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“He’s a bit like myself” – Gallagher excited to make comeback versus fellow road warrior Byrne

Paddy Gallagher [13(8)-4(0)] is one of the good guys of Irish boxing and the Belfast welterweight is looking forward to sharing the ring with another popular fighter from these shores.

It was announced yesterday that Gallagher will challenge BUI Celtic champion Jay Byrne [7(2)-5(1)] in Belfast at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on Friday October 5th.

The pair are familiar with each other and there isn’t anything even remotely resembling bad blood between the two but that won’t stop it being war in the ring claims Gallagher.

The Pat Man respects Byrne, noting their similarities in terms of taking fights on the road in the away corner, and is excited about a good-natured knock.

“I think this will be an absolutely cracking fight,” said Gallagher.

“I only ever met him once. We occasionally text each other to say ‘good luck’ or ‘well done’ but I can’t wait to get stuck into him verbally as well as physically.”

“To be fair to him, he’s already shown a good bit of sportsmanship texting me and wishing me all the best. He’s a credit to boxing and has never shied away from a fight. He’s a bit like myself so we’ll go to town on each other.”

“I only ever seem to fight nice guys but this will sell tickets anyway as it’s north against south and there’s a significant title on the line. Byrne has been about and in with some top prospects like Josh Kelly and Anthony Fowler.”

“Byrne is tough, durable, experienced and as game as a badger.”

The fight will be the Commonwealth gold medallist’s first since breaking his jaw in two places back in June just days before his fight with recent world title challenger Gary Corcoran.

Back in the ring relatively quickly compared to others, such as Scott Quigg and Oscar Valdez, who have suffered similar injuries, Gallagher promises that he is 100% ready to go.

The Lenadoon favourite noted how “my jaw is perfect. It’s been more or less three months exactly. I’ve been training away and now I’m starting sparring.”

“The doctor said it would heal after 10 weeks and we gave it 12. I believe it’s good as ever.”

“It’ll be a tough test but of course I’ll do a job,” added Gallagher who, as well as returning from injury, is fighting for the first time since his agonising defeat to Brad Solomon in America earlier this year.

Byrne v Gallagher is joined on the card by a WBO European super bantamweight title clash between Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh and English champion Josh Kennedy, as well as appearances from Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Conrad Cummings, Nathaniel May, Steven Ward, and a big fight for Gary Cully.


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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