Assassin’s Slater was surprised that he had to come out in defence of a fighter with step up previous after his ‘Clash of the Titans’ opponent’s coach raised concern as to whether the BUI Celtic light welter champion would show up at the National Stadium to fight Jake Hanney next month.
Eddie Hyland told Irish-Boxing.com he was ‘sceptical’ about Rabei’s willingness to fight and feared a no show.
They were suggestions shot down by the Moldovan-Dub and ones which were explained away by Slater.
The promoter points out the 25-year-old has consistently stepped up without qualms since 2017 and, rather than shy away from challenges, has been calling for them.
Slater suggests the Steven O’Rourke-trained fighter’s record compares favorably to any Irish boxer at a similar stage in their careers and thus has proven he has as much if not more balls than his counterparts.
“They have been saying Victor won’t show up, but we know Victor and what he is made of and they couldn’t be more wrong. Victor will show up in more ways than one,” a calm Slater told Irish-Boxing.com before trying to be defiant via logic.
“Just look at Victor’s track record. He fought one of the best UK journeymen on his debut, Chris Adaway is not an easy start. Then he fought Micheal Mooney another good learning fight. We persuaded him to take an easier one against a Polish journeyman [Damian Lawniczak] who, in fairness, some Irish lads have now struggled with and then it was into all-Irish clashes with Mark Morris and Karl Kelly.”
It’s not just the names on Rabei’s record that assures Slater but the manner in which Rathmichael man accepted the fights.
“You go to a guy on their debut with Chris Adaway as an opponent and most boxers raise their eyebrows. Chris Adaway is a lad most people leave till their sixth fight. Victor took it in a heartbeat and he has been the same for every fight.”
“The Morris fight, honestly a lot people were telling me he would beat Victor and we were mad for making that fight, but Victor wanted it. Morris had eight weeks notice, came in shape and again, not only did Victor take that straight away, he performed on the night. It was the same for Karl Kelly and the same for this one.
“So I don’t think anyone has the right to question Victor. There is no foundation for questions or evidence to suggest he has bottled anything before.”
“Look, he has been offered tougher fights than anyone at this stage in their career, he said ‘yes’ every time and delivered every time. Don’t worry about that!”
The young fight maker also indicated that he would be more within his rights to question Hanney [5(4)-1(1)] than Team Hanney would be to question his charge.
Considering he has a reputation for not living the life previously, Slater feels the real question is whether Hanney will turn up.
It’s not something he believes will happen, more something he referenced to make a quite pointed point.
“There are more uncertainties about Jake and I think, if we were to base it on their records, who is more consistent?”
“There are a lot of bullshitters in boxing. Fighters and teams who say they would fight anyone and then when push comes to shove they go missing.”
“Victor is the opposite, he wants these fights. Look at his record he hasn’t back down and has delivered every time. ”
Slater expects Rabei to deliver again, live on TG4, on the Boxing Ireland and Assassin co-promotion, but does admit East Wall’s Hanney will provide him with a difficult test in a what should be an entertaining fight.
“I think Victor will win, but I think it’s a great fight,” he noted.
“Victor is above the Celtic level and this is the last one he has to go through to get to Irish title level. Now Jake is a good boxer and, on his day, can cause people problems.”
“There is no doubt this is Victor’s toughest test, but I back Victor to win.”
Tickets for ‘Clash of the Titans’ cost €40 (general), €60 (ringside), and €100 (VIP) and are available from the boxers involved or Ticketmaster (CLICK HERE).