‘The Negotiator’ could have taken an easier fight and fought in his home town after his after his BBBofC Celtic light middleweight title fight with Marc Kerr feel through but, in typical Byrne fashion, he plumped for a test against a puncher he claims is Ireland’s best welterweight.
The honest boxing manager admits he will need a career-best performance to retain his BUI Celtic title versus ‘The Pat Man’ but has previously shown he is comfortable enough to take risks if the reward is great enough.
Like it would have done with in all of his three Matchroom fights, Byrne knows a victory over the Commonwealth Games gold medal winner could change his career.
“Personally I think this is possibly my biggest test as a pro, it’s not a test against an up an coming star or prospect,” Byrne told Irish-Boxing.com.
“Paddy is a seasoned pro with massive experience both amateur and professional. I am a big fan of Paddy, I rate him highly, and personally feel he is the number one welterweight in the country – Lewis Crocker is up there too – I’ll need to be at my best to beat him.”
Just like Gallagher, who despite predicting the pair would ‘go to town on each other’, Byrne showed respect for his October 5th Titanic Exhibition Centre opponent.
However, he remains adamant he can beat the Lenadoon favourite live on BoxNation early next month.
“Do I feel like I can beat him? Of course I feel like I have a chance otherwise I wouldn’t have taken the fight but I know it’s going to be a tough, tough fight.
“It’s like always, I could have easily got a slot on the October 6th Dublin show against a journeyman and got a win but what would that prove or what would I gain with that?”
“I am testing myself yet again and this time I feel against the number one welterweight in the country. Let’s see where I’m at and if I was to win this fight imagine the difference path career would take. I would be seen in a different light altogether.”
Gallagher [13(8)-4(0)] comes into the clash off the back of breaking his jaw in two places as recently as June, an injury which occured just weeks before his fight with recent world title challenger Gary Corcoran.
Byrne may be tempted to test whether or not the Belfast fighter has been rushed back but he claims the injury hasn’t crossed his mind.
“Paddy has overcame a bad injury and I wouldn’t wish that on any man especially a boxer. I ain’t even looking into that as I hope for his personal wellbeing that it has healed for him.”
The fight was just officially confirmed last week, but Byrne was in camp for a title fight in Glasgow and should certainly come in fit.
However, the BUI Celtic champ, who won the belt last December versus Crank Whitehouse, noted how “it’s a totally different fight from that of the fight vs Marc Kerr as I feel paddy is a different kettle of fish altogether but it means the camp wasn’t wasted and I can hopefully show that I am improving all the time.”
“My sparring has gone great so far over the past number of weeks and I think my sparring partners would agree that I have improved massively.”
“Paddy comes forward so that will be a change for me as most opponents I have been in with box on the back foot. Tough fight but I look forward to it and hope that it’s one for the fans to remember and one that the underdog prevails in again.”