Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Carl is tipping Marc to hit the heights

Team Cyclone: Barry McGuigan's stable, headed by Carl Frampton, are preparing to set the Odyssey Arena alight on April 4

Carl Frampton put on his Cyclone Promotions hat and declared that Marc McCullough – one of four men fighting for titles on April 4 at the Odyssey Arena –is heading for the very top.

Frampton headlines the sold-out show in his WBC super-bantamweight title eliminator with former two-weight world champion Hugo Cazarez and along with Cyclone Promotions CEO Barry McGuigan, yesterday confirmed the exciting undercard featuring McCullough, Jamie Conlan, Eamonn O'Kane and Stephen Ormond in championship bouts as well as prospects Conrad Cummings and Ryan Burnett.

While unbeaten super-bantamweight Frampton is focused on his meeting with Cazarez, he is also expecting Shankill Road featherweight McCullough to take his career to another level with victory over Andrei Isaeu in their vacant WBO European title fight.

Tough Belarusian Isaeu showed his mettle when he went the distance with former World title challenger Rendall Munroe and will clearly provide the toughest test of the Belfast man's career.

WBC number two ranked Frampton said: "This is a big chance for all the lads at this stage of their careers.

"It's similar to me when I was trying to get on TV in fights that could impress in early on in my career and hopefully one of these guys can come in behind me and do what I'm doing.

"I think Marc McCullough is a great talent, he's only had 10 fights and I think people forget that – he's still a novice in the pro game but I really think he can one day fight for a world title.

"He's a fighter who wants to take risks, in his last fight he stepped up to fight Willie Casey, a former World title challenger and European champion and stopped him in nine rounds in his first 10 rounder.

That was a big win and this guy Isaeu, I saw him him face Rendall Munroe on the undercard to Amir Khan and Paul McCloskey in Manchester and I thought he beat Munroe that night.

"So this is a hard, hard fight for Marc but he's up for it and I believe that Marc has the tools to win it and fair play to him for taking it.

"It's all about taking calculated risks and this is a calculated risk."

Former World champion McGuigan, who has guided Frampton to the brink of a world title shot, concurs with his fighter's view of McCullough.

"I believe right now that Marc McCullough is second only to Lee Selby in the UK featherweight division and Selby will be moving on to the world scene soon – and give Marc another five or six fights and he'll be ready for Selb," he commented.

Super-flyweight Conlan and middleweight O'Kane will have their title fights confirmed by the end of the week, while entertaining Dubliner Ormond defends his WBO European title fight against Kareem El Ouazghari.

McGuigan added: "We have to create the chance for these guys to box 10 and 12 round contests and they have to be seen at that level in order for them to be considered for really big fights down the line.

"I have always wanted to bring big shows to Belfast and to have competitive fights right down the card and that's what we're delivering, we don't want one-sided knock-over wins – there's enough of those around.

"The fighters have to be prepared to take chances and these guys want to move on so it's a very exciting time for Irish boxing."

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