STEVEN Wilcox believes that fighting in front of a boisterous Irish crowd celebrating St Patrick’s Day will work to his advantage.
The 27-year-old Wilcox (18-2-1, 5 KOs) will face Sydney-based Irishman Darragh Foley (14-2, 8 KOs) in the main event of the second installment of the Johnny Lewis Fight Series. Despite the odds against him, the Canadian fully expects the big-punching Foley to get caught up in the occasion.
“We have sat down and watched a bunch of his fights and he is no easy opponent, but he is not a great boxer, he’s a swinger,” said Wilcox shortly after arriving in Sydney. “He actually makes his fights a lot harder for himself, because he fights to impress the crowd, and doesn’t fight for himself,”
“This is a massive fight for both of us as the winner goes to the next level – the top five in the world – and of course he’ll have the crowd on his side. But I’m not going to worry about them, whereas he’ll be desperate to please them. I’ve watched him do it in his fights, while he’s doing that, I’ll be outboxing him.”
At stake in the main event are a pair of WBA affiliated regional titles, being Foley’s WBA Oceania bauble alongside the WBA NABA strap owned by Wilcox. The winner will be well placed to launch themselves towards an eventual world title eliminator, given the top five rating being offered to the winner.
The WBA light welterweight title has an outright owner after Belarussian Kiryl Relikh avenged an earlier defeat to Rances Barthelemy at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio last weekend, which has upped the stakes for the eighth-rated Foley and tenth-rated Wilcox.
“Most of Foley’s knockouts have been against smaller opponents and often when he’s being outboxed,” added Wilcox. “But this is the kind of fight I’ve been working towards since I started boxing at nine years old, I am not going to let it go,”
“I know I’ll have big support back home where all my people will be watching the coverage live on Epicentre. They’ve booked out two sports bars in Ottawa where I’m based and in Hamilton where I’m from. There will be hundreds of people in both cheering me on.”
Foley, 29, goes into the bout with his typical confidence, while riding a six-fight winning streak. The Irishman has detailed plans to give his fans a memorable St Patrick’s Day before heading overseas to chase an assumed world title opportunity.
Foley versus Wilcox is the main event of the Johnny Lewis Fight Series at The Star, which will be live streamed on Saturday here.
Words: Press Release
Photo: Mark Ruddick