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Marc McCullough with a weight on his mind after defeat

 

By David Kelly

Marc McCullough has much to ponder following his stoppage loss at the hands of Ryan Walsh in their British featherweight title fight at London's Copper Box Arena.

McCullough has twice found himself with a world ranking only for it to slip away with defeats last year to Isaac Lowe and now Walsh, both of whom looked stronger at the 9st limit and herein may well be the adjustment the Belfast man needs to make in order to give himself one more shot at landing a major domestic belt.

Despite being clearly the bigger man as they came together for the opening bell, McCullough's punch resistance was a concern from the moment he was tagged in third round and his large frame suggests that move to super-featherweight would make sense for the 27-year-old.

McCullough did have some success in the second round and showed immense determination to try and find a foothold but repeatedly found himself tagged by the stocky Walsh, who is now chasing a big showdown with world-ranked Leeds favourite Josh Warrington.

Walsh, who last year stopped Belfast man James Tennyson, staggered McCullough in the fourth and always seemed to be in charge even when the Belfast man had some sporadic success.

Unable to sustain his attacks, McCullough left himself open to the counters of Walsh who in the 10th round had the challenger under severe pressure.

McCullough dug deep to fire back with his back against the ropes but a relentless barrage of blows from the champion led referee Howard Foster to step in and call a halt at 1:58 of the 11th round.

"I can only credit Marco for his toughness tonight. Fair play to him, I've knocked other men down with lesser shots but I'm a very strong man," said Walsh, whose victory secured him the Lonsdale belt outright.

In the main event, Ryan's brother Liam was outclassed and stopped in the third round by IBF World super-featherweight champion Gervonta Davis - the protege of legend Floyd Mayweather.

"It was just a matter of time before I got him. I used my boxing IQ tonight and picked my shots. When I connected I got him out of there. I'm still on the rise," said Davis.

Following the win for Davis, former world champion Mayweather gave the clearest indication so far that he is ready to agree terms for a long awaited fight with UFC star Conor McGregor.

"McGregor is the only fight I will come back for. That's 100 per cent. It's the only fight that makes sense to me. I've accomplished everything else," said Mayweather.

"When I get back to the US I'll call my adviser Al Haymon and see our next move. There's no rush. The only fight that makes sense to me is the McGregor fight. I guess I have one more obstacle that I have to get over.

"We have to give the people what they want to see. The fans demand that fight; we have to give them what they want to see to make them happy."

Belfast Telegraph

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