Not quite Mr T’s famous ‘pain’ prediction in Rocky III but Lewis Crocker is coming to do damage in the SSE Arena on Saturday night.
The Belfast welterweight says he both wants to and plans to ‘hurt’ Tyrone McKenna in one of the most eagerly anticipated fights to come to the boxing-steeped city of Belfast in recent times.
In fact, the Billy Nelson-trained Conlan Boxing fighter wants to ‘really, really hurt’ the ‘Mighty Celt’.
‘The Croc’ has been sharpening his teeth throughout fight week and plans to sink them into the sharp-tongued McKenna.
“I want to hurt this guy, like really really hurt this guy,” Croker told Irish-boxing.com.
Crocker has always been an aggressive fighter with a big punching style and, as a result, was always fancied to go on the front foot against the Pete Taylor-trained man.
However, he says he comes to this fight be an extra bit of spite.
“Anyone I fight I want to hurt but the fact that he’s said stuff as well it’s added more desire to do damage.
“We’d be friendly, before this camp anyway, he has said a few things now that change that a little. We’ve respect for each other, but we want to kill each other.
“I’m excited. I can’t wait. The fans, the atmosphere, it’s going to be a big fight.
“Belfast has always had a big boxing community, so when two of us fight each other it creates massive excitement. The fact it is me and Tyrone, both entertaining fighters they know to expect fireworks on Saturday.”
Crocker’s is a name that has been mentioned as a potentially ‘special talent’ since his teens. People like Carl Frampton have highlighted his skill and punching power. However, his career to date has been stop-start. Relocating training to Scotland and working with Conlan Boxing has helped him gain a bit of momentum and he now feels primed to step off the dirt track and hitch a lift with a big-time promoter on the boxing motorway.
“The goal is to get signed by a promoter. I think I have the right style and the fan base as well. I don’t see why not and why I can’t be one to bring big fights to Belfast,” he adds before predicting he’ll change his career with a big inside-the-distance win in a fight that has been moved to chief support this Saturday.
“This is my moment, absolutely. I’ve had three fights this year to get myself back on track and here I am, I’ve got the big fight. I’m going to put on the performance of my life.”
“Me, inside the distance,” he concludes when asked for a prediction.