The sports journalism student, Conail Gallagher, who fights in the middleweight (69-75kg) category and represents one of the most infamous boxing gyms in the UK – Repton BC, initially started boxing to stay out of trouble and find a sense of direction.
Ten years down the line he recalls his journey began after he was convinced to step into the ring by his dad.
“I was a hyper-active kid growing up.” He told Rising East prior to the championship weekend.
“I had absolutely no focus when I stopped playing football. My dad turned to me one day and said ‘you need to get yourself down a boxing club to teach you some discipline’, and that’s what happened.”
The Cheltenham fighter found a local gym and sparred straight away. It was a lot harder than he expected it to be.
“I got beaten up and didn’t want to go to school the next day.
“My face was so bruised that I was embarrassed to be seen, but I kept coming back, I never gave up no matter how hard it got, and the rest is history.”
Gallagher who fights for the second time at middleweight this weekend admitted that he had problems with making lower weights in the past but this year he will be ready.
“I think that 75 kilo’s is perfect for me now.”
“Last year I was stuck in between two weights which was not ideal but I used the summer to strengthen and for right now, fighting in the under 75kg is great.”
Although the weight seems comfortable for the Repton fighter, he admits moving up in the future is not out of the equation.
“Once it becomes hard for me to make that weight I will move up, but right now I am happy”
Conail will compete in one of the most competitive categories which includes Ryszard Lewicki who is the defending champion of two years and is considered to be one of the elite middleweights in the UK.
It’s not always been plain sailing for Gallagher who admits that the build prior to a fight can have a gruelling impact on his mental and physical abilities despite his strict training regime:
“It has been a hard gruelling few weeks after Christmas. I have trained hard and I am ready to prove everyone wrong. Boxing top kids with an expectancy for them to beat me – I know what I have put myself through and I am coming to prove everyone wrong to take that gold medal.”
When asked about his future plans the Cheltenham-born fighter is excited about the prospect of the paid ranks.
“It is more than likely [that] I will turn pro at the end of next year back home in Cheltenham where I can sell tickets.”