TYRONE MCCULLAGH has vowed to rub Joe Ham’s nose in it, after branding his rival a ‘pig’.
The pair clash over ten rounds for the vacant Celtic super-bantamweight championship at Belfast’s SSE Arena on Saturday night and it can be seen live on BT Sport.
McCullagh and his Glasgow rival have been locked in a verbal battle, but the time has come to shoot from the hip instead of the lip.
The Belfast boxer said: “‘The pig’ nickname is just a bit of banter, but I don’t like him because I am going to box him for ten rounds although we will shake hands when my hand is raised.
“You can’t like someone you are fighting. He is going down.
“He was saying a few things, but he has gone very quiet and blocked me on social media as well.
“I don’t know what he is trying with mind games and I hear he isn’t coming over for the press conference. As long as he is there on Friday for the weigh-in and fight night I don’t mind.
McCullagh nicknamed ‘White Chocolate’ has won all ten professional contests. Ham also boasts a 100 per-cent record, winning all 14 of his paid fights.
McCullagh, 27, added: “It is a great fight and fair play to him for taking it. We are both putting unbeaten records on the line and it makes for a very interesting fight.”
As well as the Celtic belt, their fight is an eliminator for the British title which Jazza Dickens and Martin Ward contest next month but McCullagh is in no hurry for that belt.
He explained: “There are few obstacles to get over first before I fight for the British title. Jazza Dickens is my team-mate and he is fighting for the British title so we may not fight each other.
“We will cross that bridge when it comes to it, but the British title isn’t high on my priorities. I’m Irish at the end of the day.”
The bill is topped by Michael Conlan’s Homecoming bout against Brazil’s former world title challenger Adeilson Dos Santos.
There is an all Dublin rematch when Jono Carroll defends his IBF intercontinental super-featherweight crown against Declan Geraghty. When they met in November 2014, Geraghty was ahead before he was disqualified in the fourth round.
The undercard is stacked with top prospects including Lewis Crocker, Sunny Edwards, Padraig McCrory, Taylor McGoldrick, Neslan Machado, Garry Cully plus Johnny Coyle and Lewis Benson who clash over ten rounds.
Tickets prices £250 (Inner Ring Hospitality), £200 (Outer Ring Hospitality), £120, £100, £80, £60, £50, £40 are available from the SSE Arena website.