Tommy Fletcher trains with Joe Joyce ahead of fight night at OVO Wembley Arena on TNT Sports
Would sparring with Joe Joyce have been on Tommy Fletcher’s bingo list for 2023? Potentially.
The 21-year-old Attleborough Boxing Club graduate has had a fantastic year so far, winning two fights to take his professional record to 5-0, but he prepares to take the ‘biggest step’ in his career to date this weekend
‘The Norfolk Nightmare’ will take to the ring inside the OVO Wembley Arena tomorrow, to fight Alberto Tapia in a heavyweight battle, as part of the Joe Joyce vs Zhilei Zhang II undercard.
Fletcher will hope to put on the performance of his life in front of the hundreds of thousands of people who will be watching from inside the arena and also live on TNT Sports.
“This is the biggest step so far in my career because it’s a step up in opposition. This guy will fight back for sure and he’s going to give it a good go. He’s no idiot but I think I’ll knock him out,” Fletcher said.
“The people that I’m fighting are so much older than me, I’m 21 just knocking these grown men out. I’m maturing into a man and the people that I’m fighting are the end product already. I’m still levelling up in this game and I’m just getting started.”
After his round two TKO victory against Pawel Strykowski in June, the Hockwold-cum-Wilton, near Lakenheath, based boxer wasted no time in preparing for his next bout, and less than a month later, he flew out to Las Vegas to train with Joe Joyce. He described it as a ‘great experience and a good all-round learning curve’ for his upcoming fight.
Fletcher said: “I was sparring him for the very start of my camp, I was living in the same house as him and we were spending a lot of time together - we went down the shooting range and filmed some things for TNT Sports as well.
“I’ve come back and been training at my gym with Jordan Thompson, who is headlining an event on September 30 when he fights for a world title.
“I sat down and thought ‘I’ve had five fights now, it’s going to start getting real and a lot tougher’. I knew they were going to start stepping up my opposition, so I knew I would have to go the extra mile with my training. It’s been the best training camp I’ve ever had and I’m so ready to go.”
The man looking to break the unbeaten dynasty of The Norfolk Nightmare, Tapia, has a 3-4 record himself.
The 37-year-old Spaniard’s most recent bout saw him leave the ring victorious by TKO against Arturo Suarez in Oviedo three months ago.
When asked what he knows about his opponent, Fletcher said: “He’s only 5’11, he’s not the tallest, and he’s going to get knocked out.
“These first few fights, everyone thinks they’re easy, but they’re not. They’re potential banana skins.”
A lot of eyes will be on this bout and many of them will be in support of Fletcher. His battle with Tapia has seen him sell the most amount of tickets for a fight in his career to date and he expressed his appreciation for everyone who is making the journey down to the capital to see him.
“I’ve got to thank everyone. A lot of fighters that are boxing at Wembley Arena are from London, for me it’s a bit different,” Fletcher said.
“People have got to put whole tanks of petrol in their car to get to London, it’s a long way on top of tickets and hotels. I’m so grateful.”
Fletcher vs Tapia can be seen on TNT Sports on Saturday, with the main card expected to begin at 7.30pm.