‘Left Jab’ Fletcher on the verge of lucrative title tilt

FIFTEEN months removed from his only professional defeat, Jarrod ‘Left Jab’ Fletcher has proved the doubters wrong, and in the process built a respected resume that now leaves him in the enviable position of being one fight away from an elusive shot at the WBA middleweight title.


For the Hervey Bey resident, 30, a former Olympian and Commonweath Games gold medallist – nothing has come easy – earning the Australian middleweight title as well as the recently-acquired WBA International strap as the challenger on foreign soil. In addition to this, Fletcher arguably entered as the underdog on both occasions, only to prevail by points decision both times.


All this has come in a professional career that has taken the quietly confident Queenslander all over the world in his quest to become world champion.

In an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing, Fletcher’s manager Adam Wilcock of Fightcard Promotions, took time to discuss their journey, future plans and everything in between.


“Jarrod has been a hot property since beating Max Bursak in what was definitely a breakout win on a world level. The enormity of the win has probably been recognised more internationally than here in Australia,” explained Wilcock. “I’ve had a number of offers from the US and Europe, with many looking to try and get over him to claim his ranking and WBA position. We are obviously progressing down the WBA path and Jarrod will get the fight we believe is the right fight for him in 2014.”

Wilcock details Fletcher’s rise to a number of varying factors, most notably a dedicated and loyal team that is committed to succeed. Amazingly enough, the team that has single handily structured Fletcher’s rise are based over two states – with Fletcher’s trainer Steve Deller and his Fortitude Boxing Gym being based in Queensland – while Wilcock and his staff are operational out of Victoria.


“I first spoke to Steve in mid-2010 about my plans and it became evident pretty quickly that we would work together,” Wilcock says of Deller. “He has the same philosophy as our team here in Melbourne when it comes to boxing, and he is an honest and straight-up guy.”

“Steve is a person who treats others with honesty and respect, expects the same from those he works with and that’s the main reason he’s built himself a strong reputation in Australian boxing,” said Wilcock, who has been promoting/managing fighters since 2011. “With all of the Brisbane based fighters that I manage and Steve trains, we plan a path of what we want to achieve and how to get there.”

“All the boxers are kept up-to-date with everything that happens and it makes for a very close and tight team. We have our roles and trust each other to deliver on our area of responsibility. I don’t pretend to know everything about boxing and I’m lucky we have a strong team with Mick Hargraves and Steve Deller around me.”


From a management perspective, Wilcock has done a terrific job with bringing not only exposure to his stable, but also manufacturing opportunities that in most other cases, they wouldn’t of received. Fletcher is a prime example of this, in the space of twelve months, he has gone from national titlist to a formidable contender for a genuine world title.

The win over Bursak makes for credible reading, but the mere discussion of opponents that Fletcher will potentially face, or has been in line to face is quite remarkable with names such as middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin and Martin Murray alongside many others who have shown interest in facing Fletcher.

“We were very close to a Golovkin fight in late 2013, which is what prompted the period of inactivity during mid-2013 and post-Bursak we have again spoken to K2.” said Wilcock. “Jarrod doesn’t fear GGG or anyone else in the division, he is also the ultimate professional and will fight whomever is put in front of him. Golovkin has recently pulled out of his scheduled April fight and we’ll progress down our planned path and assess each option as time progresses.”

“With Martin Murray recently stripped of his WBA interim title and position, it now leaves Jarrod and Chudinov as the top two ranked WBA middleweights. I fully expect it to be a fight that will happen.”

One notable detraction on Fletcher’s name before the Bursak victory, was a lack of genuine names on his record. Although this is something that is not Fletcher’s fault, Wilcock doesn’t see it as an issue, while claiming that all the opponents that Fletcher has faced, have had a designated purpose and have been tailored to work on several aspects of his charge’s game.

“There may have been critics but there haven’t been too many Australians willing to fight Jarrod. Jarrod is still learning, developing and improving every day. Each fight over the last three years has been chosen with the specific purpose of developing Jarrod. Credibility is subjective, I’d much rather choose a match-up based on something that will develop a specific trait within a boxer, than choose opponents based on ego or ranking.”

Part of the territory of having a world rating, is the challenges that come with it. Surprisingly enough, there have been a lack of willing opponents that will face Fletcher domestically, leaving Fletcher’s name to be placed alongside the other two divisional leaders, being former unified middleweight champion Daniel Geale and perennial contender Sam Soliman.

“I’d think that both of those fights are very possible. Daniel Geale has recent runs on the board and will be looking to rebound on the world scene after his Barker defeat, his next move will be interesting. Soliman is a true gentleman of the sport in Australia and deserves one last shot at a world title, hopefully he gets that.”

“I’d happily put Jarrod in with either Geale or Soliman without a second thought. With international fights available to us at the moment the circumstances would need to be right to fight either of these boys, and I’m sure they’d say exactly the same.”


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