European breakthrough has Jude Gallagher determined to claim World Championships gold

Now a European medallist, Jude Gallagher is hitting new levels in the ring.

The Tyrone light flyweight won Irish title number nine at the weekend, defeating Monivea’s Adam Hession in a high-quality final.

Emerging a 4-1 split-decision winner over the Galwegian talent, it was another box ticked for the 2Castles fighter ahead of his trip to Budapest for the World Youth Championships next month.

“That was a tough fight,” Gallagher told afterwards. “I felt I did enough but it was tight.”

“It was high-paced but I need to keep that up. That’s why I need to be boxing going to the Worlds.”

Activity is key for Gallagher who was one of only five fighters from the eleven-strong World Championships squad that entered the Irish championships.

While many were, understandably, concerned about picking up a cut or an injury, the benefits outweighed the risks for Gallagher who also won at the Monkstown Box Cup at the start of the month.

“I’m keeping the fitness up and ticking over,” he explained.

“I entered to stay busy and keep active. I need as many fights as I can coming up to the Worlds.”

“I’m just back from a training camp in Jordanstown, I’ve been keeping fit and working on the technical side of my boxing.”

“I’ve three camps coming up before the Worlds. I’m very fit and I’m going to be going to the Worlds very strong.”

Indeed, all this heavy training is needed for Gallagher who, like Ireland’s last light flyweight at the World Youths Jordan Moore, has grown at a rapid rate – a problem for many teenage fighters faced with the five month gap between Continental and World Championships.

“It’s getting tougher [to make weight],” admits the Newtownstewart talent.

“After the Europeans I stretched a bit but it’s all down to discipline at the end of the day.”

Gallagher, who remains a Youth level boxer next year, impressed at the Europeans in Italy back in April.

The 16-year-old defeated Ukrainian and Armenian opposition to guarantee bronze before dropping a dubious decision to eventual champion Atilla Bernath of Hungary in the semis.

When asked if this breakthrough international medal has boosted him, Gallagher agrees that “it has.”

“I know what I’m capable of. I can fight with the best.”

“I had a bit of hard luck out in Italy, I was a bit unlucky I felt. He went and won it then”

“I took it on the chin and I pushed on, it will make me stronger for the Worlds.”

“I want to go to the Worlds and I want to be a World champion, I’m able to mix with the best.”

Photo Credit: National Stadium Boxing Videos


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: