From ‘The Novice’ to golden boy – McCullagh ready to have the last laugh

Tyrone McCullagh [13(6)-0] wants to go from being known as the ‘novice’ the main featherweight man with Golden Contract victory.

The Derry fighter was late to amateur party and came out of nowhere to establish himself as an international operator.

However, throughout his time in the green vest ‘White Chocolate’, whose style certainly isn’t text book, was labelled ‘The Novice’. It’s not that the famously awkward southpaw was an outcast, in fact quite the opposite, he was known as one of the jokers of a very keen to prank pack. The nickname is potentially has it’s roots in a mixture of his standout style and his late arrival to the High Performance.

Yet still he is looking forward to turning that novice label on it’s head by winning the tournament, snaring a life-changing five-fight deal with a top promoter and having the last laugh. 

“This is an amazing opportunity. It would be so turnaround from being called ‘the novice’ throughout my years on the Irish team to being signed by one of the world’s leading boxing promoters,” said the Derry City pro.

The 29-year-old has moved up in weight in a bid to change his life and may not be as well known as some of his fellow Golden Contract competitors.

The WBO European super bantamweight ranking title holder is aware he will go in as the underdog, but suggests if the bookies had the inside track on all things ‘White Chocolate’ they would revise the odds and make him favourite.

“In my mind, I’m favourite. I truly believe it. I know I won’t be with the bookies – possibly quite the opposite considering I’m moving up in weight and I’m one of the entries with the fewest fights, but everyone loves an underdog,” he adds before revealing he and training partner Tyrone McKenna have bought golden pens in preparation for signing the Golden Contract’s they believe they are now just three wins away from securing.

“I’m very excited and I’m pleased to be preparing for the same goal as my gym-mate Tyrone McKenna. It’s what we’ve been working towards our whole careers so it’s nice to be in it together. We’ve ordered two golden pens to sign those contracts so we’re quietly confident!”

The #GoldenContract will be broadcast live in the UK by Sky Sports in association with Matchroom, in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.

 

Derek McKenna

Co-founder of Junior Sports Media who has been covering boxing since 2013. Has extensive experience in sports writing, sub-editing and online journalism. Email: Co-founder of Junior Sports Media who has been covering boxing since 2013. Has extensive experience in sports writing, sub-editing and online journalism. Email: [email protected]