Sandy Row native Lewis Crocker has just one thing on his mind when he dips between the ring ropes. Committing carnage!
‘People pay to watch me smash someone, and that’s what I try to deliver. I’m never comfortable winning on points,’ disclosed the 20 year old Frank Warren promoted welterweight who hoovered up seven All-Ireland junior titles plus a European schoolboy bronze medal during a stellar 90-7 amateur career.
‘As a boxing fan myself, I love to witness knockouts, raw guys who attempt to take their opponent’s head off. So that’s what I intend to bring myself. I’m everything I’d want to see in a boxer.
‘For me, the highlight of my amateur career was a couple of brutal knockouts. I stopped a lot as a youngster even with the head guards on but it wasn’t until I put my opponent to sleep for several minutes over in Poland when I was about 15 that I realised I had proper knockout power. That shocked me a bit.
‘A few years after, I put another guy out cold in just 13 seconds – including the count – over in Spain. I believe only Mike Tyson holds a quicker recorded knockout!’
‘It’s not about being aggressive and gung-ho. You need to be smart. Every day I try to learn new things at the gym.
‘And it’s nothing to do with having big muscular arms. It’s just genetics; being able to rotate the legs, hips and torque, in synch. The left hook is the real danger but I can bang ‘em out with either hand.’
Yet the one they call ‘The Croc’ concedes he isn’t even the most fearsome fighter in his family.
He explains: ‘My sister Alanna (Audley-Murphy), who’s 10 years my senior, was involved in Ireland’s first ever female boxing match. She then won bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and is still boxing in the British Army today. I was always scared of her, everybody was. Others might threaten older brothers to fight their battles, I’d threaten my big sister!’
Having already left a trail of prostrate bodies at his feet as an amateur, the 5ft 11in former World Junior rep promises to inflict even worse damage in the less sanitised professional sphere. Hapless Hungarian Ferenc Jarko was rubbed out in just 67 seconds on Crocker’s paid bow at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall in mid March.
‘When I first slipped those wee 8oz gloves on I thought: ‘Wow! I can cause damage with these!’ The moment I landed, I knew I’d hurt Jarko badly,’ states the Ray Ginley coached Belfast man who returns to the scene of that mugging this Saturday for his second pro gig against Bulgaria’s Radoslav Mitev. BoxNation screen live.
‘I was a bit worried when they put the oxygen mask on him. You don’t want to permanently damage an opponent but, at the end of the day, it’s a fight. They train to hurt me too, remember.
‘Sandy Row was a renowned rough neighbourhood but I was always an easy going kid who avoided confrontation. However, as soon as the gloves go on, I’m in the zone!’