Veteran trainer Joe Gallagher is confident that former world champion Anthony Crolla will not disgrace himself when he steps in the ring with WBA, WBO Vasiliy Lomachenko.
This Friday night, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Crolla attempt to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport.
Lomachenko is regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.
Some oddsmakers have Crolla listed as high as a massive 100-1 underdog.
Gallagher has been in this position before, when Paul Smith traveled to the United States to face Andre Ward and when Liam Smith came over to Texas to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Both of the Smith brothers were knocked out in spirited efforts.
“It helps that I’ve been in this position before,” states Gallagher to Sky Sports. “Do I think that ‘Smigga’ (Paul Smith) was disgraced against Andre Ward? No. Was Liam Smith disgraced when he fought Saul Alvarez? Not a chance.
“This is just part of the business when you’re going in against guys at the absolute highest level of the sport and I know for an absolute fact that whatever the result when Crolla takes on Lomachenko, he’ll give it his all and he won’t disgrace himself either.”
Gallagher admits that a lot of observers questioned his decision to train Crolla for so many years, and how the Manchester boxer has defied the odds by winning a world title and gaining victories in bouts where he was the underdog.
“People would ask me what I was thinking of training a fighter like Crolla,” Gallagher said.
“They’d say that he was far too nice to be a success and that he couldn’t punch but look what he’s done with those predictions. He’s the biggest example of nice guys finishing first and he’s done that by working hard every single day of his life and believing in himself no matter what the challenge is.
“He’s made my life as a trainer so much easier and if you were to look at my gym and the fighters as a football team then Anthony Crolla would be the man who I’d give the captain’s armband to.”