DESPITE having two bites at the cherry the prize that is Prizefighter eluded Paddy Gallagher, but the Belfast prospect is targeting more conventional titles before the year is out.
The Belfast welterweight was involved in one of the most bizarre instalments of a knock out tournament, that has previously been won by Eamonn O’Kane, Martin Rogan and Willie Casey, but delivered a rational and honest appraisal of a strange night.
After losing to Eric Ochieng in an all action opener Gallagher was reinstalled after his opponent collapsed at the final bell. ‘The Pat Man’ then stopped Dean Byrne defeater Mark Douglas within a round of the semi final, before losing in the decider to Johnny Coyle.
Speaking to Irish-boxing.com the Commonwealth gold medal winner admitted being named favourite pre glove off affected him and he entered the fight with the wrong attitude.
“I’ve watched the fights and read a lot of reviews and opinions, some good and some bad comments. Plain and simple I went into the first fight with the wrong attitude. I fought the wrong fight and was beat. I got too worked up and caught up in everything happening going into it.
“Being favourite also played a part, I shouldn’t have been favourite. I had four fights against journey men and them other lads apart from one had a lot more pro fights and experience than me. That had a bit of pressure and I got ahead of myself a bit,” said Gallagher before commenting on the second clash.
“The second fight after I got brought back into the competition. I got my head around it and I got into my boxing mind. The lad came in to take me out so I got into a brawl with him but smartly and I caught him with a good shot,” he continued.
“Then in my final I was planning to grind him down and I caught him a good shot early so I decided to jump on him and maybe he would of went down, but I got caught with a decent shot which put me down- that would never had happened, but I had just burnt myself out in the first fight that my legs felt hollow. I more or less had to go for broke to have any chance if winning it so I went for it.”
Winning Prizefighter could have fast tracked Gallagher’s career, but losing the tournament doesn’t have to a major impact in the negative according to the popular Belfast puncher.
Gallagher is keen to learn from the experience and points out that while his record doesn’t have the same glossy look to it he can still shine as a pro.
“What’s done is done and I have seen the bad and good from the night of action. Hopefully down the line I will get a rematch with the two lads I lost to. The record was well and truly dented on the night but I went into the competition knowing what could happen. I was taking a risk which might have paid off in some way. I’m Sure something will come from it.
“I am not the type of person to sugar coat my career and get it all easy. People are too focused on staying unbeaten and not taking enough chances or taking fights. For some it’s all about having a huge advantage or they don’t fight- I blame Floyd Mayweather,” Gallagher jokingly added.
“People could say that this is stupid going taking certain fights too soon, but I like to do it my way and have my own way of seeing it. I came from being ranked 48 in Britain up to 19 overnight which is a positive, I gained a lot of experience and got myself a nice payday and recognition that will stand by me. Now that I have been beaten and people seen it, it won’t be hard for me to get fights.”
Gallagher’s positive outlook doesn’t end there in true look on the bright side fashion the 24 year old is keen to move on and is targeting titles in the future.
“From here I have a few things to sort out and I will look to get back fighting again in June sometime. I want to get back to winning ways and performing as I know I can. Hopefully by the end of the year I will be ready for titles of some sort. I plan to keep climbing up the ranks and rectify what went wrong,” he continued.
And like other Gallaghers the ‘Pat Man’ isn’t looking back in anger.
“I don’t take back anything I said about my training camp or how I was feeling. I done what was needed leading up to it and as people say ‘it’s all on the night’ which is true. All the training went well but just the performance didn’t. But live and learn as they say.”