Wayne McCullough was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in
July 1970. He grew up on the Shankill Road in a family with six brothers and
sisters. His two older brothers boxed (even though neither brother made a name
for himself in boxing) and Wayne followed them to the Albert Foundry Boxing gym
at the age of 8. At first, boxing was not his favourite sport, preferring to
play football but, after a while, he realised he enjoyed the one-on-one aspect
of boxing and decided to take it to the next level.
Wayne became one of the top fighters in the history of boxing
in Ireland, North & South. He fought over 50 International tournaments for
Ireland fighting a total of 319 contests, losing only 11.
He left the amateur ranks after winning a Bronze medal in the World Cup, a Gold
medal in the Commonwealth Games and a Silver medal at the Olympics Games.
After deciding to turn professional in America, under the guidance on the late,
great Eddie Futch, Wayne went on to win the North American Boxing within a year
of his move. Just 2 years, 5 months & 7 days after turning pro, Wayne won the
WBC Bantam weight title by beating the Japanese Champion, Yaseui Yakushiji, in
his hometown of Nagoya, Japan.
Wayne made two successful defences of his title before vacating the belt to move
up in weight. He has since challenged for four more title belts, losing
gallantly in each fight.
Even though Wayne fought Prince Naseem Hamed and Erik Morales, who are regarded
as the best fighters in their divisions, he was able to take both boxers the
distance in a Championship fight, giving performances of his life and living up
to his Ring Magazine title of "Best Chin in Boxing" as neither boxer was able to
dent his toughness.
Wayne fought a brave fight against Scott Harrison in March, 2003 but lost the
fight on points. Harrison visibly outweighed Wayne in the ring but still could
not put him down or stop him - like Harrison and his camp had predicted.
Harrison lost in his next defence of his title against veteran Manuel Medina.
Medina won the fight easily on points.
In May 2004, Wayne legally changed his name to include his ring name. He is now
known as Wayne Pocket Rocket McCullough.
Wayne challenged Oscar Larios for the WBC Super Bantamweight title on February
10 under the guidance of his new trainer, Freddie Roach. According to the
judges, Wayne lost the fight on a wide points decision. Everyone else thought
Wayne did enough to get a draw or to win the fight. A protest was filed and a
rematch was granted ending controversially in the 10th round when Wayne's
trainer stopped the fight for no reason.
On 17 August 2005 McCullough was honored by the WBC to become their first ever
WBC Boxer's Ambassador of the World for Peace and Goodwill in Sports.
In September 2005, McCullough became a United States citizen. He is known for
his dogged, relentless attacking style and has never been knocked down or
stopped by a fighter in a professional bout.
In November 2005, McCullough released his autobiography, Pocket Rocket: Don't
Quit, in the UK and Ireland. He went on a publicity tour to promote the book,
which reached Number 2 on the best sellers list.
In 2007, Wayne McCullough joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship organisation
as a PR Associate and travels around the world helping to promote the sport of
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
He currently trains fighters both in boxing and MMA and will continue to do so.
You can follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneMcCullough or "like" his Facebook fan page
Wayne Pocket Rocket McCullough