Conlan: Beating awkward Tyrone is all about keeping your cool
COOL, calm, collected, class, terms often used to describe London 2012 medal winner Michael Conlan.
But if there one man that gets under the St John Bosco puncher’s skin its ‘awkward’ operator Tyrone McCullagh, thus the 22 year old claims dealing with frustration was always going to prove key as he bid to become the first fighter to win successive Irish titles at flyweight and bantamweight since Damaen Kelly.
The Belfast duo have shared the sparring ring previously and traded leather on charity shows and Conlan admits on such occasions he was often frustrated by the Holy Family and WSB puncher.
Last night, however he kept his emotions in check, bar some playing to the crowd and let his quality dictate to claim his fourth successive Irish crown.
“I knew it was going to be a cagey fight, I was prepared for anything — thank God I came out the winner. Tyrone is a very, very good boxer, a European bronze medallist. I just had to go out there and execute a gameplan which I didn’t have until I got in the ring — once I got in there it just fell into place.
“We’ve sparred a number of times, fought each other in charity matches and a lot of the time he’s buttoned me up. Often I lose the cool with him because he’s so awkward and that was the main thing tonight, not to lose the head. I lost a bit here and there, but overall I remained calm and won my fourth title.”
The world Flyweight number 2 now has his sights on adding a Commonwealth medal to his impressive collection and wants to do so as a bantamweight.
“I feel strong at this weight. It is great to win my fourth title and I can now focus on the Commonwealth Games,” he said.