• Steve Bunce

Galahad ready to slay Quigg and Frampton

Steve Bunce January 6, 2015
British fighter Kid Galahad was born Abdul-bari Awad © Getty Images
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Last year was a great year for the boxer known as Kid Galahad.

The latest genuine contender from the unconventional conveyor belt inside the Ingle gym in Sheffield won three times, adding the European super-bantamweight title to the British belt he won in 2013.

He also won the prestigious British Boxing Writers' Club Young Boxer of the Year award and suddenly he went from being the boy in the super-bantamweight division to being a contender. So much had been written and said about Carl Frampton, the IBF incumbent, and Scott Quigg, the WBA regular champion, and their potential showdown, the Kid was overlooked.

Buncey's Vaults

Jane Couch was granted a licence to fight in 1998 © Getty Images
  • It was a bad week for British boxing with Spencer Oliver in a coma and press conferences and fights postponed, but the British Boxing Board of Control granted Jane Couch a licence to fight. She was the first woman, the pioneer.

    There was bold talk of an offer from America of ,000 from Stan Hoffman", which seemed high: "It should be pointed out that there are over 800 active male boxers holding board licences and it is doubtful if 25 earn 50,000 dollars for a fight."

    I advised Couch to fly to New York to Hoffman and to "kiss his feet". However, "Couch has made a point of reminding the board, whose handling of her licence request from the start has been a disgrace, that Panos Eliades promised her £10,000 for a fight."

    This is classic and I had forgotten about it. Panos, who promoted Lennox Lewis at the time, worked closely with Frank Maloney and Maloney was not happy. "'Panos offered her the money. Not me. I'm against women's boxing, but I've got a few welterweights who could have a sex change for the money - for ,000 I might even have a change!'" It would be hard to invent it.
  • As reported in the Daily Telegraph, May 7, 1998.

"I never took it personally," said Galahad. "I kept winning, kept watching and I could see what was happening - it was easier to ignore me and claim that I was not ready than it was to fight me. I just waited and waited and now the waiting is over."

Galahad was born Abdul-bari Awad but was given his wonderful ring sobriquet by Brendan Ingle, who has also given other boxers names like Slugger O'Toole and Paddy O'Reilly. Johnny Nelson, we should remember, was dubbed The Entertainer when he first turned professional under Brendan's expert guidance and that was a time when an old record player was in the corner of the gym and the tunes included waltzes and mazurkas.

"Brendan has his world champions in Junior [Witter], Naz [Hamed], Johnny [Nelson] and now Kell [Brook]," said Galahad. "I will be his fifth world champion and I want to win more titles at more weights and achieve more." Galahad is two inches taller than Guillermo Rigondeaux, the brilliant Cuban that dominates the super-bantamweight division, and there is bold talk of moving to feather and super-featherweight, which would be an increase of 10 pounds in total.

Quigg is recovering from hand surgery and Frampton has a defence against his mandatory set for Belfast, the city fortress that he has made his own personal fighting kingdom, in February, so it looks like Galahad will have to be patient a bit longer.

"I would beat Quigg any day, anywhere - it's not a challenge," claimed Galahad, who went to Manchester to spar with Quigg once and insists that it was easy. "It never quite worked out for him and he was my sparring partner and he knows it - he will not fight me, he will never fight me." It is a fight that would sell, a fight that makes sense and a fight that Quigg would start as favourite.

A fight with Frampton would also be easy to make and would make tremendous sense. "Frampton will take the challenge and will come straight at me, looking for a knockout - that's the sort of fighter he is," added Galahad. "I'm just 24, I have time but I'm not going to just sit on the sidelines as Quigg and Frampton fight nobodies and ignore me - the fans will see it for what it is. I'm ready now, let's make the fights happen."

Ingle has been on the outside before looking in at fighters and wondering what he has to do to get his man a chance. "It's nothing to me, seen it all before - but, this Kid is ready, he's a special talent. This will be the year." Brendan Ingle is a man that should always be listened to.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.