Jack Brubaker relishes underdog tag: “There’s no pressure on me”

IF there was an award for taking the hardest route to the top, Jack Brubaker would be rewarded in spades.

The confident and popular Sydney-based welterweight has opted to face the most difficult challenge available, signing to face former two-time British light welterweight ruler Tyrone Nurse (35-3-2, 7 KOs) in a final eliminator for the Commonwealth welterweight title on Thursday night.

Despite the perceived pressure to perform following his unsuccessful challenge for Kris George’s Commonwealth welterweight throne last October, Brubaker remains as confident as ever.

“I’m always extremely confident,” said Brubaker in an interview with Aus-Boxing.

“Being Australian, everyone loves the underdog, especially with me fighting a well credentialed guy from the United Kingdom. It’s just going to make me lift.”

“There’s no pressure on me. I’m going to go in there and do my thing. I feel like I’m going to be the bigger, stronger and more determined fighter on the night fighting at home,”

“I’m going to thrive off the atmosphere of the home ground and do what I need to do to get the win,”

Unlike his well-travelled opponent, Brubaker (13-2-1, 7 KOs) has admitted that the decision to face Nurse was a calculated one, with his team watching an abundance of footage.

“We sat down and watched a bit of his fights,” he added. “He’s got every punch in the book. He’s a red hot class boxer, but there doesn’t seem to be anything on them,”

“He’s slick, he moves well – we’re going to have to be on our game and match him for speed – and let my power and strength carry me through in the later rounds,”

“If Nurse thinks he’s got a nice trip to Australia and an easy win, he’s going to be in for one hell of a night.”

“I truly believe watching a few of his fights that I’ve got what it takes to drop him and be the first man to stop him.”

In Brubaker’s last outing, the 26-year-old appeared to have the beating of Kris George, who suffered a hand injury in the early rounds. But a well-timed counter from the hard-hitting Toowoomba resident landed with precision, opening a gash on the eyelid of Brubaker, which was deemed too serious for the fight to continue.

With each loss serving as a unique learning experience, Brubaker believes he’s in a better place for the result.

“Looking at that loss on paper, if you read that up on BoxRec, it looks I’ve had a hard loss and got stopped severely. But it was just one of those things, Kris George only had one or two rounds left in him and it was an unfortunate finish to the fight,”

“It had the potential to be such a good fight. If Tyrone wants to make a judgment on a stoppage loss with Kris, that’ll be his undoing. That’s boxing, you roll with the punches and learn,”

“I walked away from that fight learning so much, knowing what I did right and wrong. Whereas I think Kris would’ve walked out of the fight, thinking that he got lucky.”

Irrespective of result, Brubaker’s inherent desire to test himself against quality opposition can never be disputed. Providing he is able to upset the odds on Thursday at The Star in Sydney, he believes his place within the domestic landscape will have been earned rather than given.

“I think beating Tyrone will open a lot of doors for me in the UK,” he concluded. “When I got offered the opportunity to fight on the Johnny Lewis Boxing Series, I wanted the toughest fight I could get,”

“We thought that Tyrone was the class pick and a win over him will leapfrog me right up to the top of the food chain.”

Photo: Louie Abigail