Paddy Gallagher handed big headline fight in London


Paddy Gallagher [15(9)-4(0)] will look to move into the world rankings of one of the major bodies and pick up the third belt of his career next month in London.

The Belfast welterweight has been confirmed as the headliner for a show at the York Hall on Friday February 22nd where he will face English-based German Freddy Kiwitt for the vacant WBO European rankings title.

Gallagher had been keen to challenge new British champion Johnny Garton, who fights on March 8th, for the prestigious Lonsdale belt – and this desire seemed to be reciprocated by the Londoner – but ‘The Pat-Man’ will seemingly go down another route.

The bill-topping fight will be streamed live on YouTube.

Kiwitt [13(7)-2(0)] was born in the African country of Liberia but moved to Germany as a child.

Basing his boxing career in London, Kiwitt is a former BBBoC Southern Area champion having knocked out Erick Ochieng for the belt back in July 2017. He would lose this title just two months later to Louis Greene but got back to winning ways in his most recent fight, almost a year ago, against Jumanne Camero. The 28-year-old’s other loss came down at light welterweight in 2016 to recent Darragh Foley defeater Akeem Ennis Brown.

Gallagher, who turns 30 in April, enjoyed a rollercoaster 2018. The Lenadoon favourite took a chance in the WBC Invitational tournament in Kentucky but was edged by Brad Solomon. Gallagher looked to immediately return versus recent world title challenger Gary Corcoran but a broken jaw suffered late in camp scuppered this.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist made a rapid recovery from the double break to score a third-round stoppage of Jay Byrne for the BUI Celtic light middleweight title in October to add to his BBBoC Celtic welterweight belt before keeping busy last month with a win over Fernando Valencia.

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If the Gerard McManus-trained Gallagher can get the win in Bethnal Green he is likely, although not guaranteed, to receive a Top 15 ranking with the WBO. The organisation’s current champion is Terence Crawford, who defends the brown belt versus Amir Khan in New York on April 20th.

The bill in just over five weeks time – which takes place on the same night as the National Elite Senior finals in Dublin – also features Danny Dignum, Dan Azeez, Siar Ozgul, Liam Wells, Daniel Egbunike, Josh Adewale, Donovan Mortlock, Jack Ewbank, and Michael Elliott, with more to be announced.

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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: [email protected]