Tyrone McCullagh is zeroing in on WBO European title rival Josh Kennedy ahead of their hotly-anticipated clash at Belfast’s Titanic Exhibition Centre on October 5.

‘White Chocolate’ won the Celtic Jr. Featherweight crown last time out and steps up again to face another 11-0 fighter in Kentish visitor Kennedy, who is covered in body art.

McCullagh said: “Those face tattoos of his simply provide me with targets to aim for.

“I don’t know the guy and I don’t even follow him on social media so I’m not going to start any fake ‘beef’ but my mates have sent me screenshots of his posts. Let’s face it – he’s a muppet.

“Despite his tattoos and fashion sense, I’ve nothing against him really and he’s another step up for me having been English champion.

“I’ve seen a few clips of him on YouTube but I tend to focus on myself rather than on my opponent. I know he had a split decision win over Michael Ramabaletsa, who’s not got a great record but it’s slightly misleading because he took Ryan Doyle very close.

“The bottom line is that Kennedy is an undefeated fighter like myself but I don’t believe that he’s been in with the same calibre of opponent as I have up to this point.

“It’s nights like this that inspired me to start boxing in the first place. It’s been a long, hard road but finally I’m reaping the rewards.

“When I beat Kennedy, I’ll be knocking at the door of the top 10 in the world.”

McCullagh faces Kennedy on a stacked bill that also includes the likes of top heavyweight David Price, world-ranked Nathaniel May, Steven Ward, Conrad Cummings and many more.

Sunny Edwards and Ryan Farrag will contest the WBO European Jr. Bantamweight title on a stacked MTK Global show at York Hall on October 26 – live on BoxNation.

London’s Edwards (8-0-KO3) and Liverpudlian Farrag (19-3-KO5) collide at the home of British boxing on a card that also includes world ranking fights for their MTK Global team-mates Neslan Machado and Michael McKinson.

MTK London promoter Lee Eaton said: “It’s great to be back at York Hall, which has played host to some of the great British fights in boxing history.

“Hopefully, we have another classic on our hands in the headline act of Edwards v Farrag with both men looking to get their hands on a major title before moving on to world level.

“MTK Global events just keep getting bigger and better and improvement is what it’s all about. We want to bring the fans exactly what they’re after.

“We’re delighted to be joining Jack on his journey and we believe that journey goes right to the top.”


Unbeaten super-bantamweight Tyrone McCullagh hopes to reward deafening support at MTK Global’s Belfast show with victory in his European title fight.

‘White Chocolate’ (11-0-KO6) climbed off the canvas to cruise to the Celtic crown against Joe Ham last time out and is relishing the prospect of even more noise when he takes on Josh Kennedy for the WBO European belt at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on October 5.

McCullagh said: “I’m very lucky to have a great following from both Derry and Belfast. Everyone gets behind me when I fight and I’m very grateful for that.

“It should be a jam-packed arena and I’m relishing that. The atmosphere picks me up a level or two – I know that from the noise when I fought Joe Ham. There was no chance I wasn’t getting up!

“The noise carried me through the fight; especially in the later rounds. When you hear them, it really gives you a lift.”

As he prepares to take another significant step up in facing a fellow unbeaten fighter in Kent’s Kennedy (11-0-KO5), McCullagh knows he’ll need to keep improving if he’s to climb to the very top.

The 27-year-old southpaw said: “The belt means a lot to me but boxers always want bigger and better belts. It’s great to have it on the line but the main thing is a big step up in opponent. I feel ready.

“Winning the Celtic title was an unbelievable feeling but it’s just a minor title in the grand scheme of things. In boxing, you always want more. When I was young, I thought I’d be happy with a national title but once I’d done that, I wanted more and more.

“I’ve seen a few clips of Kennedy and he seems big and strong but I’m very confident in my own ability. You have to beat these kind of lads if you want to make it to the top.

“If I can’t beat Kennedy, I’m going to have to take a long, hard look at myself.”

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Having won the BBBoC Celtic title in his last outing, Derry Jr. Featherweight Tyrone McCullagh [11(6)-0] will face the English champion next.

It has been announced this evening that ‘White Chocolate’ will face English beltholder Josh Kennedy [11(5)-0] on the big Belfast BoxNation show at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on Friday October 5th.

The vacant WBO European rankings title will be on the line in six weeks time and a win for McCullagh would likely see the Irishman join the organisation’s Top 15. The current WBO champion is Ghanaian Isaac Dogboe who defended his belt for the first time on Saturday night, stopping Hidenori Otake of Japan in the opening round.

Last time out 27-year-old McCullagh outpointed Glaswegian Joe Ham on the Mick Conlan Homecoming undercard to become the champion of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

The Foylesider, a European bronze medallist in the amateurs, dominated for much of the bout – bar a brief trip to the canvas late in the third round.

‘Handsome’ Kennedy won the English belt last year, edging South African Michael Ramabeletsa on a split decision having being dropped in the seventh round. Previously the 27-year-old had stopped Jamie Speight in the third to win the Southern Area featherweight belt and since the Ramabeletsa win he has outpointed Michael Barnor and Bobby Jenkinson.

McCullagh, who is currently in the beginnings of camp in Liverpool, said that it is “time to get my hands on another belt.”

The October 5th card is headlined by a heavyweight clash between Dubliner Sean Turner and Liverpool’s David Price alongside an all-Irish super featherweight clash between Declan Geraghty and Marco McCullough. The undercard features Steven Donnelly, Steven Ward, Padraig McCrory, Conrad Cummings, Sean McComb, Gary Cully, and World-rated Aussie Nathaniel May – who is of Belfast stock.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)