September 29 is filled with topclass fights. Not only will heavyweight boxers Alexander Povetkin (WBA Championship against Hasim Rahman) and Kubrat Pulev (European and IBF International Championship against Alexander Ustinov) put their, dubious and regional titles, respectively, on the line, but also fighting to keep his regional belt is light middleweight Jack Culcay (12-0, 8 KOs). The young German takes on Mark Thompson (24-1, 14 KOs) from Manchester for the WBA Intercontinental Championship. The 26-year-old took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about the upcoming fight.
Jack Culcay, your last fight took place in Berlin on August 25. You won that bout by technical knock-out in round three and therefore the WBA Intercontinental Championship. What did you learn from that night?
Jack Culcay: The fight and the way it ended once again proved that everything is possible when it comes to sport but especially boxing. The cut suffered by Frederic Serre meant, that his night was over just a few rounds into the fight. That could have also happened to me.
In 2009 you won the amateur world championships. In Berlin you were able to celebrate your first professional title. How did it feel?
Jack Culcay: It was amazing. You can´t really describe the feeling and the emotions once the referee declares you as the winner.
Does this first title change anything when it comes to your attitude towards your training as well as the next fight?
Jack Culcay: The only thing that changes is the pressure on my shoulders which becomes even bigger. Before, I was the one hunting for glory. Now I am the hunted. My opponents will do everything possible to take that belt of me. At the same time, I will do everything possible to keep it.
Only a few weeks have passed since your victory. Did that have an effect on your preparations?
Jack Culcay: The last fight only lasted for three rounds. I was prepared to go the distance and therefore it didn’t take that much out of me. If it would have gone on for twelve rounds, I probably wouldn’t be fighting again straight away.
Is it possible to adapt to a new opponent in such a short period of time?
Jack Culcay: Of course it is. I have been sparring against three very different guys during my training. I am used to it because as my time as an amateur. At tournaments, you have to fight different styles within just a few days. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Your next opponent is Mark Thompson. What are your thoughts on him?
Jack Culcay: The most obvious thing is his height. With 1.80 Meters he is eight centimetres taller than me. But I actually think that suits me quite well. So far, most of my opponents were taller than me. That way I can use my superior speed to my advantage.
The bout takes place in your adopted hometown Hamburg. How excited are you to be fighting there?
Jack Culcay: It is going to be a great atmosphere. The people of Hamburg are very passionate when it comes to sports and I know that they will be right behind me. Of course I will do everything possible to give them a good show.
How will the fight end on September 29?
Jack Culcay: I will have to give you my usual answer as it is true: You can not predict the outcome of any sporting event but especially not boxing. And it is pretty much impossible to predict the way a fight ends. I am ready to go the distance. If I manage to win the fight early then so be it. I will never plan to knock-out somebody as it just adds pressure on me. The main thing is that I will be the last man standing.