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“He must have wanted none of White Chocolate” – McCullagh discusses failed Navarrete bid

With brilliant fights for Luke Keeler, Paddy Gallagher, Alfredo Meli and even Sean McComb as well as an intriguing derby match up between Padraig McCrory and Steve Collins Jr, it’s easy to forget the was talk of world title fight decorating the undercard of the anticipated Féile an Phobail card next week.

Back in May not long after the Top Rank card was announced there was talk of a world title fight for Tyrone McCullagh [13(6)-0].

Irish-Boxing.com understood enquiries were made about WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete [27(23)-1(0)], with a view to the Mexican making a voluntary defence on the card.

‘White Chocolate’ welcomed the news and the fight was explored. However, it never materialized.

The tricky-to-navigate 28-year-old claims he is not to aware of how a deal couldn’t be reached but suggests the respected Mexican, who has since agreed to defend against American Francisco De Vaca, mustn’t have fancied the job.

“I’m not 100 percent on the business end of things. I think Navarrete has two voluntaries as the [Isaac] Dogboe rematch was a mandatory,” McCullagh explained to Irish-Boxing.com.

“He must have wanted none of White Chocolate,” he adds before stressing there still may be hope.

“It’s not out of the question, especially now with us working along with Top Rank it makes the fight easier to make.”

While – and possibly tongue in cheek – the former Holy Family amateur suggests the world champion was wary of facing him he does admit he would have been an underdog and in against the best at a weight that the likes of WBA-IBF champ Danny Roman and Portlaoise favourire TJ Doheny compete at.

“Look, of course if the fight with Navarrete had have came off, very few people would’ve gave me a chance and maybe for them rightly so, but I know I’m a nightmare for any opponent and I believe in myself so you never know what can happen in boxing.”

“As I’ve said before, I genuinely believe he’s the best super-bantam I couldn’t see any of the other world champs beating him,” he adds before claiming being linked with such a fighter suggests he isn’t too far off world level. 

“Yes of course,” he responds when asked if it’s proof he is moving in the right direction.

“Especially since I’m still early enough into my career it can only be a good sign and its where I wanna be.”

While he was at the table with Navarrete like former world champion Doheny McCullagh see’s now unified world champion Roman as the belt holder who would suit his style most.

“For me styles make fights and I think for me personally the champ that would suit me most is Daniel Roman as I’d probably need a step ladder to hit Rey Vargas.”


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com