Deniz Ilbay [22(1)-2(0)] claims none other than Jamel Herring has set Lewis Crocker [12(7)-0] up for a stoppage defeat.
The German, known in Ireland for his ‘Pizzagate’ fall out with Dylan Moran, challenges the emerging Belfast prospect for his WBO European welterweight rankings title in Dubai on March 12th.
The 26-year-old told Irish-Boxing.com that Jamal Herring, the WBO super featherweight champion who puts his belt on the line against Carl Frampton on February 27th, played a part in securing him the fight.
The always-confident Ilbay also suggests whoever allowed the American to play matchmaker has made a big mistake, predicting he will end Crocker’s unbeaten start by securing an inside-the-distance win.
“The fight with Crocker was actually made through some people I know, Jerry Casarez and Jamel Herring. I asked them if they could find me a fight on a card outside of Germany. These guys are awesome because they really made it happen. Also, I am thankful to MTK for giving me a chance. I will show them how thankful I am with a fireworks display in the ring on March 12,” he told Irish-Boxing.com before making a bold prediction.
“I think I will stop him between the sixth and eighth round.”
Whilst the German believes he wins inside the distance he does also predict it will be fun for the fans while it lasts.
“I think that Crocker is a good fighter. He is the WBO European champ for some reason and I’m so excited for that fight. I’m pretty sure that we will give the fans one of the most spectacular fights in Dubai,” he continues before noting it’s a fight that will help progress his career, particularly if he wins.
“I had a few different offers in 2020 and I could have fought during the COVID pandemic, but I only wanted a fight that would bring me forward. I didn’t want to fight a journeyman.”
Ilbay will be known to Irish fans via his spats with Dylan Moran, which played out via Irish-Boxing.com last year.
The pair twice agreed to fight only for the pandemic to prevent both bouts from happening.
There was talk of attempting to make it third-time lucky and Ilbay claims he was willing.
“What happened to the Moran fight? Only the promoters can answer that question! All I can say is I was always ready to fight in front of a crowd or even in an empty gym. I was ready to fight the whole time.”