The Lenadoon welterweight faced Glasgow’s Gary Murray on the big MTK Scotland show at the Meadowbank Sport Centre and claimed a win after an entertaining fire-fight – although the ending of the bout left a sour taste in the mouth.
Earlier in the night another Belfast man, and Gallagher’s fellow 2010 Commonwealth gold medalist, Paddy Barnes had claimed a points win over Juan Hinostroza and ‘The Pat Man’ made it two out of two a few hours later.
Gallagher was making the first defence of the belt he won via first round knockout against Tony Dixon in Wales last year
After a cagey start, edged by Murraythe fight opened up at the end of the second as Gallagher began to draw Murray into exchanges.
The physically stronger fighter, Gallagher was doing damage inside in the third and fourth, but the brave Murray would stand firm.
A discombobulating shot taken to the side of the neck at the start of the fifth stemmed Gallagher’s flow momentarily, but the Irishman was back on top as the first half of the bout drew to a close.
Gallagher really wrestled his way on top in the sixth, bullying Murray around the ring, landing extremely heavy salvos, and bloodying the nose of the Scot who somehow remained standing.
Perhaps slightly fatigued from his efforts in the preceding round, it was a quiet seventh for Gallagher before he reasserted himself in the eighth and almost brought a halt to a contest in the ninth.
The insanely gutsy Murray, his face disfigured, made it out of the round, but the end came, sickeningly, in the tenth.
Out on his feet and not defending himself, Murray shipped a number of clean shots from Gallagher, at one stage turning his back in disorientation.
With what remained of the crowd screaming for the fight to be stopped, referee Terry O’Connor, somehow, did not intervene until Murray finally hit the canvas, banging his head and being left unmoving.
O’Connor initially ruled it a slip – and then began counting, before waving the fight off after 5.
Oxygen was rushed into the ring and, after some attention, Murray would rise and receive mass adulation from the crowd. The brave Scot has been brought to hospital for a CT scan.
The win sees Gallagher keep his belt and improve his record to 12(8)-3(0). The gallant Murray drops to 12(0)-1(1).
‘The Pat Man’ had been keen to be out again on the ‘Frampton Reborn’ bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Saturday November 18th. Earlier today Galway’s John O’Donnell pulled out of his British title eliminator with Gallagher defeator Tamuka Mucha – and with champion Bradley Skeete set to vacate, a British title rematch could perhaps be arranged.
However, following a long tough fight, the Irishman may require some extra time to recover.