Tyrone McCullagh warns Mexican opponent, 'You've never been in with a real Paddy!'

Derry southpaw Tyrone McCullagh will square up to Carlos Araujo on Friday night.
Derry southpaw Tyrone McCullagh will square up to Carlos Araujo on Friday night.

DERRY SOUTHPAW, Tyrone McCullagh has warned his Mexican opponent, Carlos Araujo he's in for a 'very awkward night' when they go toe-to-toe for a semi-final place in the exciting Golden Contract featherweight tournament at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Friday night.

McCullagh (13-0) who puts his unblemished record on the line against the highly rated Araujo, claims he wouldn't have entered the groundbreaking tournament if he didn't think he would emerge the overall champion.

And while he steps up from super bantamweight to compete against some of the leading prospects in the featherweight division, McCullagh is excited to be a part of the MTK Global event which will be televised live on Sky Sports.

"I wouldn't have entered if I didn't think I wasn't going to win it," said the WBO super bantamweight European champion. "Friday night is the start of it so I'm just chomping at the bit now."

McCullagh was handed the final pick in the quarter-final draw and was therefore left with Araujo, who has never fought outside his native Mexico. He wasn't surprised Araujo was left as the last man standing in the opening draw as there's little to be known about the 24 year-old from Los Mochis.

However, he's confident he can box his way into the last four of the competition and keep himself in contention for the life-changing two-year, five fight deal on offer to the eventual winner.

"There wasn't much of a choice anyway," said McCullagh of Tuesday's draw. "I think a few people were surprised when Hairon Socarras picked Ryan Walsh instead of Carlos but I wasn't really. No disrespect to Ryan but if you just look at Carlos' record, it's 15 wins with 12 knockouts so he's obviously dangerous and there's not much footage of him.

"So he was last pick for a reason and I just can't wait for the fight on Friday night. I'm an out and out boxer," he explained to Sky Sports Boxing presenter Adam Smith at today's press conference. "I'm very elusive, hard to hit and I plan on making it a very awkward night on Friday.

"He (Araujo) said I've never been in with a real Mexican but he's never been in with a real 'Paddy' either so he will enjoy it so he will."

Araujo responded by claiming the tournament is the opportunity he's been waiting for and is willing to leave his 'body and soul in the ring.'

"You will see the best version of Carlos Araujo," said the Latino champion (15-1). "You will see how I'm going to fight and I will win for sure.

"Of course I'm going to have a Mexican style. I will leave my body and soul in the ring. Remember you will fight a real Mexican here.

"When they told me about the tournament, I know its a great atmosphere but this will change all my life. This is what I've been waiting for and I will give all my life here."

DRAW IN FULL: Leigh Wood vs. David Oliver Joyce; Jazza Dickens vs. Carlos Ramos; Hairon Socarras vs. Ryan Walsh; Tyrone McCullagh vs. Carlos Araujo.