Lucas Bastida (18-1-1, 10 KOs) has had to overcome some of the most shocking of circumstances to put himself in a position to fight Josh Kelly (11-1-1, 7 KOs) for the WBO International Super Welterweight belt on Saturday 30 July at the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle, live on Channel 5.
You will seldom find someone more mentally and physically strong than Bastida, who is prepared to leave his homeland of Argentina to fight overseas for the first time in front of his opponents own crowd.
The North East takeover could be threatened by this dangerous Argentine, who is calling upon his impenetrable will and his peak conditioning to show why he has aspirations of becoming a world champion.
“I’m in boxing to achieve my dream of becoming a world champion, and leaving my surname remembered and respected,” said Bastida. “I really appreciate this opportunity to fight for the WBO International belt in Newcastle.
“Winning this means everything and that’s why I’m prepared to travel abroad to compete. I have huge support from my family and my friends, they have a lot of faith in me.”
Faith is not something that has always been present in the life of ‘El Tornado’. He went out to meet a group of friends, and found himself being held at knife-point by a mugger with a butchers knife.
After doing his upmost to protect himself, he miraculously escaped the attacker but left with injuries that put his boxing career in serious jeopardy.
“It was around 5 years ago when someone tried to rob me, and they stabbed me in the arm which cut three tendons and a nerve. At that point I thought my career was over,” he said.
“Doctors had no faith I would return to boxing, but I worked hard to rehab and make it back. I had to wait 12 months to fight again, and I boxed with a lot of pain in my hand, but I won. Since then, I took this as my second chance in boxing and I’ll give my best all the way to the very end.”
Now he comes up against Sunderland’s Kelly who will be looking to overcome this Argentine fighter who has lived a life of bouncing back when the odds are against him.
Having come through the other side of a past full of trials and tribulations, Bastida believes he is in his prime and ready to throw down on fight night.
“This is my first fight abroad, and I’m excited to travel to the UK and get to test myself against someone like Josh Kelly. I’ll go to the UK in the best condition I’ve been in. I know I have strong hands, I just need to be patient and wait for my moment.”
Unfazed by the travel, unfazed by Kelly’s home crowd, and unfazed about anything other than appreciating his life; Bastida is a man with nothing to lose. Entering the main event at the Vertu Motors Arena, the Argentine is up for the task of being locked in their with no one but his opponent.
“I’m a fighter in life. I’ve been in this sport a long-time training to be someone, I have a one year old daughter too and I fight for her,” he said.
“We are aware that we are going to his home, but in the ring it is just me and him. When the bell rings, we will see who’s better.”
The North East takeover is coming as Josh Kelly (11-1-1, 7 KOs) vs. Lucas Bastida (18-1-1, 10 KOs) headline for the WBO International Super Welterweight Championship on an electric fight night. Olympic hero Pat McCormack (1-0, 1 KO) also stars, alongside Harlem Eubank (14-0, 6 KOs) as he continues his title charge against Tom ‘Fazza’ Farrell (21-5, 5 KOs). Heavyweights Hosea Stewart (2-0) and Franklin Ignatius (3-0, 1 KO) guaranteed to produce fireworks amongst top local talent such as ‘Drago’ Steve Robinson (4-1, 3 KOs), Kai Richmond (1-0), Ben Marksby (4-0), Lisa Whiteside (3-0, 1KO) and Jordan Barker-Porter (3-1) on an unforgettable night in the North East. Wasserman Boxing heads to the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle for a massive night of free-to-air boxing on Saturday July 30, live on Channel 5 in association with William Hill, Numan and Infinitum Entertainment.
Tickets priced £40, £80, £100 and £200 are one sale now and available via www.wassermanboxing.com