Up on the downside (Warrington/Galahad)

By Ben Thomsett on February 6, 2019
Up on the downside (Warrington/Galahad)
Galahad’s is a well-worn story of young man trying to avoid trouble on the streets. (MGM)

Elvis was many things to many men, I guess. He must have meant something to Brendan Ingle…

“Some days you wonder what it’s all about. And on others you find out.”—Commonly perceived wisdom.

Abdul-Bari Awad is better known by the nickname ‘Kid Galahad.’ Elvis was many things to many men, I guess. In this case, he must have meant something to Brendan Ingle (who nicknamed the young Qatar-born Briton when he started coming to his Sheffield Gym). Galahad’s is a well-worn story of young man trying to avoid trouble on the streets, so he wanders into a boxing gym and, bang. Professional boxer. This happens so often that I can’t work out if being a street thug is perfect preparation for a life as an elite athlete? Like a perverse natural selection. Who knows?

Galahad rose through the local ranks and quickly up into the gloom of Eastern European dough sacks and bitter journeymen, beating all-comers. He was a star; someone whom the Sheffield faithful could mention outside of their fine city in the same breath as a young Naseem and not be laughed at. He was destined for greatness. When I met him, briefly, at a mutual acquaintance’s new gym opening, he was reserved. His eyes flicked around while we talked. He was a rising star, but there was a sense of weight on his shoulders. Like he’d forgotten the exact wording of a punchline but had started the joke anyhow. There was a definite feeling of someone scrambling away from something.

It was around this time that he was caught out by a drug test. Stanozolol, or the metabolites of, was found in his urine. Stanozolol is a steroid of the highest order and was the doping drug of choice by the ruthless Soviet-era Russian sporting junta. At his UKAD hearing, Galahad claimed he mistakenly consumed the steroid in a protein drink given to him by his erstwhile brother after he had refused to give him money. UKAD didn’t believe him. Too many suspicious minds. He was banned from boxing for two years. The ride to fame and fortune had halted on the way up to the apex. I was angry. Cheated.

After his comeback fight in 2016, Galahad chipped away at the rankings again. He made rapid progress, maintained his unbeaten record, and now the Hearn vs. Warren purse bids are in for an IBF world title fight with Josh Warrington.

Frank Warren apparently won the bid with $1,670,000, to Eddie Hearn’s $1,444,000. There is no date or venue as yet. The purse split is reputed to be a fair 65/35 for Warrington.

If you haven’t watched Josh Warrington fight, you should. He’s a superb fighter. An all-rounder, blood and thunder, boxer who stepped up to genuine world class level in the last couple of years. His fight with Carl Frampton is a modern classic, and the Lee Selby win was a superb shock of work rate and skills and desire. Josh Warrington is….well….he’s great. I think you get the message. He’s a firm favorite around this house, and in the UK in general. Unfortunately, Galahad isn’t.

The build-up to the bout will mostly fly under the radar. Warren can’t ever seem to saturate the press in the same slick and casual-friendly manner Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom machine can. It’s ironic that Warren has delivered the lion’s share of great fights in the past few years, yet it’s Hearn whose brand is riding the glitziest and highest waves. Once upon a time, a young fighter called Abdul-Bari Awad was up there too.

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  1. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 01:27pm, 02/06/2019

    Elvis has left the building and there won’t be anyone like him anytime soon that is for sure. Elvis and Linda Ronstadt were two entertainers who could take another singer’s hit and sound tens times better than the original. Man, did Elvis take, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” to the next level. TCB and RIP Mr. Presley.

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