- Michael Woods, Boxing
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Tommy Gallagher of Howard Beach in Queens has been in the boxing game since the 1950s, and he's feeling like the time to end his run is getting closer. He is working with a young boxer from Ecuador, Ytalo Perea, a heavyweight he calls "my last hurrah."
Gallagher is the consummate no-nonsense sort. He doesn't suffer fools gladly. The trainer, now 72, doesn't try to present Perea -- who appears Saturday on a card in Fallon, Nev. -- as the second coming. Gallagher isn't certain he has all the tools to keep jumping levels.
"Is he going to buy into the old-school s---? He sees these HBO: 24/7s and thinks the stuff on there is going to make him a better fighter. But mentally, he's what I want. He thinks, 'If I can hit ya, I can knock ya out,'" said Gallagher, who soaked up the training methods of Sugar Ray Robinson and the methods of the master tutors at the famed Stillman's Gym.
The Nevada card is being promoted by the Lane brothers, Terry and Tommy. They are the sons of Long Island resident Mills Lane, the famed referee who just entered the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y. This is the sixth installment of Fallon Fights -- Rural Rumble, and the card will unfold at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
"This show we have coming up is very unique," Terry Lane told ESPNNewYork.com. "It is an annual show in the small town of Fallon, Nev. It's unlike any other live boxing event. It is held outdoors in a rodeo arena. It's a throwback to the days when small mining and farm towns in the West would have live boxing. It's such a fun show to do every year."
Gallagher talked about the Lane brothers, who he thinks could be major players in the coming decades.
"The sons, they're two super kids; I don't know them well socially but they're very intelligent, they know what they're trying to accomplish. Hopefully I can be their scout, bring some good talent to the table for them," he said.
Gallagher is, yes, a throwback. He thinks pad work is a choreographed waste of time. He recalls when boxers smoked a pack a day but still did their road work, and even if they huffed in late rounds, they made damn sure they made you pay for a mistake, painfully. He said New Jersey's Dino Duva, a promoter who's been out of the mix for a few years, might be signing Perea, so we could see Gallagher's last hurrah more often in the near future.