A gentlemanly grappler who will fly the flag for the North West in a televised wrestling tournament has thrown down the gauntlet to his closest rival.
Jack Gallagher says he would relish the challenge of facing fellow submission ace Zack Sabre Jnr when the two Brits compete in the first ever WWE Cruiserweight Classic.
Sabre Jnr, from Kent, is regarded as one of the best technical wrestlers in the world today.
But Gallagher has also been carving a reputation for his silky smooth wrestling skills.
And the 26-year-old Manchester superstar is not overawed by the prospect of mixing with the best cruiserweights in the world when the 32-man tournament begins on the WWE Network this Wednesday.
Known as ‘Gentleman’ Jack, Gallagher singled out Sabre Jnr as he made his intentions clear that his ambition in the tournament is to wrestle his rival and make him give up.
Jack started watching wrestling at the age of eight and says he was gripped by the “flamboyance and athleticism” of the WWE.
He later went to Barlow Roman Catholic High School in Didsbury, Manchester, the same as those other Gallaghers, Liam and Noel from the rock group Oasis.
He went on to university to study philosophy, but wrestling remained his passion.
After training at the FutureShock wrestling school in Manchester, Gallagher made his name on the UK circuit as punk rocker ‘Jack Toxic’.
But realising the character wasn’t really him, Jack earned greater success after morphing into a technical wrestling wizard.
Training with grappler Roy Wood at the renowned Snake Pit gym in Wigan helped Gallagher transform himself into a submission master.
Today his weekly workout regimen includes four hours of submission wrestling, two hours of boxing, two hours of mixed martial arts, kick boxing and five hours of weightlifting.
At 5ft 8in, Jack is not the biggest to enter the squared circle but his height has never held him back.
And after earning rave reviews for his matches with American star Davey Richards and a tour of Japan, the throwback superstar was handpicked by WWE to take part in its groundbreaking Cruiserweight Classic alongside fellow Brits Sabre Jnr and Scotland’s Noam Dar, the Preston City Wrestling champion.
“I’m incredibly proud, this is huge,” said Gallagher.
“WWE has made it clear to us all that every single competitor has been chosen for a reason. They don’t want what they have already got.
“You don’t want a British wrestler coming in and doing the American style. We will do what we do best.”
The moustachioed Gallagher’s first round opponent is the Austrian, Fabian Aichner.
And when Jack was asked who he would most like to face should he win, the confident superstar said: “All of them”.
“There’s Brian Kendrick. How do you prepare for a maniac like that? Kota Ibushi would present a lot of interesting problems with his kicks and strikes.
“But most of all, I would like to submit Zack Sabre Jnr. I would like that match.”
WWE Cruiserweight Classic premieres at 2am on Thursday, July 14 exclusively on WWE Network.