Ben McCulloch – “My aim is for a devestating knockout victory”

BEN McCulloch might just be the last person you’d expect to be challenging for a version of the super middleweight world championship.

Injuries, postponements and a lack of willing opponents has been the story thus far in the fledgling career of the talkative Sydney local.

In spite of the aforementioned, this weekend McCulloch (14-0, 11 KOs) will find himself in the most unlikeliest of places being Moscow, Russia, challenging for the interim WBA super middleweight title against the hometown favourite Fedor Chudinov (11-0, 9 KOs).

“After fourteen successful professional fights, I am in a position within the WBA rankings to challenge for the interim title,” said a well-spoken McCulloch in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “With this opportunity, I’d like to thank my trainer Tony Del Vecchio, my manager Mike Altamura as well as my fanatical friends and fans.”

As McCulloch, 32, duly points out, his career has taken time to develop and because of circumstances that were out of his control, it has been a long and winding road to his title challenge.

Every fighters road to success is different and given the numerous routes available to fighters, there is no set recipe for success. Some choose to fight for state and national honours before moving onto the regional circuit, as for McCulloch – he skipped the domestic scene altogether – a move he believes has paid dividends.

“Every individual boxers career develops and unravels differently due to opportunities and often a lack thereof,” McCulloch explained. “Injuries and difficulty securing opponents earlier in my career were regular issues. Clearly for me in recent years the regional route has been the best approach with what it has yielded.”

“And this is all in spite of a lack of recent fights against other Australians.”

With impressive early career wins over Mark Flanagan and previously unbeaten Omar Shaick, McCulloch’s name has always been floated around with relatively big wraps.

Used in several training camps by former world champions Anthony Mundine, Sakio Bika and Daniel Geale, McCulloch is clearly a fighter with talent to burn and is hoping to put his name in headlights with a career best performance against Chudinov.

As for his opponent, McCulloch says he knows little about the big-punching Russian, but was firm in his assessment of his Russian counterparts capabilities as well as his bold pre-fight prediction.

“I saw him fight while I was warming up the other day for about sixty seconds,” McCulloch continued. “I havent watched a complete fight of his yet but he seems like a squat, fairly tidy, fairly hittable boxer but in good physical condition.”

“I havent seen his knockout ratio or any of his knockouts to be honest. I dont expect him to be knocking me out, but I do expect with my tools of the trade a one-punch knockout.”

“Most fighters say ‘I look forward to an exciting fight we’ll both be blah blah blah’ – I’m not looking forward to an exciting fight and I don’t intend to let this fight to go to scorecards.”

“My aim is for a devastating knockout victory.”

McCulloch is right when he points out what most static fighters do and say in the lead up to big fights, or even fights in general. But in many ways, McCulloch is not like most fighters.

Having fought exclusively in the Philippines this year, the confident title challenger is hoping the experience will hold him in good stead when he fights the biggest fight of his career this weekend.

“Preparation and setting up camp abroad is always a challenge in itself,” McCulloch said in closing. “Our focus is on quality food, no distractions and effective training and transport whilst we are abroad.”

When pressed for an answer for the critics who believe he has taken this fight too soon, McCulloch was honest in his answer.

“Good question. I think the answer will be the result from my next fight.”

Photo: Supplied


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