Video: Sheffield boxer Kid Galahad was the target for racism at Josh Warrington media event in Leeds – but turned the other cheek
Sheffield world title contender Kid Galahad today revealed how he was the target for racist abuse from rival boxing fans in Leeds.
But the unflappable fighter – one the proteges of the late Brendan Ingle and his trainer son Dominic - has turned the other cheek and won’t even condemn those who hurled spiteful verbal jabs at him... including references to “Rotherham grooming” and the “P word.”
Galahad (real name Abdul-Bari Awad) was born in the Arab country of Qatar but moved to England at the age of four.
He was the victim of racist taunts when he moved to Upperthorpe in Sheffield. But to have to weather it now, at the age of 29, marks a new low.
While the athlete has brushed the latest incident off as the act of a minority, it comes at a time when racism has again raised its head in sport.
Uefa has charged Montenegro with racist behaviour following the abuse suffered by England football players in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday. Sheffield United Women terminated the contract of forward Sophie Jones after she was found guilty of racial abuse.
Galahad had to turn the other cheek when discriminatory remarks – confirmed by Ingle coaching staff member Amer Khan – were made at a press conference last week in Leeds ahead of his June 15 challenge for Josh Warrington’s IBF title.
The Wincobank man told The Star he had to accept the taunts were was "part of the game.
"If you are trying to be a champion, it is what it is.
"You are going to have those kind of fans."
He said if it wasn't for fans, generally across the sport, he wouldn't be in the position he currently is, fighting for a world title with a career-defining purse.
"Listen, when we get in that ring there is only going to be me and him.
"His fans can't fight for him, my fans can't fight for me.”
He recalled his upbringing in Upperthorpe where football fans and others near the city centre made it clear they didn’t like his race.
“It never really bothers me. They can think what they want.
“People want to call you the 'B' word or the 'P' word, or whatever they want to call you, they can call you what they want.”
Referring to last week’s experience in Leeds, he said: "It's how it goes. It could be worse.
"Everyone has got their opinion and if they think that then they are entitled to their opinion.
Astonishingly, Galahad said fans in Leeds also taunted him with "Rotherham grooming" jibes- a sick reference to the child sex exploitation scandal in the town.
Racism at boxing events in Sheffield is a rarity – in the last 15 years The Star has never witnessed it at a show or public event.
And Hillsborough’s Sheffield Boxing Centre has had a “Boxing Unites, Racism Divides” campaign running for years.
The Ingle gym has been a cultural melting pot since its inception, bringing up champions like Johnny Nelson, Naseem Hamed, Junior Witter, Herol Graham and Kell Brook.
There was nobody available for comment from the British Boxing Board of Control this morning.
A spokesman for Warren said: “This is the first we have heard of this and no one from our team present at the event had heard any comments of this nature, nor did his manager Dominic Ingle who hasn’t contacted us about comments of this kind. Obviously we condemn any behaviour of this kind.”
Former Sports Minister and Sheffield MP was angered by the abuse that was levelled at Galahad by a small section of the audience at last week’s press conference at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds.
“I condemn it in the strongest possible terms” he said.
“This sort of thing is alien to the sport of boxing, particularly in Sheffield – it is simply not something that would be tolerated.
“In Sheffield, boxing developed under the leadership of an Irishman in Brendan Ingle who always made it clear that racism or religious divide had no part in boxing.
“He ingrained that on generations of youngsters at his gym until it became their way of life” said Mr Caborn.
“Brendan bred a group of people who were at the bottom of the economic ladder, but whose standards in the gym were far higher than outside in the normal walk of life.
“What was said last week just underlines the disgraceful ignorance of those who said it. And they are the poorer for it.”
Mr Caborn said the incident in Leeds sent out a warning shot to all sport event organisers who were now “on notice” that there were still people prepared to engage in racist behaviour and must be dealt with.
“We cannot having boxing or any other sport tarnished by people like this” he added.
Jim Steinke, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety in Sheffield, whose remit community cohesion and tackling racism was disturbed by the incident and said: "We have got to have zero tolerance on this issue - and sports managemetn have to take incidents like this seriously."