The super welterweight contender says, although he’s a late substitute, the timing couldn’t be better for his 154-pound showdown versus Erickson Lubin Saturday night on SHOWTIME.
Nathaniel Gallimore didn’t like boxing growing up. His grandfather George would always tune in to watch the fights, but a young Gallimore had no interest.
The first fight the Kingston, Jamaican-born boxer remembers watching was when fellow countryman Lennox Lewis knocked out Mike Tyson in 2002. Gallimore was 14 at the time. Soon after, gang life in the streets of Chicago captivated his attention.
“I was smoking and selling drugs and I told myself ‘I want to be the biggest drug dealer ever. I’m going to be big. I’m going to be rich,’” Gallimore recalled. “I was doing everything to reach that goal. Then the police raided my house and I got locked up. It was going bad for me. If I was ever going to make it in America, I had to change my life around.”
Gallimore found new purpose when he was baptized. He then reconnected with long-lost high school friend Isaiah Henry, a novice fighter who officially re-introduced him to boxing. Gallimore had never laced ‘em up before but once he got in the gym the 23-year-old had found his calling.
“I was always a fighter, defending myself and winning. I thought that all I needed was foundation and skills, so I gave it a try and fell in love with it,” said Gallimore. “I dropped the street life and found boxing.”
In a three-year span, Gallimore won the Chicago Golden Gloves and turned pro in 2014.
The super welterweight contender has since gone 21-3-1 and scored 17 knockouts, fought in a title eliminator against Julian Williams, and on Saturday, takes on Erickson Lubin. The bout headlines a PBC on SHOWTIME tripleheader, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Gallimore got the word on Oct. 2 that he would be the replacement opponent for Terrell Gausha, who suffered an injury to his left hand that required surgery.
“I’ve always been the underdog overcoming obstacles my entire life, even outside of the ring. I’m not worried about coming in on the B-side,” said Gallimore. “I’ve been tested. I’ve been at the top, the middle and the bottom. I know how to fight, and to get to where I need to be. No fight for me is considered last-minute notice.”
The 31-year-old Gallimore was already training in Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley with trainer John Pullman when he got the word. As soon as Lubin was placed on his radar, he picked up the intensity to prepare for the fight on 24-day notice.
“I’m always in the gym and stay in shape,” said Gallimore. “I don’t blow up. I take care of my body and I’m always maintaining and focusing. It’s probably more last-minute for them because they were preparing for Terrell.”
“ I’m focused, and it’s the right time. ” Super Welterweight Contender - Nathaniel Gallimore
The all-action Gallimore has shown power and durability in his previous 25 fights and is looking to put his career back on track after losing two out of his last three contests.
In April 2018, Gallimore was riding a seven-fight winning streak with wins over Justin DeLoach and Jeison Rosario when he dropped a majority decision to the current 154-pound unified champion Williams. In September 2018, he dropped a decision to top contender Patrick Teixeira.
Gallimore points to issues outside of the ring leading up to the Williams fight; management and trainer complications. He’d already made the switch to Pullman, but the two months they had together wasn’t enough time.
“I was still in my other coach’s mindset. I was in between, and Julian did what he had to do to get the win,” said Gallimore. “After the Teixeira loss, I told myself that if I’m going to continue boxing, I need to do it the right way, so I took a year off to pay attention to my craft, and work on my skills and foundation.
“I knew something huge was going to come my way, and here is the opportunity now. I’m focused, and it’s the right time.”
Gallimore most recently defeated Antonio Todd by decision in August and said the quick turnaround will benefit him against heavy-favorite Lubin, a talented southpaw seven years his junior.
Such trials and tests are nothing new for Gallimore. He’s not seen his mother since arriving in the United States at age 12 in 2000, and his father since 2004 when was deported.
Gallimore couldn’t leave the country because of his own legal issues, but since he’s now a U.S. citizen staying out of trouble, he plans on visiting his folks in 2020.
“Boxing has helped with my mindset and discipline,” said Gallimore. “It took me away from all of the negative stuff and put me in a different world. I started a boxing family and moved forward in a positive direction.”
On Saturday, Gallimore will dedicate the fight to his grandfather George, who died in 2014, and to his former Chicago-based boxing teammate Ed Brown, who was gunned down in 2016.
“I just want to motivate others and leave a legacy and example that no matter what in life, if you put your mind, work and dedication, you can accomplish anything, no matter how late you start,” said Gallimore. “I want others to believe in themselves. I didn’t have that growing up, and I want to give it to others.”
But first things first – overcome the odds with an upset on Saturday night.
“I’m not worried. I’m fully focused and confident I will be victorious against Lubin.”
For a closer look at Lubin vs Gallimore, visit our fight night page.