McCullough out of Prizefighter
A hand injury has forced Wayne McCullough to withdraw from Prizefighter Super-Bantamweights.
Last Updated: 20/05/10 5:08pm
A hand injury has forced Wayne McCullough to withdraw from Prizefighter Super-Bantamweights at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Saturday May 29.
Former WBC world champion McCullough had been training hard to make his comeback in Barry Hearn's latest eight-man, one night tournament but the 39 year-old has been advised that he will be unable to fight for at least two months.
"I am really devastated to be missing out on Prizefighter but the hand injury is pretty bad," said McCullough.
"My Doctor has advised me not to use the hand at all for training or fighting for the next 6-8 weeks. We are all packed and ready to go and we really wanted to be there but this is boxing and these things happen."
McCullough's misfortune has thrown a golden opportunity to young Irish fighter Willie "Big Bang" Casey to take his hero's place and battle for the Prizefighter crown. The big punching Casey, who has four knockout victories in his unbeaten five fight career, is sure to be a danger man on an explosive night.
"He was an idol to me and I really looked up to him when I was starting out," said Casey. "I followed his career from after the 1992 Olympics, he fought some great Mexicans and took on Naseem Hamed and I remember watching those fights.
"I don't feel under pressure as his replacement though, it's more excitement - although it would've been so great to fight him and I know his style would suit me. But I'm just delighted to be in Prizefighter and it's my chance to prove that I can make it to the top."
The 28 year-old from Limerick comes into the fight after an impressive victory over previously undefeated Canadian Super-Bantamweight champion Tyson Cave, flooring him four times en-route to his fourth KO victory - Casey promises Prizefighter fans that his style of fighting is made for the format.
"They don't call me Big Bang for nothing - I like a good scrap," said Casey. "I like to get in there and I like boxers who like to get involved as it makes the fights more exciting. Cave was 10-0 before he faced me and I went over to Canada and beat him so my confidence is sky high going into this."
With less than a fortnight before York Hall opens its doors to the eight contenders, Casey dismissed any suggestions that he would be under-cooked going into Prizefighter as a late replacement.
"I train for every type of fight and every type of scenario and I prepare for everything - last minute replacements, change of fighters, anything," said Casey. "You have to prepare for everything in this game as anything can happen at the last minute - mentally and physically you have to be ready for that and I am.
"I'm an exciting fighter and the last thing people want to do with me is take me lightly. Don't look at my record and think "he's only fought five times" - you don't want to take any chances with Big Bang."