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Paddy Gallagher hopes win over “limited” Jay Byrne will lead to British title shot

Paddy Gallagher [13(8)-4(0)] is aiming to win his second career title this Friday night and springboard towards a third title tilt.

The Belfast welterweight challenges BUI Celtic champion Jay Byrne [7(2)-5(1)] at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, live on BoxNation, and hopes to use the fight as preparation for a shot at the British title.

Johnny Garton and Gary Corcoran do battle for the Lonsdale belt vacated by Bradley Skeete on October 20th and Gallagher wants to take on the winner.

First though, the Lenadoon entertainer will have to overcome Loughlinstown’s Byrne in what will be his first fight back since suffering a double jaw break in sparring back in June.

The Commonwealth gold medalist, who saw his final opponent from the Delhi Games, Callum Smith, win the WBA super middleweight title on Friday, said that “I’m in top nick.”

“It was a short camp because I was expecting a four or six rounder but now we’ve got the eight rounder. We’ve done the preparation well and it’s all worked out perfectly.”

“Jay is capable. He’s only been beaten by good fighters like Josh Kelly, Felix Cash, Anthony Fowler etc and he’s always tested himself. He’s open about it. It’s not like he does anything different to people I’ve fought before.”

jay byrne

Indeed, Gallagher is extremely confident ahead of the clash with Byrne, a late starter in boxing and a fighter he feels is ‘limited’.

The 29-year-old reasoned that “some people are telling me he’s a workhorse but there’s a gap in terms of talent. Everyone knows there is.”

“Because he’s tricky, tough and game, he’s going to be bringing his A-game. It’s a big opportunity for both of us.”

“It could be hostile for him. He could get some boos but he’s a likeable fellow and I think he’s got a good following. Maybe he’ll get a decent reception. Whether they’re cheering or booing, you’d rather that than people just being quiet.”

“I think it’s the perfect fight for me. Byrne is limited and it should be a win for me. This is a title on the line and it’s good exposure against a guy from Dublin. There are lots of good things about it and I think he’ll bring out the best in me.”

While it is for a title, there is a suggestion that Gallagher sees the fight as something of a ‘comeback bout’ – or at the very least, a platform for bigger things.

‘The Pat Man’ had been due to face recent world title challenger Corcoran in June before having his jaw broken and he is still holding out hope for a fight with the London-Connacht brawler in the near future.

Gallagher outlined how “after this, I hope to fight for the British title. I know Gary Corcoran and Johnny Garton are fighting for it.”

“Garton is a nice guy and we’ve always wished each other luck. It’s close to call and I’d love to fight Corcoran. I’d rather fight him because he’s the harder fight.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)


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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