Jack Cullen beats ex-mandatory humbled by Canelo Alvarez

Jack Cullen Avni Yildirim

Ian Walton

Jack Cullen claimed the biggest win of his career by outpointing former World Title challenger Avni Yildirim over ten rounds to earn the IBF International Super-Middleweight Title.

‘Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver’ was in control from the opening bell as he used his long jab to set up further attacks on the Turk who shared the ring with pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez back in February.

Yildirim was looking to get back to winning ways after being stopped in three rounds by the Mexican in Miami but instead suffered the fourth defeat of his career at the hands of the 27-year-old from Lancashire.

Cullen outboxed and outfought ‘Mr. Robot’ in front of his vocal support at the Matchroom HQ in Essex – with the final scorecards reading 100-90, 98-92, and 97-93 in favor of the Michael Jennings-trained fighter.

“I’m absolutely buzzing and listen; we came with a game plan, a couple of rounds in. I wasn’t doing what I should have been doing, but I stuck to my game plan, and it paid off eventually,” Cullen told Matchroom afterward.

“I knew he was going to come forward, he’s a tough fighter, and he comes to fight – that’s what he did tonight. Like I said with my game plan, using the jab and trying not to get caught with the right hand. I got caught a few times stupidly, but I got back on my boxing and got through the ten rounds.

“To be honest with you, every fight I’ve seen him in, he’s been one-paced. It’s me not doing too much, using the jab, and letting him come forward, instead of me getting involved in a scrap – it worked. We stuck to the game plan, it worked, and I’m delighted.

“I’ve been working over and over, every day. It’s starting to pay off. As I said, you’ll see a different Jack Cullen, and I think you did tonight.

“At the end of the day, I’m in this game to fight the best, and anything can happen. Anything is around the corner. It’s all about being switched on and ready. Whoever you get offered, you’ve got to take the fight with both hands and go for it.

“I have got brilliant support, a lot of fans that love watching and supporting me. There were only 25 in there tonight, but it sounded like 100. It’s brilliant, and I’m going to have a nice little rest – we’ll see. Hopefully, Eddie will sign me now!

“It’s moving in the right direction, the direction I want it to go. Everyone said Yildirim would be a tough opponent, and I knew that, but I knew I should be beating fighters like him because of where I want to take my career.

“I will go with the flow. Who knows, I reckon there will be all sorts of people jumping out the closet wanting to fight me, but we’ll see.”

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