Phil Sutcliffe Jr tells Josh Leather – “I am not prepared to lose”

After years of frustration, fights falling through, fights at the wrong time, and being turned down – Phil Sutcliffe Jr [13(8)-1(0)] finally gets his big chance tomorrow.

The Dublin light welter boxes at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on a big BT Sport bill, taking on unbeaten Josh Leather [11(5)-0] for the IBF Inter-Continental title and a Top 15 ranking with the organisation.

The Crumlin man comes into the bout perhaps as the ‘B side,’ but enters with the rare benefit of a full camp, plenty activity, and the experience of tough fights.

Sutcliffe described how “this is the longest camp I’ve ever had. It’s been seven and a half weeks, I’m in super nick, I’m going to make the weight fairly handy, and it’s going to be a hell of a fight – I hope he’s ready for it.”

Something which was immediately noticeable at the face-off was the size difference between the two. Stocky Sutcliffe has no issue with this though and noted how “I’ve watched Josh, and he’s a good boxer, he has range, he’s tall – but I’m five foot nothing, I’ve been boxing rangey fighters all my life, it means nothing to me.”

While there is a disparity in height in favour of Leather, there is a disparity in experience in favour of Sutcliffe, although the 2009 EU bronze medalist does not read into this.

“Of course [I’ve fought at a higher level], a higher amateur level as well,” said Sutcliffe. “But listen, it means nothing, it’s all about the night.”

That said, while experience may not play a part in the ring, it most definitely did in camp, and Sutcliffe admits he has learnt a lot from his razor close battle with Chris Jenkins back in November

“Chris Jenkins, hell of a man, hell of a fighter, few decisions made wrong in the camp, but look, we got through it, we dug deep. ”

“Mistakes won’t be made, this is a different fight altogether.”

“This is for a Top 15 ranking in the world, an IBF Intercontinental title which I am not prepared to lose. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: