By Andrew Wake: Former WBC bantamweight champion Wayne McCullough might still want to get the gloves and fight again but for the time being he’s turned his attention to launching his own charity.
The “Pocket Rocket”, 40, has set up I Help Out Worldwide (IHOW), which intends to help change the lives of underprivileged people all over the globe by using the disciplines of boxing and mixed martial arts.
“I want to help kids, veterans and rehab cases, anyone that needs help,” said Las Vegas-based McCullough, a 1992 Olympic silver medallist.
“I came from a neighbourhood in Belfast where in our gym we had nothing, we had no heating or electricity and if somebody had have handed up a few hundred dollars it would have gone a long way.
“Boxing got me off the streets and it provides discipline. If you go to a boxing gym or an MMA gym or even in the army, it’s all discipline and that’s what I want to give to people.
“Eventually I want to open my own boxing and MMA gym and I want to bring kids from all around the world over to it.”
The idea for the charity came when Wayne was conversing with his fans on the social networking site Twitter.
And with the help of a guy from England called Hughes and a girl from Maryland who goes by the name of Figgybean, the wheels were put in motion.
“Hughes started asking people for memorabilia so that they can be auctioned off. All the proceeds will go to my charity to help out people that don’t have anything,” Wayne explained.
“We’re not asking for money, it’s all about getting t-shirts and memorabilia.
“Everyone is willing to help. In the UFC you get the likes of Randy Couture, who is a legend, and he is willing to help, no problem. Because I work for the UFC it is a lot of easier. Zab Judah, I spoke to him on the phone and he’s willing to give stuff to me, as are Tapout, the equipment supplier.”
Such is McCullough’s belief in his charity, that when his daughter offered to donate her own money if he dressed a pop star Lady Gaga, the former world champ jumped at the challenge and produced an instant Youtube hit.
“My daughter is 12 years old and she always has these challenges for me. She said she’d give 50 per cent of her monthly pocket money to my charity if I did Lady Gaga. I never turn down a challenge and she gave me the money no problems.”
More information on the charity can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org