Lewis Crocker [12(7)-0] starts 2021 with another interesting step up after securing a fight with Dylan Moran’s verbal sparring partner Deniz Ilbay [22(10)-2(0)]
Having stepped his way up incrementally since turning over in 2017, ‘The Croc’ finally got had a standout moment when stopped Louis Greene last year.
Although there were many claiming the Dee Walsh trained welter was ready to be let off the leash Greene certainly represented his toughest test to date.
The big punching Belfast fighter passed the test with flying colours dominating en route to an eye catching stoppage win.
Now he moves on to a fight with Ilbay on the second of MTK’s ‘Dubai Series’ and a fight that will play out in Round 10 Boxing Club on March 12.
The German will be known to Irish fight fans after his very public spat with Waterford’s Moran.
The 25-year-old played a part in Irish boxing’s very own ‘Pizza Gate’ after twice agreeing to fight the Deise fighter, only for Covid to keep them apart.
Ilbay has won a host of titles and his two losses come to recent Terence Crawford opponent Egidijus Kavaliauskas [21(17)-1(1)-1] and less impressively Jonathan Jose Eniz [24(9)-13(4)-1] where he was defeated on a split decision.
In that respect he represents a step up for Crocker – and considering Ilbay v Moran was meant to be for a ranking title, the Belfast up and comer could yet find himself fighting for a progressive strap.