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Mirror, Mirror – Tyrone McCullagh and Josh Kennedy exchange verbals at Belfast BoxNation weigh-in

Tyrone McCullagh [11(6)-0] came face-to-face with Josh Kennedy [11(5)-0] this afternoon for the first time and there were words exchanged.

The BBBoC Celtic champion takes on the BBBoC English champion for the WBO European super bantamweight rankings title tomorrow night at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast and the pair weighed-in today at the venue.

The build-up to the headline fight of the BoxNation-broadcast card has featured online snipes from both and it all came to a head at a frosty face-off.

McCullagh explained how Kennedy “took a lot of offence to my first interview where I said I’d have to take a long, hard look at myself if I can’t beat Josh Kennedy.”

“I was talking about myself when I said that rather than about his ability. It’s about where I want to go in this sport – but while we were up there he told me he’d have a mirror ready for me so I can have a long hard look at myself.

Derry’s McCullagh, of course, was never going to take the suggestion lightly and responded to his Kent opponent.

‘White Chocolate’ described how “when he said that to me, I told him that he should really be using the mirror himself because he’s ugly and he’s calling himself ‘Handsome’. I don’t know where he gets that from.”

“There’s not one thing I like about him. I’m not saying that just to hype the fight up because all the talking’s done anyway. You couldn’t like him if he was dipped in chocolate… which is ironic, because White Chocolate will be all over him tomorrow night.”

McCullagh, who managed to gain 32.4lbs in the three weeks following the weigh-in for his fight with Ham, had no trouble making the 122lbs super bantamweight limit today.

The 28-year-old nurse tipped the scales at 121.8lbs and noted how “in terms of the weight, I’m used to making weight by now. I know my body by now and I know what I have to tick off. I’m ready to rock and roll for tomorrow.”

“As usual in this camp, I’ve had jibes from friends and other people calling me ‘fat’ and that’s funny. It’s no secret I put on weight between camps and sometimes I wonder whether it’s worth putting my body through hell or if I should just get a different job.”

“Of course, it’s worth it when you’re in the ring and everyone is roaring for you. The highs are high and the lows are low. I’m inspired by all those who support me and particularly those who’ve supported me since day one. I don’t want to let them down.”


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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