Lewis Crocker capturing the imagination of a city, giving Jamie Conlan the feel-good factor

Promoter Jamie Conlan oversees Lewis Crocker’s quick return to action in Belfast this Saturday when he takes on Jose Felix less than six weeks out from his last dance with local rival Tyrone McKenna.

Crocker came in as the underdog against McKenna on the Michael Conlan-Jordan Gill undercard card in the city’s SSE Arena. And Crocker came out on top, scoring the widest of unanimous decision wins with an enthralling performance to match. 

“Lewis, two years ago, had a terrible year,” Conlan told ProBox TV. “We didn’t get any fights, we had a lot of fights falling through, things weren’t working out. We had fights pulling out on the day, injuries on fight week, a lot of things happened. But last year, we sat down and put our plan in place to do as many fights as possible. We decided that we would be happy to go on the road, get activity and get a new base of operations, which he did with [trainer] Billy Nelson. 

“We wanted to have a big end of the year with a massive fight. He and McKenna were both in need of a big fight, it worked out that they would fight each other, so it was a massive opportunity.”

Jamie’s brother, Michael Conlan, suffered a second straight knockout defeat last month – against Jordan Gill – following on from a vicious defeat to world champion Luis Alberto Lopez, leaving Belfast without a star. However, Crocker’s dominant and flashy performance against McKenna sees him headlining at Belfast’s Ulster Hall tomorrow night on DAZN.

“It was a fight that really grabbed the imagination of the city,” Conlan explained. “It was a fight that divided opinion of the city. It was a fight that was always going to leave one of them as the superstar. Whoever won was going to come out of it with the city behind them, which Lewis did.”

Conlan’s promotional outfit, Conlan Boxing, had expected to see younger brother Michael lead the way for the company and fly the flag for boxing in fight-mad Belfast. While Michael’s next move is unclear, the promotional business continues at pace.

“It is like a roller coaster,” Conlan added. “You’ve just got to ride it and grit your teeth and hold on as tight as you can. It is fun, but you are dealing with people so it is hard at times. When you see the progression of a young man's career, the likes of Lewis, the likes of Paddy McCrory, it does give you that feel good factor. We have another show in Belfast that we will announce in a week or two.”