Jack Cullen recovered from a first-round knockdown to hand John Docherty a first career loss in their British Super-Middleweight Title Eliminator.
After a fiery build-up in the Matchroom ‘bubble’, Docherty immediately tried to back up his brutal predictions as he floored Cullen with a big left hook inside the opening thirty seconds.
Cullen responded well to this early setback, unloading thudding shots in the second round, and Docherty was bleeding from a wound above his eye after his defenses were breached again in the third.
Little Lever’s Cullen hurt Scotsman Docherty in the eighth round on route to securing a victory with scores of 96-94, 96-94, and 95-94.
“First round, I ended up slipping on my ass,” Cullen told Matchroom afterward. “If people thought it was a knockdown, it wasn’t. I had to work and push it. Every time I went back to the corner, Michael and Dave said, ‘look, you need to get stuck in here and dig deep.’ That’s what I feel like I did to win the fight.
“That’s the first time I’d ever fought a southpaw. I was getting caught with stupid shots for the first couple of rounds. It was time to tuck up and dig deep. I feel like I was really coming on after the fourth round. I still feel like it was a big step up for him.
“I take my hat off to him for taking the fight. We were supposed to be fighting different people tonight. We’re young, and we’ll fight anybody. There’s no reason not to. There’s a lot more for me to work on. They’ve only had me for between six and eight weeks, which isn’t a lot of time.
“I feel like I’m going to come on bigger, stronger, and better. This is my natural weight at Super-Middle. I’ve grown into it, and it’s time to take over. I’m here for a fight, and I’m here to take over and win. I’m young, and I’ve got self-belief. I feel like I’m good enough.”