A war will break out in Birmingham on Saturday night (June 22). The welterweight matchup between the all-action aggression of Conah Walker, 13-2-1 (5 KOs), and the ferocious punching of Lewis Crocker, 19-0 (11 KOs), promises to deliver explosive action from the very first bell.  

Walker believes that Crocker and his team are getting carried away with their recent success and is looking forward to unleashing his own particular brand of shock and awe at the Resorts World Arena. 

“In all fairness - and this might sound mad - I think I’m gonna work him out early. I’m overlooked once again which is a bonus for me. I like being overlooked. I like them to think that the couple of losses and the draw on my record somehow point to me not coming in 100 per cent and not really wanting to win,” he told BoxingScene.

“I think they are overlooking me and I think they’re in for a massive shock on the back of him fighting a flyweight who’s come up to lightweight in Jose Felix and a lightweight in Tyrone McKenna. He’s gonna feel what a real welterweight punches like. I’m excited to see the shock on his face.”

Walker’s record bears witness to his determination to take the toughest possible fights. After notching up a few routine victories over the same journeymen and opponents who appear on every prospect’s ledger, Walker decided to change tack. Since 2019 he has boxed only three opponents with losing records. He has picked up a couple of defeats and a draw along the way but after each setback, he went back to the gym a little wiser and with something new to work on.

Things finally came together last August when he broke down Cyrus Pattinson and took the prospect's unbeaten record in thrilling fashion. He followed it up by taking apart unbeaten Celtic champion, Lloyd Germain, inside three rounds in January.

The 29-year-old insists that the ups and downs he has been through ensure that he is perfectly prepared for whatever happens on Saturday night.

“He hasn’t been tested. We don’t know if he’s got a chin or if he can hold a shot,” Walker said. “He’s had a bit of time off, come back and had a couple of tickover fights with journeymen and then he’s jumped in with McKenna and Felix. Those two guys have done a bit but not in the welterweight division. They’re small guys. I’ve consistently fought good lads at welterweight. I’ve fought anyone and everyone. I feel like I’m more prepared for the fight, definitely.”

Crocker may have begun to make an impact with more casual boxing fans over the past six months but his name has been whispered around gyms for years. 

Walker didn’t just ask for a fight with the welterweight division’s bogeyman. He shouted his name three times and summoned him like Beetlejuice, Candyman or Bloody Mary. 

Walker didn’t spend much time weighing up the pros and cons of facing Crocker or working out whether the timing was right. He sees the Irishman as little more than an obstacle he must clear if he is to achieve his goals. Crocker’s reputation as a giant welterweight and a fearsome puncher didn’t temper his enthusiasm whatsoever. 

“Oh, it don’t bother me. We can all hit hard in eight ounce gloves. I want to be number one. He’s number two in the UK so after this I’ve got one more step to go to become number one in the UK. It was a no-brainer for me,” he said.

“I’m in the game to fight anyone and everyone, but if you beat around the bush and fight people you know you’re gonna beat, it’s only gonna take you longer to get to your destination. I might as well go straight in at the deep end and fight these top guys and win, lose or draw, I’ll be back for more. You’re not getting rid of me. I’m that find of fighter.”

Whoever wins the fight will receive a significant boost to their British and world rankings but given the way both fighters go about their business, it looks likely that they will need to earn their reward by coming through the type of spectacular, brutal battle that gets talked about around the boxing world and takes the winner’s profile to a whole new level. 

Walker agrees that beating Crocker will kick down the doors to some big fights at 147lbs but he doesn’t envision having to go through hell to achieve it. 

“This is my breakout performance. This is where I announce myself. After this I want the big show-stopping nights,” Walker said. “I want to go and get that Saudi money. I want it all. All I’ve got to do is get through Crocker and I believe I make it look easy. I keep saying to people that this fight is gonna be so one-sided it’s unbelievable. It’s going to be like Terence Crawford against Errol Spence. It’s 50-50 on paper but I’m gonna make it look so one-sided it’s gonna be unbelievable. 

“I feel with how I’m adapting and learning from the fights, I’m becoming the full package now and it’ll take a real, good boxer to beat me and it’s not gonna be Crocker. A banger’s definitely not gonna beat me because that’s my game. I’m just saying it’s gonna take more of a man than Crocker.”