NAAS boxer, Gary “The Diva” Cully had to survive a fifth-round knockdown to win his super lightweight contest against Welshman, Craig Woodruff, before emerging victorious on a 77/75 points win before the TV cameras at the MTK Fight Night event at Production Park Studios in Wakefield last night.
Cully unexpectedly ran into a right hand from Woodruff early in Round 5, the first time he had hit the deck in his previous 10 professional fights. As he stood up Cully glanced at his corner, perhaps seeking advice from the likes of Pete Taylor, and as Referee, Phil Edwards from Preston, counted out the mandatory eight count, he inhaled and gathered his thoughts and went on to get on top by the end of the round.
Apart from this “blip” this was a very dominant and impressive performance from Cully. After an expected cagey Round 1 the Naas man took control from Round 2 and released a number of combinations with right jabs and left hooks to keep the Welshman at the end of his long reach.
Weighing in a 140 lbs, just a pound heavier that Woodruff, Cully gave an impressive display of boxing skills and footwork that had Woodruff mesmerised and frustrated at times.
Thanks to his Strength and Fitness Coach, Niall Barrett, “The Diva” came back from lockdown, fitter, faster and stronger and he needed all those qualities to survive the knockdown and to deal with the awkward customer that was Woodruff who was content to try body shots to counter Cully’s longer reach.
Cully fought his way back in after Round 5 and during the remainder of the fight, especially in final round, he got off some great, accurate shots, jabs, combinations and footwork that would have impressed the large TV audience.
The performance of the Naas southpaw, the reigning Irish lightweight champion, was all the more impressive in that he moved up from his normal 135 lbs to take this super lightweight contest. He would be expected to revert to his more natural weight for future contests but the win, and above all else, the performance, should ensure many more opportunities for him including tilts at various European titles.