Pete Taylor reacted to Tyrone McCullagh’s defeat to Brett Fidoe last Friday like everyone else – pure shock.
There was no secret injury going into the bout, the Derry super bantamweight hadn’t gotten ‘old’ overnight, and even his toughest foe – the scales – had been handled better than ever before.
Instead, he just got caught. Nothing scandalous, just a stark reminder of the ‘one punch can change a fight’ cliché.
Taylor explained to Irish-Boxing.com how McCullagh “had been sparring great and like he said there are no excuses. It’s just one of those things in professional boxing he got caught. Once he got caught he kind of went back to his old habits. “
“As a coach I take the blame on my own shoulders. We should have worked on certain things and I take the blame. You take the plaudits when they win but you also have to take a little bit of the blame when they lose. It was devastating for me.”
McCullagh [14(6)-2(1)] was returning from his Golden Contract featherweight semi-final defeat to Ryan Walsh and the six-rounder with Fidoe was meant to be a chance to get back to winning ways before returning to ‘bigger’ fights.
Following the third-round stoppage defeat, the 30-year-old posted on social media saying “bad day at the office! No excuses, just not good enough. Plain and simple Im absolutely devastated.”
“My phone’s not stopped with messages, I really appreciate them all, and I apologise for the ignorance but I can’t bring myself to read them or reply to anyone just yet. I’m gonna put the phone down for a while, lick the wounds and I’ll get back to everyone soon.”
Taylor does not want the bubbly ‘White Chocolate’ making any rash decisions and described how “he’s a gem in the camp, we have to sit down and talk about what he is going to do. I hope he stays at it, we would miss him in the camp, again he is a great lad.”
Later on the card in Bolton, there was a stellar performance from lightweight Gary Cully but the ultra-competitive Taylor wasn’t able to enjoy the three-round demolition of Viorel Simion, noting how “it’s heartbreaking, I hate losing more than I love winning. I didn’t actually celebrate Gary [Cully]’s win because I was devastated about Tyrone.”
“Ty got beat and we had to get up again for Gary. It’s hard to do, it’s hard for everyone, but we did it and Gary went on and got the win.”
“I must have looked over Ty’s fight 100 times since and I haven’t watched Gary’s fight yet because we won. It’s difficult and I knew how much it meant to Ty.”