By Jay Mwamba
Former World Boxing Council bantamweight champion Wayne McCullough cleared the final hurdle before resuming his career last week when he was re-licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The Commission’s move ends any doubt over McCullough’s career that began when his last scheduled bout was canceled in Belfast on Oct. 19 after a routine pre-fight MRI revealed what appeared to be a cyst on his brain.
But upon his return to the United States, McCullough underwent a battery of tests at UCLA Medical Center and was told by specialists that he faced no greater risk than any other fighter from the cyst, an old condition that was not on the brain.
The 30-year-old ex-champ was thrilled by the Nevada Commission’s decision to license him again.
"I knew it was only a matter of time before I received this good news," McCullough said in Las Vegas. I’ve been in the gym training for the past two months. I’m ready to return to the ring at the soonest."
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"We’re thrilled with the news that Wayne is healthy," said Dan Goossen of America Presents, McCullough’s promoters. "Wayne has been in the gym since New Year’s and we intend to have him make his 2001 debut in Las Vegas within the next 60 days."
Now a top ranked super bantamweight, McCullough (23-3, 14 KOs) was a silver medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He held the World Boxing Council bantamweight crown from 1995 until 1997, when he relinquished it to move up in weight.
Renowned for his high work rate, which earned him the nickname "Pocket Rocket," and a granite chin, his three defeats were all close and decisions to greats Daniel Zaragoza, Prince Naseem Hamed and Erik Morales.