Former world champion Wayne McCullough is excited about the opportunity to train fellow Irishman junior middleweight contender Dennis ‘Hurricane’ Hogan 28-3-1 (7).
“I am thinking is this real because I have reached out to so many Irish fighters in the past. I have trained a few guys for a couple of days and then they’d have to leave the country,” McCullough said on the Endswell Podcast to Al Rich.
“Dennis is the first guy that is actually going to come and train with me. I don’t think it’s real until he is actually going to be in front of me.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I came over here and learnt from Eddie Futch. It’s an honour for me to do it. I would love to train a bunch of Irish guys, but it never happened.”
Known as the ‘Pocket Rocket’, McCullough won over fans with his all-action style during his 15-year pro career. He retired in 2008 with a record of 27-7 (18) after facing such greats as Erik Morales, Prince Naseem Hamed and Danial Zaragoza.
The Belfast banger says some of his countrymen were reluctant to train under him because they mistakenly thought he would force them to adopt his aggressive style.
“I will give everything to it. As a trainer I am going to try and make the best of my fighters. I think that was part of the problem. Irish fighters thought ‘Wayne McCullough he just walks forward and throws punchers’,” the former WBC bantamweight champion said.
“They thought I was going to train them to be like me. But if you look at my amateur days I had to go backwards as well.
“When I was thought by Eddie, he said you don’t train people the way you fought. He said everybody is different.”
Hogan lost a debatable decision to Jaime Munguia for the WBO 154-pound title in Mexico a year ago before moving up to middleweight to face Jermall Charlo for the WBC crown. The hard-hitting proved too big and powerful for Hogan, stopping him in seven.
The 35-year-old Hogan praised McCullough for his boxing IQ.
“Eddie Futch was Wayne’s coach and I think he gained a lot of experience there,” Hogan said to the Kildare Nationalist.
“Futch said that of all the fighters he had that he felt Wayne could train a world champion. That says a lot about Wayne and his way of thinking.
“What I’ve heard from Eddie and what Wayne has learned from him is that it is about looking at a fighter’s strengths and tweaking them, making adjustments rather than just changing the style.
“There were American coaches and Mexican coaches, but I felt they might try change my style completely where I feel like what I am doing works. It’s just about maximising a couple of things, doubling down on my strengths and looking to see if there are any weaknesses.”
McCullough doesn’t believe Hogan needs to make any major changes, just a few minor tweaks.
“With Dennis he is aggressive, he is elusive and he is fit – and all those things together make a hard fighter to beat,” he said. “Defence he could tidy up a bit, sit down his punches more and the guy is going to be unstoppable. I’ll work on things like that.”
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