Pro debut is music to the ears of Michael Gallagher

“Michael, Michael.”


“What song do you want next Saturday?”


“For your ringwalk, the music that plays when you walk out.”

“I don’t mind, whatever.”

That’s an actual exchange that happened at the media day for the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card between promoter Stephen Sharpe and cruiserweight debutant Michael Gallagher.

While he’s only 21, Gallagher is not preoccupied with the bells and whistles of being a pro. In an era of Instagram stories charting every training session and top-hats for walk-outs, the Donegal youngster just wants to get in there and finally fight.

The Finn Valley man had wanted to turn pro for over two years, eventually signing with Boxing Ireland during the Summer. His debut comes next Saturday at the National Stadium and Gallagher is hungry to taste competitive action again.

“I just want to get in and fight, everything else comes second,” he told after the above exchange.

While he had been ticking over, essentially training as a pro, for over two years now, the Youth Olympic bronze medalist detailed how he stepped it up a notch once camp with coach Conor Quigley started.

“It’s gone very well,” Gallagher stated. “I trained twice a day, every day, and I got a lot more sparring. It’s been ten weeks of hard training.”

“I’d been sparring professionals for a while, so there as nothing new. Just the fight part will be different.”

“It wasn’t the intensity that went up, it was the consistency, doing it twice every day rather than once. You were doing it and doing it and doing it, day-in day-out, for weeks.”

In a change of opponent, Gallagher will now take on Poland’s Mateusz Rybarski over four rounds. The Pole gave debutant Johnny Corcoran a test on the previous Celtic Clash before the Dubliner pulled out a final round knockout.

Coach Quigley doesn’t want to focus too much on the opponent, and commented that “Michael doesn’t know too much about the opponent. It’s a matter of turning up on the night and performing.”

The Ballybofey boxer will fight in front of a big crowd on Saturday, and for ‘Chunk’ he will feed off this energy.

“Everyone’s looking forward to it. It’s not only myself, it’s my family, my friends,” he outlined.

“There’s a bus going, there’s going to be a lot of my family. We’re all staying up and it’ll be a good night!”

“It’s exciting, I wouldn’t take it as pressure or anything else, I’ll use it in a positive way.”

“It’s a new step now in my life.

– Oh, and if you’re wondering about the ringwalk: let’s just say the Donegal people in the house will enjoy it.

Celtic Clash 3 will be headlined by a BUI Celtic title fight between Eric Donovan and Welsh champion Dai Davies. Also featuring on the card will be Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, Keane McMahon, John Joyce, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O’Donovan, Chris Mullally, Regan Buckley, James Cahill, Niall O’Connor, Gerard Whitehouse, Bernard Roe, and Carl McDonald.

Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy Michael at 087 440 6868, from the Finn Valley Boxing Club, or online at

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

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: