Bouncing about the final press conference and the weight in, sporting a mischievous grin it’s clear to see Paddy Gallagher [10(6)-3(0)] doesn’t really let pressure get to him.
However, that isn’t to say the Belfast fighter isn’t aware of what is at stake when he returns to the ring on the ‘Belfast Boy’ card tonight at the SSE Odyssey Arena
The ‘Pat Man’ takes on Craig Kelly on a competitive Matchroom undercard and knows if he is ever to reach the heights of headliner Ryan Burnett he has to make sure he makes the most of the bit of spotlight appearing on such a show sends his way.
“You hear people saying ‘I don’t do pressure’ or ‘pressure is for tires,’ but there is pressure to perform,” Gallagher told Irish-Boxing.com
“I know there is a need to put on a performance. Look at the amount of fighters in Belfast alone never mind Ireland. They all want to get on these shows.”
“I am on one and I know if I don’t box well and I don’t do tickets my chances of getting back on the next one are not great.”
Gallagher wants to make himself an essential part of Matchroom’s Belfast plans. He explained how “promoters will just say what are we going to pay you the money for if you’re bringing nothing to the table. So I need to show I can do the business to make them say ‘get Paddy back on’. To become a World champion if you’re a boxing like me you have to impress on undercards to stay on big cards and get big fights.”
At first glance the 28 year old felt he might have to force the issue if he was to impress. He doesn’t quite have the dance partner of the likes of Paul Hyland and James Tennyson, but Gallagher, who is said to have impressed in sparring with Olympic bronze medalist and World Amateur champion Mohammed Rabii, is expecting a harder fight than he first imagined.
“When I looked at his record I was a wee bit disappointed. It is kind of what I asked for, but I can be greedy!”
“Then I seen he was Scottish champion and I read what you said about him on Irish-Boxing.com and I copped on it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Then I watched him a bit too so I know it’s a good fight and I am looking forward to it.”
While Gallagher was expecting somewhat of an easier challenge after misreading the Scot’s record, he claims it didn’t stop him training like he was facing a World beater.
“I only found out about him last week. I was training like I would for a World champion anyway. We had a plan laid out before camp and that’s the one we followed, it didn’t matter who the opponent was going to be.”
“I am feeling good and six rounds seems perfect. I’d like to get the rounds in and then maybe stop him late.”
The Burnett-Haskins undercard also features , Feargal McCrory v Paul Holt, James Tennyson v Ryan Doyle, Paul Hyland v Adam Dingsdale and appearances from Padraig McCrory, Matt Wilton, Sean McGoldrick, Sean Magee, and Tyrone McCullagh, as well as the return of Mike Perez.
Tickets for ‘Belfast Boy’ on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought HERE. or at the door.
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: