KID GALAHAD is a boxer in a big hurry as he prepares to make his much-anticipated return to the ring this Saturday following an 18-month doping ban.
Unbeaten Galahad, real name Barry Awad, is set to resurrect his career having fails a drugs test for the banned substance stanozolol after beating Adeilson Dos Santos in September 2014.
He received a two-year ban, but that has been reduced by six months by UKAD (United Kingdom Anti-Doping) and Galahad is now ready to take up where he left off – as one of the hottest talents in the super bantamweight division.
The 26-year-old argued that his drink had been spiked by a family member, who admitted the offence, but he was banned under UKADs ‘strict liability’ policy, which says athletes are responsible for any trace of a prohibited substance in their system, regardless of how it got there.
The former British, commonwealth and European champion, who makes his ring return at Wigan Athletics’ DW stadium, said: “It has been a tough time, no doubt about it but I’m not looking backwards, only to the future and the future looks great.
“If anything, what has happened has made me even more determined to become a world champion. Nothing is going to stop me now.
“I am fighting this Saturday and hope to box again on undercard of Anthony Crolla’s world title defence on May 7. I want to fight at least two or three times and then in September I’ll go for a title shot – and I’ll win it. Nothing is going to stop me.”
Galahad has barely missed a days’ training since he was banned and has sparred in recent weeks with the likes of world featherweight champion Lee Selby and even welterweight King Kell Brook.
“Since the ban the most time I’ve had off from the gym is two days,” said the Sheffield boxer. “I can’t keep out of the gym. When the ban happened I told myself I had to re-double my efforts to get to the top. I love training every day so it hasn’t been difficult, I’ve just had to be patient.
“I cannot wait for the fight to come around and I’m sure it will be a decent test. Just getting back in the ring is a dream come true for me and now I have got to prove what everyone around me believes, that I am a world champion in the making.”
Galahad, with 18 straight victories to his name as pro, including nine stoppages, will face an opponent yet to be named on the Wigan show in a six-rounder.
He said: “It is all about getting back in as soon as possible and getting on the winning trail. I know there are some cracking fights out there for me to be made and I’m determined to get back to the top and stay there. It all starts again at Wigan on Saturday.”
Galahad’s manager John Ingle, whose brother Dominic trains the fighter, said: “We are all backing Barry to pick up where he left off and become a real world class force in the division. It has been a pretty long wait but Barry is now back again and he is incredibly focused on becoming the best in the world.”
Galahad, who turned pro in 2009, recorded impressive wins over the likes of Jason Booth, Josh Wale and James Dickens, as well as previously unbeaten Dos Santos, before his ban.
Neil Marsh, who promotes the Wigan show, added: “It is a privilege to have a fighter of Kid Galahad’s class and pedigree fighting at the DW stadium. He is an amazing talent and he is back doing what he does best, in the ring.”