Title fights top Waterfront Brawl bill

Published Wednesday, 18 June 2014
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Two of Belfast's up-and-coming boxers are setting their sights on European titles ahead of the Waterfront Brawl coming to the city on Friday night.

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Marc McCullough will finally get a crack at the vacant WBO European Featherweight belt, which he had been due to challenge for on the undercard of Carl Frampton's big fight against Hugo Cázares.

Visa issues with his original opponent scuppered that chance back in April, but McCullough will now take on undefeated Slovak Martin Parlagi over 10 rounds - his toughest challenge to date.

"This is the fight I want and need to start my career off really," McCullough told UTV.

"This is why I turned professional - to top my own bill. But these are all good boxers and I'm topping the bill, so that gives me a wee bit of confidence."

Since turning pro, Parlagi has won all 14 of his fights and racked up eight knockouts.

But, with the prospect of a vocal home crowd behind him, McCullough remains unfazed.

It's a 50-50 fight, but I'm going to win ...

Marc McCullough

Jamie Conlan is also gearing up for a title bout at the Waterfront event, as he prepares to defend his recently earned WBO European Super-Flyweight belt.

He will be taking on Hungary's Gabor Molnar and, while not getting ahead of himself, he will be hoping for a win so he can turn his focus to a British title and a possible move up the world rankings.

With that in mind, Conlan has been training hard under the eye of John Breen.

"In training camp, you start to hate John Breen because he pushes you so hard," he joked with UTV.

"But you know it's for your own benefit and he'll always look out for you best interests."

Also on Friday's bill will be Conrad Cummings in only his third professional fight.

He reckons he's in the best condition of his life and is promising fans a "dynamite" performance.

"There's going to be a decent crowd and a couple of thousand in the Waterfront shouting my name," Cummings told UTV.

Hopefully, one day, I can be like Carl Frampton with a 20,000 arena sold out.

Conrad Cummings

While the Waterfront may provide a more intimate setting, promoter Barry McGuigan is certain the event - the first of its kind at the iconic venue in years - has all the makings of a "small hall classic".

He told UTV it's a "win-win-win" situation for boxing's rising stars, local fans and promoters.

"Boxing fans in Belfast are discerning fans - they know their boxing," McGuigan said.

"They also know that, when a kid's got ability and talent, it's important to go along and give him a gee-up and support him.

"We're building talent. Give me a couple of years and we'll develop another Frampton."

Also featuring on the Waterfront Brawl bill will be Belfast's Conall Carmichael, Limerick's Willie Casey and Carl Frampton's sparring partner Isaac Dogboe.

All the weigh-ins will be held at 1pm on Thursday at the Europa Hotel.

Doors open at the Waterfront Hall at 6pm on Friday 20 June, with boxing set to start at 6.30pm - you can also catch the action live on u.tv courtesy of Cyclone Promotions, with commentary from the likes of world title contender Carl Frampton.

© UTV News
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