Paddy Gallagher plans to blast his way to the Celtic welterweight title in Belfast on Friday and move on to a shot at the British crown.
Local hero ‘Pat-Man’ (13-4-KO8) takes on Dublin’s Jay Byrne (7-5) on a stacked MTK Global at Titanic Exhibition Centre – live on BoxNation – and insists his title ambitions extend far beyond.
Gallagher said: “I’m in top nick. It was a short camp because I was expecting a four or six rounder but now we’ve got the eight rounder. We’ve done the preparation well and it’s all worked out perfectly.
“Jay is capable. He’s only been beaten by good fighters like Josh Kelly, Felix Cash, Anthony Fowler etc and he’s always tested himself. He’s open about it. It’s not like he does anything different to people I’ve fought before.
“Some people are telling me he’s a workhorse but there’s a gap in terms of talent. Everyone knows there is. Because he’s tricky, tough and game, he’s going to be bringing his A-game. It’s a big opportunity for both of us.
“It could be hostile for him. He could get some boos but he’s a likeable fellow and I think he’s got a good following. Maybe he’ll get a decent reception. Whether they’re cheering or booing, you’d rather that than people just being quiet.
“I think it’s the perfect fight for me. Byrne is limited and it should be a win for me. This is a title on the line and it’s good exposure against a guy from Dublin. There are lots of good things about it and I think he’ll bring out the best in me.
“After this, I hope to fight for the British title. I know Gary Corcoran and Johnny Garton are fighting for it. Garton is a nice guy and we’ve always wished each other luck. It’s close to call and I’d love to fight Corcoran. I’d rather fight him because he’s the harder fight.”
Headlining a busy night of Belfast boxing is Tyrone McCullagh vs. Josh Kennedy for the WBO European super-bantamweight title, with Steven Ward vs. Rolando Paredes, Marco McCullough vs. Ruddy Encarnacion, Nathaniel May, Conrad Cummings, Gary Cully, Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Padraig McCrory and Sean McGlinchey also starring.
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