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Paddy Barnes backs ‘unique’ McCullagh to light up Belfast

World title challenger Paddy Barnes has offered an intriguing insight into what it’s like to spar his good friend Tyrone McCullagh, who fights for the WBO European title in Belfast on October 5.

McCullagh (11-0-KO6) headlines the MTK Global show at Titanic Exhibition Centre against Josh Kennedy (11-0-KO5) with a major belt on the line and Barnes believes both the unorthodox talent and the understated character of ‘White Chocolate’ deserve greater recognition.

Barnes said: “I’ve been boxing for about 15 years now and still if I spar him, I can’t work out his style. It’s completely unique to him. It defies sense and it defies sport. He’s a great fighter.

“Tyrone isn’t outspoken and essentially he’s not a d***head. Sometimes boxers go on saying a load of stuff to sell a fight and sometimes it works. What’s strange is that Tyrone isn’t quiet at all when you know him – he’s actually a headcase!

“It’s great that the TV cameras are coming here again. This is 100% the fight capital of Europe. There’s so much talent for such a small city so it’s great to have shows like this.

“There’s Carl Frampton, Ryan Burnett and now you’ve got James Tennyson about to fight for a world title. Myself and Jamie Conlan have done the same. All Jono Carroll’s best performances have been in Belfast too.

“It’s great Tyrone is fighting for another title here in Belfast. He can do it and I believe he will do it.”

McCullagh’s bid for European glory tops a card that also includes Steven Ward vs. Rolando Paredes, Marco McCullough vs. Ruddy Encarnacion, Paddy Gallagher’s Celtic title clash with Jay Byrne plus Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Padraig McCrory, Gary Cully, Nathaniel May, Steven Ward, Conrad Cummings and more.


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