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September 06, 2018

A LOOK BACK AT THE CAREER OF PETER CULSHAW
Courtesy of the WBF

Peter Culshaw was born in Liverpool, England on March 15, 1973. After an accomplished amateur career, he turned professional at age twenty on July 2, 1993 on a show at the Everton Park Sports Centre in his hometown. Fighting at flyweight at the time, it was never easy to find suitable opponents for “The Choir Boy”, and in his first three years in the paid ranks he only boxed three, three and two times, compiling a 7-0-1 (2) record on the small-hall circuit. In his first fight of 1996, on March 5th, he picked up the vacant BBBC Central Area Flyweight title when tough Blackpool-journeyman Louis Veitch (6-15-3) was stopped due to a cut eyebrow in the third round. It was not a groundbreaking victory, but Culshaw was now a championship boxer. 

Just over a month later he beat Lyndon Kershaw (10-6-2) in three rounds, setting up a June 25th challenge of Commonwealth champion Daniel Ward (24-6) at the Leisure Centre in Stevenage. Culshaw made what appeared to be a tough task into an easy nights work, stopping Ward in round three. 

Beating Ward so handily was quite an accomplishment, so when Culshaw retained his Commonwealth title the following September with a seventh-round TKO of undefeated Kenyan James Wanene (8-0), it looked only a matter of time before a world championship belt would be around his waist. 

Unfortunately Culshaw would be inactive for almost a year, as his next fight was a low-profile stay-busy bout against Jason Thomas (2-5) on August 2, 1997 in Barnsley. Culshaw won on points over eight rounds, shaking off some rust before his next title-defense. 

On September 11th that same year, things went sour when he faced Ady Lewis (13-0) and lost the Commonwealth title by TKO in the eighth round at the Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes, on the undercard of Robin Reid defending the WBC super middleweight title against Hacine Cherifi. 

It was just not his night, and Culshaw had to regroup to get his otherwise promising career back on track. In March of 1998 he took the first step by defeating Foudil Madani, a man with no verifiable pro record at the time, stopping the Algerian in four rounds. 

In October of 1998 it was on paper a more daunting task when he faced former WBC world title-challenger Mzukisi Marali (14-4) from South Africa for the vacant WBU flyweight crown, but Culshaw was on top of his game and won in seven rounds. 

He didn't have quite as easy a ride against Zolile Mbityi (21-4-1), another South African former world title-challenger, on March 5, 1999, but in the end Culshaw retained the WBU belt with a close split decision in front of his home crowd. 

Two more defenses followed, with victories over Adrian Ochoa (27-11-4) and Oscar Andrade (23-19-1), before a genuine flyweight super fight was arranged for May 24, 2000 at Carnival City in South Africa, against local legend “Baby” Jake Matlala (50-12-2).  Claimed to be, at least at the time, the shortest man to ever win a world championship, Matlala was a genuine hero to his people, and had fought the best in the world, beating several of them, in a long and glorious career. 

Culshaw proved his mettle by agreeing to fight Matlala in his backyard, and he proved his class by grinding it out with the massively accomplished and experienced home-man for twelve hard rounds before winning a close, but deserved, majority decision. 

Six months later Dimitar Alipiev (13-2) was dispatched in one round, and in June of 2001 quality operator Ian Napa (9-1) was halted in eight by Culshaw. His world class was undeniable, but he was finding it hard to continue making the flyweight limit and consequently decided to move up a division. 

A couple of routine victories in his new weight class set Culshaw up for a crack at the vacant WBF super flyweight title. Headlining at the Olympia in Liverpool on November 29, 2002, his opponent would again be brought in from South Africa. 

Southpaw Ncedo Cecane may have had a less-than-spectacular 8-2-2 (4) record, but he was known as an uncompromising hard-case, willing and able to give anyone nightmares in the ring. And he had every intention of doing just that to Culshaw. 

It turned out as expected, a very tough encounter with two ambitious and hungry fighters. For a while it looked as if it could go either way, but in the end Culshaw pulled away and was awarded the unanimous decision with 116-114, 115-113 and 118-112 scores. 

Culshaw's reign as WBF champion would not be long.  However, he would never lose the title in the ring. On March 29, 2003 at Wembley Conference Centre in London, Culshaw won a unanimous decision over former and future WBC champion Wandee Chor Chareon (38-5) from Thailand. 

In a career with many big wins, this one was right up there among the best. Still only thirty years old, and now an established headline fighter, it looked as if it was now, more than ever, the time for Culshaw to capitalize on his success. But for various reasons it would be almost fifteen months before he returned to the ring, and when he did so it was to great disappointment, losing a non-title fight over eight rounds to Russian Andrey Kostin (14-4), a man he was expected to beat convincingly. 

Culshaw never boxed again, and retired from boxing with a 24-2-1 record. 




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