In the heart of Belfast, Northern Ireland, at the iconic Ulster Hall, Lewis Crocker, an Irish welterweight with a record that gleamed at 19-0, including 11 knockouts, tipped the scales a tad heavy. Last Friday, the lad overshoots his mark by a cheeky three pounds, landing at a beefy 150 lbs, effectively blurring the lines between welter and junior middleweight.
Jose Felix, hailing from Mexico with a battle-hardened record of 40-7-1 and 31 KOs to his name, found himself squaring up against what seemed like a middleweight behemoth in Crocker during Saturday night’s scuffle.
Crocker, towering over Felix, unleashed a thunderous left hook in the fifth, sending Felix on a quick trip to the canvas. Despite Felix bouncing back up, spry and ready to rumble at the count of eight, the ref, Marcus McDonnell, decided he’d seen enough and called it quits at 1:54 in the round. Felix’s look of utter disbelief was the cherry on top of a night that had already been skating on thin ice in terms of fairness.
Earlier, in a display of brute force, Crocker floored Felix with a body shot, and while the man was down, Crocker decided to gift him a couple more headshots for good measure. The ref, however, seemed to have missed the memo on fair play, turning a blind eye to the unsportsmanlike conduct.
Adding to the drama, Felix was docked a point for what was arguably a legal beltline shot, but the ref thought otherwise. It seemed like Felix couldn’t catch a break, especially after an earlier low blow incident which, followed by another beltline shot, had Crocker seeking divine intervention from the ref, who was all too happy to oblige.
Felix, light on his feet and quick with his fists, had been giving Crocker a run for his money with rapid combinations, marking up Crocker but lacking the heft to slow the giant. It looked like Felix might tire out from his own speed, but a premature hook in the fifth saved him the trouble.
To be blunt, Crocker’s performance was less than stellar. Toss him in the ring with a dynamo like Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, and he’d be lucky to last a round. Crocker’s future seems to beckon towards the 154-lb division, especially if he plans on turning weigh-ins into a high-stakes guessing game. If 147 lbs is a stretch, perhaps it’s time for Crocker to embrace the heavier fights rather than feasting on journeymen at a questionable 150 lbs.