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Gallagher must box clever to seize title: Breen

By David Kelly

Published 11/05/2016

Focused: Paddy Gallagher is ready to grab his big chance
Focused: Paddy Gallagher is ready to grab his big chance

Paddy Gallagher has to raise his game if he is going to land the vacant Celtic welterweight title at the Cardiff Arena on Saturday night, according to manager John Breen.

Gallagher has demonstrated throughout his career that he loves an old fashioned tear-up but as he prepares to face Tony Dixon on the Cyclone Promotions bill which is headlined by Lee Haskins who defends his IBF World bantamweight title, Breen wants to see him show more guile than grit.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist has had only 11 fights in four years as a professional and three of those - including two defeats - came in a Sky Sports Prizefighter event.

Now Breen believes he has the opportunity to truly take his career forward.

"Paddy loves to have a fight, he can too easily get dragged into a dog-fight, but to win this fight he has to be smarter," he said.

"That's what I've been telling him throughout this camp," added Breen.

"Dixon is a guy who also likes to come forward and have a go so it could turn into one of the fights of the night in Cardiff. But I want Paddy to be smarter in how he picks his shots - that will be the difference.

"Paddy's had a frustrating time as a pro, he hasn't been as active as he would have liked so this is the chance he has wanted for some time. This can take him straight into a British title eliminator."

The 27-year-old Belfast fighter has sparred around 100 rounds and Breen has been particularly pleased with how he has worked with Dubliner Dean Byrne.

"Dean and Paddy have some very good work-outs, doing six and eight rounds and I would say this is the best I've seen Paddy spar. He's ready to go for 10 hard rounds and it isn't going to be an easy fight - many people see it as a 50-50 fight," added Breen.

As for Gallagher, he insists Saturday night is an opportunity he won't allow to slip by.

"By this stage I thought I would have had this kind of fight by now but there's been a few setbacks along the way but now I have my chance. Cyclone Promotions have had me on a couple of shows and they said they'd get me a title fight and they have so it's up to me to take this chance," said Gallagher.

"Win this and I go into the top four or five in Britain but if I lose it will be a big blow and I'm not going back to fighting journeymen."

Belfast Telegraph

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