Having only gone two rounds in two years before facing WBC junior featherweight champ Oscar Larios last February, Wayne “the Pocket Rocket” McCullough is rust-free, and eager to get back in the ring for his first career rematch to redeem his closer-than-officially-scored-battle against Larios. McCullough knows that on July 16th that he will be given a chance to accumulate even more fans who appreciate his exciting style on the undercard of Bernard Hopkin’s 21st title defense, while at the same time trying to impress the judges that he seemingly failed to do in Larios-McCullough I. BoxingTalk spoke with The Pocket Rocket to find out what he will do this time around to impress the three men sitting ringside, what he has done to get ready for Larios, and who he would like to fight next after July 16th.
BoxingTalk: Wayne, what are your thoughts on the big fight you have coming up on July 16th?
Wayne McCullough: This is the first time anyone has given me a rematch. When I saw Bernard Hopkins at a recent boxing event, he came up to me and said, ‘You won that fight, you won that fight!’ – referring to my fight with Oscar Larios. That was great because I was hoping to just get a picture with Bernard, but he surprised me when he said that to me.
BoxingTalk: This will be the first rematch of you career?
Wayne McCullough: Well, everyone I have beaten doesn’t want to get in the ring with me again.
BoxingTalk: How are you preparing for this fight with Larios compared to your first fight with him?
Wayne McCullough: There won’t be too many differences. I’ll pretty much come in and do the same thing that I did last time. When I fought Larios the first time I was fairly inactive, only fighting two rounds in two years. I’ve gotten twelve rounds in now, so I’m thinking of this fight as though it is the beginning of the 13th round.
BoxingTalk: What is it like for you to have your rematch with Larios being the undercard of a major fight?
Wayne McCullough: It’s a dream come true for me. I’ve lived in Vegas for a long time, and it’s hard for me to believe. Sometimes I tell my wife to hit me to make sure I’m not dreaming. With Hopkins on the card, and the fact that I know everyone in Vegas, it’s going to be a great night.
BoxingTalk: Do you feel that Larios will fight you differently the second time around?
Wayne McCullough: Both he and I sustained injuring in our first fight. Larios had injured his shoulder and I hurt my hand, but I expect an awesome fight from him.
BoxingTalk: I think most would agree that the three judges who scored the fight between you and Larios saw it differently than most. Even you own Ring Magazine scored it a draw. What will you have to do to impress the judges this time around to give the fight to you?
Wayne McCullough: I know I’m going to be more active in the fight, since I don’t have my injured hand. But I’ve been sparring a lot lately, my hand feels great, and you will see me throw a lot more punches come July 16th.
BoxingTalk: A win against Larios will give you a long list of other opponents you can take on, including a rubber match with Larios. Who is on your radar to fight next?
Wayne McCullough: I’ve fought some of the best in my division like Naseem Hamed and Erik Morales, but one person I haven’t fought that I’d like to is Marco Antonio Barrera.
BoxingTalk: What do you have left to do to get ready for your rematch with Larios?
Wayne McCullough: I just got back from training with Freddie Roach in LA. Now I am doing a lot of running and sparring to get ready for July 16th.
BoxingTalk: What would you like to say in closing to all your fans on BoxingTalk?
Wayne McCullough: I just want to thank them for all the support they have given me, and on July 16th, almost 10 years to the day that I won my first WBC belt, you will see me win another one from Oscar Larios.
BoxingTalk thanks Mr. McCullough for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him great success on July 16th, and continued success both in and out of the ring.
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