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Dean Sutherland delivers harsh critique of own performance despite points win over Corey McCulloch

Dean Sutherland's arm is held aloft by referee Kenny Pringle
Dean Sutherland's arm is held aloft by referee Kenny Pringle. after beating Corey McCulloch.

“If I was satisfied then there would be a lot of problems.”

Dean Sutherland pulls no punches when he underperforms and he accepts his display against Corey McCulloch on Friday night was not good enough.

Backed by a partisan crowd at the Beach Ballroom, Sutherland walked away with a points victory over his sparring partner but at times he felt like he was boxing with the handbrake on.

“I’ve got to be very hard on myself,” said Sutherland. “I gave myself a three for a performance like that. Nothing really clicked for me.

“It was a perfect storm. Before the fight you would normally get really excited and have butterflies. I just couldn’t find that burning sensation.

“I don’t know if it was because I knew the person I was in the ring with. It wasn’t ideal and I’ve got to be hard on myself from the performance side of things.

Dean Sutherland defeated Corey McCulloch on points
Dean Sutherland defeated Corey McCulloch on points

“But I didn’t get out of second gear and won eight rounds out of 10 on the scorecards. To not get myself up and going and walk away with a win, you can’t really complain too much about it.

“I probably felt worse about it than Corey did and he took the loss. I hold myself at such a high standard and know what I’m capable of.”

Sutherland puts the below-par showing down to a myriad of factors.

The first and perhaps most important one was the fact he was coming up against McCulloch, someone he knew well and had been sparring with just six days before the fight.

McCulloch stepped in on Tuesday to be Sutherland’s opponent, otherwise the bill was at risk of being pulled.

The 23-year-old also had various physical ailments in his training camp, including contracting Covid and suffering stomach complaints.

Sutherland will be back in action in Aberdeen at the end of June
Dean Sutherland will be back in action in Aberdeen at the end of June

It all led to him feeling flat as he walked out to the ring. Despite the distractions, he extended his unbeaten professional record to 13-0.

“It was a recipe for disaster, all in all, and I’m lucky that Corey accepted the fight because if he didn’t, the show was getting pulled on Tuesday evening,” he added.

“The worst thing was I was having to convince myself that Corey was the enemy, to try build myself up and give me the fire in my belly.

“It wasn’t natural. Before I stepped out I didn’t have the nerves or butterflies. It felt very flat.

“I can only look at myself and that performance – it’s done and dusted and we won’t be going back there again. It’s good that I’ve got my next date confirmed so I’ve got something to focus on.”

Work on putting things right will begin swiftly. He has another date at the Ballroom at the end of June where his WBC International silver title should be put on the line.

The Aberdonian has already set his sights on a British title shot and should he reach that point, he will look back on this Friday night as a helpful learning curve.

“I’m looking forward to going back in the gym and getting out there at the end of June,” said Sutherland.

“I’ve been told I’ll definitely be defending my international title so I want to ensure I rectify that performance. In the nicest possible way, I want people to forget this one. I know I want to.

“I know going forward that when I’ve got a live opponent, someone who’s going to really get me up for the fight, I’m not going to be able to switch off.”

 

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