Boxing

Paddy Gallagher vows to 'take care of business' in Titanic rumble as he chases title fights

Paddy Gallagher says he has had enough of undercard fights and he can prove he's ready for a step up with an impressive win tonight
Andy Watters

PADDY Gallagher has vowed to “take care of business” against Fernando Valencia at the Titanic Exhibition Centre tonight but the entertaining Belfast welterweight admits he has reached the end of the road as an undercard support act.

Gallagher (14-4 with nine stoppage wins) vacated his Celtic title in the hope of getting a shot at the British or Commonwealth belts but nothing has materialized for him since.

Now the Belfast hitter, who talks the talk and has proved he can walk the walk, wants to take his career to the next level and he'll be letting management team at MTK know that over the weekend.

“Hopefully I'll get something in the new year because I'm done with all these undercard fights,” said Gallagher.

“It's not having a go at Conrad (Cummings who headlines the show in a WBO European Middleweight title scrap with Ferenc Berki), we're friends and good luck to him. But in my opinion I should really have been headlining this one, I've bided my time enough.

“I'll take care of business tomorrow night and from then on I just want proper fights because if it's going to be six-rounders against journeymen on undercards to keep busy I'm not interested. I'd rather go and work and make proper money.

“I've always produced the goods – even in America when I was robbed – and I've been selling good tickets but I'm still on the undercard so naturally I'm frustrated about it.

“I'm gunning for titles from now on.”

Gallagher, who has been sparring US-based Monaghan prospect Aaron McKenna in the build-up to this fight, had hoped to get a fight made with British welterweight champion Johnny Garton but he has had no communication from ‘the Pexican' since Garton beat fellow Londoner Gary Corcoran to win the title back in October.

“The titles are there and I'd have no problem fighting anyone,” he said.

“I'm going to have a word with MTK and tell them to get me some of the good stuff.”

Gallagher says “people don't want to pay to see me knock over someone” and his opponent Valencia will struggle to cope with his power tonight.

The Spain-based Mexican fought highly-rated Bradley Skeete (another Gallagher target) on the undercard of Garton-Corcoran in October and, from viewing the early stages (there were only early stages), you could understand how he got that fight.

Valencia looked like a fairly well-organised pressure fighter with a high guard and decent movement but after two close-ish rounds Skeete – who isn't regarded as a big puncher - caught up with him, landing a right hook followed by a right uppercut and the referee had waved it off before the Mexican had hit the canvas.

“It was a good finish,” said Gallagher.

“That's boxing, if you get caught with a shot you can get finished off. He was caught with a couple and that was the beginning of the end.”

Gallagher, now 29, intends to win well tonight and will then look to genuinely kick on in his career in 2019.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist says he has no plans “to pack it in” but, six years after making his debut, he is determined that tonight's scrap is the end of the beginning and he should bring his stoppage stats to double figures.

Vacant World Boxing Organisation European Middleweight title: Conrad Cummings (15-2-1) v Ferenc Berki (11-0)

FORTUNE has smiled on Cummings and he needs to take full advantage in the main event tonight. Luke Keeler beat him to take this title but the Tyrone man was handed an unexpected opportunity to get it back after the Dubliner vacated due to injury.

Cummings' original opponent, the experienced Gary Rose, pulled out this week meaning that Hungarian Berki provides the opposition tonight. Berki is 11-0 and his country's champion at light-middle but this is a fight Cummings should win.

Super-middleweight: Padraig McCrory (5-0) v Gabor Detre (5-4)

‘THE Hammer' got past Sean McGlinchey in a ding-dong Belfast-Derry derby last time out and intends to power past 34-year-old journeyman Detre tonight.

“I boxed an unbeaten guy in my last fight (McGlinchey), who won a Commonwealth medal in his amateur days,” said McCrory.

“Beating him shows what I can do and I'm only going to get better.

“We're working on lots of different things in the gym. I like to keep the basics as sharp as possible but we're also working on combinations and defence. I'm looking forward to putting it all into play on Friday.

Tall and rangy, McCrory has a lot of the tools required to be a success and Detre will do well to see it to the final bell.

Super lightweight: Sean McComb (4-0) v Zoltan Szabo (25-13)

McCOMB won impressively in Boston in October and should make it 5-0 in less than four months as a pro against Hungarian lightweight champion Szabo.

“I've been pushing for a step up in opponent,” said McComb.

“I've been asking my trainer Danny Vaughan because the people I've faced so far have been a drop from elite amateurs.

“I get little out of beating people like that up and only getting a couple of rounds in so I welcome facing Szabo. In him, I have a proper test before Christmas and the new year and I'm looking forward to it.”

Lightweight: Gary Cully (6-0) v Mohammed Kambuluta (18-5)

NAAS lightweight Cully is a Belfast regular by now. Last time out he had too much for Jordan Ellison and he has done his homework on Tanzanian opponent Kambuluta who was knocked out by Martin J Ward in October.

“We studied him and realised he comes out of the traps quickly to have a go,” said Cully.

“He's wiry and awkward so I'm going to have to slow him down and then catch him in the middle rounds. I think he goes down quite easily. I think when I catch him, I'm going to hurt him and he's going to quit.

“I've been sparring Phil Sutcliffe jnr, who's naturally much heavier than me, so I'm improving my physical strength inside.”

Welterweight: Philip Sutcliffe jnr (14-2) v Eligio Palacios (7-35-5)

DUBLINER Sutcliffe has been out of action for a year with a succession of injuries that saw his eagerly awaited showdown with Tyrone McKenna cancelled.

Welterweight: Paddy Gallagher (14-4) v Fernando Valencia (8-7)

Cruiserweight: Steve Collins jnr (12-2-1) v Pawel Strykowski (1-4)

Super-lightweight: Stephen Webb (debut) v Alec Bazza (0-38-3)

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