awards2Marc McCullough’s WBO European featherweight bout with Martin Parlagi on Friday night is being described by promoter Barry McGuigan as a “coming-of-age fight”. The Belfast boxer is aiming for the next level if he can repel the threat of his Czech opponent on the June 20 Waterfront Hall headline attraction.

“He (Parlagi) does have a good amateur record because I was talking to Paddy Barnes who said that he remembers him and he’s quite good,” said McCullough.

“He fought at flyweight though in the amateurs and this is a different game. He’s a bit blown up now so we’ll see if he can handle my strength. All of his knockouts seem to be in the first round so he comes at you for the first couple of rounds and if he doesn’t put you out early then he seems to go the distance. Once he feels my power from the third and fourth round onwards then I’ll take over.”

Barry McGuigan is keen to stress that Marc cannot afford to look past Parlagi in their 50-50 encounter. Barry views McCullough as the best featherweight in the UK outside of Lee Selby.

“If Marc has any weaknesses then they will be exposed on Friday night. Parlagi has bought 20 tickets so they are coming here to win but I think they’re making a big mistake,” said McGuigan.

“Marc’s a massive featherweight, way bigger than I was. He loves fights of attrition and he will love a guy to walk on to him and try to knock him out. We’re going to be banging on the doors of the BBBofC after this and if one door doesn’t open then we’ll create another opening for our fighters. We are going to bring big fights over here.

“I’ve already asked Steve Wood if he’d take the McCullough fight for Josh Warrington but he said that Eddie (Hearn) has offered him another deal. So he politely gave me the slip. I can guarantee you that Warrington will come nowhere near us.”

Trainer John Breen agrees that if his young fighter can weather the early storm then power and size advantages will start to tell and 24-year-old McCullough will begin to take over.

“It will be Marc’s hardest test because this guy said himself that he’s coming here to win. Marc’s trained very hard and we’ve also been in with southpaws as preparation. Marc likes to fight; he likes to have a go. The first few rounds will be difficult but after four rounds or so Marc’s power will start to tell,” said Breen.

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