Unbeaten Tyrone McCullagh has extra motivation to seize #GoldenContract glory – silencing those who have written him off.
Derry’s ‘White Chocolate’ (14-0, 6 KOs) enters the semi-final draw on February 18 alongside British champion Ryan Walsh, world title challenger Jazza Dickens and pre-tournament favourite Leigh Wood.
Although he acknowledges the excellence of his rivals, McCullagh is fully confident of defying underdog status.
McCullagh said: “I genuinely believe that out of my three potential opponents, there’s not a lot separating them. They’re all very, very good.
“Without a doubt, whoever I get, it will be my toughest opponent to date but I’ve always said that the higher the quality of opponent, that’s when you’ll see the best ‘White Chocolate.’ You haven’t seen it yet.
“On February 21, it’ll be my finest display. I know a lot of people think I’m here to make up the numbers and I don’t blame them because I’m a super-bantamweight moving up with only 14 fights against those three, who have world title fights etc.
“I’m happy to wear the tag of ‘the novice’ in this. I imagine I’ll be the underdog whoever I draw. That suits me down to the ground because it takes all the pressure off me.
“I’ve got a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I have a few people out there I need to prove wrong and that’s part of what has motivated me through this camp. I think about going out there and silencing my doubters.
“Johnny Nelson said I don’t have any power but that’s not true – I have the first five seasons of it on DVD in my collection. Jokes aside, I have devastating power but I don’t want the knockout bonuses because I’m not greedy.”
The hotly-anticipated final four collisions will take place at York Hall on February 21 alongside the super-lightweight equivalents – live on Sky Sports in the UK in association with Matchroom Boxing and on ESPN+ in the US in association with Top Rank.