did leave himself open to two flush left hands in the fourth, which he otherwise controlled - as he did in the fifth.

Prado seemed to be in survival mode from then onwards as McCullough looked to unload his heavy shots.

In the last round a crisp right hand wobbled the cagey Spaniard momentarily but he held on, cleared his head and got back on his bike to hear the final bell.

Belfast lightweight Paul Hyland remained unbeaten when he outpointed Frenchman Virgile Degonzaga 60-54 on the scorecard of referee Hugh Russell jnr.

Russell's scoring certainly didn't reflect the competitive tussle which saw Hyland ship numerous clean blows in a highly entertaining six-rounder.

Degonzaga seemed to edge the second and take a share of the final round but Hyland got the better of rounds three and four as they traded ferociously at close quarters, while the fifth also belonged to the Belfast man.

"That was a good test, it's better having a fight like that than somebody who just falls over. I've had a good year and I'm looking forward to 2016," said Hyland, who had been sick 24 hours earlier.

Coalisland's Fergal McCrory enjoyed a successful debut when he needed only 62 seconds to stop Hungarian Zolt Schmidt at lightweight.

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