By Anthony Cocks
Rugged welterweight ‘Gelignite’ Jack Brubaker 14-2-1 (7) is set to return to the ring when he takes on power-punching Indonesian Larry Siwu 27-11 (23) at the Emporium in Bankstown, Sydney, Australia on MJA Platinum’s big ‘Inception’ card this Friday night.
The eight-round bout will be part of a triple-header that also features former world title challenger Luke ‘Action’ Jackson 16-1 (7) and super featherweight contender Paul ‘Showtime’ Fleming 25-0 (17) in separate bouts.
Brubaker, who signed a management deal with MTK Global through Mike Altamura earlier this year, is a work-in-progress after a limited amateur career. But the Sydneysider is growing in confidence after putting together a management and promotional team capable of taking him to the next level.
“It’s been a bit of a frustrating year for me with only the one fight back in May,” said Brubaker. “It’s been over six months since I’ve been in the ring and not through lack of eagerness.
“The main reason we approached Mike Altamura and MTK Global was to have a bit more of plan and a bit more structure and to allow us to be a bit more active going in to next year.”
In his last outing the 27-year-old Cronulla prospect turned the tables on experienced Englishman Tyrone Nurse, 35-3-2 at the time, outboxing the boxer to earn a 12-round unanimous decision win at The Star casino in Sydney on May 24.
In many ways it was a surprise victory for Brubaker, who is known as more of a brawler than a stick-and-move specialist.
“I didn’t have much of an amateur career so I’m still learning on the job,” admitted Brubaker. “But now I have the right team behind me with my management team of Mike Altamura and MTK Global along with my trainer Graham Shaw I’m confident I can get the fights I need to stay active.
“I will be ready for the Terence Crawfords and Errol Spences of the world within the next 12-18 months.”
Despite his journeyman record Siwu has some class about him. Back in May he tested hot prospect Tim Tszyu for four rounds in a junior middleweight contest and for this fight the Kuta bomber will be returning to his favoured welterweight division.
“When Mike brought it up I saw him as a good solid opponent who can bang. He’s willing and he comes forward so he’s exactly what I need to finish the year,” Brubaker said.
“I’m at a stage where I don’t want any easy walkover wins and while he’s not a world-class opponent, he’s a solid opponent to get some rounds in against.
“It’s been some six months since I’ve been in the ring and I feel Larry I the perfect opponent to finish off the year. It’s not going to be a walkover and I’ve trained hard but I’ve got to be careful in there because he can bang.”
Since hooking up with trainer of champions Graham Shaw, who masterminded former WBA and IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale’s hit-and-run campaigns to pick up the two major world titles in Germany, Brubaker has been developing from a face-first slugger to a more educated, nuanced pressure fighter.
“I’m looking forward to facing Siwu as it will give me the chance to test the things I’ve been working on in the gym in the past few months with my coach Graham Shaw,” said Brubaker.
“Just being a lot more technical while still using my toughness and my willingness and my grit, just using my brain in there and Larry is the perfect opponent to do that against.”
The goal for next year is for Brubaker to stay active while increasing his level of competition.
“I’m a professional fighter. I want to be fighting as often as I can and to win a world title is the ultimate game plan,” Brubaker said.
“With Mike I’m really looking forward to his expertise and knowing that I’m not just fighting for the sake of fighting. There’s a plan in place and every fight rolls into the next one.”