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Gallagher is out to prove his class and step up to a higher level

 

By David Kelly

Paddy Gallagher aims to give his career some momentum when he returns to the ring this Friday night in Edinburgh.

Gallagher tops the bill against local man Gary Murray in a defence of his Celtic welterweight title, while Paddy Barnes is expected to have a routine fourth straight victory as he looks ahead to a more meaningful fight on November 18 on the undercard of close friend Carl Frampton.

Belfast man Gallagher had hoped to be part of a Frampton show in July only for the bill to be cancelled with less than 24 hours remaining, due to the Jackal's opponent Andres Gutierrez suffering some nasty injuries due to a fall in his hotel bathroom.

Gallagher found himself hit hard in the pocket as well as having his career stalled when victory in a bout which was to be screened live on Channel 5 would have given him a major boost.

"That was a big blow for me when the fight got cancelled because a win in that fight would have probably led to a big fight and I was also out of pocket because I had taken time off work and paid for a holiday," said Gallagher.

"It was a very tough time but thankfully this fight came about quite quickly so I was back into training and if I can get a good win here then I'm hoping for a big fight before the end of the year. There was some talk about me facing Frankie Gavin, the former World amateur champion, which would be a high-profile fight for me. When that fight was mentioned to me, I made it clear I would be up for it.

"But I have to focus on this one with Gary Murray. I'm sure his team believe that I'm being brought over to be beaten because he's being built up in Scotland, he's unbeaten in 12 fights.

"But I'm feeling very confident and I just hope I can go and do the business. I've shown that if I connect then it can be lights out very early."

Barnes won his first 10-rounder at the Waterfront Hall in June when lifting the WBO's European title with a points victory over veteran Silvio Olteanu but admits that he is still on a steep learning curve.

"I still feel that I need to slow down. I'm looking forward to showing my real skill in my next fight," said Barnes.

• Middleweight Conrad Cummings has followed in the footsteps of close friend Carl Frampton and teamed up with Jamie Moore as his new coach.

The WBO European middleweight title holder recently parted company with Cyclone Promotions and trainer Shane McGuigan.

Coalisland man Cummings spent some time last week with Moore at his base in Manchester and clearly believes it is the right place for him to kick on and progress up the WBO ratings.

Cummings has admitted that he will taking advice from former World champion Frampton who also left the Cyclone outfit, teaming up with promoter Frank Warren.

"Carl has always given me good advice throughout my career. It's good to have a friend like Carl who I can completely trust," said Cummings.

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