Jarrod Fletcher is taking next weekend’s WBA Continental middleweight title bout against Max Bursak so seriously that he has already set up fight camp in Nice, France – the first fighter to do so ahead of the Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza on February 1.
Rated number four by the WBA, Fletcher (17-1, 10 KOs) was in line to fight highly-regarded Martin Murray, but the Briton withdrew, a development that doesn’t faze the Australian.
“It’s disappointing, I was focused on him,” he said from his training base in Nice. “Murray has his own agenda and is doing what he must do. It’s no good being sulky about it. This is the world stage and I’ll fight whoever I must.”
Fletcher said he travelled early to France to prepare for what he calls the biggest fight of his career. “My preparation has been faultless, it’s all on track after seven weeks of hard work in Australia. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. Everything is going really good; I’m more than ready.”
In Bursak (29-1-1, 12 KOs), he meets an experienced boxer who has fought almost exclusively out of his hometown of Kiev in the Ukraine. In one of his rare ventures abroad, last year he beat the UK’s Prince Arron in another Golden Gloves tournament in Monte Carlo, impressing with his strength and ringcraft.
“I’ve seen his tapes and he’s very, very experienced,” said Fletcher. “He has a big amateur background. He’s a pressure fighter and will be there the whole 12 rounds. It’s a very tough fight, but I’ve got a solid gameplan.”
In his only overseas fight to date, in 2012, Fletcher suffered his lone professional defeat – an inside-the-distance loss to Billy Joe Saunders. But Fletcher says he has no qualms stepping out of his backyard for this assignment.
“Definitely not. I had 180 amateur bouts and fought all over the world. The Billy Joe fight was stopped way too early. Not much went right, I got caught good. No excuses. But the result made me stronger and more determined.”
Fletcher, who grew up admiring Oscar De La Hoya, describes himself as “fast, and a good mover”, saying he can box too if circumstances demand it.
He has rebounded well since his 2012 reverse, reeling off five wins, the best of them against former WBA world title challenger Randy Suico of the Philippines.
“I plan to leave it all in the ring,” says the man known as “Left Jab”. “This is my biggest opportunity to date. I have a young family at home and I hope this sets up big things and bigger paydays. This is my time.”
The Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza takes place at the beautiful Salle des Etoiles venue on the peninsula of Monte Carlo.
This world class event is exclusively distributed internationally by leading boxing rights distributor and sports marketing firm, Octapixx LIVE.
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