As part of the 2011 AIBA Annual Awards Ceremony, Irishman Michael Gallagher will receive the "Best Referee & Judge of the Year" trophy this Sunday 27 November in London. AIBA.org sat down with him a couple of hours before...
How does it feel to be named Best Referee & Judge of 2011?
It's fantastic, something that I would have never thought possible. I am just trying to do my job the best I can, but receiving this award is a great bonus; an amazing feeling.
What is the best part of being a referee?
There is not just one thing, there are lots of reasons. First of all it is great to be part of the AIBA Family, to meet people from all around the World, make new friends. That is a big part of being a boxing referee. But it is also about doing a job and doing it the best you possibly can.
And on the contrary, what do you dislike most?
It is never easy when you have a disappointing bout. When boxers just hold each other, when they don't want to fight. You want the minutes to go a lot quicker. You hope to get a clean contest every time, but it doesn't always work that way.
Do you keep one special bout in mind this year?
I would say the Light Welterweight final I officiated in Baku. It was really a hard bout but I managed to do ok and everyone was happy enough about my job. So that's the most important to me.
When you receive such a big award, the logical next question is: What's next?
Hopefully the London 2012 Olympic Games. I think I have officiated in every major boxing event so far, but never in the Olympic Games. So I really hope I will be selected.
And maybe being awarded again in 2012 after a great competition.
That would be the icing on the cake but really, being in London next summer would make me happy enough. When I started refereeing I never imagined that it could happen. But fingers crossed I'll get there.
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