ALTHOUGH advancing to the semi-finals of the ‘Golden Contract’ tournament last night via a unanimous decision, Tyrone McCullagh says there is plenty of room to improve.
McCullagh outpointed Sheffield’s Razaq Najib to become the first man into the featherweight semi-finals.
The Derry southpaw was a comfortable winner and was deserving of the 97-93 and 98-92 scorecards of Howard John Foster and Marcus McDonnell with the 96-94 verdict of the third judge, Robert Williams, questionably close.
McCullagh was later joined in the semi-finals by Jazza Dickens, Ryan Walsh and Leigh Wood.
“I definitely have aspirations of winning it and definitely want to get to the final,” McCullagh said after moving to 14-0 as a professional.
“I’d like the performance to be a lot better than it was tonight but I think that’s down to a bit of inactivity and I’m going to stay active now and keep myself going.”
Najib was a late replacement for Carlos Araujo, who had to withdraw from the fight.
McCullagh’s win over Najib opened the Sky Sports segment of the fights at York Hall. The eventual winner of the Golden Contract will win a five-fight deal worth a six-figure sum.
Although Najib attempted to take the fight to McCullagh, ‘White Chocolate’ took command of the bout and could be satisfied with his night’s work over ten rounds.
He said: It was a tough fight. I thought I controlled the most of it.
“I was a bit inactive this last year or so. That’s only my second fight since this day last year.
“It’s good to get the ring rust off and I think I won most of the rounds handy enough. I’m pleased enough with the performance but there’s more to come.”
Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years’ experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.