ON Sunday morning (EST), Australia’s Joel Brunker will challenge popular Englishman Josh Warrington for his WBC International and Commonwealth featherweight titles at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
Aus-Boxing caught up with Brunker’s manager Adam Wilcock, shortly before he left for Leeds to get his thoughts on the stylistic matchup between Warrington and Brunker as well as the experience of travelling abroad.
“Stylistically the Selby fight was hard for Joel, we knew that going into the fight,” said Wilcock in an interview with Aus-Boxing. “But Warrington is a completely different fighter and style.”
“In many ways he’s similar to Joel in his aggressive come forward approach,”
“The style will suit Joel alot better, the fighter isn’t of the class that Selby is, and this will be Joel’s third fight inside twelve months. He’s had a perfect preparation including three London sparring sessions, so he’s ready.”
For Wilcock, the experience of travelling abroad with his fighters is something he has grown quite familiar with.
Aside from juggling his roles at Fightcard Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions, Wilcock manages several fighters who regularly fight abroad, including Dennis Hogan and Josh King amongst others.
Although he wasn’t successful with Joel Brunker’s first trip to England, Wilcock believes everything is in place to secure their maiden win on British soil against Warrington.
“I think we have the preparation periods and formula right for the overseas trips,” added Wilcock. “We just need one to get a win on the big stage now,”
“Each trip overseas is different and every boxer is different, but with some very strong support networks being built in both the UK and the US, each preparation is better and more refined than the one before.”
“Each boxer is different and is at a different stage of their career,” he continued. “Importantly the landscape of their respective division is probably the key factor,”
For Brunker (28-1, 16 KOs) the fight against Warrington (21-0, 4 KOs) will be his third in twelve months. Unlike his preparation for his IBF final eliminator against Lee Selby, Brunker is in the midst of an active patch.
— iFL TV™ (@IFLTV) September 1, 2015
Having established himself as one of Australia’s best at featherweight over the course of a seven year professional career, Wilcock believes the time is now for his charge to make his mark on the international scene.
“At Joel’s age and for a featherweight the time to move on Joel is now.”
“He had 27 successful fights before joining Fightcard Promotions and in all honesty after that grounding, he should be able to step up to the big fights now,”
“He has the ability, he has the heart, he has the desire. He’s as good as Joel Brunker is going to get, he’ll only get better with the bigger challenges and the harder fights,”
“That’s what Joel wants and thats what he asked for when I first met him,” Wilcock continued. “Joel is in the prime of his career, is determined and physically fit.”
“He’s ready to win at the top level right now. With this particular fight we thought that the style was perfect for Joel and that the level of fight was to good to turn down,”
Matchroom Sport are without a doubt the leading boxing promoter in the United Kingdom and along with a select group of other promotional companies, one of the best promoters in the world.
Wilcock spoke positively about his working relationship with the Eddie Hearn led company, who he has now made two fights with.
“It took a few months of contact to have Joel made mandatory for the Commonwealth title, and I have a great relationship with Matchroom Boxing, so the fight was easy to make in the end,”
If Brunker is successful in dethroning Warrington, he will not only earn the coveted Commonewealth title, but also a mandatory position within the WBC.
“This is being billed as a WBC eliminator or final eliminator in the UK, so whilst that is unofficial, the ‘behind the scenes work’ has been done and we know the importance of winning this fight.
When probed on his opinion of Warrington and his abilities, Wilcock was straight forward with his answer.
“Honest opinion, I’m not yet sold,” admitted Wilcock. “If he beats Brunker, I’ll become a believer, until then I dont think he’s anything better than a good domestic level fighter with a great following,”
“He’s 21-0, but one thing I cant look past is that his first 15 fights (pre-Matchroom) all went the distance,”
“If he wants to stand toe-to-toe with Joel Brunker then he’d need to have power, his early career wouldn’t suggest that exists. Josh and his whole team are absolute professionals and great people.”
“Should he beat Joel then he deserves his shot at a world title.”
Photo: Paul Thomas/Getty Images