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Marc McCullough is nearing a shot at big Euro crown

Belfast's Marc McCullough is closing in on a shot at the European featherweight title later this year, according to promotional company Cyclone Promotions, writes David Kelly.

Cyclone have arranged for hot featherweight prospect McCullough to be the main supporting contest against tough Hungarian Zoltan Kovacs in Madrid on July 24, when Spain's Ruddy Encarnacion's faces Frenchman Sofiane Takoucht for the European featherweight crown in the main event.

Popular Shankill Road man McCullough has had a tough nine months. Having recovered from hand surgery he had an easy win on the supporting bill to Carl Frampton's successful World title defence against Chris Avalos at the Odyssey but now he is being pitched in for a fight that can pave the way to European glory.

Cyclone Promotions Head of Boxing Jake McGuigan said: "We believe that Marc can go on to achieve great things and it is important for him to get a solid win under his belt after being out with a hand injury.

"Should Ruddy Encarnacion win the EBU title we will be looking to bring him over to Belfast to defend his European belt against Marc later this year."

Kovacs is known to British fight fans for his valiant display against London's Mitchell Smith in November last year when the Magyar pushed all the way, losing on points for the vacant WBO European super-feather belt.

Now both Kovacs and McCullough - the WBO European featherweight champion - know they can virtually secure a shot at a major prize if successful next weekend in the famous Hipodromo De La Zarzuela horse racecourse stadium in Madrid.

McCullough said: "I've had a frustrating couple of months but I'm delighted to be out again and I have a challenge on my hands.

"Kovacs won't be travelling to Madrid for a holiday. I have to beat guys like this and do it impressively if I am going to push on to continental and World level.

"The European featherweight title is on the line in the main event. I want to win in style and then challenge the winner."

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