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Tyrone McCullagh aiming for new belt as Ham fight continues to cook

Derry super bantamweight Tyrone McCullagh [6(4)-0] will be a keen observer of tomorrow night’s action live on Sky Sports.

The SSE Hydro in Glasgow plays host to the WBA-IBF light welterweight unification between Ricky Burns and Julius Indongo, with Irish interest on in the card in the form of Jay Byrne who takes on Rio Olympian Josh Kelly.

McCullagh however will be most interested in the BBBoC Celtic super bantamweight title fight that features. In an all-Scottish affair, huge ticket-seller Joe Ham [10(5)-0] takes on former Scottish title challenger Scott McCormack [5(0)-2(0)-1].

‘White Chocolate’ had expressed his desire to face Ham for the same belt at the start of the year, with the Scotsman seeming open to the fight, and McCullagh has revealed that an unsuccessful offer was made to make the match-up.

The MTK-managed McCullagh told Irish-Boxing.com that “as far as I’m aware, we offered Ham the fight and, in fairness, I think he was game – but maybe his management wasn’t. I’m not 100% sure on that or the business side of things.”

“He should win easy this Saturday going by his opponent’s record and I hope he does.”

While the Ham fight remains a target for down the line, perhaps for the British or Commonwealth title, the 2010 European bronze medalist is exceedingly hungry to win his first belt as he closes in on two years as a pro.

McCullagh outlined how “for now, I might have to set my sights on the BUI Celtic title, hopefully after my next fight”

“I’ll take it one fight at a time, but ideally I’d like to fight for it within two or three fights tops.”

In terms of the who, McCullagh admits his options are limited in Ireland but could go further afield for the eight-round belt which is eligible to be contested by fighters from England, Scotland, Wales, Galicia, Asturias, Norte, and Brittany

“Getting an opponent would be another problem,” he continued. “I’m super bantamweight and the only person I think I could face in Ireland at that weight would be Carl McDonald and he’s only had one fight at the minute.

“Noel Murphy fought a Spaniard for it so that could be an avenue to go down.”

“Bar that, me and Ciaran McVarnock are only separated by a few lbs, we are both MTK, and have similar records. He’s a mate of mine and a really nice lad, but maybe that could be a possibility.”

That said, McCullagh would stop short of a full-on call-out, and noted how “this is all hypothetical. and my thinking, it’s up to MTK and my coaches at the end of the day!”

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

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