The Belfast welterweight boxes in a battle of the reserves on the opening night of the inaugural ‘Jose Sulaiman World Invitational’ and will face a different opponent than initially advertised.
Gallagher [13(8)-3(0)] was voted in as the second reserve for the eight-man tournament and was due to box the first alternate, Francisco Santana [26(12)-6(1)-1], on Friday April 27th at the KFC YUM! Centre in Louisville. The winner of this bout would act as the first reserve for the semis and final of the competition.
However, following the withdrawal of one of the eight competitors, popular California puncher Santana has been upgraded to the main tournament, Gallagher has moved to being the new #1 reserve, and he will now face Russian Sergiy Lubkovich [7(6)-0] in just under three weeks time.
Santana steps in to replace Derrieck Cuevas and will fight tournament favourite Felix Diaz – a world title challenger and Olympic gold medalist where he defeated John Joe Joyce. BBBoC Celtic champion Gallagher will be hoping for another late pull-out in the near future that would provide him entry to the big-money tournament.
If this does not happen, the Lenadoon man is faced with the huge task of Lubkovich. The touted 22-year-old is one of the top prospects in World boxing and has been moving quite swiftly since turning pro in 2016. Indeed, the Kostroma fighter looks to be stronger than many of the boxers in the main eight.
The quarter-final match-ups in the WBC-backed Evander Holyfield-promoted competition are:
Felix Diaz [19(9)-2(1)] v Francisco Santana [26(12)-6(1)-1]
Chris van Heerden [25(12)-2(1)-1] v Timo Schwarzkopf [18(10)-1(0)]
Frederick Lawson [26(21)-1(1)] v Baishanbo Nasiwula [13(6)-1(0)-1]
Radzhab Butaev [8(6)-0] v Brad Solomon [27(9)-1(0)]
Should Gallagher be elevated to the main tournament – or indeed he or Lubkovich pull out – Mexican Mauricio Pintor [20(13)-3(0)-1] will step in as fourth reserve.