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Ryan Walsh Drops, Outpoints Gutsy Tyrone McCullagh At York Hall

Ryan Walsh booked his place in the final of the Golden Contract tournament.

The Cromer man outpointed Tyrone McCullagh at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London.

Walsh scored two knockdowns against the Derry man, exclusively live on Sky Sports in the UK and ESPN + Stateside, in the first semi-final in the featherweight division.

McCullagh, who recently left Danny Vaughan and joined forces with Pete Taylor, began the fight superbly, winning the first half of the fight on instinct and reflexes as well as skill and shot selection.

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Walsh then came back out in the sixth, after losing the first few, and dropped the tricky McCullagh to secure a 10-8 round, with the knockdown, after a scrappy barrage, beginning with a right hand.

In the second half of the fight, McCullagh slowed down slightly after Walsh, the more experienced man, had began to read his movement better and get closer with timing and distance.

From there on in, the fight pattern completely changed and McCullagh was second best for the majority of the latter stages.

A second knockdown came in the ninth and there was a question as to whether McCullagh would see the final bell.

He managed to do that but he lost the fight –– and his unbeaten record –– by margins of 96-92, 97-91 and 97-91.

Walsh, whose brothers Michael and Liam were both in the corner, will now have a keen eye on the second semi-final between Liverpool’s Jazza Dickens and Nottingham’s Leigh Wood for the latter’s WBO European title.

“He didn’t want me to have the stoppage bonus, wow,” said Walsh afterwards. “I thought he was awkward and he was but I tip my hat to him because when I hit him, his survival instincts kicked in.

“The others are very good fighters and a tall orthodox is better for me, I’d rather face Leigh Wood, but Jazza, the small southpaw, has all my respect because I don’t think he gets the respect he deserves and has only been beaten by world-class fighters.”

Details regarding the final will be revealed in due course.

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