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Gallagher will lay it all on the line in search of title glory

No problem: Paddy Gallagher at the Kennedy Centre weigh-in yesterday
No problem: Paddy Gallagher at the Kennedy Centre weigh-in yesterday
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Paddy Gallagher rarely finds himself in a dull fight so he insists it will come as no surprise to him if tonight's British and Commonwealth welterweight title clash with Chris Jenkins is a contender for fight of the year.

Gallagher and British champion Jenkins meet in the chief supporting bout to Michael Conlan at a packed Falls Park and the Belfast man can expect to be roared on by the capacity crowd of 10,000 as he seeks to enjoy the night of his career.

Jenkins is seen as the favourite to walk away with both belts having taken the British title from Johnny Garton in March, while Gallagher has yet to move beyond the fringe of title class. The Belfast man insists he is about to break through that barrier with victory over Jenkins.

"You know, I'm feeling great. I really hope that Jenkins will bring out the best in me. Sometimes I don't bring my best to the ring, I can switch off at times but if I bring my best he's beat, simple as that. Usually the better my opponents, the better I box and he is one of the best opponents I've been in with and I'm certainly the best guy he has faced," said Gallagher, who would certainly be a popular winner with all in the boxing fraternity.

As with all the Belfast men on the bill, Gallagher is eagerly anticipating the vociferous support coming his way as he seeks to overcome Welshman Jenkins.

"I will enjoy the crowd, I won't let it get to me. I'll let them inspire me in the same way that they used to inspire Jamie Conlan when he would get off the canvas to fight on," he said.

"If times get hard, if he starts to get on top I'm sure the fans will drive me on. Nobody knows how the fight will go but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a real cracker. It's got the potential to be a war but it may not go that way... I expect lots of action but I believe I will come out on top.

"I'm the more natural welterweight in this fight so that will count and I'm coming off a good win when I was about 70 per cent of what you need for a 12 rounder so I've just taken that fitness on for another seven weeks leading up to this fight.

"So my workrate and fitness has gone through the roof. I did my check weight during the week and was only four pounds over so I feel good. He's looking confident, maybe over-confident because he says he has the skills to out-box me but if I bring my best that will not matter. I think skill-wise at my best he's a level below me.

"My natural weight advantage could be a surprise for him. After six rounds I could see him thinking to himself what is going on here, this crowd is insane and this guy in front of me is as strong as a bull. He's got a good heart but I think mine is bigger and I know I'm the puncher in this fight."

British champion Jenkins commented: "I know what I am expecting and that is a tough, come forward night's work where I have got to be on my game plan from round one to 12 and basically don't get caught."

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