JAMIE Conlan believes fight fans underestimate how close Tyrone McCullagh is to a shot at the world super bantamweight title.
The MTK Global backed southpaw makes the first defence of his WBO European title when he takes on Spaniard, Alvaro Rodriguez in the headline bout at the Eagles Community Arena in Newcastle on Friday night.
And Conlan, who described the awkward McCullagh as a ‘complete nightmare to fight’, expects the Derry man to ‘kick on’ and edge closer to a shot at the world title in the coming months.
“He’s bound to kick on now,” said Conlan. “Another win here at the weekend boosts his ranking with the WBO. People don’t realise how close Tyrone McCullagh actually is from the world title.
“In the limited amount of fights he’s had, he’s been beating quality opposition. He’s beaten two undefeated fighters already on his way to becoming WBO European champion.”
McCullagh is currently 12-0 and should he extend his unblemished record tonight, Conlan expects him to move onto bigger and better fights within the year, possibly in his hometown of Derry.
“He fights a tough Spaniard on Friday night,” added the Belfast man. “If he gets through this we’ll hopefully have him out again in August and then hopefully something big if we can bring it back to Derry in October time or before Christmas.
“He’s a quality operator, a quality talent. A nightmare to fight. I’ve shared a ring with him in sparring myself and my brother has fought him, He is a complete nightmare to fight.
“People don’t realise how awkward he is and this is where they underestimate him. Tyrone McCullagh can be a serious operator at super bantamweight.”