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Exclusive: Emotional Joe Gallagher reacts to Trainer of the Year award

11
Jan
From left to right, Liam Smith, Anthony Crolla, Joe Gallagher and Scott Quigg. Photo: Getty Images

From left to right, Liam Smith, Anthony Crolla, Joe Gallagher and Scott Quigg. Photo: Getty Images

Just like THE RING Fighter of the Year Tyson Fury, Joe Gallagher had no idea whatsoever that he had emerged victorious in his own year-end award category and the shock hit him like a bucket of ice water.

The perpetually busy trainer from Manchester, England, was just leaving the gym where he works with a bundle of professional fighters, including three world champions who all arrived in 2015: Anthony Crolla, Scott Quigg and Liam Smith.

“F__ off,” said the 47-year-old in disbelief, before belly laughter ensued. “How do you know I’ve won that? No way. Has it been confirmed? Is it on forums and social media? Where can I read about it?”

Once this reporter had convinced an almost uncontrollable Gallagher that he had indeed claimed THE RING Trainer of the Year award for 2015, genuine emotion kicked in.

“Just to be nominated again (Gallagher was short-listed last year) is a huge honor but to win is absolutely incredible,” he said.

“When you look at the trainers I was up against: Arnulfo Obando, for the work with Roman Gonzalez, Abel Sanchez, for his success with Gennady Golovkin, and of course Peter Fury for taking Tyson to the heavyweight championship of the world — I honestly can’t believe it.”

An astute boxing historian, Gallagher is also the first U.K.-born coach to receive the award in its history. Enzo Calzaghe, who is based in Wales, won Trainer of the Year in 2007 for his tremendous work with son, and former two-weight world champion, Joe, but the veteran coach is Italian by birth.

Gallagher remained completely overwhelmed, “It’s absolutely surreal that after all those years reading RING Magazine that this could happen. It’s absolutely wild. I’ll tell all the fighters that they need to pay more gym dues now. I can see the reaction on Twitter as we speak, it’s just fantastic.”

The 87th Annual RING Awards issue, April 2016, will be on newsstands in mid-February. The digital edition of the magazine will be available next week.

To subscribe to the print or digital versions of the magazines, click on this link. You can also purchase the March 2016 or past issues on that page.

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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