PORTHCAWL is not quite Santa Monica but some Rocky-style beach running will help Newport's Craig Woodruff in his bid for a huge upset at the end of the month.

The 28-year-old will take on undefeated big Irish hope Gary Cully on Wednesday, August 26 at Production Park Studios in Wakefield.

It's an unexpected opportunity for the lightweight after he stepped up at short notice as a replacement for fellow Gwent fighter Kieran Gething.

That means a hectic training schedule for the Team SMoA team as the clock ticks down to the fight night in Yorkshire, and thankfully Woodruff opted for a staycation.

"Craig has been on holiday this week," said trainer Luke Pearce, who still intended to ensure his fighter was put through his paces.

"Between that and the quarantine period that we will have to do before the fight, we have two weeks to cram in our training."

Pearce and his fellow trainer and analyst Johan Berendjy have always been adaptable, a blessing given the challenges presented by coronavirus.

"We normally base ourselves in DW Fitness because it has a swimming pool and sauna but we have had to change things up a little bit," said Pearce.

"Our training camps are bespoke and because I have a military background we do a lot of outdoor training and we spar all over South Wales – Pantside, St Joseph's, Penarth, Gary Lockett's gym.

"We don't have to be based somewhere because I've got all the equipment from doing my coaching licences, so we can adapt to the situation."

Campaign Series:

(Picture above: Sarah Hopkins Photography)

The team are now plotting an upset against the highly-rated Cully, the Irish champion and a former European gold medalist.

"We were offered the opportunity and we stepped straight to the plate and are looking forward to it," said Pearce.

"Gary Cully is a really exciting fighter and is being billed as the next superstar from Ireland. He was a great amateur, is 10-0 and they've got massive ambitions for him… but we've got massive ambitions for Craig.

"Everything that we have been doing at Team SMoA over the last four years has been towards Craig winning the Lonsdale belt, if we are going to do that then we have to win fights like this."

The lack of preparation time will make Woodruff, who has won his last three fights since losing to Gething on points, an even bigger underdog.

"There is an element of risk," admitted Pearce. "But unfortunately we haven't got a big promoter behind us, we haven't got somebody who is telling us that we can have this fight, at this date, at this time.

"You've just got to train hard, be prepared and do your best. We will do that – we will try to make the city of Newport proud.

"We have gone up the rankings and Craig has a great chance of fighting for the British title. A good performance here and we are right in the mix."

The team have been doing their homework on Cully, a 6ft 2ins southpaw.

"Craig has got to try and get to him late in the fight, because this boy is very fast," said Pearce.

"He has got a great amateur style but because he is open it should suit Craig more than the likes of a Gavin Gwynne or Kieran Gething.

"They stay on your chest, tire you out and go the distance but this guy is a boxer and a fighter, which gives us a real chance."