Exclusive: Joe Gallagher eyeing up to seven world title fights for stable this season

Phil Jay 27/10/2016
gallagher verbeek

Trainer Joe Gallagher is gunning for up to seven world title opportunities in the next ten months following a tricky beginning to the new boxing season.

The first two months saw Anthony Crolla and Liam Smith lose their world titles against tough opposition, although Gallagher is hopeful both will have the chance to regain their positions soon.

Crolla has already nailed down a return with Jorge Linares, whilst ‘Beefy’ Smith is on the lookout for another shot at a super-welterweight belt holder following his defeat to Canelo Alvarez in Texas last month.

“This rest of the season is coming up now, Stephen Smith will fight for a world title, Callum Smith will too and Paul Butler will. Crolla’s got the rematch, Liam Smith will fight for a world title and there’s a good chance Paul Smith will fight for a world title, so we’ve got six and possible seven (Scott Quigg) kids fighting for a world title before the end of the season,” Gallagher exclusively explained to World Boxing News.

“Sometimes people overlook what we do, but look at the depth in the squad we’ve got all the way through.

“Marcus Morrison is about to break through, Hosea Burton broke through as Callum Johnson is. Paul Butler is going to come back better than before.

“If you look at the losses we’ve come through, Crolla was a close decision and Liam covered himself in glory. It’s not like he got knocked out in a round or two. We come through a sticky start to the season but foot to the floor now.

“I can’t wait now to see if we can get a Cotto for Liam and for the Linares rematch. Crolla is always better in a rematch. I look forward to the rest of the season.”

Callum Smith is set to challenge the winner of the recently-announced unification between James DeGale and Badou Jack next summer, whilst Paul Smith is still pushing for one last title shot and Scott Quigg should go straight back into the mix at 122/126 pounds.

Paul Butler, who previously held the bantamweight world championship briefly, is eyeing up another world ruler at the lower super-flyweight limit.

At light-heavyweight, Hosea Burton is probably a year away from being a contender at the top level, whilst the same can be said for Callum Johnson after he recently claimed the vacant Commonwealth title.