Tyrone McCullagh will face late replacement Razaq Najib in tomorrow night’s GoldenContract quarter-finals after Mexico’s Carlos Araujo was forced to withdraw.
Sheffield’s Najib [11(2)-3] steps up to take on McCullagh [13(6)-0] after the Mexican fell ill ahead of the featherweight tournament; resulting in a huge unexpected career opportunity for ‘Lionheart’ Najib.
Araujo was confident throughout fight week and was promising to show ‘White Chocolate’ a real Mexican fighter en route to a stoppage win.
The Derry fighter now faces a different proposition as he faces the recent EU European title challenger from England.
“This is obviously disappointing for Araujo and his team but the beneficiary is Najib, who now has a chance to change his life,”MTK Global Professional Development Coordinator Jamie Conlan said.
“We saw a lot of drama in the draw down at Repton the other day in front of the Sky Sports cameras and now we have some more in this latest twist. Najib will be prepared and ready to seize his chance.
“Of course, it’s another twist for Tyrone McCullagh as well. He’ll have been preparing for Araujo the last few days, studying him and now he has to adjust his sights again. Who knows what’s going to happen.”
McCullagh isn’t too put off by the change. He has argued from day one that he is the one to be avoided and as such has been open to all comers. So in that regard an opponent change isn’t too disturbing.
“Obviously I’ve been getting ready for Araujo and now I have to quickly reset with Najib my late-notice opponent.
“I’ve said all along that it doesn’t really matter who I fight. I’ve had that attitude from the very start so from that perspective, I plan to beat Najib the same as I planned to beat Araujo and then go on to claim the whole thing.”
Joining McCullagh vs. Najib in the quarter-finals is Leigh Wood vs. Davey Oliver Joyce, Jazza Dickens vs. Carlos Ramos and Hairon Socarras vs. Ryan Walsh.
Watch all Friday’s action live on Sky Sports in the UK in association with Matchroom and on ESPN+ in the US in association with Top Rank.