Williams Lake undefeated pro boxer Stuart McLellan won’t feel bad punching his next opponent in the face this Friday following months of verbal jabs leading up to the fight.
McLellan, 28, with a 12-win, no-loss and three-draw record and the current Eastern Canadian Champion and Maritime Champion, squares off against Orangeville, Ont.’s and Alberta-based Ryan Wagner this Friday, March 20 as the main event of a nine-fight card at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alta.
“I met him [Wagner] at the gym in Edmonton about three years ago — him and his brother are both pro fighers,” McLellan said. “We sparred together and they seemed like nice guys but now he’s been badmouthing my last couple of opponents and taking shots at me.”
That’s perfectly fine with McLellan, who notes Wagner hasn’t had a pro fight in the past three years.
“I think he’s a bit cuckoo,” he said of Wagner, who has a four-win, two-loss pro record and lost his last fight in 2012 to the current Canadian welterweight champion, Steve Claggett.
“The fans are really looking forward to it. He’s based near there and that’s my home away from home … I’m going to go out and see what kind of mistakes he makes and capitalize. He’s got nothing I haven’t seen before.”
Adding to the intensity is a $500 side bet between McLellan and Wagner.
“I wanted to put up my whole purse but he wouldn’t go for it,” he said.
In preparation for the fight McLellan made trips to both Edmonton and Vancouver for sparring sessions and got some work in with the No. 2 world-ranked female boxer, Edmonton’s Jelena Mrdjenovich.
“I had a really good camp,” he said. “I worked like crazy in December and January so I could take time off to train.”