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Josh Kennedy win was “straightforward” for impressive Tyrone McCullagh

Tyrone McCullagh [12(6)-0] cruised to a third successive win over an undefeated opponent and a second career title in Belfast on Friday night.

The Derry super bantamweight outclassed English champion Josh Kennedy at the Titanic Exhibition Centre to pick up the WBO European rankings title.

Indeed the scorecards of 99-91, 98-92, and, especially, 96-94, painted a picture of a fight far closer than the absolute domination that took place inside the ring.

There had been some online back-and-forwards leading into the fight but Kent’s Kennedy was humbled by his vastly more talented opponent on the night.

A performance described as a “masterclass” by BoxNation commentator Barry Jones, it was a comfortable ten round’s work for BBBoC Celtic champion McCullagh.

Speaking immediately afterwards, ‘White Chocolate’ admitted that “I don’t mean to sound big-headed but I didn’t have to get out of third or fourth gear.”

“I remember going out for the ninth and tenth rounds and I wasn’t even breathing heavy. I wasn’t tired in there. It was a straightforward night.”

“It was a straightforward enough performance. I just listened to my corner and did what I was told.”

McCullagh enjoyed his headline slot and noted how “I love being in there, it’s the easy part of it.”

“The majority of people don’t know what happens behind the scenes, the eight, nine weeks beforehand where you’re murdering yourself in the gym so it’s only right that when you get in there and enjoy it.”

“Georgie Vaughan [coach] was in the corner saying ‘don’t get complacent here, don’t do anything silly’.”

“I would have looked a bit of a dick if I had have been caught with one so I just stuck to my boxing and saw the fight out.”

“The gameplan from day one, we stuck to it, and as you saw it worked perfectly”

“In fairness, he kept coming, he didn’t stop coming forward but that played into my hands.”

The Foylesider has really started to kick on since relocating his training camp to Liverpool and was even suggesting that a world title fight won’t be too far away ahead of his Kennedy win.

McCullagh explained that “I joined Derry Mathews and Georgie Vaughan at the start of the year and I believe I’ve came on leaps and bounds.”

“I’m working every day in the gym, putting everything into it and it’s showed in my work tonight.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie