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Derry boxer Tyrone McCullagh is happy to be playing the long game

 

By David Kelly

Tyrone McCullagh may be a year older than World title challenger Ryan Burnett but insists that he is content with a slow-burning career. McCullagh (26) has bagged six straight victories over moderate opposition and expects to make it seven when he boxes on the undercard of Burnett's June 10 clash with IBF World champion Lee Haskins.

Southpaw McCullagh has been steadily developing, backed by a solid group of fans, and now has the stage to show promoter Eddie Hearn that he deserves a chance to move up the British super-bantamweight rankings.

"My coach Gerry Storey has me well warned that there is no rush, that it's important to take my time and learn," said Derry man McCullagh.

"I'll be having a six-rounder on this show at the SSE Arena and by the end of the year I'd like a Celtic title fight - there are a few Scottish and Welsh guys who I could fight for that.

"But if it doesn't happen I don't mind as long as I'm progressing.

"I'm two years as a professional so it would be nice to kick on but I don't feel that I need to rush.

"This is a great show to be on. You need to sell tickets when you're a pro to get on shows and I'm very grateful that I have a good fan base and they'll be out in force for this."

While he is happy to bide his time for significant opportunities, McCullagh admits he has been working diligently to refine his natural style which is suited to amateur boxing.

"I have worked on my style, slowing myself down a bit, working on my natural style of counter punching," added McCullagh.

"I'm working on trying to be better up close, I've far from mastered it but it's coming on and I'm really looking forward to being part of this bill."

The show will also feature the debut of Belfast light-heavyweight Padraig McCrory.

• MICHAEL Conlan's second professional bout will be screened live by BoxNation in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Conlan meets Mexican Alfredo Chanez when he tops the bill in Chicago.

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