McCullough relishing scrap for strap

Jamie Roberts
03/11/2016 12:13pm

Marco McCullough is relishing the chance of fighting for the WBO Inter-Continental featherweight title on Saturday.

After a last-minute change of opponent, the Belfast boxer admits to knowing little about his Mexican foe, Luis Lugo, but he believes the contest represents a great chance to get 'straight back up the rankings'.

McCullough said: "From what I gather, he's a brawler and I was training for a boxer so it's a complete change for me. It's a great fight for the title."

The 26-year-old recently left Barry McGuigan's Cyclone Promotions team and signed up with MGM in a move he thinks will propel him to greater things.

"After speaking to Jamie Conlan about the way he was looked after by MGM, I decided to have a chat with them and straight away knew it was a great deal for me," he explained. "After the Isaac Lowe defeat I was lost and confused and didn't know where to go or what to do. As I work for Randox Health, I decided to give my body a full check over and my results were scary, with my body being broken down and I had a lot of muscle damage.

"After laying off the training for a few months, my recovery is only starting to kick in now and it was great to get six rounds under my belt in my first fight with MGM [a points win against Simas Volosinas in September] and [have] their team in my corner."

Since switching camps, McCullough has been training with stablemate Paddy Barnes, who headlines the fight night at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on Saturday, and he praises the former Olympian for making training easier.

"Paddy is a top fella," he said. "He is always joking around, but when it comes to training hard he is an animal."

McCullough understands that a new training regime and team will take time to adjust to and knows that there is a lot of hard work to get to where he wants to be. However, he admits he is enjoying training again and is eager to get back into the big fights again and pay back the loyalty of his fans.

"The supporters don't understand how important they really are," he emphasised. "I took the Isaac Lowe defeat [for the Commonwealth featherweight title] really badly, but the stream of good will messages I received helped give me that lift I needed to make my mind up about boxing. I didn't really understand how many fans I had and how they are all 100% behind me until that moment."

McCullough v Lugo is being aired on BoxNation this Saturday night.