It was time for Tyrone McCullagh to taste the horrible taste of his own medicine on Saturday.
The Steve Goodwin-managed fighter got firsthand experience of the torture he inflicted on a number of big name Irish amateurs over the years.
The Derry pro returned to the National Stadium for the first time in two years and the first time since turning over, but was left frustrated in the same manner he frustrated the likes of Micheal Conlan, John Joe Nevin and co in various Senior Championships.
Ask anyone, who has shared the ring with the undefeated pro and ‘awkward’ usually followed by some expletives is fired back straight away. McCullagh himself tasted what it was like to be in against such an opponent on ‘The Future’ show on Saturday.
Post bout the fighter, who passed up a chance to join in the fun of the Euros in a bid to push his record to 4-0, was feeling a bit down. His 100 percent knockout ratio was gone and he felt he didn’t perform to his best. However, speaking after the clash he admitted Aleksandrs Birkenbergs and his wild and unreadable style played a part in what he felt was a somewhat below par performance.
“I hurt him once or twice but I could have put him away if I was on my game. He was wild and aggressive, and that is what he was described as on Irish-boxing.com, but I didn’t see much of him myself,” said the former Senior Championships regular.
“I know I could have boxed a lot better, but it was always good to get the win. I heard I am awkward enough and I’d say now it must be very frustrating fighting me!”
The 25 year old has made a very impressive start to pro life. It’s now four wins and three knockouts from four contests. Saturday left him that bit frustrated, but when fighting journeymen that is always a possibility.
‘White Chocolate’ the first fighter from Derry City to turn pro since John Duddy, seems to be aware that is the case and believes people will only see his best when he is pitted against a higher caliber and even more ambitious opponent.
“He was tricky and was dipping and hitting me with his head. I found it hard to catch him at times. I am a bit unhappy, I know I can box better, but as the quality of opponent gets better I will too. I was speaking with Steve (Goodwin) and he said after this fight I will get tougher matches. I want to be moved on quickly. Hopefully my next fight will be a six rounder and I want to be challenging for titles next year.”
McCullagh certainly would have had more fun in France with the Irish fans, but has no regrets about taking the fight on the first FS Promotions show.
“I need to get the record up, I can’t skip fights at this stage. I had flights and accommodation booked and the tickets were there for me if I wanted them. This is what you have to do, these are the sacrifices you have to make. I am very hungry and I want to go all the way, I got the win, but there is better in me, thats for sure.”