Williams Lake professional boxer Stuart McLellan will have the opportunity of his career this month when he fights for a World Boxing Organization title on U.S. soil.
The lakecity fighter, who has a 27-win, three loss and three draw record and is already coming off a busy summer with two wins under his belt, found out about the chance to take on Kazakhstan’s Janibek Alimkhanuly (six wins, no losses), 26, just four weeks ago.
The bout will take place on the upcoming Top Rank Boxing show at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. — home of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC — on Aug. 17.
“[My opponent] is being groomed to be a world champion,” McLellan told the Tribune. He has over 200 amateur fights and he was the world amateur champion. A win here would put me in the top 15 in the world and it’s what I’ve been waiting for since I turned pro 12 years ago. Even a good showing ensures I’ll get a call back, most likely.”
Stylistically, McLellan said his opponent is a southpaw, and one he’s confident he can defeat.
“He fights a style that’s vulnerable,” McLellan said. “I’m going to try to take it to him and fight my fight and use the pro tricks I’ve learned over the last 34 fights. I want to pull off the upset. It’s kind of like a win-win for me regardless and all the pressure is on him.”
With just four weeks to prepare, however, McLellan has been working as hard as he can to get ready. He acquired the services of friend and boxing trainer Shane Langford — a former member of Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing gym — who travelled from his home in Saskatchewan to Williams Lake.
Asked what a victory would mean for his career — both personally and professionally — McLellan said it means everything.
“I’ve worked my whole career to come out on the big stage and shock everybody and now I have the opportunity,” he said.
“This fight could change the course of my career. Professionally, this puts me not far off a world title shot if I can get a win and it’s on the big stage.”
McLellan, meanwhile, is coming off a win in his hometown against Red Deer, Alta.’s Brian Samuel (five wins, six losses) when Williams Lake played host to Teofista Boxing Series 34 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex this past June. McLellan’s only loss since 2015 came this past February against a 16-0 Cody Crowley for the Canadian Professional Boxing Council National Super Welterweight Title.
The fight between McLellan and Alimkhanuly will take place in the middleweight division at 160 pounds.