THE second instalment of the Johnny Lewis boxing series promises to be as good as it’s predecessor.
The inaugural event at The Star in October proved to be a tremendous success with Sakio Bika, Darragh Foley and Tim Tszyu starring in an afternoon of evenly matched fights at a world class venue. The second event, titled after legendary Hall of Famer Johnny Lewis, has been aptly labelled ‘The Fighting Irish’, with enigmatic Irishman Darragh Foley slated to headline.
A welcome return of Australia’s best commentary duo in Ben Damon and Kali Meehan will also prove to be an added bonus, with the pair offering tremendous insight on Epicentre’s coverage of the first offering of the Johnny Lewis Ultimate Fight Night.
“It just feels natural,” said Foley in a press release issued by Big Ticket Boxing. “This whole ascension feels natural as if it was written in the stars or maybe I was born for this. I’ll keep taking all the belts in the region until someone has the balls to step up and fight, I’m only looking at the top fighters.”
“My team has offered every Japanese light welterweight the opportunity to come challenge me for my belts, but no one has stepped up. I am happy to fight them in Japan if the offer is right. I acquired the OPBF title in June – which is only trumped in terms of prestige in Japan by a world title – but still they went silent.”
Before Foley (13-2, 8 KOs) can make plans for 2018, he faces a final test on Friday night against lively Filipino Ernie Sanchez (17-10-1, 8 KOs) at Club Punchbowl, in an eight round non-title fight. Sanchez, 25, has fought a litany of high-level operators, topped by a fifth-round knockout over Japanese firebrand Hurricane Futa in April.
Sanchez also boasts credible defeats to world champions Sergey Lipinets and Oscar Valdez in an eight year professional career that has seen Sanchez fight in a remarkable seven countries.
“He is a solid enough fighter, his losses have all been in good company,” said Foley of his latest opponent. “Three current world champions and all undefeated prospects. Even in defeat he always gives a good account of himself.”
Foley, 29, has been in impressive form for the calendar year, with all three of his appearances failing to reach the full distance. The relocated Irishman came from behind to score a Knockout of the Year contender over the hard-nosed Sonny Katiandagho in April, before scoring technical decision wins over Jeffrey Arienza and later Ryuji Ikeda in October.
“I’ll continue to fight the best and I’m looking to fight the names above me in the world ratings,” quipped Foley. “This game doesn’t just go on forever. I feel like now I’m in my prime and just want the big fights to prove it. I’ve earned my stripes, I’ve always sought out the toughest challengers, won every belt below the big one, never ducked no one and never will.”
“Most see me as a dangerous fighter and do not want to fight me for fear of me taking their ranking.”
Foley’s accession as a fully fledged light welterweight has been successful so far, defending his WBA affiliated regional title three times, while lifting the WBO Oriental bauble and two regional straps affiliated with the WBC. Despite his accomplishments this year, Foley sees his headline slot on the St. Patrick’s Day card as an opportunity to prove he’s made for the big stage.
“I’m pencilled in to headline another big card at The Star on St. Patrick’s Day and I can’t wait,” he concluded. “The big shows and bright lights bring out the best in me – I really get up for them nights – they bring the showman out. Not that I’m looking past my opponent next week.”
The Johnny Lewis Boxing Series at The Star returns on Saturday 17th March, 2018. More details to be released in the New Year.
Photo: Louie Abigail