Lewis Crocker (11-0, 6KOs) vies for his first title against former Southern Area welterweight champion Louis Greene (12-1, 7KOs) on Wednesday, August 26, behind closed doors at a purpose-built production studio in Wakefield, South Kirby.
BBN’s Editor, Tim Rickson, previewed the entire six-fight card:
Lewis Crocker vs Louis Greene
It’s ‘The Croc’ versus ‘The Medway Mauler’ for the vacant WBO European welterweight title – a belt once held by Bradley Skeete, who went on the become British champion.
The 23-year-old headliner from Belfast exploded onto the scene early in 2017 and stopped all six of his opponents in his first 15 months as a pro, two of those victims were fighters with winning records.
Since then, he has won four six-rounders on points and just took part in his first eight-rounder in February this year. His last opponents have all been winning fighters, with a combined record of 39-17-5. His last win was a 79-73 points decision over British title contender John Thain (17-5).
As an amateur, Crocker won an astonishing 90 from 97 fights, wining bronze at the European Schoolboy championships in 2011. A seven-time national amateur champion, he holds a record for the fastest knockout in Irish amateur boxing history at under 12 seconds in 2015. Despite this incredible feat, he was still not picked for the Commonwealth Youth Games that year despite being recommended by the Ulster head coach.
‘The Croc’s’ style is set up to land heavy shots. He doesn’t bounce on his toes like you would expect an amateur with his wealth of experience to. Instead, he likes to hold his feet, move his upper body to avoid attacks, and stay in close with his feet firmly planted to land heavily.
He’s not just about power and brute strength, he’s also an intelligent fighter that often sets traps and creates openings to exploit. He puts punches together really well and selects his shots expertly. His left hook has taken opponents off their feet in one go. He doesn’t mind a shootout too, so expect fireworks in this fight with ‘The Medway Mauler’.
Louis Greene, 28 from Kent, is a former Southern Area welterweight champion. He comes into the contest off the back of two stoppage wins against experienced WBA Fedebol champion Berman Sanchez (29-13-3) in his last fight, who has shared the ring with pound-for-pound superstar Miguel Berchelt and three-weight world champion Jorge Linares; as well as a second-round TKO of unbeaten Polish welterweight champion Lukasz Wierzbicki (18-1) in his own backyard in Czestochowa last October.
He likes to come forward and has an excellent overhand right, which is probably his best punch. He utilises his jab often and has a busy style, throwing plenty of punches. He is aggressive, as his ‘Medway Mauler’ alias suggests, and is always on the front foot.
His sole career defeat was to IBF European welterweight champion Larry Ekundayo (16-1) in December 2012 over 10-rounds. The Nigerian ‘Natural’, who won a Prizefighter tournament after only two pro fights, outboxed Greene handily.
He said post-fight that is just wasn’t his night and has since reeled off three wins since then so has momentum and confidence coming this contest with Crocker.
The pair do battle, live on YouTube channel iFL TV, ironically on the same day in history that YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul battled to a draw in Manchester Arena in 2018, with over 2million live viewers tuning in to watch.
Unfortunately, this fight won’t have quite so many spectators, but it will be far better viewing! If the pair meet in the middle and refuse to take backward steps, then it will be a fantastic spectacle and unlikely to go the distance, as there will be some big bombs detonated.
Lewis and Louis both have identical KO ratios so are as dangerous as each other and can both inflict damage.
Crocker is the slight favourite at the bookies and the odds for a draw are quite low. It’s an intriguing contest, one which many will favour Crocker to edge, but predicting who wins and how is an almost impossible task.
It’s best just to sit back, relax, an enjoy this one!
Darren Tetley vs Liam Taylor
Tetley and Taylor in a British and Commonwealth welterweight title eliminator in chief support to the headlining Crocker-Greene fight.
Unbeaten Bradford boxer Darren Tetley (20-0, 9KOs) used to possess the WBO European title that the headliners are challenging for, back in 2018 when he defeated unbeaten Mason Cartwright (16-2-1) which was stopped in the ninth-round following that horrific split to the aptly-named ‘Nutty’s’ lip which circulated around social media for many months afterwards.
It remains as the 27-year-old’s only notable victory of his 20-fight career. Since that title win, he has only had a series of six-rounders against journeymen.
British and Commonwealth title contender Liam Taylor (21-1-1, 10KOs) has just the one blemish on his record to Tyrone Nurse (37-7-2), which was five years and 12 fights ago.
In November 2011, he righted the wrong with a close split decision win against Nurse over 10-rounds in what doubled up as a British title eliminator. He boxed well in a very controlled, disciplined manner against a super slick, awkward opponent to get his revenge.
When he got his shot at the Lonsdale belt, held by Chris Jenkins (22-3-3), he started brightly to score a second-round knockdown, but an unfortunate scenario following a clash of heads that left the defending champion cut above the left eye saw the contest halted on the doctor’s advice and the result was ruled as a ‘Technical Draw’.
Tetley will be very different to Nurse, in that he will come forward to impose his iron will upon Taylor. Tetley is quick and spiteful and lands to body and head with real power. He has one-punch KO power in both fists and doesn't mind a scrap if it comes to it.
Taylor, 29 from Middleton, will be vary defensive and careful, opting to counter Tetley, and won't be very likely to be drawn into a fight with the aggressive . I can envisage Tetley being the busier, more effective and incentivised of the pair, but believe that this will go the distance towards a points verdict for the Yorkshireman, Tetley.
