Pakistani Preparation has Tyrone McCullagh primed for title run

Tyrone McCullagh has been mixing it with world level operators in sparring and is ready to move into contention for major titles.

A long-time sparring partner of double Olympic bronze medallist and WBC flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes, McCullagh has had a new face in the gym ahead of his thirteenth pro fight tomorrow night.

The Derry super bantamweight defends his WBO European belt and looks to build on his #13 ranking with the body when he takes on Spanish champion Alvaro Rodriguez at the Eagles Community Arena in Newcastle.

The Glasgow-based fighter has been in camp for a long period having seen a keep-busy fight at the end of March fall through and he has been sparring Pakistani star Muhammad Waseem.

The recent IBF flyweight title challenger has helped McCullagh in preparation for tomorrow’s bout and ‘White Chocolate’ described how “Waseem has been a great addition to the camp. He’s hugely dedicated and we never miss a session. His diet is on point – he never breaks it and eats at the same time every day.”

“Sparring Waseem has brought me on. He’s a world title challenger and was only narrowly denied when he fought for a world title. It’s great to have that kind of experience in the camp.”

“I still miss punching Paddy Barnes in the face! Just joking. I never thought I’d say it but I miss having him around full stop. He’s great fun to be around and very good to have around when you want to talk boxing too,” he continued before nodding towards his other team-mates under Danny Vaughan.

“It’s also inspiring seeing the likes of Sean McComb in camp because in terms of amateur boxing, he’s up there with Paddy for experience. He’s a novice as a pro but he’s taking people apart in sparring. His knowledge is unbelievable. He’s even giving me a run for my money in the sprints!”

A fourth time headlining for McCullagh, the 28-year-old southpaw is eager to kick on and has spoken of a 2019 world title shot numerous times.

The Foylesider explained how “I love headlining shows. It’s where I belong and I don’t want to move from here.”

“I want to be late on the bills, fighting for titles and being on TV. It’s what I murder myself in the gym for!”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: