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Tyrone McCullagh has reflected on the moment he was felled by Joe Ham before recovering to win the Celtic super-bantamweight title in Belfast.

‘White Chocolate’ suffered a heavy knockdown in the third and had to dig deep to regain the upper-hand against his Scottish visitor – eventually running out a convincing winner on the scorecards.

Fighters have drawn on many sources of inspiration to climb back to their feet in the past – but what went through McCullagh’s mind was relatively light-hearted.

He said: “It was no joke because it was a proper knockdown but the first thing that went through my head when I hit the canvas was: ‘My mates are going to give me some grief.’

“I didn’t think of any of them specifically but then you see the things like Jamie Conlan put up on his Twitter afterwards and it would have been so much less funny if I’d lost!

“I got up from the knockdown quickly and I felt 100%. It was a brilliant shot but I’d trained right and my legs were perfect; my head clear. I was annoyed to get caught with a silly shot. 

“As much as I was disappointed, the majority of boxers are going to get put in a hole at some stage. Now I know that when it happens, I’ve got it in me to get up. It’s not a good thing to get dropped but there are positives if you go on to win.

“There are a few routes I could go down now. It was a British title eliminator but that title doesn’t appeal to me and my club-mate Jazza Dickens is fighting for it anyway.

“I’d like to fight for the European or the WBO Intercontinental title next. I don’t want to go backwards now I’ve experienced being in one of the main fights on a big TV show. The buzz was brilliant.”


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