‘The Strabanimal’ is ready for Salazar

HE was scheduled to fight Cal Ellenor in Dublin tonight, but due to abnormalities in a pre-fight brain scan, the Englishman was forced to withdraw, leaving Strabane’s James Gallagher without an opponent.

However, less than two days after Ellanor’s witdrawal, Bellator announced that three-time UFC fighter, Roman Salazar would take on the ‘Strabanimal’ in what is now a Catchweight 140lbs fight, rather than a 135lbs Bantamweight encounter.

Having enjoyed a training camp that ‘couldn’t have gone better’, Gallagher is not in the least bit concerned about the change in opponent or weight ahead of tomorrow night’s fight.


“When I accepted the fight in Dublin about 10 weeks ago or whenever it was, I got myself ready, I got me ready to go and fight, so I’m as ready as I can be,” he explained.

“So, an opponent change, a last minute pull-out, chopping and changing doesn’t make me any less ready than I am.

“It doesn’t affect anything I have done, it doesn’t change anything. The only thing that changes is that there is someone different in front of me and they can put whoever they want in front of me and I’ll go right through them!”

Regardless of Salazar  (13-9-0) boasting a less than impressive record, Gallagher isn’t taking his opponent lightly.

“They all bring concerns and they all bring problems, I’m not underestimating him at all,” confirmed the 22 year-old.

“He’s an ex-UFC fighter, he’s experienced, he’s been in there so many more times than me and he’s been in this game a lot longer than me. When I was 10 years-old he was fighting, so you can’t underestimate these kinds of people.

“He might have things in his back pocket that I’ve never seen before, but on the flip side, I’m young, I’m fresh and I’m hungry. I might know something he doesn’t know, he might be stuck in his old rut, in his old school way, he hasn’t advanced the way I have, he hasn’t done the new school the way I have, but on Friday night that’s what we’re going to find out.

“Is he going to be stuck in his old way, or is he going to go up there and we’re going to have a scrap or is his experience going to outweight my skill-set? He has a lot of problems to bring to the table, but I feel I have them all answered.”

*Gallagher v Salazar, in the Bantamweight main event, will air live at 10pm on Channel 5 in the UK and on Virgin Media Television in Ireland tonight.

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