Bolton boxer Jack Cullen believes he is in the best shape possible to light up Liverpool with a headline victory on Saturday night.

‘Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver’ has been promoted to co-headline at the M&S Bank Arena after home favourite Callum Smith was forced to pull out of his top-of-the-bill bout with Pawel Stepien through injury.

Cullen believes everything happens for a reason and says it is a dream realised to be headlining such a big bill.

And the 29-year-old views his clash with unbeaten American prospect Diego Pacheco for the vacant WBO International Super Middleweight title as a golden opportunity to show the boxing world what he is all about.

Cullen told The Bolton News: “From the day I found out I was co-headlining, I have been 100 per cent switched on for this.

“It’s a big chance for me. It’s a shame for Callum but I believe things happen for a reason and it is every boxer’s dream to headline at such a big venue.

“I cannot wait, I am buzzing.

“I am taking the win and then it will show what I can do. Then they should sign me up.”

Pacheco is highly-rated by promoter Eddie Hearn and has won all 17 of his professional bouts to date, 14 by way of knockout, at the age of 22.

But he has never boxed in Europe, with many of the Los Angeles star’s outings on home soil.

And Cullen, who last fought in April last year, says the shape he is in, despite 11 months out of the ring, coupled with the backing of a home crowd in the North West can be a big factor in his favour.

He added: “Honestly I feel this has been the best all-round preparation I have had for a fight with camp, the right diet, training three times a day - I feel fantastic.

“I had hoped to be back in the ring sooner. I was due to fight last summer and then in December but I got covid so had to pull out.

“But I am back now and so ready for this. There are no excuses.

“I know Eddie rates this guy as a good prospect and I have studied him. But it is about what I do and I think having the crowd behind me will help.

“Liverpool is not too far away and as usual I will have a lot there backing me - the whole of Little Lever usually comes out in support and it is brilliant for me.

“I am going for that win to make it a night to remember.”

The fight night will be live on DAZN and more details of how to watch are online at