WBO European super-featherweight champion Archie Sharp it set to build up a long-term trans-Atlantic rivalry with highly-rated Californian Ryan Garcia.
In October, the unbeaten ‘SharpShooter’ (14-0-KO7) put on a hugely impressive performance to relieve Leon Woodstock of the title and earn a world-ranking at the age of just 23.
Another youngster sitting pretty in the WBO ratings is the 20-year-old Garcia (16-0-KO13) and with the pair’s careers clicking into gear at the same time, Sharp is keen for a high-profile showdown in the future.
Sharp said: “I’ve got my eye on a couple of fighters. I see Ryan Garcia sitting above me in the rankings. I would say I’m going to steal all his female fans but I know my woman would kill me! He’s a good fighter and I’m not calling people out but there are fights there that could happen.
“I’m here for the big nights. Since day one when I’ve started boxing, I’ve always wanted to be in the spotlight and be in the big fights. I’m now 15th in the WBO world ranking so there are big fights out there next year.
“I do my talking in the ring. I don’t need to show off or be a loud-mouth on social media. The fight got made with Leon Woodstock, who does a lot of talking on social media. I went and beat him in his hometown and if the fight got made with Garcia, I’d love to go out to America and beat him in his hometown.
“My plan is to be fighting for a world title fight in the next two years. It’s a good shout that me and Garcia might fight for a world title one day. That would be perfect.
“Life has been busy since I won the European title. I’m ticking over in the gym and getting ready to Christmas. I’m going to enjoy the rest of the year with the family and then get set for a big 2019.
“I’m over the moon. I’m glad the fight happened and I got a very good result. It’s all about getting on to the next ones. I’ve got the belt and I’ve been going to lots of local gyms, taking photos with the kids. It’s great that people are recognising what I do.”
Crocker & Harkin clash for Celtic title in Belfast
Belfast welterweight Lewis Crocker will take on another undefeated fighter in Martin Harkin for the vacant BBBofC Celtic title at the city’s Titanic Exhibition Centre on December 7.
The 21-year-old ‘Croc’ (7-0-KO6) has caused a stir with a string of brutal knockouts and gets a chance to fight for his first title in front of his home fans on the MTK Global show – live on iFL TV.
Across the ring will stand Scottish visitor Harkin (8-0-KO2), who was most recently in action against Chris Jenkinson; the Welshman retiring in the second round.
Crocker said of his opponent: “It’s a big step up for me but these are the kind of fights I want now. I’m really looking forward to December 7 and I’m keen to put on a show.
“I know Harkin’s record but I don’t look into it much. All I know is he’s going to come to win and it’s going to be a good fight. I’m expecting a tough, tough night’s work.
“Anything can happen on the night. It’s all about tactics and gameplan. We want to give the Belfast fans a night to remember.
“It’s a breakout opportunity for me. If I get this one out of the way then there are big potential fights for me next year but I’m not looking past Harkin in any way.”
Crocker, who is seen by Belfast boxing heroes Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan as one of the brightest talents in the sport, is joined on the card by gym-mates Steven Donnelly and Padraig McCrory.
Headlining another colossal night of boxing in the city is Conrad Cummings vs. Brian Rose for the vacant WBO European middleweight title – with the likes of Tyrone McCullagh, Paddy Gallagher, Sean McComb, Gary Cully, Phil Sutcliffe Jr and Steve Collins Jr on the undercard.