Tyrone McCullagh to make Newcastle title defence on May 3

RINGSIDE 29/03/2019

Tyrone McCullagh will make the maiden defence of his WBO European super-bantamweight crown against Alvaro Rodriguez in Newcastle on May 3.

The unbeaten ‘White Chocolate’ (12-0-KO6) takes on the Spaniard (9-2-1-KO1) on the #MTKFightNight at the Newcastle Eagles Community Arena – live on iFL TV – and is eager to take the next step towards a world title shot.

McCullagh said: “Rodriguez is a very good opponent. He’s a talented counter-puncher so hopefully he brings out the best in me but I’ve no doubt I’m going to retain my title on the night.

“I love the attention that being the main event brings. It gives you that extra bit of buzz. It’s all part of boxing and there are nerves but headlining shows is where you want to be.

“I boxed way down the bill on Ryan Burnett and Carl Frampton cards and fighting in an empty stadium was surreal. Then I boxed Joe Ham quite high up on a show at The SSE Arena and then headlined against Josh Kelly to win this title.

“The belt is actually at my friend’s house in Belfast! I haven’t got around to going and getting it back but I actually took it to my friend’s house because I didn’t trust myself not to lose it while I was there.

“Ultimately, I want to get that world title shot and I’d have to vacate this belt to do it but it’s already got me to 13th with the WBO and if I defend it a few times then I could be in the top 10. 

“There are big shows this summer that a world title shot could come on. I know Emanuel Navarrete and Isaac Dogboe are both with Top Rank so whoever wins that, it could work out.” 

Joining McCullagh on a bill that’s taken shape quickly is Darlington’s unbeaten Troy Williamson, another former Team GB star Simon Vallily plus local hopes such as Chad Ellis, Jay Hughes, Darren Reay and Adam Gair.

Further fights and fighters will be announced in due course.