DERRY super featherweight, Tyrone McCullagh believes he’s stronger than ever and is ready to put on a show when he takes to the ring for his second professional fight tomorrow night at York Hall, London.
The 25 year-old Glen Road native features on the undercard of the Goodwin Promotions show, ‘The Cartel’ headlined by Sonny Upton and Ryan Tomsan’s eliminator for the English super-welterweight title.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about not knowing enough about him, however. It’s about me at the end of the day. If I box as best as I can, I should come out with the win.Tyrone McCullagh
McCullagh, who stopped his opponent in the second round of his pro. debut in Cheshire last July, is highly rated by promoter Steve Goodwin and the Derry lad is hoping to repay his faith with another impressive showing.
It’s the former European bronze medallist’s first fight under the Goodwin banner but he’s feeling relaxed and raring to go as he flies out to the English capital today for the weigh-in.
That’s the part he’s most excited about as he’s struggled with his diet during the past seven weeks. While watching the Republic of Ireland play-off against Bosnia recently, Tyrone looked on in envy as his friends feasted on their beers and pizza while he tucked into his rice cake.
It’s the sacrifices you have to make as a professional boxer but he claims it’ll be worth it in the end as he plots his way to the top.
“I’m on the home straight now and I’m flying,” he said. “My preparation has been brilliant. For my last fight I only had three weeks notice but I’ve had six or seven this time and training has been going well and my weight’s good.
“The worst part of it all for me is the diet and making weight,” he added. “My mates were watching the Ireland match and ordered a pizza while I was eating a rice cake but it’s one of those sacrifices you have to make in this game.
“I’ve done all my sparring and I’ll get the last few pounds off ahead of the weigh-in on Friday.
“I’ve had a far better, longer training camp for this fight. I’ve had more spars and it’s been better preparation all round, so I’m quietly confident.”
He takes on Hungarian Bence Sipos in a scheduled four rounder and while he admits he knows little about his opponent, he believes there will only be one outcome if he’s at his best.
“I don’t really know that much about him,” he confessed. “He’s another Hungarian and he has a 50/50 record but other than that I don’t know too much. There’s no video or anything of him on the internet.
“I wouldn’t be too concerned about not knowing enough about him, however. It’s about me at the end of the day. If I box as best as I can, I should come out with the win.”
So will the York Hall attendance be treated to another quick-fire KO or will he adopt a more carefully constructed, defensive gameplan associated with Tyrone during his amateur days?
“You can’t go out looking to knock someone out but if the chance is there hopefully I’ll take it,” he promised. “I’ve been with Oisin O’Flaherty - my strength and conditioning coach - down in Buncrana twice a week and I’m probably the strongest I’ve ever been.
“He’s been putting me through good workouts so if I land a few shots hopefully I can put this guy away.
“If I can put him away early it looks all the better for me and if you can get an early night why not? But I won’t go out and try take his head off,” he smiled.
“I’ve had to change big time from the amateur game and I’m still working on that. I have to crawl before I can walk as they say. My coach has been saying to me that he can see the changes and I’ve become a bit more aggressive since my amateur days but I still have a bit to go yet. I’m getting there!
“I can’t wait for it. Ahead of my debut there was an anxiousness there and a bit of nerves as I didn’t know what to expect. This time round I just can’t wait for Saturday to get fighting.
“Everything has went so well, so fingers crossed it goes well on the night.”
There will be around 20 family and friends travelling over to support Tyrone tomorrow night and while he would prefer to fight closer to home, he’s excited about putting on a show at York Hall.
“I don’t mind fighting away from home. England’s a stone throw away. Hopefully I get a show closer to home in the New Year.”
Tyrone’s excited to be boxing under UK Promotional company, Goodwin for the first time and he was impressed with how quickly they got him matched with his second pro. fight.
“Sonny’s (Upton) topping the bill and a former Commonwealth champion, Andrew Joicey is next on the card and then it’s me. So I’m down late enough on the bill which is a good sign.
“Goodwin have been brilliant and I appreciate everything they’ve done for me so far. It’s a good time to be with them and they recently signed a new deal with ‘Boxing News’ so they are making waves in the sport.
“It’s a brilliant venue and anyone I’ve spoken to who has fought there has told me the atmosphere is brilliant. Goodwin have done it up a bit and improved it, so it promises to be a great night.
“I fought at the start of July but I only signed with Goodwin at the end of September and already they have got me a fight which is brilliant.
“Hopefully in a year or so I can be topping the card myself. That’s what I’m aiming for,” he concluded.