Give or take a few weeks, it was 20 years ago since Prince Naseem Hamed won the European bantamweight title at same venue, via decision, against Italian Vincenzo Belcastro. History repeated itself for the Ingles. Comparisons and references to Hamed are expected, as Galahad, or Abdul Barry Awad, represents the evolution of a switch hitting style which, when the Ingles hit pay dirt, is both aesthetically pleasing and incredibly difficult to find an antidote to.
Of course, you need the right fighter to pull the aesthetic side of things off. The Ingle’s other would-be world champion in waiting, Kell Brook, does a great job of this. But Bazzer does it better.
Prado was bamboozled in the first two minutes of the opening round, and absorbed a steady stream of shots which forced him onto the back foot and into a shell, but when the Spaniard did open up and push forwards towards the end of the round, he looked dangerous.
Galahad (8st 9lbs 7oz) controlled the second session and made Prado (8st 10lbs) travel round the outside of the ring to receive shots to head and body while looking to land right hand counters, which isn’t his usual game. Galahad judges distance superbly, and is highly skilled at avoiding punches, but the right hands that Prado threw would cause plenty of other fighters problems. They were well delivered - just not quite well enough to give Barry any real cause for concern - he never took his eyes off Prado and his ‘defensive driving’ techniques worked a treat.
Prado’s chances of landing his right hand were narrowed when Galahad turned left in the third, which made things more difficult for the Spaniard, who wasn't given the space to get too many shots off. When he did, Galahad slipped them fairly comfortably. Referee Luigi Muratore got the hump in the fourth and warned Galahad or pushing down, but Prado was crouching down to avoid shots.
It got progressively worse for Prado him in the seventh and eighth rounds as he spent periods on the ropes covering up, and was at times forced to hold. But he remained game, and despite a few debatable looking touch downs, went the distance without doing enough in any of the rounds to nick one on BoxRec News’ card. You could argue that Galahad could have done more to force a stoppage, but at the end, he didn’t even look like he’d been in a fight. You could also debate Prado’s credentials to challenge for the European title, but I’ve seen a lot worse opponents at that level.
The officials, appointed by the EBU, had trouble adding the scores up. Which is not surprising, because if someone handed me a card which read 117-111 for what I’d just seen, I’d definitely be checking to see if they had shit in their eyes at any point during the fight.
That’s not to belittle the efforts of Prado, who would be a worthy challenger for the Commonwealth strap, but there’s no way you could make an argument for him winning three rounds. German judge Oliver Brien did exactly that - 117-111. Italian Giuseppe Quartarone had it 118-110, with the Finnish judge, Anssi Perajoki, getting it spot on at 120-108.
After remarkably shaking off a rare form of epilepsy, it was great to see Brendan Ingle supervising proceedings in Galahad’s corner.
Al Bernstein (in my opinion, a commentator worth listening to) mentioned on Channel 5 that he thinks Galahad is ahead of Naseem Hamed at this stage in their respective careers. After the fight, most were in agreement that he’d be ready to challenge for a world title in a couple of fights’ time.
It’s now down to Mick Hennessy to carve out the best opportunity for Barry. In all probability, a match with either Frampton or Quigg is a long way off given the three way promotional/broadcasting split, but they simply have to meet each other at some point if multiple world titles are thrown into the pot.
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