Josh targets Golden Glove after winning first belt

Published 7:00am 17 June 2021

Josh targets Golden Glove after winning first belt
Words by Nick Crockford

Josh McCulloch has brought his first belt back to Redcliffe City Boxing Club and is now looking for a Golden Glove.

McCulloch, 15, won the 57kgs featherweight belt at the Wide Bay Titles on Saturday, adding it to the State Novice title he won in April.

He beat Livai Savuro, also 15, from North Queensland, over three close-fought two-minute rounds in Bundaberg.

The plan now is for McCulloch to have one more fight before the Queensland Golden Gloves in Brisbane on August 19-22.

Josh targets Golden Glove after winning first belt
Josh McCulloch with trainers, from left, Bunger Johnson, Mal Challinor and Mark Dixon.

Room to improve

But the Albany Creek resident and his trainers say is plenty of room for improvement on Saturday’s fight.

“I don’t feel it was one of my best fights,” said McCulloch, “I think I did alright, but my form, my technique in the fight were not the best.

“When the referee was holding my hand (before announcing the winner) I honestly didn’t know what to think.”

The referee lifted McCulloch’s arm and he now has a winners’ belt, 45 years after one of his trainers, Mal Challinor, also won a Wide Bay title.

Josh targets Golden Glove after winning first belt
Josh McCulloch doing 'pad work' with Bunger Johnson at Redcliffe City Boxing Club.

'Very close'

Challinor received a badge on November 22, 1975 for taking the Wide Bay heavyweight title and now runs the Redcliffe City Boxing Club, at Burpengary East, with Bunger Johnson and Mark Dixon.

“When Mark and I got up to the corner to take his (McCulloch) gloves off after the last round I said we’ll be lucky (to win),” said the former Australian amateur heavyweight champion.

“It was very close. I reckon the last 30 seconds of the last round won it for him. We’re happy, because he won a belt and he is getting experience, but there’s a lot more to learn.

“He fought a fighter who had (won) six-from-six. Josh had four-from-four, so that was a step up. He was an A grade fighter, Josh was a B grade fighter, that’s another step up.

Josh targets Golden Glove after winning first belt
Sparring with Brooke Cooper was a huge help in McCulloch's preparations for the Wide Bay titles.

One more fight

“I’d like one more fight before August before the Golden Gloves. One more fight which will still keep him in the right category for the Golden Gloves.”

McCulloch paid tribute to Brooke Cooper, the two-time world Muay Thai champion, who he sparred with at the Redcliffe club.

Cooper was preparing for her first boxing bout, an WBC (World Boxing Council) Australasian Lightweight title fight against Deedee Hobbs on July 16.

“Brooke really helped me for this (Wide Bay Title) fight,” said McCulloch, “she was good and helped me choose my punches and defending.”

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