Lee McGregor vs Ryan Walker
‘Lightning’ Lee McGregor (8-0, 6KOs) has a 10-round super-bantamweight bout against former Southern Area super-bantamweight champion Ryan ‘The Lion’ Walker (11-1, 2KOs).
The 28-year-old from London’s only career defeat came challenging for the English super-bantamweight crown against ‘Trouble Maker’ Michael Ramabeletsa (18-17), named so for his track record of upsetting unsuspecting home fighters. The Preston-based South African has defeated a trio of unbeaten prospects in his last three fights – Joe Eko (7-0); Ryan Walker (8-0); Indi Sangha (9-0).
Ramabeletsa caught Walker in the first round and floored him twice before the contest being stopped at just past the two-minute mark.
Walker has since bounced back with three wins on the spin, culminating in a Southern Area title win over unbeaten Piotr Mirga (5-1) last November.
The 23-year-old Scotsman is a firm favourite in this fight, having conquered the British title in his last contest in what was an historic and memorable night of boxing for the Highlands. It was a battle, not just for the coveted Lonsdale belt, but for 118lbs supremacy.
This bout will be a competition between an Area level fighter and a British level fighter. McGregor will prove to be a cut above and it will show as the contest wears on, with the Scot expected to wear down Walker to score a stoppage at some point in the fight.
Fearghus Quinn vs Robbie Chapman
Decorated amateur Fearghus Quinn makes his pro debut against Southern Area middleweight title contender Robbie Chapman (6-3) in a six-round middleweight contest.
It’s a bold move to take on an opponent already operating at Area title level in a first fight as a professional, but the 24-year-old Irish and Ulster amateur titlist is confident and ready.
The South Armagh middleweight is fully aware it’s a tough test for his first assignment and is not taking ‘The Camden Caretaker’ lightly, even though the Londoner has only won one from his last four fights.
He has stayed ready all through lockdown, training out in ‘the middle of nowhere’, which is how he describes his residence. Having begun boxing at the age of 10, always believing he had possessed more of a pro style even as an amateur, Quinn is ready for his first step in his professional journey.
Quinn should kickstart his career with a tough points victory, if he stays focused and sticks to the game plan.
Gary Cully vs Craig Woodruff
Gary Cully’s (10-0, 5) eight-round super-lightweight contest with Craig Woodruff (10-5, 4KOs) kicks off the ESPN+ broadcast at 7pm, which will be seen in America.
In Cully’s last fight, he emphatically blasted unbeaten ‘Dragon’ Joe Fitzpatrick (10-1) away in the first round of their scheduled 10-round Irish National lightweight title fight.
The 6’2” southpaw caught the Belfast boxer with a series of rangy straight one-two punches that lit up the already raucous arena. Despite Fitzpatrick getting back to his feet, his legs were unsteady and following a few more of those awkward, long shots, the referee stepped in to save any further punishment when Fitzpatrick was caught on the ropes.
It was a clinical, frightening and impressive performance from 24-year-old Cully, known as ‘The Diva’.
The Naas native was due to face Welsh Area super-lightweight champion Kieran Gething (9-2-2), but the Welshman was forced to withdraw from an ongoing elbow injury.
Instead, Cully faces Gething’s fellow countryman and ring rival Craig Woodruff, 28 from Newport. It was original opponent Gething that inflicted the last loss on Woodruff’s record in June 2019 when they clashed for the Welsh Area super-lightweight title, which Gething lifted at the end of the 10-rounds with a close 97-95 points score.
‘Smiler’ has only been stopped once in 15 fights, that was at the hands of future British, Commonwealth and European super-featherweight champion Martin Joseph Ward (24-1-2). Olympic champion and world title contender Luke Campbell couldn’t do the same and was forced to go the full six-rounds with Woodruff when they met back in 2014.
He is a tough cookie and very good standard boxer. He has a very nice, disciplined style of boxing, with good footwork, sharp jab, great composure and a sound shape, rarely being caught off guard.
It’s tricky to know how he will fare against Cully because he has never fought a fighter like him. Cully is so tall for the weight, so quick and light on his feet, skipping in to land stinging shots and then dipping back out of range again. Usually, that amateurish style of fighting doesn’t always have power to go with it, but when Cully catches an opponent at the end of this reaching shots they don’t last long under the weight and speed of them.
Although, I respect Woodruff’s ability, I also fully believe this a certain victory for Cully, but whether it goes the distance or not is another question.
Fitzpatrick came in aggressively against Cully, but I don’t believe visiting fighter Woodruff will have that same mentality and will cover up and play it wiser and safer. It might take Cully a few rounds to get to the Welshmen before he can land cleanly and painfully, so if a stoppage comes, then I’d expect to see it later in the fight.
My head says this will end as a shutout points win to Gary Cully.
James McGivern vs Jamie Quinn
Lightweights James McGivern and Jamie Quinn (7-102-2) kick off the event on iFL TV at 6:20pm.
2019 Irish national amateur champion McGivern makes his pro debut and has already spoken excitedly about his smooth transition from the amateur code to the professional style of fighting, promising fans big punching power.
His 112-fight seasoned opponent has only been stopped on three occasions, and only upset a debutant just 10 months ago, so McGivern will have a good test and some valuable rounds banked for his inauguration.