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Marc is in the driving seat if he can win British title

By David Kelly

Up to this point Marc McCullough’s career has played out like his own version of dodgems — accelerating forward before smashing to a shocking halt. Once more he finds himself with momentum.

On Saturday night in London’s CopperBox Arena, McCullough challenges Ryan Walsh for the British featherweight title and with a WBO ranking of 10 he can ill afford to hit the buffers again.

The Belfast man has been here before. A series of solid wins had McCullough closing in on a major fight only for him to suffer a shock defeat to journeyman Zoltan Kovacs.

Having re-grouped, he expected to put the pedal down and roll over Isaac Lowe only to come unstuck in their Commonwealth title fight last February. Life was once again injected into his career with a WBO inter-continental title win in November and now Walsh stands in the way of a possible shot at the World belt.

Frank Warren stages Saturday night’s show which is headed by rising American star Gervonta Davis defending his IBF super-featherweight title against Liam Walsh, Ryan’s brother. With BT Sport now backing the experienced promoter, McCullough knows this is an opportunity to bag more than the prestigious Lonsdale belt.

“This is a huge fight for me. I know that a world title shot is a real possibility if I win this fight. I’m ranked 10 at the moment and a win would take me further up the ratings and believe me I would love the chance to fight Oscar Valdez for the World title,” said McCullough.

“With BT Sport on board it seems that big opportunities are coming for a lot of fighters. Valdez is a very good fighter, he’s a good puncher but I’d jump at the chance to face him.

“Winning the British title is something that just about every fighter wants to do. It’s such an iconic belt but this fight also gives me the chance to show people I’m a real force at featherweight.”

McCullough would still love to avenge that defeat at the hands of Lowe and insists that he is now a better fighter because of that loss.

“I feel great going into this fight, I’ve been training three times a day. It’s been hell but I’ve pushed myself and done everything I could to get in the best shape possible,” he added.

“Paul Hyland has been in working with me and we’ve had some very good spars.

“I’ve been getting up early and going to the Mary Peters Track for my sprints, then later on doing gym work and then sparring.

“Now I just can’t wait to get in and get the fight on. Walsh is going to be tough, he’s a stocky, strong guy who can hit a bit so I need to be smart. In the past I’ve been dragged into toe-to-toe fights and made life difficult for myself. I know that I don’t need to do that, I have to do what it takes to get the win.

“I don’t see Walsh as a special fighter, he’s a good champion who does everything quite well but there’s nothing overly special about him.”

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