Former Commonwealth king Paddy Gallagher will fight in the WBC World Invitational welterweight tournament.
‘Pat-Man’ (13-3-KO8) faces highly-skilled American Brad Solomon (29-1-KO9) in Louisville, Kentucky on April 27 in the quarter-final of the competition.
Gallagher said: “Solomon is my third opponent named in a week! I’ve read a few comments about him and people saying it’s his time but my coach has looked over him and says it’s a winnable fight.
“He’s ahead of me in the rankings and has a brilliant record. It’ll be a big scalp because I expect to win it. I can’t see me losing. I know everyone says that but I’ve been doing some top quality sparring.”
The tournament includes some impressive names with the likes of former Olympic champion Felix Diaz and Chris van Heerden entered – but Gallagher is confident of emerging victorious and ultimately earning a dream world title clash.
The Belfast man added: “There are some huge names in the tournament and Diaz and Van Heerden are definitely two of them. It looks like I’ve got a good draw and I plan on winning the whole thing.
“The ultimate dream is to propel myself up the rankings and fight Keith Thurman for a world title. He’s good but he’s not as good as he thinks he is. He can dig but I can hold a shot and can dig myself.
“I know calling out Thurman right now is unrealistic but if I win this competition then the sky’s the limit. I’m absolutely buzzing to start gaining momentum in the tournament.”
Gallagher won Commonwealth gold at the 2010 Delhi Games and is a two-time Celtic welterweight champion as a professional.
Follow Paddy Gallagher on Twitter @paddy_gal
PADDY GALLAGHER STEPS IN FOR THE INJURED RADZHAB BUTAEV TO FACE BRAD SOLOMON
Irish welterweight prospect PADDY ‘Pat-Man” GALLAGHER,(13-3-0, 8 KO’s) of Belfast, Northern Ireland will now battle BRAD SOLOMON, (27-1-0, 9 KO’s), of Douglasville, GA in the first round of ‘The Jose Sulaiman World Invitational Tournament’ set for Friday, April 27, 2018 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY.
Gallagher replaces the injured RADZHAB BUTAEVwho suffered a right shoulder injury this past week.
“Radzhab Butaev was very much looking forward to competing in the ‘Jose Sulaiman World Invitational Tournament’ but unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury in training that will require treatment and possibly surgery,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, promoter of Butaev. “He’ll be out of the ring for some period and hopes to be back as quickly as possible.”
“It’s unfortunate that Butaev injured his shoulder in training however Paddy Gallagher was training to fight Francisco Santana as alternates on April 27 and he’s very excited now to be fighting in the first round of the tournament against Brad Solomon,” said Evander Holyfield.
Presented by Evander Holyfield’s The Real Deal Boxing, in association with the World Boxing Council and Louisville’s Top Knotch, tickets starting at $35 are now on sale and be purchased through the KFC Yum! Center box office, Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. The KFC Yum! Center is located at 1 Arena Plaza, Louisville, KY 40202. Doors will open on the night of the event at 6:00 p.m. with the first bell at 7:00 p.m.
Said Gallagher, “This is a dream opportunity to fight in this tournament. It was a big risk taking the alternative position but a risk that has paid off – sums up my career! The fight with Solomon will be a quality fight and one where I will come out on top.”
“A massive thanks to The Real Deal Boxing, the World Boxing Council and my management team MTK GLOBAL. The past year has been my best as a professional so far and this year will be even better.”
The 28-year-old Gallagher, a professional for six years will be making his United States debut when he battles Solomon. Two fights ago, he scored the biggest victory of his career stopping then undefeated Gary Murray in the tenth round on October 6, 2017 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. The win earned Gallagher the British Boxing Board of Control Commonwealth Celtic Welterweight Title.
Gallagher has also beaten three other undefeated prospects; Tamuka Mucha, Tony Dixon and Johnny Coyle.
The updated schedule of first round fights for the tournament representing eight countries are;
#1 ranked FELIX DIAZ, (19-2-0, 9 KO’s) of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic will clash with #8 ranked FRANCISCO SANTANA, (26-6-1, 12 KO’s), of Santa Barbara, CA, representing Mexico.
#2 ranked CHRIS VAN HEERDEN, (25-2-1, 12 KO’s) of Johannesburg, South Africa, faces #7 ranked TIMO SCHWARZKOPF, (18-1-0, 10 KO’s) of Stuttgart, Germany.
#3 ranked FREDRICK LAWSON, (26-1-0, 21 KO’s), of Accra, Ghana, battles #6 ranked BAISHANBO NASIYWULA,(13-1-1, 6 KO’s), of Urumqi, China.
#4 ranked PADDY GALLAGHER, (13-3-0, 8 KO’s), of Belfast, Northern Ireland, faces #5 ranked BRAD SOLOMON,(27-1-0, 9 KO’s), of Douglasville, Georgia.
All bouts are scheduled for ten rounds. A new alternate will be announced shortly.
Included among the unique judging aspects set forth for the tournament;
–Development and implementation of a standardized scoring process that clearly defines how the judges should score each bout.
–Additional judges to minimize margin of error. A fourth judge will be placed at ringside and a fifth judge will be placed in front of a TV monitor with no audio commentary. All five judges’ scorecards will be used if the fight goes the distance.
–Employment of an Open Scoring concept to allow fighters the knowledge if they are winning or losing a fight.
–Assignment of Neutral and Experienced Judges throughout the tournament.