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Both alternates already needed in WBC welterweight tournament

The first round goes down on April 27th in Louisville

It is a given that in any boxing tournament featuring more than four men, someone will pull out and complicate the whole thing. It generally doesn’t happen this fast, though.

The Jose Sulaiman World Invitational Tournament, set to begin on April 27th in Louisville, recently saw #8 Derrieck Cuevas and #4 Radzhab Butaev withdraw, Cuevas due to a death inthe family and Butaev due to a shoulder injury. As a result, Francisco Santana and Paddy Gallagher, originally slated to fight one another, have stepped up to face #1 Felix Diaz and #5 Brad Solomon, respectively.

Santana (24-6-1, 12 KO) fought Julian Williams to a draw in “J-Rock’s” seventh pro fight and has been in the ring with Karim Mayfield, Jermell Charlo, Sadam Ali, and Jose Benavidez, losing to all of them. His best win is Joachim Alcine, so I wouldn’t go putting the house on a Cinderella story.

Gallagher (13-3, 8 KO) has won eight of his last nine against nobody of note, losing a majority decision to Tamuka Mucha. He did reach the finals of a Prizefighter tournament once, although he technically lost in the first round before his opponent had to drop out.

Again, not seeing an underdog tale for the ages.

The real bummer is losing Butaev (8-0, 6 KO), a legit prospect who would get the testing he needs in this tournament. So it goes in this dumb, wonderful sport we love.

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