‘Unique’ McCullagh ‘defies sport’ explains Paddy Barnes


‘Messer’ is often the word used to describe Tyrone McCullagh, but it comes second to ‘awkward’ on the list of adjectives often seen beside the Derry fighters name.

The Irish fighters who have sparred or fought ‘White Chocolate’ in the amateurs often describe how frustrating it is to fight the boxer with the incomprehensible style.

One such sparring mate is recent world title challenger Paddy Barnes and if his account of the southpaw is anything to go by Josh Kennedy is in for a confusing on frustrating night come October 5.

McCullagh (11-0-KO6) headlines at Exhibition Centre against Josh Kennedy and has the chance to win the WBO European ranking title. Barnes is adamant now matter how experience the undefeated Kennedy has he won’t be able to make sense of the Derry man on top of a Boxnation broadcast bill come Friday week.

“I’ve been boxing for about 15 years now and still if I spar him, I can’t work out his style. It’s completely unique to him. It defies sense and it defies sport. He’s a great fighter.

“Tyrone isn’t outspoken and essentially he’s not a d***head. Sometimes boxers go on saying a load of stuff to sell a fight and sometimes it works. What’s strange is that Tyrone isn’t quiet at all when you know him – he’s actually a headcase!”

The October 5 card is another Belfast fight night that will be broadcast on TV and the encouraging thing is it’s a card of high quality prospects, proving the TV camera’s don’t need a big name to be turned on in the city.

“It’s great that the TV cameras are coming here again. This is 100% the fight capital of Europe. There’s so much talent for such a small city so it’s great to have shows like this.

“There’s Carl Frampton, Ryan Burnett and now you’ve got James Tennyson about to fight for a world title. Myself and Jamie Conlan have done the same. All Jono Carroll’s best performances have been in Belfast too.

“It’s great Tyrone is fighting for another title here in Belfast. He can do it and I believe he will do it.”

McCullagh’s bid for European glory tops a card that also includes Steven Ward vs. Rolando Paredes, Marco McCullough vs. Ruddy Encarnacion, Paddy Gallagher’s Celtic title clash with Jay Byrne plus Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Padraig McCrory, Gary Cully, Nathaniel May, Steven Ward, Conrad Cummings and more.

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