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Euro crown can open door to the world: Gallagher

 

Ambitious: Paddy Gallagher is hoping for a big year
Ambitious: Paddy Gallagher is hoping for a big year

By David Kelly

Paddy Gallagher says he is ready to set up an exciting 2019 with victory over Freddy Kiwitt at the York Hall, Bethnal Green tomorrow night.

Gallagher will be bidding to land the WBO's European welterweight title, which can gain him a world ranking and most importantly the opportunity for some big fights over the next 12 months.

Kiwitt has two losses on his record to moderate opposition and Gallagher will start a clear favourite to pick up the belt, which is not to be confused with the prestigious European Boxing Union title. But it does fast-track boxers onto the world scene and that is what Gallagher craves.

Over the past 18 months he has suffered a series of knocks, with big fight cancellations, injuries and a bad decision in the States when it seemed he had completed the victory of his career against Brad Solomon last April.

"I've been crying out for a chance like this - headlining a bill and a chance to get a belt at last and one that will give my career a big boost," said Belfast fighter Gallagher, who is coached by local man Gerard McManus.

"I've done everything right for this fight, I'm so up for this because I know what it can mean. I know there are already plans being talked about if I win but I didn't want to know anything about those because I just want to focus solely on this fight.

"I've had a great camp and I've done the weight right because of the help I've had from the meal prep company Reuben's and Tony O'Neill from Tony and Jen's on the Lisburn Road. I've had a few fights in the past when through my own stupidity I haven't done it right but this time it's all been great.

"This could be a very big year for me and I just have to turn up on Friday night and be at my best."

The 29-year-old insists he has the tools to overcome Kiwitt.

"I've heard he has said he's a bigger banger than me so I'll just have to make sure he eats his words," added Gallagher.

"I haven't watched much of him, I just leave that to my coach Gerard. I fully trust in him and then it's down to me. It's going to be a good fight but I know I've already faced better men than him."

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