Belfast Telegraph

European medal joy for class act Tyrone

By David Kelly

Donegal's Tyrone McCullagh produced the performance of his career when he secured at least a bronze medal at the European senior championships in Moscow.

On a day when Olympic silver medallist Kenny Egan and middleweight Darren O’Neill also made the semi-finals, 20-year-old featherweight McCullagh rose to the occasion and defeated reigning European champion Azat Hovhannisyan of Armenia 6-3.

The Illies Golden Gloves man said: “I got a couple of standing counts but I was always okay. The second one was merited but the first one was definitely not merited.

“It was an extraordinary fight in many ways. He was coming after me and I was scoring with clean shots, and he was disappointed he didn't get more points but in these championships the punches need to be delivered cleanly.”

Irish coach Billy Walsh added: “This was an outstanding performance by Tyrone. The European champion just couldn’t cope with him, couldn’t catch him — he was far too quick.”

Egan had an impressive 7-4 victory over Estonia's Ainar Karlson and now meets Abdelkader Bouhenia in Friday's semi-final, a re-match of last year's World Championships clash which the Frenchman won.

O’Neill came through a mini epic with Ukrainian Sergey Derevyanchenko, winning 7-6 with a left hook four seconds from the end.

Welterweight John Joe Joyce went out 9-1 at the hands of Ukraine's Taras Shelestyuk.

Today Belfast’s Paddy Barnes aims to make the last eight.

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