Phil Sutcliffe Jr tells Josh Leather – “I am not prepared to lose”

After years of frustration, fights falling through, fights at the wrong time, and being turned down – Phil Sutcliffe Jr [13(8)-1(0)] finally gets his big chance tomorrow.

The Dublin light welter boxes at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on a big BT Sport bill, taking on unbeaten Josh Leather [11(5)-0] for the IBF Inter-Continental title and a Top 15 ranking with the organisation.

The Crumlin man comes into the bout perhaps as the ‘B side,’ but enters with the rare benefit of a full camp, plenty activity, and the experience of tough fights.

Sutcliffe described how “this is the longest camp I’ve ever had. It’s been seven and a half weeks, I’m in super nick, I’m going to make the weight fairly handy, and it’s going to be a hell of a fight – I hope he’s ready for it.”

Something which was immediately noticeable at the face-off was the size difference between the two. Stocky Sutcliffe has no issue with this though and noted how “I’ve watched Josh, and he’s a good boxer, he has range, he’s tall – but I’m five foot nothing, I’ve been boxing rangey fighters all my life, it means nothing to me.”

While there is a disparity in height in favour of Leather, there is a disparity in experience in favour of Sutcliffe, although the 2009 EU bronze medalist does not read into this.

“Of course [I’ve fought at a higher level], a higher amateur level as well,” said Sutcliffe. “But listen, it means nothing, it’s all about the night.”

That said, while experience may not play a part in the ring, it most definitely did in camp, and Sutcliffe admits he has learnt a lot from his razor close battle with Chris Jenkins back in November

“Chris Jenkins, hell of a man, hell of a fighter, few decisions made wrong in the camp, but look, we got through it, we dug deep. ”

“Mistakes won’t be made, this is a different fight altogether.”

“This is for a Top 15 ranking in the world, an IBF Intercontinental title which I am not prepared to lose. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]