CHRIS JENKINS INSISTS that defending his British title – as well as competing for the vacant Commonwealth title – on away soil against Paddy Gallagher makes absolutely no odds to him at all.
In fact, every big fight the likeable Welsh welterweight has entered into has taken place on enemy territory, so to speak, or an away show. He fought Tyrone Nurse for the British title twice in Manchester, Phil Sutcliffe jr in Belfast, Akeem Ennis-Brown in Gloucester, Darragh Foley in Glasgow and, finally, his crowning glory at the Royal Albert Hall in London where he parted Johnny Garton from his Lonsdale belt.
He now ventures over to Falls Park in Belfast to face Gallagher as part of Féile an Phobail on August 3 and has resisted looking too deeply into who he will be confronted by on the night, live on BT Sport.
“I haven’t really, to be honest with you,” admitted the 30-year-old, who goes by the stage name ‘Rok’n’Rolla’. “I saw his last fight against (Liam) Wells and I saw him the time he boxed Freddy Kiwitt, I think it was.
“I know what I am expecting and that is a tough, come forward night’s work where I have got to be on my game plan from round one to 12 and basically don’t get caught.”
Jenkins doesn’t read too much into the losses on the record of Gallagher and was actually unaware of one of the reverses.
“I think he lost against Kiwitt, who is a boxer, on a split decision, against Brad Soloman and I didn’t know until you told me that he lost to Tamuka Mucha. I sparred Mucha a couple of years ago and he is hard work for anyone!”
Now Jenkins gets the opportunity to double his title-tally against the 16-5 30-year-old known as Pat-Man and is more than happy to be heading into another away fixture.
“I am known as the road warrior and I know it sounds stupid, but I can’t shift tickets back at home so I have to go and fight people in their back yard. I done it with Nurse – going up north to fight him – then to Gloucester against Ennis-Brown with about 1,200 of his fans and two of mine.
“I’ve already been to Belfast to fight Sutcliffe so I have got no issues with going anywhere,” he added, conceding that he only recently researched the setting where the ring will be located on the night.
“To be honest with you, it was last night or the night before when I thought ‘I’d better have a look where I am fighting’. I text Gaz (trainer Gary Lockett) and said ‘I am fighting outside in a field!’.
“I think it is going to be awesome.”
Gallagher to exploit Jenkins’ ‘weakness’
Paddy Gallagher has revealed he’s seen weaknesses in Chris Jenkins’ game – but is keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of their British and Commonwealth welterweight title fight on next week’s huge #MTKFightNight at Feile an Phobail.
Local hero Gallagher (16-5, 10 KOs) takes on Jenkins (21-3-2, 8 KOs) at Falls Park in Belfast on August 3, live on BT Sport in association with Frank Warren and ESPN+ in association with Top Rank.
While Gallagher admits he is planning for a gruelling battle against Jenkins, he has also spotted a potential kink in his opponent’s armour, but is keeping coy about what may be.
Gallagher said: “I’ve seen weaknesses but I’m not going to give them away. I want to have every advantage I can going into this fight.
“Regardless of that, I’m still expecting 12 hard rounds and I’m really going to have to work for the win and produce my best performance.
“I’m fully concentrating on Jenkins. The titles being on the line are great, but all I’m focused on is getting the win against Jenkins.”
Gallagher vs. Jenkins is part of a massive card at Falls Park, that is main evented by Michael Conlan facing the toughest test of his career so far when he takes on Diego Alberto Ruiz.
A huge bill also includes Luke Keeler vs. Luis Arias, Alfredo Meli vs. Araik Marutjan, Padraig McCrory vs. Steve Collins Jr for the Celtic super-middleweight title, Sean McComb vs. Renald Garrido, Olympic hero Paddy Barnes, Dennis McCann, Callum Bradley, Seanie Duffy and Dee Sullivan.