Tyrone McCullagh Wins Big In Belfast, Picks Up WBO Regional

By Elliot Foster

Tyrone McCullagh danced his way to winning another belt.

The Derry super-bantamweight added the vacant WBO European title to his Celtic crown with a solid display against Josh Kennedy.

McCullagh faced Kennedy, the English champion, at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast.


The Liverpool-trained ‘White Chocolate’ showed sensational boxing ability and added ranking points to the discussion of his name after outpointing the man nicknamed ‘Handsome’ by a wide margin.

Tallies of 99-91, 98-92 and 96-94 were handed in by the three scoring judges for the BoxNation-aired card in favour of McCullagh, who is coached by George Vaughan, Derry Mathews and Gary Thornhill.

Marco McCullough was the winner in a 10-round clash against EU super-featherweight champion Ruddy Encarnacion.

The Belfast man took on the Spaniard for the vacant IBO International title but had to come through some sticky patches, despite dropping his man and himself being dropped, to claim tallies of 95-93, 96-92 and 97-91.

Meanwhile, Steven Ward suffered cuts and bruises in a tough 10-round contest which finished in a disqualification.

The Newtonabbey man, who won the vacant BUI Celtic light-heavyweight against Stevie Collins Jr. back in August, bossed proceedings but was in against a rough and rugged opponent in Rolando Paredes.

Paredes, who was warned several times by referee Hugh Russell Jr. for excessive use of the head, was eventually thrown out by the third man in the ring after two minutes and eight seconds of the ninth round.

Nathaniel May got eight rounds under his belt in his MTK debut when he outpointed 31-year-old Russian Ruslan Berchuk, while Jay Byrne succumbed his BUI Celtic welterweight title to Paddy Gallagher in a fight which ended inside the eight-round distance.

Gallagher was flanked by his former foe Gary Murray in the post-fight interview after flooring Byrne, who appeared to have injured his right shoulder during the fight, with a crippling body shot in the third round before his corner had seen enough in the third round.

Elsewhere, there was a stoppage for Gary Cully and a trio of points wins for Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly and Padraig McCrory, who dropped Sean McGlinchey in the final of four stanzas before coming out with a points victory from a fight that was agreed 24 hours before taking place.

The pair had exchanged victories in the amateurs, with McCrory’s 2014 Ulster light heavyweight title win being followed by a controversial Commonwealth Games box-off win for eventual Glasgow bronze medallist McGlinchey.

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