Kid Galahad ready to pick up where he left off after ban reprieve

Super-fit Kid Galahad insists he would need just one week's notice to be ready to fight anyone, anywhere.

Friday, 11th March 2016, 9:57 pm
Updated Friday, 11th March 2016, 10:01 pm
Kid Galahad in action at Ponds Forge

“You know me, the skills pay the bills,” said the chirpy Sheffield boxer, who should be free to box again soon having had six months slashed from an initial two-year sentence for failing a drugs test.

Awad’s license has yet to be restored by the British Board of Boxing Control but the Ingle fighter – real name Barry Awad – is hopeful that will be done within the next few days.

“It is fantastic,” the unbeaten 25-year-old said. “There’s even a small chance of me being on the Kell Brook bill on March 26.

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“I can’t wait to get back in. I’m in great shape – it’s not as if I have wasted the last 18 months. I have been working hard. I am a confident person; this hasn’t affected me.”

Awad said his manager John Ingle had received several inquiries from would-be promoters and that it was nice to feel wanted.

Trainer trainer Dom Ingle says Galahad will have a warm-up fight to re-kindle his career.

Ingle said: “We are not going to throw him straight into big fights, straight away.

“He will need get back in with a warm-up and show everyone first that he has lost nothing and is ready to start where he left off.

“He lives his life right and keeps fit. He’s recently been sparring James Dickens in Liverpool, to give you an idea where he’s at.

“In the time he has had out, Kell has only had two fights and he’s a world champion. Barry will be fine.”

Sophie Ashcroft, a spokesman for the UKDA told The Star that the agency still did not accept Awad’s initial explanation that a protein shake was deliberately spiked, but declined to reveal, despite that fact, why they had reduced his sentence.

She said: “There were a lot of reasons why sanctions can be reduced,” - but added: “We have rules and regulations in place to protect the rights and privacy of athletes.”

The boxer’s lawyer Dan Foster was quoted on as saying: “He feels as though his life has been on hold and his reputation destroyed so this news is quite literally life changing for him.

“Unfortunately the technical details of this matter must remain confidential but what I can say is that Mr Awad has never deliberately took any performance enhancing substance.

“A UKAD official told me he is the only athlete in UK history to receive a reduced ban without admitting any doping offences, or reporting other doping athletes.

“The UKAD panel found that they couldn’t be sure how the substance entered Mr Awad’s system but they quite properly came to the view that however it entered his system, it was his responsibility to ensure that he did not ingest any banned substance.

“The concentration of the substance found in Mr Awad’s sample was so low that it couldn’t even be properly measured.

“The results certainly weren’t consistent with a deliberate doping programme and there was no other evidence to suggest doping was taking place.

“Quite the opposite as Mr Awad has to work very hard to reduce his weight to box at super bantam so taking a steroid used by body builders to increase muscle mass would be entirely self-defeating.”

n Tommy Langford expects to use Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor as a stepping stone tonight.

Langford expects to beat the Derbyshire man in a Commonwealth title contest in Liverpool. “I’m confident I can beat anyone put in front of me,” he told the North Devon Journal.

“I’ll be too good for Lewis Taylor and gradually break him down with my workrate and punches.

“The main thing will be making him miss as it’s completely demoralising.

“He is a good level boxer and has been in with decent opponents but I’m a level above.”

The 26-year-old Devonian, who lives in the Midlands, added: “Being a top ten ranked domestic fighter, I’ll be sure to get more recognition for the win and it could be the tipping point to push me on to some big fights.

“Taylor has been very respectful and he’s a good fighter but I’ll expect to get rid of him inside the distance. I don’t see anything that he’s got in his locker that could beat me.”

Langford said he planned to “separate myself from the rest of the domestic pack to show that I’m ready for world titles very soon.”

The confidence will be music to the ears of Taylor, who is in the prime of his life and ready to perform on the big TV stage.

Five-year pro Taylor has improved in all departments in recent fights and has learned from his single defeat, to Eamonn O’Kane, in Northrn Ireland, last Summer.

He too sees the potential of becoming the Commonwealth champion, a proud belt has been won by the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, Martin Murray, Darren Barker and Sheffield’s Paul “Silky” Jones.