It’s Full Circle For McCullough and Quigley

By William Trillo
Photo: Cheryl McCullough

As I was covering the fights on Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas I was taken by surprise when I saw Wayne McCullough working the corner of Jason Quigley who was getting ready to square off in what turned out to be a very entertaining and close fight against Shane Mosley Jr.

I was curious to find out about McCullough working in Quigley’s corner, so I reached out to “The Pocket Rocket” to get the inside scoop. As always, Wayne was gracious to speak with me about that night.

Pound4Pound: When did you find out that trainer Andy Lee was not going to be available and you would be working in Jason’s corner, how did that all go down?

Wayne McCullough: I first found out ten days before the fight. Jason was coming over on Sunday, the week of the fight. So, they called and told me the situation and asked if I would work the corner. Of course, I told them I would be honored to!

I have known Jason since he fought in the World Series of Boxing with the L.A. Matadors. That is where I first saw him and I said to him if he ever thought about going pro and coming over here, (to The States), I would love to be a part of your team. Jason went on to win the Silver at the World Amateur Boxing Championships and then signed with Golden Boy and started working with Manny Robles. After he left Manny, he came to me to train and he loved it but, he was homesick.
So Jason went back home and started training with Ingles. That didn’t work out too well and they ended up with Andy Lee. When they called and asked if I could help for this fight I said, “Yes, no problem at all”.

P4P: So, it sounds like this was a good fit for everyone in this circumstance.

WM: It was a good fit because we knew each other. We hung around together in California, so it wasn’t like we were strangers. I said to Jason the other day, “You know it’s funny how things come around full circle.” With that, We were all on the same page. We talked often before the fight and we talked after the fight.

P4P: Regarding the fight itself, it was a good fight, I thought Jason won it. Seeing one of the judges had it a draw surprised me just a bit.

WM: Well Bill, the truth is, and Jason even said it there in the ring afterwards, it was a close fight. It could have been a draw, it’s just the way one looks at the rounds. I had it 96-94 and one judge had it even, it’s possible it could have gone that way. In the last rounds I told Jason, “You got to go in there and win these rounds, you can’t step backwards and run around, you got to step forward”. He did that and on the judges’ cards he won those rounds.

P4P: I have been fortunate enough to see Jason when he started his pro career. I was also there to see his loss to Tureano Johnson. I am glad to see him get this victory here and wonder what you think it’s going to take to get him back up to the top.

WM: That loss to Johnson was a tough loss, your first loss is always your hardest. But Jason knows, the preparation for that fight wasn’t the greatest. The weight factor too was a big an issue for him then. The week of the fight cutting ten pounds doesn’t do your body any good. But for the fight with Mosley he was fantastic, he didn’t have to cut any weight, he was perfect.

P4P: I have said it before, in my opinion one loss is not a career ender and a loss can actually be a learning experience to make a fighter better. For Jason, it appears he did learn from that loss. Hopefully, this victory puts him back in the mix.

WM: Yes, this should put him back up there in the Top Ten at least. Jaime Munguia is with Golden Boy so there is a possibility of a fight happening there. Jason has mentioned Demitrius Andrade as well, he is with DAZN too, so that is a possibility as well. Munguia is a tough fighter, but I think that would be a good one for Jason. And if I was involved in it that would be great too because Erik Morales is in the other corner (laughs). Golden Boy will do the right thing of course, whatever they do I would love to be involved.

P4P: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask if The McCullough Gym is still up and running. Are you still in the business of training fighters?

WM: Yes it is, and yes I am! I was in California for a few years but I am back now and still have the gym open that you know I had Librado Andrade and Enrique Ornelas training at. I am still up and running looking for the next world champion.

P4P: That’s great to hear. If I know anyone looking for a trainer I will certainly let them know about you.

WM: Thanks Bill, you brought me fighters back in 2006 and I will always be grateful for that. I hope we can do it again sometime!

P4P: Me too!

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