02 March 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Former WBC bantamweight champion Wayne McCullough is in no doubt that he still has it in him to win another world title.
The Pocket Rocket is now 38 but maintains that he is in great condition and more than capable of competing at the very highest level.
Indeed, he is using the evergreen Bernard Hopkins as a source of inspiration ahead of his March 16 clash with Mexican super-bantamweight Alex Becerra, a bout which McCullough views as the first step on the road back to the world title glory.
“My goal is to become world champion within two years,” the Las Vegas-based Northern Irishman declared. “Its all about promoting and I thank Irish Ropes and Cedric Kushner for this opportunity to fight on St. Patricks Day Eve in Madison Square Garden.
“I should be a three-time world champion because a lot of people thought I won against (Daniel) Zaragoza and the first (Oscar) Larios fight.
“Im 38 but Ive taken good care of my body. Im an Irish guy who doesnt drink! And I have a gym in my home. Im like Bernard Hopkins!
And McCullough believes that fighting in front of what is likely to be a partisan crowd will propel him to victory against Becerra.
“The Irish packed the house out when I fought in New York (1993), Boston (1993 & 1997) and Atlantic City (1998). There are Irish on the West Coast but not as many as on the East Coast. If we brought then all back to Ireland the island would sink,” he joked.
Topping the bill on the night will be Limerick middleweight Andy Lee, who is taking on three-time world title challenger Antwun Echols. It is a bout which McCullough is looking forward to and one which he is desperately hoping that Lee will win.
Ive always supported him and feel that hes great for Irish boxing,” McCullough enthused.
“Weve always kept in touch and were behind each other 100 percent. I believe he will be world champion.”
Also scheduled to fight on the bill are undefeated light-welterweight Dean Byrne, Irish super-featherweight champion Eddie Hyeland, Simon O’Donnell and Jamie Power.
Tickets, priced at $50.00, $75.00, $100.00, $150.00, $200.00, and $300.00, are on sale at TicketMaster.com as well as Jack Demseys in Manhattan, Hilltop in Elmhurst, and the Heritage in Yonkers. For more information call Irish Ropes Promotions (212.868.9544) or go on line to www.irishropespromotions.com.