23.06.04 – By Tony Nobbs: Argentine light middleweight Walter Crucce arrived on he Gold Coast on Sunday and wasted very little time, heading to the gym at 7.30 pm to work off jet lag five days before he goes toe to toe with IBF # 4 Shannan Taylor at the Royal Pines Golf Course on the Gold Coast on Friday night. Before an impressive hit out with trainer – father Marcelo, the stocky 29 year old from Las Flores said he was in the best shape in a long time and suggested he may need an inside the route win to ensure his hand is raised.
“I have travelled too many kilometres to come here to lose. My training is very good, I have come here to win and I feel a knockout is the only way. This is not my country, and it (controversy) has happened to me before” said Crucce through interpreter, female lightweight, Kina Malpartida, a Peruvian based on the Gold Coast who will also assist in the corner.
Southpaw Crucce’s only bout outside Argentina as a professional came in 2000, a close loss on points to Michelle Piccilliro in Italy for the WBU Welterweight belt. Piccilliro went on to defeat current Unified World Welterweight champ Cory Spinks for the IBF title in 2002. “I have good power and I will be trying to catch him with it and let him feel it very early. He has beaten other Argentine fighters and they tell me he is a strong boy. I have seen video of him and I know what punches will work”.
Marcelo Crucce, who has 54 pro fighters in his stable said he was very confident in his son’schances. “Of all his fights, I give his preparation ten out of ten. The shape he is in now he is a much better fighter than other Argentine fighters to come here. With a world ranking on the line we have trained to make sure we go back victorious. A good light is going to shine on us”.
With 34 KO’s in a 45-7 record against high calibre opposition, Crucce’s power should not be underestimated. He has held WBA Fedalatin titles in two divisions and a five time amateur champion of his homeland claiming today a 147 wins before he made his debut in the punch for pay ranks in 1995.
Meanwhile 32 year old Taylor (38-3-2, 25 KO) and trainer Frankie John Gatt also flew into town Sunday and predicted an impressive win which could see him move as high as number two in the world.