After months of trash talk and verbal prodding on social media, Williams Lake professional boxer Stuart McLellan is right where he wants to be: contending for a Canadian championship.
The 32-year-old will face undefeated Cody Crowley of Douro, Ont. for the Canadian Professional Boxing Council 154-pound International Canadian light middleweight title on Feb. 9 in Crowley’s home province to prove who the top dog is in the division.
No stranger to marching into hostile arenas throughout Canada, McLellan is relishing in the opportunity to put the first ‘L’ on the 16-0 Crowley’s record in front of his fans at the event, billed ‘Homecoming IV – Bad Blood,’ in Peterborough, Ont.
“He started talking smack about me in the summer and I was tied up with other obligations,” McLellan said. “The negotiation process has been drawn out because he was trying to avoid me, but we backed him into a corner and officially called him out on Facebook. The fight is on his terms, and it’s going to be a sellout, for sure.”
In fact, McLellan said he’s heading into the bout to take back what’s rightfully his.
“It was mine before and I vacated it, then he beat Kevin Higson for it,” he said. “It’s still my title as far as I’m concerned. I never lost it in the ring.”
It will be both fighters’ first 12-round fight.
McLellan is currently riding a 14-fight unbeaten streak, and said a win over Crowley will put him at the top of the division in Canada.
Recently, Crowley was a member of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s sparring team for his superfight with mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor.
“That’s his big claim to fame, but I’m not awed by it,” McLellan said. “It doesn’t mean anything to me.”
Style-wise, McLellan said he believes he’s a nightmare for Crowley.
“He’ll be the first left-handed pro I’ve faced, he’s not a big puncher and he’s very predictable,” McLellan said. “I think me staying busy in between his power shots is going to be the difference, and I’ve got a huge experience advantage.”
While talk, so far, has been aired in the public realm of social media, McLellan said he’s ready to back it up.
“I don’t just talk,” he said. “I’m confident in what I can do, especially with a good training camp and mentality going into the fight.”
McLellan will work between Williams Lake and Calgary at Teofista for training, while also travelling to Edmonton and Denver, CO., mid-January to wrap up his camp.
“I’m training hard, always,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to going over there to shock the hometown and I love being the bad guy.”
In 30 professional fights McLellan has amassed a 25-win, two loss and three draw record, with 10 knockouts.
The Williams Lake Boxing Club, meanwhile, is already laying the groundwork for its second show at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex this coming June after hosting a successful sellout this past summer.