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There's more to come, roars McCullagh after stroll into semis

Front foot: Tyrone McCullagh en route to his victory
Front foot: Tyrone McCullagh en route to his victory
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Tyrone McCullagh cruised into the featherweight semi-finals of the new Golden Tournament at the York Hall, Bethnal Green last night.

The 29-year-old was never in any trouble throughout the 10 rounds as he completely outclassed 24-hour substitute opponent Razaq Najib of Sheffield, with the judges scoring the bout 97-93 98-92 96-94.

"It's only the second fight I've had since last year so I'm pleased enough with the performance but there's more to come," said McCullagh.

Southpaw McCullagh made a bright start and peppered his opponent with straight rights and lefts. Najib found himself tied up at close range and was unable to land any quality blows in the opening three minutes.

In the second round McCullagh continued to frustrate Najib, tagging him as he tried to smother the Derry man with his aggression. McCullagh simply picked him off and when required held him before going back to his counter-punching.

McCullagh controlled the third round with his tidy boxing and started to vary his attacks as he landed with a couple of snappy body blows. Najib was offering very little threat as McCullagh continued to dominate in the fourth round, using his good footwork to create angles from which he connected with ease.

It continued to be a one-sided affair in the fifth round as Najib clearly did not have the class or poise to place McCullagh under any pressure.

The Derry man, who had moved up from super-bantamweight for the tournament, maintained his momentum as he chalked off rounds six and seven and Najib looked utterly frustrated as he went back to his corner.

Nevertheless, Najib continued to plod forward in the eighth round seeking to land his ponderous blows but it was largely in vain as McCullagh slipped out of range before making him pay as he poked out his right lead and straight lefts.

The pattern continued to the final bell as McCullagh boxed largely on the back foot, picking off Najib at will.

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