- Our Town
McLellan back in action tonight in Quebec
After a one-year hiatus Williams Lake professional boxer Roberto McLellan is set to step back in the ring in Quebec tonight.
Roberto, who has a professional record of six wins, two losses and one draw, will take on 25-year-old Francis Lafreniere (4-5-2) in the Quebec native’s hometown of Point-Claire, Que., in a 162-pound catchweight bout that will be featured as the main event of the evening’s card.
Stepping into the lion’s den to face a hometown favourite, however, isn’t something Roberto, 29, is concerned about.
“I get the opposite of cheers. I get the boos,” Roberto joked.
“But that’s just as good as the cheers. You either want one or the other. If the fans are quiet that’s bad.”
Roberto is coming off a questionable unanimous decision loss to Kitchener, Ont.’s Fitz ‘The Whip’ Vanderpool from last February — a fight they would later appeal the decision of to no success.
He said it’s partially why he decided to take the fight with Lafreniere on just three weeks notice.
“Yeah, it’s been a year so that’s part of the reason I took this one,” he said.
“Nothing else was coming up. They use this trick, though. I found out he’s been training for seven weeks, and I get four.”
Lafreniere is no stranger to Roberto, however, as Roberto’s brother Stuart McLellan, also a professional boxer, defeated Lafreniere last September in Halifax, N.S., for the National Boxing Authority Maritime Title.
“I’ve seen lots of his fights,” Roberto said.
“I know he’s a decent puncher. He’s not going to knock you out with one shot but he’s always there and he comes straight forward constantly.
“His footwork is not the best so we’re going to utilize that, and just hit him hard. I don’t feel he’s been hit like I can hit him.”
In preparation for the fight Roberto said he’s trained with members of the Williams Lake Boxing Club, and put in work individually. He’ll be travelling to Quebec with his dad and WLBC coach Gary McLellan, who will be in his corner for the fight.
“I’m ready,” he said. “I’ve trained hard, I’ve pushed. I do a lot of training by myself and I just push myself every day.
“Everything’s good. No predictions, just the victory.”