By Nathan Orr- follow Nathan on Twitter @OrrzBoxing
Irish Featherweight Champion Marc McCullough (9-1) is only a matter of days from the biggest fight of his short career, the young Shankill fighter is looking to claim the WBO European title against tough unbeaten challenger Martin Parlagi (14-0).
Belfast’s boxing spotlight is intensely on McCullough as not only does he look to secure another professional title, but has been held with the responsibility of headlining the Waterfront Hall, the historic venue’s return to the boxing scene after a fourteen year absence.
In an exclusive interview, McCullough confirmed that on the 20th of June he is set to enter the ring in the best shape of his career, all with the help of well renowned trainer John Breen, who is putting the Shankill fighter through his paces.
“This has been the best camp we have ever had. There are no injuries and I’m sitting at the weight perfectly. Everything has went well with this camp.”
In only his 11th fight, McCullough is looking to progress rapidly up the domestic rankings by claiming the WBO European title, which would be the 3rd belt he has claimed in his short career. The Shankill man’s ambitions are set high and upon speaking to the Featherweight he has headline names in his sight.
“I would like to get more rounds in the bank before I step up to fight for major titles. It’s not that I can’t do the full 12 rounds but it’s a mental disadvantage if I haven’t been at that stage in a fight before.”
McCullough confirmed that he is set to feature on the undercard of the world title clash between Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez. The Shankill fighter’s profile is only set to rise with the positive influence of featuring on Ireland’s headline bills with Cyclone Promotions. McCullough has earmarked Parlagi as potentially the tough opponent he needs before chasing the major titles in the Featherweight division.
“I’m hoping Parlagi gives me a few rounds, he seems very tough and it’s going to be a good fight. I don’t know what to expect, I get the impression he is a pressure fighter and will keep coming at me.”
British and Commonwealth champion Josh Warrington has been making headlines in the domestic featherweight division. While McCullough respects the Leeds man’s talents inside the ring, he feels the wrong man is being labelled as the second strongest featherweight in the country, behind Welshman Lee Selby. Is settling the debate inside the ring the answer? McCullough certainly believes so. The Shankill fighter feels he holds the antidote to Warrington’s unbeaten streak.
“After Lee Selby, I am the best Featherweight in the UK. There is only really me and Josh Warrington who are up there as the second best domestically, and I think I would beat him. His previous opponents Monroe and Lindsay were too flat footed. I would provide troublesome movement while having that bit of strength which would inevitably slow him down.”