Ben fighting for title no.2
COFFS Harbour PCYC boxer Ben McCulloch is fighting fit, pumped full of confidence and ready to defend his National Amateur Boxing League middleweight title in Cairns this weekend.
McCulloch and trainer Mick Magnay set off for North Queensland on Tuesday with one thing one their minds: claiming back-to-back national belts.
The 22-year-old believes he is twice the fighter he was last year.
"I am feeling really good at the moment," McCulloch said.
"I have had a lot more fights since last year so I'm more experienced.
"My training program has been much more intense this year; I'm training five times a week now instead of three times."
McCulloch says the trip to Cairns will be another step towards a professional career.
"Sooner or later I want to go pro, but short-term this is pretty important," he said. "I will probably keep going for another year as an amateur to get more experience."
McCulloch recently returned from an overseas trip full of determination.
"That has definitely given me renewed hunger, I really want to get up there and fight," he said.
"I was a bit unsure of myself last year, but this year I have a lot of confidence."
While McCulloch enjoyed relative anonymity at last year's National titles, he won't be afforded the same luxury this time round.
"Being the defending middleweight champion, Ben will go there with a reputation," trainer Mick Magnay said.
"But he will cope with that."
Magnay believes McCulloch has a strong chance of defending his belt.
"He is a big chance," Magnay said.
"He has a lot more experience this year and his training has stepped up a notch.
"He couldn't be any better prepared."