Sunday, 28 August 2016

Fighting For Autism- 12 Rounds With Wayne "Pocket Rocket" McCullough

When you mention Wayne "Pocket Rocket" McCullough and boxing, a list as long your arm appears  the amount of accolades this gentleman has distinguished Wayne as having the "hardest chin in boxing" as well as his tenacity and punch ratio , Wayne is a Commonwealth and Olympic medallist, he has also held titles for the NABF and WBC and even carried the Olympic torch twice in the same day in his beloved Northern Ireland prior to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and is currently training the next generation of champions dividing his time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Wayne wearing his Olympic and Commonwealth Games Medals , and his World Boxing Council Title belt.
Wayne is also an author, his Autobiography "Don't Quit" is a superb insight into Wayne's boxing career and the adversities he faced, aside from boxing Wayne is without a shadow of a doubt one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, always has time for his fans, and truly is a Fans Man.
Dad to rising superstar Wy Mac, and husband to Cheryl, Wayne is a devout family man who goes out of his way to make a difference to others, meeting and greeting the Irish Team for the special Olympics and sharing stories with them was amazing to see.
Wayne with some of the Irish Special Olympics Team in Los Angeles
When Fighting For Autism did the "1 Minute punch bag challenge" for Autism Awareness, Wayne was at the forefront leading the charge, uploading his video and nominating others to do the same.  
Wayne is also a Fighting For Autism Fighter Ambassador, who has truly helped to raise awareness and acceptance.
We asked Four of the Fighting For Autism Junior Ambassadors,  Rhys McCole (Top Left), Zak Lovell ( Top Right) Josh Westcott ( 2nd Left) and Nas Stowell (2nd Right) who are all outstanding amateur boxers and also on the Autistic Spectrum to ask Wayne a few questions, so here we go
 12 Rounds With Wayne "Pocket Rocket" McCullough, questions asked by Josh Westcott, Rhys McCole , Zak Lovell and Nas Stowell
1.Wayne you were never knocked out or stopped but who was the toughest and also hardest hitting opponent?
The toughest fighter I fought was Victor Rabanales in my 13th fight. He was number 1 in the world. I was number 5. I had to beat him to get a crack at the world title. He hit me so hard at one point I was out on my feet and he didn't even know it. I was inexperienced going into that fight. The hardest hitting fighter over 12 rounds was Erik Morales.

 2. What has been your own personal greatest achievement and honour?
People always think winning the Olympic silver medal was my greatest achievement but in my opinion winning the WBC World Championship tops that. That belt has been held by some of the best fighters of all time. From Muhammad Ali to Floyd Mayweather. I am the first (and only) Irish fighter to ever win a WBC belt.

 3. You support Fighting for Autism and people on the Autistic spectrum why do you do do much for others? 
I have a platform to bring awareness to causes and for as long as I am able to do that I will continue to support my friends and family in their efforts.

Thank You- Rhys McCole - Junior Ambassador (Scotland)
4.How often do you train, and do you enjoy training ?
I train every day for at least 2 hours. I love it. When I was boxing, it was my life. Once an athlete, always an athlete.

5.What kind of diet do you have ?
I eat good healthy food. Chicken and turkey mostly. But that's not to say I don't like biscuits and tea!

6.What kind of sports personalities/people did you look up to whilst growing up ?
I loved watching athletics (track and field) and I watched football. I always wanted to be a football player but I was better at boxing. I used to read about old time boxers because in my day there was no internet! So I loved going to the shop and picking up the latest Boxing News.

7. You've done really well becoming a World Champion, can you describe how that moment felt ?
It was a weird feeling. I set a goal when I was young. When I achieved that goal, it was an anti climax and I almost felt like "what's next?"

8.A lot of Boxing success often relies upon timing, did you ever get impatient waiting to make your mark, and was it difficult finding the right moments ?
Yes when I became the number 1 contender to the world title the champion made me wait for another 13 months before giving me a chance at his belt. That was frustrating.

Thank You- Nas Stowell- Junior Ambassador (England)

9.What was the start of your amateur career like?
I remember being in the gym for about 6 months as a 7/8 year old. I had to learn the trade before stepping into the ring to fight. In my first fight I was matched against a fighter with over 50 fights but because I'd spent the time to learn I was able to stop him in 2 rounds.

10.What did your family and friends think of the dedication you put in to fight in the Commonwealth and Olympics and win medals?
My friends used to go to the gym with me but they all fell away over time. As a young kid I always worked hard. To this day my friends remember the hard work I put in and see now that it paid off.

Thank You- Josh Westcott- Junior Ambassador (Scotland)

11. What age did you start boxing?
I began at 7 years old. My first fight was at 8 years old.
 12. Did you have any specific obstacles?
Coming from the working class area of West Belfast the obstacles were actually making it to the gym as opposed to getting caught up in the gangs or stuff my friends were into.

Thank YouZak Lovell -Junior Ambassador (England)

Thanks so much for the questions! They were great!!!


Fighting For Autism, would like to say a massive thank you to Nas Stowell, Josh Westcott, Rhys McCole, Zak Lovell and Wayne "Pocket Rocket" McCullough for an excellent interview
Wayne can be found on Twitter at and on Instagram
Fighting For Autism can be found on Facebook

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