Paddy Gallagher wins BUI Celtic title as injured Jay Byrne pulls out


In the first big fight of the night, Paddy Gallagher defeated Jay Byrne in Belfast, live on BoxNation, in a fight which promised much but had something of an unsatisfying ending.

The welterweight pair, who both weighed in at 150lbs, went to war for the BUI Celtic light middleweight title at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, with Gallagher returning from a broken jaw suffered in June and Byrne looking to become a two-weight champion.

The fight was warming up very nicely, with Gallagher on top but Byrne well in, before injury struck and brought about an end to the bout.

Byrne began at range before the fight quickly became a close quarters affair. Gallagher would land wide, heavy hooks while Byrne snuck in a number of tasty uppercuts, testing the jaw of ‘The Pat Man’.

The Dubliner began the second well, as well, evading Gallagher’s big shots and popping in a few single punches of his own. Gallagher did get through with a powerful short flurry before a low shot took the wind out of Byrne’s sails and saw the momentum swing. The grimacing Loughlinstown man, however, survived to the break and recovered.

Byrne started the third aggressively, forcing Gallagher to the ropes as their heads came together, opening a cut to the side of the Belfast man’s left eye. Gallagher pushed back well which led to a fire-fight between the pair with both enjoying plenty of success.

Just as a proper war looked set to continue, the bout would come to a halt. With Gallagher on the front foot, a shot to Byrne’s should left ‘The Negotiator’ in pain and distress. Gallagher poured in, firing barrage after barrage towards Byrne who eventually fell. Rising to beat the count, Byrne motioned to his shoulder and indicated that he was unable to continue and referee David Irvine subsequently waved off the bout.

The comeback win sees Gallagher improve his record to 14(9)-4(0) while the injured Byrne drops to 7(2)-6(2).

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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