Joe Fitzpatrick defiantly argues he isn’t trying to get under the skin of comeback opponent Stephen Webb nor is he trying to build the Celtic Clash 8 top of the bill this week – rather he claims he is just telling what he perceives as the truth when discussing his Saturday night opponent.
‘The Dragon’, who fight for the first time in 18 months and for the just the third time in since 2016 at the Devenish this weekend, has been quite critical of his foe in the build up to their West Belfast derby.
The pair had traded words ahead of a proposed but cancelled February clash and while Webb has been somewhat more reserved this time around Fitzpatrick hasn’t held back too much.
The Commonwealth Games medalist, who is now signed to Boxing Ireland, has predicted a knockout, questioned the St James’ fighters comfort at the weight and claimed he was lucky to win his debut.
Most annoying to Webb the lightweight prospect has been forthright in suggesting a fighter he has sparring previous with will have to hand up his gloves or become a journey man by the time he is finished with him Saturday night.
At first glance it looks like common pre fight mind games, but suggest that to the southpaw at your peril.
“I am just telling the truth. You and other press ask me questions and I answer them honestly. It’s my honest opinion, do you want me to lie?” Fitzpatrick said when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.
“I’ll shake his hand after and it’s not bad blood. I am just saying it as I see it and saying what I believe. I am just better than him.”
Fitzpatrick thinks the John Breen trained fighter has made a mistake in agreeing to fight him at this stage of his career.
The former MHD puncher, who is keen to make a mark on the domestic lightweight scene, stresses Webb will pay the ultimate price for that error in judgement.
“I suppose it’s good to top the bill and fair play to him for taking the fight. If the shoe was on the other foot I wouldn’t have taken the fight. It’s a mismatch.
“I think I am fighting a journey man. At the very least a journey man to be. I am going to make him a journey man or end his career. He can choose which one after Saturday,” he adds before suggesting his opponent is struggling at the weight.
“I think he looks skinny and he is tight for the weight. I am making weight comfortable, my mind is comfortable and everything is good. I am on fire.”
Saturday’s top of the bill plays out over just six rounds, but the Divis fighter believes that will be enough time for him to get Webb out of there.
“He was lucky to win his last fight against a journey man. So I think stoppage victory, easy,” he adds before warning fans against believing what Webb has said of their sparing sessions.
“He was talking shite about that spar. He said he dropped me. He never dropped me in his life. I schooled him in sparring. Anything he says about that spar he is talking out of his arse.”