NEW YORK (March 2, 2009) – Former WBC bantamweight champion and 1992 Olympic silver medalist, Wayne “Pocket Rocket” McCullough, wants one more world title shot at that’s why he’s fighting St. Patrick’s Day Eve (Monday, March 16) “Erin Go Brawl II” card, presented by Irish Ropes Promotions, at WaMu Theater in the famed Madison Square Garden.
Limerick’s 2004 Irish Olympian Andy Lee (16-1, 13 KOs), 14 years younger than his 38-year-old hero, McCullough, headlines in the 10-round main event against 3-time world title challenger Antwun “Kid Dynamite” Echols (31-9-4, 27 KOs).
McCullough (27-7, 18 KOs), fighting out of Las Vegas by way of Belfast, takes on Mexican super bantamweight Alex “El Diablo” Becerra (19-7, 9 KOs), in the 10 round co-feature.
“Andy Lee was the only one on the Ireland’s 2004 Olympic Boxing Team,” McCullough spoke about his warm relationship with Lee. “I’ve always supported him and feel that he’s good for Irish boxing. We’ve kept in touch and we’re behind each other 100-percent. I believe he will be world champion. I’m looking forward to fighting again on the East Coast and in Madison Square Garden. The Irish packed the house when I fought in New York (1993), Boston (1993 & 1997) or Atlantic City (1998). There are Irish on the West Coast but not as many as on the East Coast. If we brought then all back to Ireland the island would sink.
“My goal is to become world champion within two years. It’s all about promoting and I thank Irish Ropes and Cedric Kushner for this opportunity to fight on St. Patrick’s Day Eve in Madison Square Garden. I should be a 3-time world champion because a lot of people thought I won against (Daniel) Zaragoza and the first (Oscar) Larios fight. I’m 38 but I’ve taken good care of my body. I’m an Irish guy who doesn’t drink and I have a gym in my home. I’m like Bernard Hopkins.”
Making his New York City debut in an 8-round bout is unbeaten light welterweight Dean “Irish Lightning” Byrne, who was an Irish National champion when he lived in Crumlin, and he later captured the Australian light welterweight title in his fifth pro fight. Byrne (10-0, 4 KOs), now fights out of Los Angeles, where he’s trained by Freddie Roach and has sparred at the Wild Card Gym with superstars Manny Pacquiao, Amir Kahn, Juan Marquez and even Oscar De La Hoya for a few rounds.
“He’s a tough kid who is a really good fighter but doesn’t know it yet,” Roach spoke about Byrne. “He’s learning to sit-down on his punches and has had two knockouts since he’s been with me. Dean’s learned a lot sparring with Manny, Amir and the others. He’s a lot of fun to watch, very exciting and cleaver for a young man. Early in his career he fought 10 rounds for the Australian title, so he already has that experience. He’s one of my best prospects.”
Scheduled to fight in 6-rounders on “Erin Go Brawl II” are Irish super featherweight champion Eddie “Pride of Tallaght” Hyland (11-1, 3 KOs), of Dublin; Philadelphia by way of Galway middleweight “Slick Fightin’Irish” Simon O’Donnell (8-1, 5 KOs); Limerick light heavyweight Jamie Power (4-0, 2 KOs) against Reggie “Concrete” LaCrete (4-0-2, 3 KOs), from Brooklyn; Jersey City super featherweight Danny “Little Mac” McDermott (7-1-1, 2 KOs).
Also on the card in 4-round matches are Massachusetts light welterweight Danny O’Connor (4-0, 1 KO), 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate; Brooklyn featherweight Sadam Ali (1-0, 1 KO), 2008 U.S. Olympian; former St. Xavier College star football player Tommy Brown, fighting out of Chicago and trained by Kevin Rooney, making his pro debut in the light middleweight division.
County Galway’s Sean Mannion (42-14-1, 14 KOs) will be honored at “Erin Go Brawl II” in honor of the 25th anniversary of his WBA light middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden against the eventual champion Mike “The Bodysnatcher” McCallum.
Tickets, priced at $50.00, $75.00, $100.00, $150.00, $200.00, and $300.00, are on sale at TicketMaster.com as well as Jack Demsey’s in Manhattan, Hilltop in Elmhurst, and the Heritage in Yonkers.
For more information call Irish Ropes Promotions (212.868.9544) or go on line to www.irishropespromotions.com.