It's crunch time for my career: McCullough
Marc McCullough will enter the Ulster Hall this Friday night believing his career will move to a new level or come to a shuddering halt.
The Belfast super-featherweight has been matched with tough Romanian Viorel Simion, who has been the distance with former world champions Lee Selby and Scott Quigg.
McCullough, part of the supporting bill to the IBF intercontinental flyweight title fight between Paddy Barnes and unbeaten European champion Jay Harris, is relishing his clash with Simion, who is arguably the most accomplished boxer he has faced in a rollercoaster career.
Having moved up from feather to super-featherweight, the 29-year-old believes he is much stronger at the higher weight class and he certainly impressed in his last bout when knocking out Dubliner Declan Geraghty.
"This really is a golden opportunity for me because a win over Simion would easily put me in the top 10 of one or two of the world governing bodies and that would have been pushing towards a world title shot," said McCullough.
"I told my management that I wanted big fights, that I wanted to be tested to see if I could push my way to a world title fight and this guy is the one to show me.
"Simion is seen by everyone as the gatekeeper to a world title shot. When you see the guys he has lost to, like Quigg and Selby, they all went on to box for world titles, so why not me?
"I felt that the win over Geraghty has given me a big boost. My supporters were buzzing after that one because there was a bit of needle leading up to the fight. Then when this was announced there was a lot of interest in the fight."
The bout will be part of the broadcast which is being shown in the States on ESPN+ and McCullough is keen to grab the opportunity of making some new fans across the pond.
"To have this fight on ESPN+ is a big bonus for me. It's a great platform to box on and I have the chance to raise my profile," added McCullough.
"Hopefully I can go and look good, get the win and move on. I can't afford to lose at this stage of my career."