Marc McCullough answers Germany call to reboot his career
Marc McCullough knows all about the twists and turns of professional boxing and a circuitous route brings him to Germany tonight as he seeks to click his career back into gear.
The crowd-pleasing hot featherweight prospect was on a roll of impressive wins over a 12-month period before he finally had to accept that surgery was required on his hand last September. That meant he could only face a journeyman in February at the Odyssey Arena as he and coach John Breen made sure the hand was fully healed.
The 25-year-old had hoped to be boxing before now - indeed he had been lined up for a bill last Friday only for the Madrid show to fall through. That led to Cyclone Promotions quickly organising for the Shankill Road man to box on a small show in Bielefeld, Germany against Hungarian Istvan Kovacs.
The frustration has not only been felt by McCullough but also his girlfriend Fiona, who had to put her holidays on hold.
"Boxing is a crazy business, you just don't know what's going to happen next. It's been a bit of a nightmare since February so I'm just thankful that I'm boxing in Germany," said McCullough.
"I was all set for the fight in Madrid and 10 of my mates had booked to go out and when I texted them to say it was cancelled I thought they were going to kill me. I've also recently moved into a house with my girlfriend Fiona and she isn't too amused that she hasn't been able to take a holiday. She works for M&S and they're fixed for July and September but she understands that this is the boxing business and you have to deal with things like this.
"I've just had to stay focused in training and, overall, it has been a pretty good camp. My hand is great, the sparring has gone very well and I'm ready for this guy Kovacs who has been the distance with Mitchell Smith, who's on the way up."
Cyclone are keen to see McCullough, ranked four by the WBO, move towards a European featherweight title shot before Christmas and, should all go to plan tonight, he is aiming for another bout in September.
"I need to do a good job against Kovacs because I want to show that I am ready for a European title fight. Josh Warrington of Leeds was the European champion and now he's looking for a world title fight and I'd face him tomorrow and feel very confident about winning," added McCullough.
"Although I'm ranked four in the world I'd like to have three or four fights at a good European level, hopefully win the European title and then look at a world title fight.
"It's been a tough time but now I'm ready to get things moving again and hopefully by the end of the year I'll be European champion."