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)
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