Tyrone McCullagh should have been in the Stade de France tonight watching the Boys in Green draw 1-1 with Sweden but instead he had three training sessions ahead of his Dublin debut at the National Stadium next weekend.
The Derry featherweight had to forfeit a golden ticket to the European Championships, but he told irish-boxing.com that “when the chance to fight came up I had to take it. It’s too early in my career to be turning down fights.”
“I was looking forward and all set to go to the Euros. Who knows when Ireland will get back there.”
Indeed the historic South Circular Road venue is a happy hunting ground for the 2010 European bronze medalist who explained that “t’s my first fight in Dublin since turning pro but the Stadium won’t be new to me.”
“I have had over 50-60 fights there. I have lost three times and two of those defeats were to John Joe Nevin and Micheal Conlan there is no shame in that!”
“It’s been four years since I have been there and it’s another 100 miles for my fans to come compared to Belfast, but I still expect a fair few down.”
‘White Chocolate’ had been described as an awkward and defensive amateur, however has transitioned into an awkward attacking professional, whipping in hooks and uppercuts from bizzare angles, leaving opponents flabbergasted and resulting in three stoppages from three fights.
Commenting on his new style, McCullagh admits that “I was never know as a big puncher as an amateur and people have been making a lot about me starting off with three knockouts.”
“The caliber of opponent has been questionable, but we have been working on sitting down on shots with Gerry (Storey Jr) since turning pro.”
My power has come on and hopefully it continues that way and I can keep up the knockout run.”
With his Euro Championships journey cancelled, McCullagh will be hoping for a win on the weekend when Ireland hopefully contest the Round of 16, and the Holy Family GG fighter is looking forward to continuing a busy 2016 which will lead to a rewarding 2017, describing how “I want to be as busy a possible this year.”
“I want for or five fights this year. I am happy to fight between Dublin and Belfast if you throw in the odd one in London and I could be flying.”
“Next year I want to be looking toward titles.”