Boxing

WBO title at stake as Lewis Crocker tangles with Louis Greene in Wakefield

Lewis Crocker knocked out his first six opponents and is now 11-0. Picture Matt Bohill.
Andy Watters

Vacant WBO European Welterweight title: Lewis Crocker (11-0) v Louis Greene (12-1)

EARLY on in his career, Lewis Crocker’s handlers had some difficulty getting opponents for him. They set them up and the Belfast welterweight knocked them down, blasting out a series of out-gunned adversaries without breaking sweat and racking up six devastating KO wins in his first six fights.

But over the last two years Crocker has changed pace. He had some hand injuries to deal with and there was also a realisation that he needed to get rounds under his belt to prepare for tougher challenges ahead.

His last five fights have all gone the distance and tonight ‘Croc’ takes on fellow prospect Louis Greene for the vacant WBO European welterweight belt which comes with a world ranking for the winner.

“When I started off I was only doing four-rounders and it’s easier to blow somebody away when you know you’re only doing four rounds,” said Crocker.

“But look at how many people have a knockout loss on their record because they’ve gone out and tried to stop an opponent but they’ve been clipped early on. That risk is always there so I’m being smart about my work and building my experience. I’ve been getting the rounds and getting experience and that has set me up for this 10-rounder.”

If it goes the distance, tonight’s rumble in Wakefield will be Crocker’s first 10-round fight. He says he has trained hard and is confident he’ll have the engine to go all the way, if he has to.

“I’m 100 per cent, fighting fit,” said Crocker.

“I’m feeling good. Obviously Greene’s a good opponent, he’s got some notable wins on his record so I’m definitely expecting my toughest fight but I’m looking forward to it anyway.”

Arguably the most notable of Greene’s victories was against Freddie Kewitt three years ago. Kewitt, who beat Paddy Gallagher narrowly on points last year, is a capable operator but he lost to Greene in a Southern Area title battle in London.

Crocker says he pays no real attention to what opponents have achieved in previous fights.

“Honestly I’m not even thinking about him at this stage, I’m thinking about me and I’m well prepared,” he said.

“I don’t really care who he was fought, I know what I can do and as long as I’m OK I think I’ll get the win. I don't study opponents, not at all. Some people get into it too much but I get a gameplan together and I execute it on fight night.”

Crocker, who is now training with Gerard McManus and Dan Anderson at Gleann ABC, doesn’t expect the lack of atmosphere in Wakefield tomorrow night to be a factor. Since boxing returned after lockdown, James Tennyson, Carl Frampton, Michael Conlan and Katie Taylor have all had memorable wins and he intends to add his name to that list.

“I don’t think it will make a difference to what way either of us is going to fight,” he said.

“We are both going to go in and give our all so I don’t think having no crowd will make a difference.

“Winning this belt gives me a world ranking. I’m not looking past this guy at all, I know that the title that’s up for grabs is very meaningful to both of us and I’ll be absolutely delighted to get my first belt as a professional.”

Undercard:

Super-bantamweight: Lee McGregor (8-0) v Ryan Walker (11-1)

Welterweight: Darren Tetley (20-0) v Liam Taylor (21-1)

Super-lightweight: Gary Cully (10-0) v Craig Woodruff (10-5)

Lightweight: James McGivern (debut) v Jamie Quinn (7-102-2)

Middleweight: Fearghus Quinn (debut) v Robbie Chapman (6-3)

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