Liam Cullen’s Search for Redemption,Eyeing a Big Win @BKB17
Less than two weeks from now, Liam Cullen will step his foot back into the BKB ring, squaring off with Connor Tierney. Both are coming off of knockout losses, and on the hunt for redemption.
On June 8th in the Indigo at the O2 in London, England, stakes are high and depending on the fighter, it goes from one extreme to the next.
A pay-per-view fight card that features multiple championship bouts, ‘PrizeFighter’ finals, and more, one bout in particular sticks out, as it’s been said to be a must win for both competing.
Connor Tierney, who’s coming off of a knockout loss to Ricardo Franco in the ‘PrizeFighter’ semi-finals welcomes Liam Cullen back to the ring following a devastating loss of his own.
Similar to Tierney, at BKB 11, Cullen would suffer a KO loss to Sean George, who’s said to be fighting for a world title in September. Now after a lengthy time away from competing bare-knuckle, he’s set to return at BKB 17, and Cullen details the road back to ring for him, and what drives his motivation for competition.
“I've been a student of martial arts and combat sports since I was a kid. Unlike a lot of the fighters these days, I’m not a fighter, I’m a martial artist. I fail and lose everyday because I force myself to fail to then repair, learn and progress as a person and martial artist. Failure is a part of my everyday process, it’s nothing new.” Cullen continued. “There’s no new approach or new motivation, etc. I’m not an egotistical person/fighter like a lot of the new age fighters. I’ve been fighting competitively for over 25 years. The only losses on any of my records are ones to high level fighters on big shows. I always push for opponents the same stamp or better than I see myself. I never want record boosting fights. My motivation is simply to give the best account of myself on every level. Weather it be fighting or in any walk of life, my motivation is the same. To be better than I was yesterday. My wife Jodie is the driving force that keeps my thoughts and attitude where they need to be.”
Cullen then briefly touches on his opponent, giving his thoughts on Tierney ahead of their fight early next month.
“I know Connor (Tierney) is a talent and brings skilful boxing ability. I’ve spoke briefly with him prior to the fight, and he is a decent fella.”
While things have remained similar in his previous fights in and outside of bare-knuckle, more recently, Cullen has spent time training in a new facility, one his friend and training partner opened recently. In addition to that, Cullen continues to work with Adam Potter, his striking and grappling coach, and Tony Long, which he refers to as his “boxing brain”.
An ever-growing team, Alex Reid is also working with the redemption fighter, a man Cullen calls one of the best fighters to come out of the UK.
“I train out of Alresford Boxing Club in Essex at the moment. My friend just opened it up, and the facilities are wicked. For the last 15 years, I’ve always had Adam Potter and Tony Long in my corner. Adam is a beast, A legit striker and a monster grappler. Tony is my boxing brain so to speak. However, we're adding to the team with UK MMA pioneer, and my close friend Alex Reid. Alex needs no introduction in the fight game. In my mind, he's one of the best fighters to ever come out of the UK.”
As June 8th approaches, Cullen has a different way of preparing for a fight, and it doesn’t consist much of talk. For Liam, the best thing he can do for not only himself but Connor Tierney is come fully prepared for the fight. Providing a true test for both him and his opponent.
In his eyes, there’s no better way to show your respect than present the best version of yourself, urging the fans to understand the build-up doesn’t always need to consist of disrespect towards your opponent.
In other words, we can expect the best version of Cullen come fight night, a package incomplete without the training and sacrifices he’s had to make in the lead up to his clash at the O2.
A test for both Liam Cullen and Connor Tierney, and class is almost in session.
“They (the fans) can expect me giving the best account of myself to Connor. The way I see a fight is you and your opponent train to give your all to each other. You can’t get more respectful than that. All these uneducated fighters disrespecting each other sell tickets, yes, but if you or the fans look deeper, fighters train, sacrifice and put things on hold to be able to bring the best to their opposition to give their opponent a chance to test their skillset. That is respect. That is what you can expect on June 8th.”
Mentally, physically and emotionally training for his fight, there once again is no disrespect, and the only thing Liam wishes Connor is a safe and healthy training camp, and that they leave their BKB 17 bout in good health.
“I wish Connor a safe and healthy training camp. Injury free, and hope that we both leave the ring in good health and spirits.”
While there haven’t been any serious injuries in the recent years of the newly legalized sport of bare-knuckle boxing, that doesn’t mean their respect for one another won’t draw blood.
Live on Fite tv and kicking things off on the preliminaries, BKB 17 goes live from the Indigo at the O2 in London, England. Also available on Sky tv, FOX Sports Asia and Virgin Media. Sky customers can call 0871 271 5599 to order the PPV now.