Jermal Woolridge can’t wait to entertain his home crowd when he tops the bill at the Teachers Fight Night XVI: Relentless at the Berkeley Institute Gym on April 5.
Woolridge, 31, won a silver medal at the World Wushu Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in November and has competed in the likes of Florida, Texas, Argentina and Mexico with distinction.
The Smith’s resident now turns his attention to a kickboxing bout with Canada’s WXC Warrior Joey Brozovic as he headlines the biggest annual fight night on the island.
The experienced Woolridge says he is well-equipped to deal with being at the top of the flyer but admits a contest on home soil adds extra spice to the occasion.
He told the Bermuda Sun: “The headlining part of the pressure is nothing new for me but, of course, saying that, being a headliner in your own country just adds a little bit more pressure and everyone wants to see a devastating and fantastic performance. Sometimes things don’t happen that way and you just have to adapt to the situation.
“I’m expecting a full house. Teachers Fight Night is really the only event to look forward to so it always draws a nice crowd. I’m hoping it will be a sellout — not just for the local fighters but also for the overseas fighters as well. There’s nothing worse than coming in well prepared and having no spectators there to watch.”
He added: “I like performing at home. It’s something that doesn’t happen as often as I wish it would — not just for me but also for other local fighters.”
The Bermuda San-Shou Association fighter is reluctant to view this Fight Night as recognition of his success overseas.
“I don’t really dwell on all my success that I’ve had in overseas competition,” he said. “I just take it as one fight and another experience.”
With just under a month until the bout, Woolridge, who works for Bermuda Gas, is turning up the intensity of his twice-a-day training, although ‘game-planning’ on his opponent will be done nearer the fight.
“At this moment I don’t know much about him,” said Woolridge, who is also one of Nikki Bascome’s trainers at Rego’s Gym and was in Teresa Perozzi’s corner for one of her title fights last year.
“I don’t think about game-planning until nearer the fight. I’ve always been that way – there’s less mental stress. People have been coming up to me saying ‘are you ready, are you ready’ and I’m like ‘there’s four weeks to go!’”
On the undercard, Bermuda boxer Andre Lamb takes on Canadian Nick Hoover, while the other kickboxing clash pits Bermudian Talia Iris against Canadian Muay Thai fighter Shelby
Local fighters Corey Boyce and Shannon Ford also go head to head.
Entry is $50, with VIP tickets priced at $110.
Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Dante Noel-Simmons Education Fund.
Doors open at 6pm, with the action scheduled to get under way at 7pm.