'Barring an absolute disaster I'll be European champion': Tyrone McCullagh

Derry's Tyrone McCullagh pictured with Charlie Nash's EBU European belt, is confident he'll have one of his own on Friday night.
Derry's Tyrone McCullagh pictured with Charlie Nash's EBU European belt, is confident he'll have one of his own on Friday night.

TYRONE McCULLAGH believes he’ll be knocking on the door of a dream world title shot should he be crowned WBO European champion in Belfast on Friday night

The Glen Road southpaw takes on fellow undefeated super-bantamweight, Josh Kennedy in the headline bout on the exciting MTK Global ‘Danger at the Docks’ bill at the Titanic Exhibition Centre.

It’s the third unbeaten opponent he’s faced in his last four outings and victory will catapult him into the WBO’s top 15 rankings.

He’s already called out MTK Global stablemate and recently crowned IBF world super-bantamweight champion, TJ Doheny and believes an Ireland homecoming fight for the Co. Laois native could prove a lucrative move for both fighters.

“I’m not by any means taking my eye off Friday night that’s my main focus,” said McCullagh. “But if all goes well on Friday night I have to be knocking on the door of a world title shot with one or two more wins. That’s the end goal at the end of the day.

“First thing’s first and that’s taking care of business on Friday night. But I mentioned Doheny before and it’s making a bit of noise which is great to see. I’m sure TJ would be up for it as well. He’s fought his whole career in Australia so it would be nice to get a fight for him back home. He’s from Laois and I’m from Derry so none of us are going to see our teams in an All Ireland Final for a while so this is the next best thing maybe,” he laughed.

McCullagh won the Celtic title with an impressive win over highly rated Scotsman, Joe Ham in his last outing in June at the Odyssey Arena and with a European title tilt secured after just his 11th pro fight, he’s delighted with the direction his career is going under the stewardship of MTK.

“I just signed with MTK just over a year ago and the stuff which has happened inside a year is unbelievable. “ I’ve gone from strength to strength. I’m headlining my own show now so I couldn’t have dreamed of it. I’ll fight anyone,” he insisted. “I know I might not be exactly ready for the world champions at this stage but if the opportunity came around I would never turn anyone down -it’s not in me.”

The 2010 European bronze medallist is expecting the English champion to attempt to get him involved in a brawl tonight but McCullagh is confident he’ll win the fight and bring home the European belt if he sticks to his own game-plan.

“I think his game plan is to come and try and rough me up and draw me into a brawl but I’m too long in the game now to be getting involved in that. The first couple of rounds I’d imagine will be fairly tight. It’s a 10 round fight so I have plenty of time. As the fight goes on, the fourth, fifth, six round I’ll take over and dominate.

“It’s a great fight for this stage in my career. Josh Kennedy is another undefeated fighter. I know I can do it and barring an absolute disaster on Friday night I know I will do it.”