Walsh strikes gold and will face McCullagh in MTK Global semi-final

Ryan Walsh will face Tyrone McCullagh in the MTK Global Golden Contract semi-finals. Picture: Archan

Ryan Walsh will face Tyrone McCullagh in the MTK Global Golden Contract semi-finals. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Ryan Walsh will take on Tyrone McCullagh in the MTK Global Golden Contract semi-final at York Hall on Friday night.

The draw took place on Tuesday when a 'golden ball' was added into the pot with the fighter selecting it able to choose their opponent from the three remaining fighters that selected the red balls.

Walsh, who beat tricky Cuban Hairon Socarras in the quarter-finals at York Hall in October, pulled out the golden ball and plumped for McCullagh although the Cromer featherweight admitted he would rather not have had the privilege of choosing his opponent.

Walsh said: "I had a few different things to think about. I didn't think I'd get the Golden Ball, I'd have preferred the Red Ball. Stylistically we've worked more for this style, so we'll see how it plays out."

McCullagh added: "I'm confident in my own ability. I'm glad I got picked as I didn't want the Golden Ball. Ryan Walsh is a great fighter and has lots of my respect, so this is going to be a great fight."

MTK Global Professional Development coordinator Jamie Conlan believes Walsh has got a tough test ahead of him on Friday evening.

"Walsh and Wood had the pressure on their shoulders from the start," he said. "Tyrone McCullagh is an enigma. People may think they know what he's going to do, but I don't even think he knows what he's going to do! He's with Pete Taylor now and is more seasoned and honed in, so I think it's a tough pick from Ryan Walsh.

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"The knockout bonuses continue and with Ohara, Mimoune, Wood and Walsh getting knockouts in the last round, it rolls over and is now a £7,500 bonus for them, so that's a big added incentive on their behalf. The other fighters can still get the original knockout bonus of £5,000 too."

In the other semi-final Leigh Wood takes on Jazza Dickens.

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