Crocker: “The stage is set for a huge year”
January 25 2024
'The Croc' faces Felix test at Ulster Hall
Belfast Welterweight hope Lewis Crocker makes a quick return to the ring when he takes on Mexican danger-man Jose Felix this Saturday at Ulster Hall, live worldwide on DAZN, and ‘The Croc’ is promising an explosive start to what he hopes will be his breakout year.
Crocker (18-0, 10 KOs) is fresh from a shutout points win over local rival Tyrone McKenna at the SSE Arena last month in what was a highly anticipated showdown dubbed the ‘Battle of Belfast’ – a dominant display that has filled the 27-year-old with confidence as he prepares to headline his first ever Matchroom show.
“The atmosphere was class that night,” said Crocker. “Losing wasn’t an option, it’s not in any fight but especially this fight. This was me all along, I just needed the big platform and I knew that I was going to put on a big performance.
“He said that he was going to make me ‘no mas’, basically quit, that I wasn’t ready for 10 rounds, that I was going to fold under the pressure. I’ve never had so much fun in a fight. You can see it, I’m smiling and laughing the whole way. It was just a great night.
“I’ve got the confidence now since my last performance that I feel like I’m here now. I think with the platform of Matchroom and DAZN I’ve got everything there that I need to be a superstar. I can’t wait to fight now, in Belfast again too – class.”
The Sandy Row native, who picked up four wins from four fights in 2023, is unbeaten since making his professional debut at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall back in 2017 – and the powerful Billy Nelson-trained puncher is hoping for an active 2024 as he looks to build towards further title opportunities in the competitive 147lbs division.
“The day I got the call I was halfway through a kebab. I thought maybe I’d have a couple of weeks off and stuff so I was just enjoying it. I got the call and here we are – back out the next month. It’s great to be out so quick again – that’s what you need. You need to be active, especially after a good performance. Being out again this Saturday is perfect. The stage is set for a huge year. Get this win and then push on for bigger and better fights as well.
“I truly believe that I’ve not hit anywhere near where I’m going to be as a fighter. I’m going to be a force to be reckoned with. Every man’s dream in boxing is to be a World Champion, so that’s the goal and that’s the dream. This is what you dream of when you start out – main event, home city, top of the bill. I can’t be stopped, I believe I will reach the very top.”
Crocker is thriving under the guidance of veteran Scottish trainer Nelson and the heavy-handed Irishman believes it is only a matter of time before he is locking horns with some of the biggest names in the Welterweight division.
“I always knew I had to make the move from Belfast to elsewhere, just to get me in the zone and keep me focused. There’s no distractions over in Scotland. With Billy Nelson it’s the perfect set up, my last four fights since I’ve been over there with Billy – I’ve got better each and every time – fitter each time, stronger. My last fight showed that. I’m starting to reach my potential and I’m getting there. I think this year is my breakout year.
“I put my life on the line, each and every time – no problem. I’m there for a fight, every time. He likes to come and fight and so do I – let’s have it. This is why I work so hard every day. This is the year of Lewis Crocker. We’re starting 2024 with a bang
“There’s so many names at Welterweight in the UK. It’s not like I’m calling anyone out but you go through the world class names, you’ve got Conor Benn and Josh Taylor. 147 is always a popular weight – it’s only a matter of time before all of the big names start to fight each other. Hopefully I’m in that mix.”
Crocker vs. Felix headlines Matchroom’s first show of 2024, fast-rising Cruiserweight contender Cheavon Clarke (7-0, 5 KOs) faces the biggest test of his career to date when he meets Belfast’s former European Champion Tommy McCarthy (20-5, 10 KOs), Limerick Welterweight talent Paddy Donovan (12-0, 9 KOs) aims to start 2024 with a bang against Argentina’s Williams Andres Herrera (15-2, 6 KOs), Wolverhampton Welterweight Conah Walker (12-2-1, 4 KOs) returns against Cardiff’s Lloyd Germain (9-0, 1 KO) following his brilliant win over Cyrus Pattinson, Guildford prospect Giorgio Visioli (1-0, 1 KO) fights for the second time as a pro in a six-round Super-Featherweight contest with Longbridge’s Samuel Pikire (4-2), Newham’s Leli Buttigieg (1-0, 1 KO) returns to Belfast for his second pro fight against Estonia’s Artjom Spatar (4-4, 1 KO) at Super-Featherweight and Lisburn Featherweight Kurt Walker (9-0, 1 KO) joins the card as a late addition.