Crocker in pursuit of big names, big nights and open to Donovan showdown

Lewis Crocker is excited to make a quick return to the ring when he takes on Jose Felix in Belfast this weekend.

Crocker defeated Irish rival Tyrone McKenna via a wide decision in early December, posting a dominant display to head in to 2024 with real momentum. The 27-year-old is now 18-0 (10KOs), and this time he tops the bill. 

“It was a great night,” Crocker said of defeating McKenna as part of the Michael Conlan-Jordan Gill show. “It was a good performance against a quality opponent in Tyrone McKenna – Battle of Belfast – on DAZN and a Matchroom card, so there was loads of people watching. Obviously I’m glad I got the job done and showed people what I’m about.”

Crocker played to the crowd and showboated, goading McKenna and some were surprised to see it, but he said there is more of that to come.

“I think people don’t know much about me,” “The Crock” explained. “I enjoyed that fight. That’s really me and that’s what you’ll see moving forwards, my personality coming out, because I love a fight, I love being in wars so I’m looking forward to putting on another show. I have no nerves at all on fight week. I never lose any sleep, nothing. All the hard part’s done in the training and the fight’s the best part.”

Felix is ready to spoil another Irish party, however. He stunned Gary Cully in three rounds with one of the shocks of last year, flooring the touted prospect twice on his way to victory in Dublin. Felix weighed marginally over 137lbs for that. This is set for 147lbs.

Of his opponent this weekend, Crocker said: “Great fighter, a lot of knockouts and he had a big upset win over Gary Cully last year, so he’s been on my radar, I know who he is. It’s going to be toe-to-toe, but one that I’m victorious in.”

The common consensus is that the Billy Nelson-trained Crocker will be too big for Felix, and Crocker believes that could be the case.

“That’s the thing,” he added. “I think I am too strong for him. When his name was mentioned to me, I said I’ll fight anyone. Clearly he fancies his chances as well, so fair play, but there’s only one winner in this. “

There is also a slot on the bill for another Irish Matchroom star, Paddy Donovan. Andy Lee’s welterweight prospect is 12-0 and a former amateur star and he boxes Williams Andres Herrera. Both Lee and Donovan have talked up a potential fight between the two prospects and Crocker is open to the possibility.

“The welterweight division domestically is insane,” Crocker said. “There’s loads of big, big fights out there. Paddy’s a great fighter so we’ll see what happens. We’re both on the rise in our careers, maybe one day it could happen. 

“He’s a very very good fight, a quality fighter. He’s very exciting to watch, very skilful. He’s got a good trainer in Andy Lee as well, so I can see them going far in the sport.”

Crocker and Donovan could get real momentum and could do big arena or even solid stadium numbers as part of the right show.

“That sort of talk, you’re talking big, big money as well,” Crocker continued. “So it’s going to benefit us both, a big fight like that. I think there would have to be some meaning towards it, like it would have to be a big title on the line, and both of us getting well compensated for it. Because I feel like there are different routes out there that both of us could take, and build on their own, but if the fight was there and the money was there and everything, I’m sure we’d both be up for it. 

“I only want big fights now. Nothing else is getting me excited. I want to be on the big cards, and now that I’ve got a taste of what the big events are like, there’s no stopping me now. I want to keep pushing forwards and hopefully bring more big names back to Belfast.”