NEWPORT underdog Craig Woodruff gave Irish prospect Gary Cully a scare before being edged out on points in a lightweight showdown.

The 28-year-old accepted the bout at short notice as a replacement for fellow Gwent fighter Kieran Gething, and he impressed in the clash at Production Park Studios in Wakefield.

The Team SMoA training regime paid off as he took highly-rated Cully all the way – and dropped the unbeaten Irish champion in the fifth round.

The unbeaten Cully got back to his feet and finished strongly to take the referee’s decision 77-75 after eight tough rounds.

“Fair play to Craig. He woke me up in the fifth round,” said the Irishman.

“I thought I won the first four rounds and probably switched off a bit. It’s all experience for later on in the career.

“I hadn’t lost a round in my professional career so far in the first 10 fights, so it’s good to get in there with someone and be tested.

“I’d never been knocked down even in sparring, but thankfully I caught my bearings. I’m looking forward to watching it back.”

Woodruff had won his last three fights since losing to Gething on points but his performance despite the lack of preparation time will provide encouragement.