Belfast - Lewis Crocker insists that he will continue to target the welterweight divisions top names after stopping Mexico's Jose Felix in five entertaining rounds.

After a check weigh in earlier in the week, the British Boxing Board of Control wouldn’t allow Crocker to weigh in at any less than 150lbs for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental welterweight title fight. The title was only on the line for Felix who made the weight successfully.

Last May, Felix stunned the big punching Gary Cully inside three rounds but that was just above the lightweight limit, he found out that Crocker is a totally different animal.

The size difference was immediately apparent. Felix got on the back foot, skirting around the ring and pausing to fire in hard combinations to head and body before stepping off again. The bigger Crocker kept his hands tight and tried to cut the ring down, landing a couple of his signature left hooks. 

Crocker wasn’t troubled by the shots and was content to block most of them on his forearms but he was throwing little of his own, dispensing with the jab and patiently waiting to get his feet into range before throwing that left hook to body and head. 

Felix felt a counter left hook early in the third but although he was battling against a home crowd and a much bigger man, he seemed to be relishing the battle and continued dig in hard shots to head and body. He was hurt again when another Crocker left hook sent him into the ropes and the Belfast man began to ramp up his output. That momentum was halted suddenly by a well timed low blow by the experienced Mexican. He followed it up seconds later with another shot which landed on the beltline and was maybe unfortunate to lose a point. 

Felix began to move more in the fourth. He held his feet for a split second too long and Crocker timed a perfect left hook to the body. Felix dropped to the canvas and writhed around in agony but got up and bravely fought fire with fire. Crocker exploded and went for the finish but Felix survived. Realising Felix wasn’t ready to go, Crocker again put up his hands and began to walk him down, forcing Felix to work.

Felix came out fighting for the fifth and one flush right hand bounced off Crocker’s chin but it appeared that the writing was on the wall. The two exchanged punches on the ropes, Felix exited to his right and Crocker nailed him with a perfectly timed left hook. Felix went down heavily. He got to his feet but referee Marcus McDonnell decided to halt the fight at 1.54 of the fifth round. Felix would be justified in believing that he was physically capable of continuing but he was hurt and in with a big, dangerous puncher.

Crocker (19-0, 11 KO’s) remains unbeaten and despite missing the weight this week, he will continue to campaign at 147lbs. Felix (40-7-1, 31 KO’s) fought bravely and deserves another chance at his natural weight.