The undefeated, famously awkward Tyrone McCullagh is plotting a few nightmares for his Golden Contract tournament rivals.
‘White Chocolate’ (13-0, 6 KOs) steps up to featherweight as one of eight hopefuls looking to snare a life-changing five-fight deal with a top promoter, with the draw for the October 4 quarter-finals taking place on Tuesday.
In a pool of stars that also includes British champion Ryan Walsh, Commonwealth champion Leigh Wood, EBU EU champion Carlos Ramos, Cuban king Hairon Socarras, IBF European champion Jazza Dickens, WBC Latino champion Carlos Araujo and undefeated Olympian Davey Oliver Joyce, WBO European super-bantamweight holder McCullagh is adamant he’ll take the graduation in weight division in his shuffling stride.
McCullagh said: “In my mind, I’m favourite. I truly believe it. I know I won’t be with the bookies – possibly quite the opposite considering I’m moving up in weight and I’m one of the entries with the fewest fights, but everyone loves an underdog!
“They’re all quality lads and there’ll be no one-sided fights in this competition. That’s what makes it so exciting. I plan on winning the whole thing so it doesn’t really matter to me who I draw first up.
“Obviously, I know Davey from the amateur days. We fought once and sparred a few times. I’ve also sparred Jazza from my time down in Liverpool. I’ve seen the other domestic lads fight over the years as well but when it comes to the foreign fighters, I don’t have a clue.
“This is an amazing opportunity. It’s be so turnaround from being called ‘the novice’ throughout my years on the Irish team to being signed by one of the world’s leading boxing promoters.
“I’m very excited and I’m pleased to be preparing for the same goal as my gym-mate Tyrone McKenna. It’s what we’ve been working towards our whole careers so it’s nice to be in it together. We’ve ordered two golden pens to sign those contracts so we’re quietly confident!”
The #GoldenContract will be broadcast live in the UK by Sky Sports in association with Matchroom, in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.