Derby boxer, Luke Gallear, is using his late father as motivation as he aims to win a first-ever title.
The Chaddesden resident takes on Stourbridge’s Steven Pearce for the vacant Midlands Area Welterweight Title at Burton Town Hall this coming Friday, 1st March, hoping to come good on a promise he made to his dad.
Keith Gallear lost his battle against Leukaemia two years ago. It hit Luke hard and, as the 28 year-old admits, his boxing career suffered as a result. Now though, with a belt in his sights, ‘The Bulldog’ is ready to deliver on his promise and be crowned champion.
“The last two years have been pretty rough,” he told uko-boxing.com. “My dad was my best mate He was always there for me. When we’d be training and talking about boxing, I always promised him I’d win a title. This is my chance. I want to win this for him.
“He came to all my fights and gave me that little push when I needed it. It was a massive, massive lost when he passed away and nobody will ever replace him. Knowing this is for him makes it feel like a world title fight, that’s how much it means to me.”
Big-hearted Luke also cares for his younger brother, Leigh, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. Boxing is an escape for him and, at something of a crossroads in his professional career; he knows that nothing less than a victory on 1st March will do.
He has only fought ten times since turning pro in 2007and has enjoyed a mixed bag of results, recording four victories, four losses and two draws.
He was due to fight Walsall’s Joel Ryan but Ryan has since pulled out of the fight with a chest infection. Steven Peace (6-1) has stepped in as a late replacement and, although the short notice is not ideal for either fighter, Luke is determined to take his chance.
“I’m feeling confident,” he added. “I’ve been training since Christmas and am feeling good.
“I’ve got big respect for Steven. To take the fight at just a few days notice shows how much he wants it.
“I’ve never fought ten rounds before, so this is a step up for me, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m fit enough for it.
“It’s down to what happens on the night. I just know Steven will have to be at his very best on the night because this one is for my dad.”
Burton’s Tom Shaw (8-1) is chief support on the evening as he steps in with Birmingham veteran, Jason Nesbitt (9-161-4) whilst Dudley’s Kyle Spencer (4-0) takes on Swadlincote’s Jimmy Price (0-0-1) and Tamworth’s Matt Seawright (3-69-4) meets Exeter’s Faheem Khan (4-0-1) in a re-match following Khan’s narrow points win back in November.
Tickets for the Errol Johnson-Promoted Show are priced at £30 unreserved seating and £50 Ringside. They are available from Burton Town Hall Box Office on 0128 350 8547. Doors open at 7.00pm with boxing commencing at 8.00pm.
Stourbridge boxer, Steve Pearce, admits he would have ‘been mad’ to have turned down the opportunity of stepping in with Derby’s Luke Gallear for the vacant Midlands Area Welterweight Title on Friday.
Pearce landed a late call-up to the fight Burton Town Hall fight after Walsall’s Joel Ryan was forced out with a chest infection.
Due to fight William Warburton at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on 9th March, the 28 year-old was only offered a shot at Gallear on Monday. It didn’t take him long to say ‘yes’ and switch his attentions to Friday’s showdown though.
“It’s a massive chance for me,” Pearce told uko-boxing.com. “I couldn’t believe it when I got the phone call. As soon as Errol Johnson (Promoter) offered it to me, I said ‘let’s do it’.
“The fight against Warburton was a six-rounder. Obviously this is for a title so it will be ten rounds but I’m feeling really good. I did ten rounds of sparring against Chris Male two weeks ago, so I know I’ve got it in me to go that sort of distance.
“This title fight is better for my career and, no disrespect to Luke Gallear but, looking at his record compared to William Warburton’s, he may well be a better opponent for me too. I’d have been mad not to have taken this chance.”
Pearce competed in January’s ‘Prizefighter: The Welterweights III’ at the Civic, losing to eventual winner, Glenn Foot. He has kept himself in good shape since and, although the weigh-in for Friday takes place tomorrow, he is confident of being ready in time.
“I weighed myself as soon as I got off the phone to Errol (on Monday) and I was only 10 st 12 lbs,” he added. “That’s only a few pounds over the welterweight limit, so I know I’ll be ready.
“After the Foot fight I could have sat around feeling sorry for myself but I didn’t. I had a week’s rest and then I got straight back in the gym.”
Although he doesn’t know much about his opponent, ‘Fierce’ is confident that he can cap a whirlwind week with victory over Gallear.
“He’s not someone I know too much about but I have faith in myself. I’d back myself against anyone.
“This time last week, I was being put through my paces ahead of a non title fight. Now, I’m a day or two away from stepping into the ring for a shot at the Midlands Area Title.
“It’s been a crazy few days but, come Friday night, I expect to be lifting that belt.”
Tickets for title showdown at Burton Town Hall are priced at £30 unreserved seating and £50 Ringside and are available from the Town Hall Box Office on 0128 350 8547.
Also on the bill is Burton’s Tom Shaw (8-1), who takes on Birmingham’s Jason Nesbitt (9-161-4).
