With his hand troubles behind him, Liverpool’s Luke Willis is gunning for the big names from the British lightweight division as heads into his next outing on September 29 at Liverpool’s Olympia.
The Scouser has cruised to 7-0 (1) with the use of just one mitt but, after a successful operation, says he is now firing on all cylinders and is willing to take on all-comers.
The VIP Promotions’ Olympia card is headlined by Skelmersdale’s Steve Brogan fighting for the Central Area Lightweight belt again Yorkshire’s Brad Botham, live on vipboxing.tv. Confident Willis wants the chance to box for that title next; as well as fancying his chances against Birkenhead’s former Commonwealth champ Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd, and ex-British champion Scott Cardle.
“I can box, fight and counter-punch, but my best attribute is hitting and not getting hit,” explained Luke. “When someone comes at me, when I’m in a 50-50 fight, then you’ll see the best of me. I’m training well, and my hand is sound, and you’ll see at this next show and then the big fights afterwards that [manager] Steve [Wood] has promised me.
“Steve Brogan is a good friend of mine, but if it got offered and we both took it, then great. Steve’s a friend but I’m levels above him, and he’d say so himself. I’ll fight anyone; if you’re not in my gym, then you’re not on my team and you’re against me. That’s my attitude.
“The fight I’m gunning for though is Sean Dodd, or Cardle. They’re the two fighters I really want; I want their scalps on my record. I’ve got the beating of them, and I want to test myself. I want the opportunity and I’m ready for them right now. Don’t get me wrong, they’re game fighters and I’m not saying they’d be scared of me, but once my name gets mentioned they know they’ll have their work cut out. In the boxing world, people know I’m a handful.”
Willis is from a notable Liverpool fighting family that includes his uncle Tony, a one-time Olympic medallist, and former British Lightweight Champion. Southpaw Luke is keen to point out though that, although he has been fighting all his life, he has made his own way in the sport. The 27-year-old, who has plenty of fight-game insiders believing in his ability, is convinced, with the right backing and opportunities, he can go all the way.
“I’ve been boxing since I was a baby. It’s in my blood, it’s who I’ve been brought up to be. When I was about eleven, Tony was a bit of an inspiration, but it’s more about the name and having something to live up to. There’s a bit of pressure because I’m a Willis, but them as people, they’ve been no inspiration, they’ve never helped me. Don’t get me wrong, Tony and Kenny were quality boxers, I can’t take that away from them, but I can’t speak about people I don’t know. I want to outdo them, Tony won a British Title, so I want to win a European or World belt. I want to do one better and show I’m cut from a different cloth.
“I don’t want to be sitting here saying I can be world champion but, genuinely, with decent sponsors and Steve [Wood] backing me one hundred per cent, then I really believe I could be. My sole goal right now is to become British champion, I’ve got my heart set on that British Title. And I don’t want to win it against a nobody, I want to beat the best, so I become the ‘man’. When I win the British and have defended it, then we’ll see how far I can go. I’m not looking past September 29th, any fight I fight is a world title fight because nothing is promised to anyone. But, given the right opportunities, I know with my ability I can go all the way.”
VIP Promotions presents Skelmersdale’s Steve Brogan against Yorkshire’s Brad Botham for the vacant Central Area Lightweight Title at the Liverpool Olympia on September 29.
Appearing on the undercard will be Liverpool's Luke Willis, Lloyd Campbell, Tom Farrell, Adam Farrell, Tom McGuinness and Marcel Braithwaite.
Ticket info are priced at £30 (upper balcony), £35 (lower balcony), £40 (ground floor), and £60 (ringside) – please call 01942 874 241 or visit vipboxing.tv.
The show will be streamed live vipboxing.tv