Mike Culbert’s career coming to close

SANDWICH, Mass. (June 19, 2006) – Veteran super middleweight “Irish” Mike Culbert closes out his 18-year pro boxing career June 30 against experienced Khalif “Panther” Shabazz in the 8-round main event on “Battle Zone at The Rock III,” promoted by Alpha Omega Entertainment Group in association with Mark Vaz, at Memorial Hall in Plymouth (MA)..

Born in Belfast (N. Ireland), Culbert (29-4-1, 6 KOs) now lives and trains in West Bridgewater (MA), but he still fights out of Brockton. Mike has announced that he will retire after fighting June 30 against Shabazz (11-8, 7 KOs), of Vermont. Culbert, a smooth southpaw, is the former Massachusetts State super middleweight and middleweight champion, as well as the ex-New England light heavyweight and USBF regional super middleweight title-holder. He’s unbeaten in his last nine bouts since losing to legendary Roberto Duran in 1996. Shabazz has been in the ring with the likes of the great Bernard Hopkins and Julian Jackson.

“I try not to think about this being my last fight,” the well-spoken Culbert said. “It would be too much. I’m trying to look at it as just another fight. Once the fight is over and my gloves are off, I’ll realize that it was the last time I take off the gloves. As time went by I changed my goals. Right now it’s to get my 30th career win. Hey, I’m 40 years old – I can still physically do it – but I have two kids and work a fulltime job. (Mike is a supervisor at the Department of Youth Services in Brockton.)

“I’ll never forget turning pro at 21 in the old Boston Garden when Stevie Collins won the Irish middleweight title. (Mike defeated Santiago Hermida by fourth-round TKO.) Highlights of my career are winning the Mass. state titles in back-to-back fights – super middleweight by 10-round decision against Carlos DeJesus in Foxboro, middleweight by 10-round decision against Jimmy Cappiello at The Roxy in Boston – and fighting Duran (at Mountaineer Race Track in Chester, W. Virginia). It didn’t work out the way I would have liked, but just to be in the same ring with him was an honor. That’s one fight I wish I had time to train for. I took it on two weeks notice, really one, because I didn’t know I was going to fight him for sure until the week of the fight. I’m also the last one left from the group who trained with Marvin Hagler at Petronelli’s Gym in Brockton. I was the youngest and everybody else has stopped boxing.”

Culbert captured the vacant New England light heavyweight title with a 10-round decision against Glenn Burnett opn April 24, 1998, the last time Mike fought at Plymouth Memorial Hall.

Five-time Irish National amateur champion James Clancy (7-0, 1 KO) puts his undefeated record on the line against heavyweight Tyrone Smith (5-1-1, 2 KOs), a Boston police officer and former New England Golden Gloves champion, in the six-round co-feature. Clancy’s younger brother, unbeaten cruiserweight Mark Clancy (4-0-1), fights an opponent to be determined in a six-round bout. The Clancy brothers are from Clare, Ireland and fight out of South Boston.

Popular Stoughton welterweight Eddie “Fighting Irish” Bishop (9-1-1, 4 KOs) faces upset-minded Hollister Elliot (6-16-1, 2 KOs), of Dorchester, in another six-round bout

Also on the undercard in four-round matches is Quincy light heavyweight Chris Traietti (3-0, 2 KOs), a student at Westfield State College who served five months in Iraq as a cargo specialist in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He fights Don Labbe (3-6, 2 KOs), of Maine. Local favorite Benny “The Hornet” Lescarbeau (2-0, 2 KOs), of Plymouth, squares off against super middleweight LaGene Richardson (0-2).

All bouts and fighters are subject to change.

“Battle Zone at The Rock III” is sponsored in part by Mohegan Sun, Sam Diego’s, Davidoff of Madison Avenue (NYC), East Bay Grille, Miller Lite, Data Link Communications and the New Garden Hilton Inn.

Official Weigh In

The official weigh in will be open to the public and held Thursday, June 29 (5 PM start) at Sam Diego’s, 151 Main Street, Plymouth.

Tickets, priced at $60.00 (ringside), $40.00 (balcony) and $25.00 (general admission), are on sale now at various sites in Plymouth. Doors open at 7 PM, first bout at 7:30 PM. For more information call 617.842.8661 or visit

Article posted on 20.06.2006

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