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“I thought I was awkward!” – Tyrone McCullagh happy to get win over slippy southpaw

In a quite odd fight, Tyrone McCullagh [6(4)-0] extended his unbeaten streak last night in Belfast.

The Derry super bantam was faced with tough Ghanaian Michael Barnor on the inaugural Ginley Promotions bill at the Devenish Complex and came away with a comprehensive victory in the battle of the southpaws.

Always on top, McCullagh dominated the bout, dropping his opponent in the second en-route to a four-round, 40:35 win. However, one of the big talking points of the fight was the African opponent’s apparent lack of grip in his boots, and his subsequent complaints, which majorly disrupted the flow of the action.

‘White Chocolate’ would stay composed against the slippery foe, and noted afterwards that “he was an awkward customer, and I knew he was going to be awkward.”

“I was struggling a bit to get my range because he was that awkward. he kept dipping the head, and I only discovered towards the end of the last round that the uppercut would’ve worked well – but that’s the way it goes, it was a learning experience and I’m still happy enough with my performance. I thought my boxing was good in there, and I was never in danger.”

“He was very unorthodox and awkward, I thought I was awkward! He came to survive and that’s what he’s done. With a better opponent who comes to win, they’ll get caught more.”

McCullagh was not having any of his opponent’s Bambi on Ice impression and described how “I think that was a bit of an excuse to be honest. The canvas was the same for me, and he was wearing boxing boots.”

“I don’t know what he was complaining about, but it bought him a good two minutes or so in the second round when he was down. I think he was definitely hurt in the second when he went down because it was a good combination that caught him.”

“That’s the way them fighters are, they know all the tricks of the trade and how to survive. It’s just the way it goes.”

Looking ahead, McCullagh admitted that “I’m not too sure what the plan is.”

“I need to stay active, I’d like to do maybe an eight rounder next. It would be a different pace, and I need to start learning that. I’ll have to talk to my manager [Sam Kynoch] and Gerry [Storey, coach] and see what they think.”

“It was supposed to be a six rounder, but a few things got changed about. I would have liked to have went the six rounds just to see how I would’ve done, but it will come. That’s only the second time I’ve went four rounds, my last fight was a six rounder but it only went three and a bit rounds.”

“It was a step up in opponent, and he was awkward As I’ve said before, the better the opponent the better I’ll get. Hopefully I can keep improving and keep getting the better of opponents.”

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