|Wayne McCullough (right) in action. Picture: Lawrence Lustig.|
Barry Hearn’s next eight-man, one-night tournament – Prizefighter Super-Bantamweights – will take place at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, east London on Saturday, May 29.
Boxing legend Wayne McCullough, a former WBC world champion at bantamweight who also fought for world titles at two other weights, will be the bookmakers’ favourite to win it.
However, favourites do not always win Prizefighter, as former WBO Heavyweight Champion Herbie Hide found out when he had to withdraw at the semi-final stage in Prizefighter Cruiserweights II last month.
“I jumped at the chance to box in Prizefighter knowing the exposure and opportunity it has given the fighters who have taken part in the past,” said 39-year-old McCullough.
“A lot of people think I’m done, so I don’t think there is any pressure on me.
“I’m sure there’ll be some ring rust but I can’t think about that. I’m just going to come out with all guns blazing.”
Once again, the rest of the entrants include a mix of seasoned veterans and talented prospects looking for a career-changing night.
Nottinghamshire-based Esham Pickering has previously held the European, British and Commonwealth belts, while Liverpool’s Mark Moran fought for the British title.
There are two undefeated fighters among the eight. Welshman Ricky Owen has fought 11 times, while St Helens’ Craig Lyon had boxed ten times as a professional.
Aberdeen-born Gavin Reid has fought for the Scottish title, Josh Wale of Barnsley has challenged for the English crown and Middlesbrough’s Chris Riley is a former England junior international.
Tickets for the event cost £35 (unreserved), £60 (ringside) and £100 (VIP) and are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.
Once again the whole show will be broadcast live and in high definition on Sky Sports.
Prizefighter Super-Bantamweight line up.
Name: Craig Lyon
Home town: St Helens, Merseyside.
Professional record: Won 10 (3 by KO), Lost 0, Drawn 0. Total 10 fights.
Name: Wayne McCullough
Home town: Belfast / Las Vegas.
Professional record: Won 27 (18 by KO), Lost 7, Drawn 0. Total 35 fights.
Achievement: Ex WBC bantamweight champion.
Name: Mark Moran
Home town: Liverpool.
Professional record: Won 11 (3 by KO), Lost 1, Drawn 1. Total 13 fights.
Achievement: Fought for British title.
Name: Ricky Owen
Home town: Swansea
Professional record: Won 11 (4 by KO), Lost 0, Drawn 0. Total 11 fights.
Name: Esham Pickering
Home town: Newark, Notts
Professional record: Won 34 (13 by KO), Lost 9, Drawn 0. Total 43 fights.
Achievement: Has held the European, British and Commonwealth titles.
Name: Gavin Reid
Home town: Redcar, Yorkshire
Professional record: Won 6 (3 by KO), Lost 5, Drawn 1. Total 12 fights.
Achievement: Fought for Scottish title.
Name: Chris Riley
Home town: Middlesbrough
Professional record: Won 2 (0 by KO), Lost 2, Drawn 2. Total 6 fights.
Achievement: Ex England Junior international.
Name: Josh Wale
Home town: Barnsley
Professional record: Won 9 (5 by KO), Lost 2, Drawn 0. Total 11 fights.
Achievement: Fought for English title.