There is a refreshing honesty about Corey McCulloch as he prepares for the biggest night of his boxing career.

While others enter the sport believing it is their “destiny” to one day become world champion, the Arbroath super-welterweight has always taken a more grounded approach.

“All I wanted to do was to say I’d fought professionally once,” he reveals, something he achieved back in 2019 with a four-rounder against journeyman Jordan Grannum. Since then he has racked up a further 10 contests including a double-header for the Scottish title against Fraser Wilkinson, losing the first before claiming the belt in the rematch. 

With a busy day job running his own plumbing and heating company, CNC Services, and with a young son, Mac, whom he clearly dotes over, chasing big nights was never his priority. Instead, one has come to him.

McCulloch admits he’s still not quite sure how manager Sam Kynoch pulled it off but, just a month shy of his 30th birthday, this evening he will contribute to one of British boxing’s biggest events of the year when he takes on undefeated prospect Junaid Bostan at the Sheffield Arena on the undercard of Josh Warrington and Leigh Wood’s WBA world featherweight contest. 

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Promoted by Matchroom and broadcast live on DAZN, it has been a surreal experience for McCulloch to see his name on the posters alongside some of boxing’s biggest stars, especially given his last three fights took place in a Glasgow hotel, Caird Hall in Dundee and Elgin Town Hall.

“This is the biggest night of my career, 100 percent,” he concedes. “You just have to look at the magnitude of the show and everything around it, and it’s massive. It’s all a bit surreal when you see the posters and the adverts about it to think you’re a part of it. 

“My amateur career was pretty poor. I did nothing. I smoked throughout it all. I just liked a good scrap but I didn’t live the life. And now, fast forward four years or so and I’m fighting on one of the UK’s biggest shows. I don’t think reality has set in quite yet. 

“Sam was contacted in July with a view to me fighting the same guy [Bostan] but we were due to fly to Texas that weekend and my missus would probably have battered me more than my opponent would have if I’d pulled out of that holiday. It was too short notice so I had to say no.

“But thankfully they came back and offered it again. And it’s even bigger now that it’s on the same card as Warrington vs Wood. When it was announced and word started to spread that’s when it hit me. I think a few of my pals still can’t quite believe it.”

Many are the tales of Scottish underdogs travelling down south to provide obdurate opposition to a rising star of the English game, with chatter about it being a “potentially life-changing opportunity” and a springboard to success. 

McCulloch has no such delusions. Pride and professionalism will ensure he gives it all against Bostan but even a victory won’t change a great deal in the bigger picture. Win or lose, the Glasgow-born boxer expects to be back out fighting on a small hall show before the end of the year.

“It’s no secret that all the odds are stacked against me but that means I’m going in there with no pressure,” he adds. “He’s definitely going to be the best fighter I’ve ever faced but nothing changes for me. If he mucks up and gets beat then that’s a massive step back for him. 

“If I get beat, then I could still go and fight again in another month or so. I lose nothing. I’m almost 30 and not got much longer to go in this game. So there’s nothing to lose.

“I’ve already achieved 10 times more than I ever thought I would in boxing. Winning the Scottish title after losing the first fight was beyond my expectations. I’ve got nothing left to prove.”

Now with his 14-month old son in tow and a business to run, McCulloch insists – win or lose – he won’t be hitting Sheffield’s hotspots afterwards, although partner Madison is somewhat sceptical. 

“Boxing has changed me,” adds the Kynoch Boxing fighter. “I was a bit of a riot when I was younger. Now I’ve got more of a level head. 

“I’ve arranged the day after the fight to go out with pals for a Chinese. In the past after something like this I’d have been out for four days! I told my missus I’m quite happy having a quiet night and kicking about in my pyjamas, although she doesn’t believe me. But as long as I can put in a solid performance on the night I’ll be happy enough.”