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Ex-Illies Golden Gloves boxer Tyrone McCullagh turns pro

Tyrone McCullagh (Blue) in action during the 2014 Irish senior final against Michael Conlan.

Tyrone McCullagh (Blue) in action during the 2014 Irish senior final against Michael Conlan.

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

FORMER Illies Golden Gloves boxer Tyrone McCullagh has signed a professional deal with the English-based Carl Greaves promotions.

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McCullagh, a Derry native, who won an Irish senior title and a European senior bronze medal while with Illies, is set to make his professional debut in September.

McCullagh has been snapped up by the Nottingham-based Greaves and will be trained by Kevin Lilley.

McCullagh will be promoted by Frank Warren in what is seen as a big coup given that McCullagh’s exploits are now likely to be screened on Warren’s BoxNation channel.

In 2010, McCullagh defeated James Fryers in a low-scoring (3-1) featherweight final. McCullagh is in the history books as Ireland’s last-ever featherweight champion.

Later that year, he won a bronze at the European Senior Championships, losing to Iain Weaver in a semi-final in Moscowm having beaten Moldovan Piotr Apostol and Armenian Azat Hovhannisyan. Having injured a hand during the first round of his semi-final, McCullagh eventually lost to Weaver 10-3.

Greaves confirmed that McCullagh will box in the featherweight division as a pro. In March, and now boxing in the colours of Holy Family BC, he lost to Olympic bronze medalist Michael Conlan in the Irish senior bantamweight final, while he was beaten by an Ulster semi-final loss to Immaculata’s Joseph Fitzpatrick in January.

Following his loss to Conlan, McCullagh was bitterly disappointed.

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“He clearly doesn’t like fighting me,” he said at the time.

“I don’t think he came to fight me at all. He was turning his head and was holding me. And how he didn’t get a point deducted I don’t know.”

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