JUDE Gallagher’s 2018 went almost as well as he could have hoped – although he would have preferred five gold medals rather than three – and it was brought to the perfect end on New Year’s Eve when he received the Freddie Gilroy Young Boxer of the Year award.
The 17-year-old, who claimed three Irish titles and bronze medals at both the European and World Youth Championships last year, won the public vote at the 2018 Irish-Boxing.com Awards in association with Smackwear.ie for the prestigious accolade, which is named after the late Freddie Gilmour, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 80.
The Belfast native won a bronze medal for Ireland at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne at Bantamweight. As a professional, he took the Commonwealth (British Empire) and European Bantamweight titles in 1959 and contended for the World Bantamweight title in 1960, and those facts alone meant the Newtownstewart teenager was honoured to receive the award.
“It’s a good award to get, I was glad to get it and it shows how people get behind me and the support I have!,” beamed the Two Castles ABC man.
“It tops off 2018 nicely. All went well last year, apart from maybe the colour of a couple of the medals, but apart from that everything was brilliant.”
The talented Tyrone lad, who was Ireland’s only medalist at the World Championships in Budapest, after excelling at the European’s in Italy, isn’t one to dwell on past successes and he is already planning a successful 2019.
While he admits training is going well presently, his most immediate target is next month when, as part of a travelling party from Raphoe Boxing Club, which will include his Two Castles team-mate, Tiarnan Mayse, he will take on an English opponent in Birmingham.
After that, the teenager is hoping to add to his medals collection: “This year I’ll go again, try to win my Irish again and hopefully go to represent Ireland at the European’s again,” he explained.