BO No. 4 ranked featherweight contender Joel Brunker (26-0, 15KOs) will aim to keep his undefeated record intact when he competes this Saturday on the undercard of the Gary Shaw Productions promoted HBO Boxing After Dark event that features an IBF middleweight title clash between Daniel Geale and Darren Barker. The card is being held at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the arena’s first boxing event, making it a momentous occasion supported by a stellar card.
Brunker will square off against battle-tested Mike Oliver (25-4, 8 KOs) in a 10-round affair. Oliver’s last 2 fights were losing efforts against Juan Manuel Lopez and Billy Dib, but the fact that he has been in the ring with quality opponents suggests that he will give Brunker a true barometer opportunity.
“It’s all about getting better and preparing myself accordingly for each fight,” said Brunker. “I feel like if I can make habits out of working hard and staying focused on the opponent in front of me then it will give me the best chance to make winning a constant occurrence.”
“Mike isn’t just my next opponent, I feel like he is a rite of passage and he’ll have to pay for that. It’s hard to keep a balance between what is business and what is personal, but I’m in the business of running through people standing in my way and if you take it personal then so be it,” Brunker continued.
It’s apparent that Brunker is in a solid mental state, prepared for battle and ready to put on a show, but his future is too bright to be merely disregarded.
“Of course I think of what’s next or on the horizon, but I don’t get caught up on it. I trust my promoters Gary Shaw and Ace Boxing’s Angelo DiCarlo who are the people in charge of my career. I know that they know the sport and more importantly they know fighters. My physical and mental preparation is beginning to coincide with my readiness for a title shot. The willingness is there, trust me. But I don’t want to be over eager, we’ll just say I’ve got my eyes on the belt holders and if they were smart they’d keep their eye on me as well,” Brunker said.
Brunker seems to believe that success is just a matter of time. For now he appears adequate in his current endeavors, but Gary Shaw seems to believe Brunker’s time to prove his upper echelon status is upon him.
“Joel has been on people’s radars for quite some time now and he’s been on a number of must watch lists as well as several future prospect lists over the past several years, and rightfully so,” Gary Shaw stated. “He is a tremendous talent, capable of reshaping the current state of the division in a single performance, but that performance will have to come against a fighter with an established reputation, that’s how Joel will prove he is an elite competitor. Let’s see what he does Saturday, then we’ll move forward and that move’s level of seriousness may directly reflect Saturday’s outcome. Be there or risk missing the birth of a star.”
Tickets prices start at $30 and are on sale now at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and by calling 1-800-745-3000. The HBO Boxing After Dark telecast will begin at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
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