Dudley prospect, Kyle Spencer (4-0), faces Jimmy Price (0-0-1) whilst Tamworth’s Matt Seawright (3-69-4) steps in with Exeter’s Faheem Khan (4-0-1)
The star-studded line-ups include Olympic silver medallist, Fred Evans and reigning European champions, Andrew Selby and Joe Ward for the Lionhearts. The Otamans team features the man regarded as the world’s finest Olympic boxer, Vasyl Lomachenko and fellow 2012 gold medallist, Oleksandr Usyk who will face Sam Maxwell and Joe Joyce respectively from the British team.
Despite being outpointed by Lomachenko in January’s away fixture in Kiev, lightweight, Maxwell is undaunted by the prospect of a re-match with his illustrious opponent and expects to be stronger on home soil.
Maxwell said: “Everyone looks-up to Lomachenko. People see him as the best fighter out there so if I can get close it shows that I deserve to be right up there too.
“It was a good learning experience to box him earlier in the season however I think I gave him too much respect the first time around. When I watched the fight back I saw I had been too tentative, so this time it is about putting more venom in my shots and bringing out my nasty side.
“I remember when I drew Albert Selimov at the 2011 Olympic qualifier and no-one outside of our team gave me a chance. I beat him then so there is no reason why lightning cannot strike for a second time.”
The match will be the Ukranian’s debut at York Hall and his first return to London since he won the lightweight gold at 2012.
Lomachenko said: “We are coming with a very strong squad. It will be great to come back to London, I have great memories associated with this city and I am already getting a special feeling inside about this trip. I have heard that York Hall is a very famous venue with a great atmosphere, so it will be fantastic to compete in a place with such a great boxing history.”
The heavyweight contest offers a fascinating match-up between the Ukranian Olympic champion, Usyk, and the Lionhearts’ Joe Joyce who has emerged as the find of the season in the World Series of Boxing, winning all four of his contests. Despite his lack of experience, Joyce is the number one ranked heavyweight in the competition and defeated the 2012 individual World Series Boxing champion, Filip Hrgovic in his last outing.
Joyce said: “World Series Boxing has been great for me. The shows have been fantastic and it has been really good to be part of a new team that has done so well in its first season in the competition. Usyk is a good boxer and will present me with a different set of challenges but my training and preparation has been very good and I am looking forward to the contest.”
Usyk said: “It will be a great evening of boxing as two strong line-ups will collide. We are definitely coming to win. I have, personally, always won in the UK and I intend to win again when we come to York Hall.”
A few tickets remain for the match, which is expected to sell-out, and can be purchased at www.britishlionhearts.com/tickets .
Whatever the outcome of the match, the British Lionhearts are guaranteed to finish in third place in Group B of the World Series of Boxing and will face home and away ties against Mexico Guerreros in the quarter-finals of the competition. The home tie will be held at York Hall on Friday 22 March 2013 and tickets can be purchased at www.britishlionhearts.com/tickets .
Established in 2010, the World Series of Boxing is a national team boxing competition made-up of 12 teams from across the world. A match between two international franchises consists of bouts in five weight categories: bantamweight (54kg), lightweight (61kg), middleweight (73kg), light-heavyweight (85kg) and heavyweight (91kg+).
Competitors box without vests and head guards and the World Series Boxing scoring system is based on the ‘ten point must system’. Each bout is decided by the scores of three judges or by a knockout, technical knockout, disqualification or walk over. There are five three-minute rounds in each bout and the team that wins the most number of bouts wins the match.
Smithy’s Promotions boxer Jezze “El Rey” Carrasco is primed to take on Brisbane’s Steven “Model Man” Wijangco live on Fox Sports this Thursday night at the Greek Club, Brisbane.
This comes two weeks after Carrasco fought the biggest win of his career on the undercard of Sonny Bill Williams against the Queensland no. 2 ranked Waylon Law.
While it was a quick turn around for Jezze, his trainer Brandon Wood feels that this will advantage the young boxer.
“Jezze has had a good preparation having fought just two weeks ago” Said Wood.
“This will be a good fight. Steve is always in shape and it will be a classic match up of the bull and the matador fought at a hectic pace. Jezze is ready to step up.”
Jezze himself said he is excited to be right back in the ring.
“I’m very excited for this fight. Brandon and I have been working on a lot of things in the gym and I look forward to showing everyone what I can produce in the ring” said Carrasco.
However, while confidence is running high in the Carrasco camp, Wijangco’s trainer Chris McCullen is also extremely confidence in his charge.
“I’ve had a look at Jezze and he is a pretty handy boy, which his amateur and pro record suggests” said Chris.
“However Steve has trained hard and is looking forward to the challenge.”
“It’s a late notice change of opponent for both camps so there is no advantage there. It is going to be a tough fight worth watching for fight fans.”
The bout will be televised live on Fox Sports Thursday night.