If the right offer was put on the table, Jay Byrne [7(2)-5(1)] would take on Paddy Gallagher on the BoxNation-broadcast card set for Belfast on Friday October 5th.
Byrne has just seen a September 14th BBBofC Celtic light middleweight title fight with Marc Kerr pulled due to an injury suffered by the Scot and has been left frustrated after putting in a camp that he believes would have seen him secure the door-opening title.
‘The Negotiator’s’ disappointment was evident when talking to Irish-Boxing.com not long after he broke the news online.
The 31-year-old didn’t want a good camp to go to waste and, despite talk of rescheduling, wants a meaningful fight in the meantime.
The Loughlinstown fighter, who doubles up as a manager, had no specific fight in mind, but seen the Rise Again card set for the National Basketball Arena on October 6th and the October 5th BoxNation Titanic Exhibition Centre fight night as possible save the day dates.
“I do want to fight and make use of the camp I had. There are two shows in Ireland in October and I think I would add value to either, but I want a meaningful fight. I’ve been training for a title fight and I am in a big fight frame of mind.”
One possible ‘big fight’ suggested by Irish-Boxing.com was Lenadoon welter Paddy Gallagher [13(8)-4(0)], who makes his eagerly awaited return from injury on the card.
The Belfast welterweight had been set for a big fight in June versus recent World and upcoming British title challenger Gary Corcoran but was forced to pull out after suffering a broken jaw in one of his final spars.
Broken in two places, Gallagher has made a rapid recovery and will now return to the ring on a card that includes an all-Irish clash between Marco McCullough and Byrne’s stablemate Deco Geraghty, another title fight for Tyrone McCullagh, and an interesting heavyweight clash between Sean Turner and David Price.
Byrne certainly sees the value in the fight and believes it would provide entertainment for both the TV audience and those ringside.
Not one to turn down a challenge, the fighter who has appeared on three Sky Sports-aired cards claims he would take the fight if terms were agreeable.
“That might be an interesting one,” responded Byrne to the suggestion.
“I don’t mind the sound of that. I am not sure what Paddy’s situation is and whether or not they have an opponent sorted for him.”
“That would be a fan friendly fight and there may be a chance of getting some form of title on the line,” he mused before stressing that he is operating in hypotheticals.
“I wouldn’t call out Paddy, he is a great fighter and a great lad, but it would be a good fight for TV and I am not one to turn down a challenge, you know that. If the offer is right I’d be up for it.”
While the BUI Celtic welterweight champion is looking forward to, and is hopeful of, an Autumn fight of note, he admits the Glasgow title falling through still hurts.
Byrne was hyped about the fight, grateful for the purse, and excited about the chance to pick up another title in what he feels is the latter stages of his career.
“I got a call from Sam [Kynoch] to say that Marc had picked up a back injury and couldn’t take the fight. It was absolutely heartbreaking as I as always I put everything into camp and had everything pinpoint in prep – not to mention the 14 or 18 people I had travelling over, they are now out of pocket for flights and that. Then there is the purse I’m down which is a kick in the balls.”
“I ain’t got many fights left and I just want to be in big fights all the time rather than ticking over fights and I want to test myself all the time.”
“I know I ain’t the best fighter around but genuinely feel I belong at domestic title level and want to always test myself,” he added before revealing the fight might happen at a later date.”
“Sam has expressed the wish to reschedule the fight for November 30th so, hopefully, I can get one or two in before that as, if that’s my next date, I’ll probably walk away.”