Pete Taylor has tapped into his vast amateur experience to help ensure the two Tyrone’s move to within one fight of a lucrative six figure professional contract.
Taylor has proved himself as a standout coach during his amateur days. Now a pro coach he used to run Bray BC and worked closely with the High Performance and the IABA over the years. Most notably he was man in the corner for Katie Taylor’s ground breaking amateur successes.
Taylor has had to adapt in as a pro coach and has had early success with the likes of Luke Keeler, who recently fought for a world title, as well as Tommy McCarthy, who has a European title fight lined up.
However, he had consult his amateur experience in preparing Tyrone McKenna and Tyrone McCullagh for their respective Golden Contract set for York Hall this Friday.
The unique format of the knockout competition means fighters and their coaches don’t know who they will fight in any given round – bar the final – until early fight week.
That rules out opponent specific prep to a degree, but Taylor claims that is nothing new and something he knows how to deal with.
“I have been an amateur coach for so long and you never knew who you were going to box in amateur tournaments or when you go away to championships. For us it was like getting prepared for an amateur tournament you don’t know who you are going to box. You just spar all different people and styles,” said Taylor.
“Then when you get the draw you do pads to correct what you need to for fight night.”
Among those numerous sparring options for both in the Colosseum Gym in Ballyfermot where two fighters perfect for the opponents the Belfast light welter and Derry featherweight ended up with.
McKenna was drawn against Mohamed Mimoune a stand up southpaw and Taylor believes ‘The Mighty Celt’ can draw on rounds done with Irish lightweight champion Gary Cully going into his semi final.
“We have had a variety of sparring partners. Lucky enough most of Tyrone’s spars have been against Gary Cully who is a tall southpaw. So we are well prepared for this anyway. We have no worries,” he adds before revealing a new McKenna will be on display at the iconic venue.
“We have Tyrone boxing a little bit more. He was getting involved too much in wars. So we are trying to get him boxing a little bit more and I think you’ll see a big change in him.”
McCullagh was picked by the featherweight favourite Ryan Walsh, who having beaten James Tennyson and Gary Cully will be looking to it a hat trick of Irish wins on Friday.
Taylor believes Golden Contract quarter finalist Davey Oliver Joyce and ‘White Chocolate’s’ round with him will prove helpful.
“Tyrone is unique it’s hard to get sparring [that emulates him] if your fighting him. Tyrone is quietly confident. We had a similar boxer in camp in Davey Oliver Joyce and he has had loads of sparring with Davey. “