Hungry Paddy Gallagher eager to take “massive” title chance


Paddy Gallagher [15(9)-4(0)] is a hungry fighter in more ways than one.

It’s fight week for the Belfast welter and this Friday night he will look to take a leap in terms of career progression.

Gallagher headlines an MTK Global bill in London at the York Hall where he faces London-based Liberian-German Freddy Kiwitt [14(8)-2(0)] for the vacant WBO European title.

A win at the iconic venue will be a first step towards world level and will put ‘The Pat Man’ on the ladder towards the brown belt currently held by Terence Crawford – who defends versus Amir Khan in New York on April 20th.

It’s not the route that had been intended for Gallagher who, despite having held the BBBoC Celtic title for two-and-a-half years, has seen the British title path closed off.

Champion Johnny Garton makes his first defence against light welter Chris Jenkins next month and the winner must face Liam Taylor – so Gallagher is going the rankings title route.

The Lenadoon favourite has taken the change of course on the chin – although he’s in a bad mood at the minute for a different reason.

“Like any fighter making weight, I turn into a huffy git in fight week,” explained the big and strong 147lber.

“Being hungry and eager to fight brings it out of me.”

“Having said that, I’m semi-chilled in other ways and I’m not the kind of fighter who needs to convince myself I dislike my opponent in order to find the killer instinct. It doesn’t matter how I feel about him.”

The build-up to the Kiwitt clash, a headline bout, has been relatively subdued.

There’s been no mjor trash talk to speak of, with Kiwitt claiming he is the better boxer on puncher being about the sum of it.

Gallagher doesn’t mind and notes how “we’ll see what happens in the next few days. Maybe he’ll want to pipe up and have a tussle at the weigh-in or something but I don’t think so because he seems like he’s a sound guy.”

All the Commonwealth Games gold medallist is really concerned with is winning and entering the WBO rankings.

He explains how “winning this will be simply massive for me. This could be a gateway to the big-time, which of course what every fighter dreams of.”

“I can’t wait for that first bell.”

dpg

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie