Tyrone McCullagh sets sights on World title showdown after winning WBO European title

Tyrone McCullagh won the WBO European title last night
Tyrone McCullagh won the WBO European title last night

Tyrone McCullagh has set his eyes on a world title shot after he was crowned WBO European super bantamweight champion following a dominant display in Belfast.

The classy southpaw produced a stunning performance to outpoint Englishman, Josh Kennedy on the ‘Danger at the Docks’ bill at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on a superb night of boxing.

And with the Celtic title and now the European strap in his possession, the Derry man believes he can now start looking down the world title route.

“I’ll have to sit down with MTK but I believe I’m knocking on the door of the world scene now after that,

“So I’ll either defend this title or move on to bigger and better things.”

McCullagh controlled the fight from the first bell and Kennedy could hardly lay a glove on the elusive southpaw who stayed out of range throughout.

And so he was as surprised as the majority of the attendance when the judges scorecards were revealed with one scoring the fight 96-94 in his favour with the other two ringside officials scoring it 99-91 and 99-92.

“I was surprised at the 96-94,” he said.

“But the victory is all that matters. I always respect my opponents but I believe in my ability and I knew I would come out on top.”

Elsewhere on the card there were wins for Steven Ward after his opponent Rolando Paredes was disqualified in the third round for persistent use of the head as ‘The Quiet Man’ moved to 9-0.

Ward said: “I was pleased with the way I boxed and it was good to get the win.

“He was using the head quite a bit, so I think the referee made the right decision.

“I want to be out again as soon as possible and who wouldn’t want to fight on the Frampton bill in Manchester?

“I know I have things to work on but that was a good learning fight for me and I will keep the head down, work hard and see what happens,” said Ward.

Padraig McGrory secured a unanimous points victory over his former amateur rival, Sean McGlinchey at super middleweight with the Derry southpaw floored at the end of the fourth and final round.

McGrory said: It was good to get the win. We had history from the amateurs so it was good to beat him.

“I hit him with some shots but he stayed on in there. I will go away look at the fight and work with my coaches on what I did right and wrong. I am still undefeated so I am happy and I want to be out again as soon as possible,” he said.

Marco McCullogh was involved in a bruising battle with former European champion, Ruddy Encarnacion but emerged victorious as he continues his comeback to win the vacant IBO international super featherweight title.

“It was a harder fight than I thought it would be. He was stronger that I expected but I got the job done.

“I will fight anyone MTK puts in front of me but I am not calling anyone out.

“That’s not my style. It was a tough scrap so I will take a break and then get back at it.”

There was also a good win for Paddy Gallagher as he stopped Jay Byrne with a sickening body shot in the fourth round.

It was great shot from the Belfast fighter and he is also looking to get on the Frampton bill in December.

“It was a good fight and I caught him with a lovely shot.

“He cut me before that and I had to get him out of there. I would love to be on the Frampton bill and I will fight whoever they want.”

There were also wins on the night for Steven Donnelly and Sean McComb.

Donnelly saw off Arydas Trizno 40-36 on points after four good rounds.

The Ballymena fighter boxed well and he can now look forward to fighting in Boston on October 20.

Belfast fighter McComb also had a good win against Petar Aleksandrov 40-35 on the referee’s scorecard. McComb out-boxed his rival for the entire fight.