Carl Frampton has once again thrown his full support behind the ‘Rory’s Wish to Walk’ campaign as MTK Global have ‘signed up’ Ireland’s toughest wee man Rory Gallagher.
Little Rory from Cliffoney, Co Sligo was born eight weeks prematurely and at just eight months old, his parents Gerry and Shauna were delivered the devastating news that their baby would not be able to walk and would struggle to speak as he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Now five years old, Rory has defied many medical predictions as he talks very well and his parents are confident that he will one day walk.
However, Rory requires double-hip surgeries in Boston Children’s Hospital and he has recently been attending a neurological rehabilitation centre in Valencia, Spain to help prepare him for surgery.
A massive boxing fan, Rory was in Belfast last weekend to support his heroes Carl Frampton, Paddy Barnes and Jamie Conlan ahead of their big fights.
The five-year-old ‘fighter’ was delighted to be in attendance at the SSE Odyssey Arena as he cheered on Frampton and Barnes to victory, while he also shouted for Conlan during his brave world-title defeat.
MTK Global and fight manager Matthew Macklin are backing little Rory’s big battle to walk and MTK are ‘signing up’ the wee man in order to support his fight.
And two-weight world champion Frampton, who is advised by MTK, is happy to have such a tough lad as a new stablemate.
“He’s a great kid,” said Carl. “I’ve met him a few times and he’s from a lovely family. He’s a real wee fighter and he keeps trying. You see little improvements in him all the time in his walking ability.
“He’s pushing hard and hopefully one day he’s going to be able to walk unaided. I believe the doctors said originally that it would never happen, but you can see in his videos that he’s getting there. He’s a proper wee trooper and a really good kid.”
Paddy Barnes is one of Rory’s favourite fighters and the little lad has claimed that he will soon be ready to take on his fellow wee man Paddy when he makes a full recovery!
“Rory’s a tough wee man,” said Paddy. “Apparently he fancies getting in the ring with me! I don’t know if I’d fancy it, he’s one of the toughest little lads around!”
Jamie Conlan suffered disappointment in his world-title bout last weekend, but the brave Belfast boxer reckons Rory also has the heart of a champion.
“He’s the toughest wee fella and a really brave lad,” said Jamie. “It’s great to see the progress he’s made and I’m delighted to see MTK backing such a brave fighter.”
Rory’s mother Shauna says that her son was ecstatic to be in Belfast last weekend to watch his heroes ahead of his own battle.
“Rory was so excited to be in Belfast and to be ‘signed up’ by MTK as their youngest little fighter,” said Shauna. “This is more than we could have ever dreamed of. Rory’s been our wee fighter from the day he was born and for us to now know that he will have the support from MTK’s fighters is unreal.
“Rory has been very lucky in many ways and while it’s been a very tough journey, he has received a huge amount of support so far from the boxing community, including his heroes Carl Frampton, Michael and Jamie Conlan and Paddy Barnes.
“Rory hardly slept with excitement all last week. It’s just so wonderful. We aren’t in the least bit surprised that he is into the boxing as he has been a little fighter from the day he was born!
“Rory is proving the medical experts wrong – he talks very well and we’re confident that he will walk one day.
“We’re just over the moon to have MTK helping and supporting our little boy.”