Tyrone McCullagh lands vacant Celtic title

Tyrone McCullagh celebrates after winning the Celtic title
Tyrone McCullagh celebrates after winning the Celtic title

Tyrone McCullagh secured the Celtic title belt at the SSE Area on Saturday night

The Derry boxer faced Joe Ham for the vacant Super-bantamweight title and both fighters had an unbeaten record so a good fight was on the cards but it was McCullagh who came out on top 97-92, 98-92 and 98-92 on the judges’ scorecards.

Tyrone McKenna  and Jack Catterall

Tyrone McKenna and Jack Catterall

Both fighters made a steady start to the fight with both cagey in the first round.

In round two both men gave more with McCullagh landing some good shots to the body of Ham - but there was little in it.

Ham was pushing the pace in round three and had McCullagh down at the end of the round.

Round four started well for McCullagh as he used his boxing skills as Ham bombed forward.

McCullagh started round five well and he seemed to have steadied the ship.

Round six was lively as both fighters gave it a go and McCullagh was starting to box a wee bit more.

McCullagh was throwing some good shots in the seventh and he did enough in the final rounds to get his hand raised in victory as the new Celtic champion. It was a fantastic effort from McKenna - and despite the result - he can be proud of his performance and will have learnt loads in those tough 10 rounds.

Tyrone McKenna’s brave bid against Jack Catterall for the WBO Intercontinental super lightweight title ended in disappointment as the Belfast fighter lost 95-91, 94-93, 94-93 on the judges’ scorecards. McKenna was put down in the second but Catterall hit him a cheap shot when he was down.

Troubling times and Catterall was docked a point.

But McKenna was down again right on the bell and the referee gave him a standing eight count - but he survived.

Round three and McKenna regrouped well but Catterall was looking very strong.

The fourth was another good round and Catterall was starting to fade and McKenna was back in the fight.

But at the start of the fifth McKenna was hurt by a shot to the body and was down again but he battled through to the end of the round.

The sixth was a war of attrition as both fighters went into the trenches.

McKenna, after his earlier set-backs, could have folded but to his credit he stayed in the fight and was far from out of it after round seven.

Round eight and both fighters had their successes and McKenna was more than holding his own against a tiring Catterall.

McKenna came on strong in the ninth and Catterall was warned for a low blow and both fighters gave it a go.

The final round was a tight affair as both men were exhausted but Catterall had done enough for the win.