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McCullagh is determined to sparkle against late substitute

No bother: Tyrone McCullagh is unfazed by change of rival
No bother: Tyrone McCullagh is unfazed by change of rival
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Tyrone McCullagh says he is relishing the chance of making a big statement at the York Hall, Bethnal Green tonight.

Indeed, McCullagh insists he has no concerns after being handed a late replacement, Razaq Najib, for his featherweight quarter-final in the new Golden Tournament after Mexican Carlos Araujo was forced to withdraw due to weight problems.

Unbeaten McCullagh, who will kick off the coverage on Sky Sports tonight (8pm), admitted he was surprised to receive the call yesterday morning but is determined to grab his opportunity to shine.

"I was doing a bit on the treadmill ahead of the weigh-in when I got the call. It took me back to the amateurs when you didn't know who you were fighting until late notice," said McCullagh.

"The Mexican had been in from Tuesday but he was clearly struggling badly with the weight because I was told he had to be taken to the hospital.

"But I'm not worried about having to face Razaq because I knew coming into this tournament that I wouldn't know my opponent until the week of the fight so I'm pretty relaxed."

Najib comes into the fight having lost in June in an EU featherweight title fight with Spaniard Carlos Ramos, who is also in the tournament and faces Liverpool's former British champion Jazza Dickens.

The winners of tonight's bouts will move through to the semi-finals, which are expected to be held early next year.

McCullagh, who will be in a 10-rounder, added: "It's been very different for me this week with the Sky cameras following us everywhere but I was determined to enjoy it and it has been good craic.

"I'm feeling very confident and I love the fact that I've got the chance to raise my profile and hopefully show people what I've got. I won't be taking Razaq for granted but I believe my style is going to be tough for anyone."

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