In September 2001, Joe Gallagher led Stephen Foster Junior to the ring at the MEN Arena for the youngster’s winning professional debut. Gallagher was turning pro, too, after a successful stint as an amateur coach. The Manchester boxing scene was starting to blossom and bloom back then and, as is always the case with spring and summer, it felt like the season of success would last forever. Boxing is cyclical, though, so it came as no surprise when the city’s fortunes dipped a little following the Ricky Hatton era. Sure, fighters such as John Murray and Salford’s Jamie Moore kept the scene vibrant with a series of FOTY candidates; however, Liverpool was on the rise, the MEN was used for concerts and shows with boxing only sporadically on display at the Arena. Now, though, the wheel has turned full circle again. Manchester is booming, and the proud 47-year-old Mancunian and his Bolton-based stable of fighters are regular features at what is now known as the Manchester Arena. “I am very proud that we’ve got top boxing back at the Arena after a few quiet years and times when boxers from outside were headlining, like we saw with [Carl] Froch against [George] Groves and [David] Haye’s fights,” said Gallagher when speaking to Boxing Monthly.