By Steve Wellings
Belfast boxer Gerard Healy made a welcome return to the ring on Saturday , October 4 and notched up a deserved points win for his efforts. ‘Boom Boom’ out thought and outfought Bognor Regis mover Liam Griffiths over four well-contested rounds to take the spoils 40-36. Even though fight source BoxRec.com has Omagh’s Dee Taggart listed as Healy’s next foe the 31-year-old is hoping to snare a title shot of some description.
“Dee Taggart’s name is down on BoxRec but I don’t think that’s happening now,” agreed Gerard. “My plan is to fight for a title. That could be an International Masters or Celtic Nations title which would both be eight rounds.”
While Healy was happy with his performance and felt that he boxed well he promises now that a portion of ring rust has been shed he will be better next time. It was an entertaining fight for the most part and Gerard is always keen to give the fans their money’s worth.
“I was switching southpaw and leading him on to hooks and uppercuts and the fans love all that. I know I can be better but I’ve been out for the guts of a year and a half and at the end of the fourth round I felt like I could’ve done another couple. I caught him with a couple of flash shots and I could’ve stepped it up but he isn’t the kind of guy that gets stopped, even though he told me afterwards that I do hit hard.
“Sparring with Dee Walsh, Joe Hillerby and Frankie Carrothers is bringing me on and our gym has a buzz about it. [Club coaches] Gerard and Sean are brilliant guys and we have a good thing going on.”
Healy has endured a chequered career thus far, mostly taking the short end of the stick and going is an unfancied “opponent”. This latest win, coupled with the overtly positive response from a ticket-paying public, has rekindled Gerard’s enthusiasm for the sport and he is confident that title fights could soon be heading in his direction.
“I would like an Irish title shot next year. Sparring Dee Walsh is bringing me on so much as is the work I’m doing with the coaches, Sean and Gerard McCafferty. People think that Dee is just a brilliant boxer but he can fight too if it comes down to it. Dee Walsh is world class, honestly. The sky’s the limit for the two of us and me and Dee are going to the top. Joe Hillerby as well is so underrated; he’s a brilliant talent and he’s back in November.”
Whenever a possible third fight with John Hutchinson was mentioned Gerard broke into a smile. “John Hutchinson cut me up!” he joked, before qualifying his comment by stating that Hutchinson is a nice guy out of the ring but not so amiable inside of it.
“Definitely it [a Hutchinson rubber match] can happen again and with an Irish title on the line it could sell big tickets,” he added. “I’ll fight anybody and I’ve always had the hard end of the stick. I sold 100 tickets and a lot of people couldn’t get them so they paid in at the door. I sold over 100 tickets which is good for a small hall show. More performances like tonight will hopefully get me a title shot next time and I can build a fan base.
“My fitness is alright and I’m back out on November 22 so hopefully I can get that title shot,” concluded Healy.
Steve Wellings writes the yearly Irish Boxing Review book.