Live Stream: Crocker vs Ilbay on ESPN+ & IFL TV
Streaming action to begin at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on ESPN+ (click here)
ESPN+ & IFL TV BROADCAST STARTS 7:00PM GMT / 2:00PM EST / 11:0AM PT
Middleweight, 6 rounds
JORDAN REYNOLDS (165lbs) vs. ROBBIE CHAPMAN (167.5lbs)
Super-Featherweight, 6 rounds
MACE RUEGG (135.1lbs) vs. LEVI DUNN (136.2lbs)
Super-Welterweight, 6 rounds
CARL FAIL (156lbs) vs. JORDAN DUJON (158.8lbs)
Super-Featherweight, 6 rounds
ISAAC LOWE (128.3lbs) vs. ED HARRISON (127lbs)
Vacant WBO European lightweight title, 10 rounds
GARY CULLY (134.9lbs) vs. VIKTOR KOTOCHIGOV (134.5lbs)
WBO European welterweight title, 10 rounds
LEWIS CROCKER (146lbs) vs. DENIZ ILBAY (146lbs)
One of Europe’s top welterweights returns this Friday, March 12, as #MTKFightNight is back with Lewis “The Croc” Crocker making the first defense of his WBO European belt in a 10-rounder against German contender Deniz Ilbay at University of Bolton Stadium in Bolton, England.
In the co-feature, Irish fan-favorite Gary Cully will battle Kazakhstan’s Viktor Kotochigov in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO European lightweight title.
Crocker-Ilbay, Cully-Kotochigov and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+ starting at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) captured the WBO European belt last August with a dominating seventh-round stoppage over Louis Greene, a former British Southern Area champion. The Belfast native takes another step up against Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs), who is 7-1 in his last eight bouts. He last fought in December 2019 and notched a first-round stoppage over Milos Janjanin.
Cully (11-0, 5 KOs), from Naas, Ireland, went 2-0 in 2020, including a first-round stoppage over Joe Fitzpatrick to capture the Irish lightweight title. He returned last August and survived a fifth-round knockdown to edge Craig Woodruff via decision. Kotochigov (12-1, 5 KOs), a former WBC International lightweight champion, seeks to rebound from last October’s upset loss to Maxi Hughes.
In other streaming action:
Former Commonwealth featherweight champion Isaac Lowe (20-0-3, 6 KOs) makes his first ring appearance since the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II undercard and will face Ed Harrison (2-5) in a six-round junior lightweight bout. Lowe is ranked as a top-10 featherweight by two of the major sanctioning organizations.
Former British amateur star Jordan Reynolds will make his highly anticipated professional debut in a six-round middleweight bout versus the durable Robbie Chapman (6-6).
In an eight-round welterweight tilt, Bolton native Sahir Iqbal (8-0, 1 KO) will fight an opponent to be named.
The ESPN+ stream is scheduled to begin with the pro debut of Carl Fail, who will clash with the unbeaten Jordan Dujon (4-0) in a six-rounder at junior middleweight.
Deniz Ilbay plans on marking his first fight in the UK with a title-winning display when he faces Lewis Crocker on the action-packed March 12th #MTKFightNight.
Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs) challenges unbeaten Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) for his WBO European welterweight title at the University of Bolton Stadium next Friday, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
Germany’s Ilbay has won a number of belts during his career, and also went the distance with former world title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas back in 2016, and he’s warned Crocker to expect a fiery encounter.
Ilbay said: “I’m excited to be standing in the ring again and to be able to deliver fireworks. In the past year I have become stronger and improved on a lot of things. I’m so excited to fight in front of such a huge audience, even if they are only behind their TVs.
“We have had a lot of great sparring with fighters of the highest level. I had a lot of fight cancellations in 2020 due to COVID, but I stayed in fight mode because I knew it will pay off one day, and now it has.
“I will be pleased once I’m sitting on the airplane on the way back from the UK to Germany, because that means the fight did happen and I will be the WBO European welterweight champion. Winning that title is all I want right now, that’s my main focus.”
Lewis Crocker has vowed that nobody will be taking his WBO European welterweight title away from him ahead of his showdown with Deniz Ilbay on the March 12th #MTKFightNight.
Crocker makes the first defence of the belt that he superbly won by stopping Louis Greene last August, and he’s ready to kick on from there.
Crocker said: “I’m a champion now so it’s different. People want to take the belt from me. It’s taken me 12 fights to get that belt and I won’t be letting it go.
“The end goal is to win even bigger titles, and each fight is a stepping stone to get where I want to be. I’m progressing well enough, and getting right opponents at the right time.
“My gym went undefeated last year, so confidence in the group is high. Me and my trainer Dee Walsh are getting better and better with each camp as well, and it’s showing that the stuff we’re working on is coming off in the ring.
“It was class to be in the main event in my last fight, and to get a stoppage win as well. He was a big puncher and caught me with his best shots, but I walked through them like it was nothing. It’s helped to build me up and it makes me a better fighter each time I box.”
Lewis Crocker: This is my toughest test to date
Lewis Crocker is relishing the tough challenge in front of him as he prepares to take on Deniz Ilbay on Friday’s huge #MTKFightNight.
Undefeated Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) puts his his WBO European welterweight title against Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs) at the University of Bolton Stadium, live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
It’s the first defence of the title that Crocker superbly won last August, and the Belfast man is excited to test his skills against a dangerous opponent.
Crocker said: “I’m delighted that I’m fighting again and it’s great to get back in the swing of things. Starting 2021 with a big fight is just what I wanted.
“Ilbay has won several titles and has been in there with world class opposition, so I’m expecting my toughest test to date. My mindset hasn’t changed whatsoever, I’m still as hungry as ever and I definitely don’t plan on losing my belt.
“Headlining another show back to back is quite special, and it’s all good experience for me and my progression throughout my career. Training has been great and all the boxes have been ticked.
“This Friday it’s just about going in there and putting on a good performance. The plan is to win this fight, and then add more titles to my resume and remain unbeaten.”
Elsewhere on the huge #MTKFightNight on Friday, Gary Cully squares off with Viktor Kotochigov for the vacant WBO European lightweight title, Isaac Lowe returns, Jordan Reynolds makes his professional debut against Robbie Chapman, Sahir Iqbal is back in action, Carl Fail enters the paid ranks for the first time against undefeated Jordan Dujon, and Mace Ruegg meets Johnson Tellez.
It kicks off a huge 7 days, as on March 19, a massive #MTKFightNight takes place, as Lee McGregor challenges Karim Guerfi for his European bantamweight title, and Maxi Hughes meets Paul Hyland Jnr for the vacant British lightweight title.
The event on March 19 also sees Padraig McCrory face Germaine Brown in a clash of unbeaten super-middleweights, Shabaz Masoud goes up against Louis Norman, Jamie Robinson fights Billy Allington, Paul Ryan makes his professional debut against Kyle Hughes, and William Hamilton returns.
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