Tyrone McCullagh aims to hit World Title ceiling

By Ciaran O’Malley

The sky is the limit for Derry super bantamweight Tyrone McCullagh who can see himself competing at world level by the end of the year if he continues to improve.

McCullagh [12(6)-0] picked up the BBBofC Celtic title in June of last year before adding the WBO European belt to his collection less than four months later, dominating Scottish and English champs Joe Ham and Josh Kennedy respectively.

Now ranked #13 with the WBO, the Foylesider is keen to move up the ladder towards new champion Emanuel Navarrete – starting with an outing at the Ulster Hall in Belfast on Friday March 29th.

McCullagh has already been involved in a public spat with IBF champ TJ Doheny this year and admits he is keen on progressing through the levels in 2019.

“I was delighted to win the WBO European Title but, in boxing, you always want more” said McCullagh

“I know I’ll be at world level before the end of the year. It’s only a matter of time. I’ve worked hard to get where I am now, but I’ve got the talent go up again in level”

A hungry fighter, his WBO ranking puts him on the verge of some big fights and McCullagh is keen to set one up with an outing, most likely over six rounds, on the Cummings-Keeler 2 undercard.

It’s somewhat unexpected for the European bronze medallist who, since turning over to the pro ranks, in 2015 he has gone from strength to strength.

With two solid victories in 2018, ‘White Chocolate’ is determined to taste more success.

McCullagh noted how “When I started off, I thought I’d be happy to win one national title but once I got there, nothing was ever enough. Now I want bigger and better titles and the obvious ceiling to hit is world level.”

That sid, Even with all the recent success, McCullagh is not allowing himself to get carried away and he knows he
is far from the finished article.

Now training under Danny Vaughn in Glasgow following spells in both Belfast and Liverpool, McCullagh is constantly striving for improvements.

The boxing nurse noted ho “there’s always room for improvement. My defence looks good against the likes of Josh Kennedy but I know I need to improve on areas for when I move up to world level – both defence-wise and attack-wise.”

Additionally, McCullagh also explained that he wants to become more spiteful in his attacks, to leave a deeper impression on his future opponents.

It’s something he and Vaughan are working diligently on following distnce wins in 2018 and McCullagh admits “I need to start hurting people a bit more and we’re working hard on my offensive options behind the scenes as well.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@thefIrish)


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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 sport for a living for 19 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