The Bulldozer is back in town.
Edmonton’s Tanner Boser (15-5-1) will compete in his hometown for the first time in over two years when he defends his Unified MMA heavyweight title against Medicine Hat’s Jared Kilkenny (13-10) at Unified MMA 37 Friday night in Enoch, Alta.
Boser’s last seven fights have all been overseas under the ACB and M1 Global banner, and he said he’s looking forward to fighting back at home again and is expecting a big crowd to be in attendance rooting for him.
“It means a lot that people like to come watch. I like performing and I like that people actually enjoy watching me fight,” said Boser.
“It’ll be my hometown crowd. I know Jared will have some people up from Lethbridge I’m sure, but it’ll be my crowd. It’s definitely going to be nice to have the crowd on my side.”
Although Boser, 27, found himself going to a decision in nine of his last ten fights, he said he doesn’t expect that trend to continue this time around.
Win or lose, Kilkenny has a track record of his fights ending early, and Boser said it’s that style of fighting that will lead to this fight being over early.
“I know I’ve had a lot of fights go the distance, especially recently, but this is a five-round fight and this is a guy who is a kill-or-be-killed kind of guy,” said Boser.
“I would be extremely surprised if this were to go the distance. It’s going to be exciting for everyone watching, and somebody’s going to go down.”
Fighting for ACB and M1 Global, Boser’s recent level of competition has been a significant step up from the opponent’s Kilkenny has been facing in the same time.
But although Boser has been competing against higher-level opposition, he said Kilkenny still possesses a wealth of experience, and he has a lot of respect for him for taking the fight.
“He’s never picked his opponents, and the entire Lethbridge team is like that,” said Boser.
“I have a lot of respect for the CMC guys. They fight anybody at anytime, and my team is like that as well. I have a lot of experience with top-level guys, but Jared’s fought some pretty good guys in his day as well.”
Kilkenny Relishing the Challenge
Kilkenny, 37, was originally scheduled for a rematch with Christian Larsen on this card before the fight with Boser was offered.
Kilkenny said this matchup with Boser is one he’s wanted for a couple years now, and said he feels less pressure fighting Boser than he would’ve fighting Larsen.
“I’m excited to test myself against the best in Canada. It’s one of those situations where I feel like there was more pressure on me fighting Larsen because I’ve already beaten him,” said Kilkenny.
“When you’ve already beaten somebody, you’re expected to go in and beat them again. But when you get bumped up the card to fight the champion and number one heavyweight in Canada, the pressure’s off a little bit. You just have to go out there and do you, and perform.”
With Boser being known for his elite-level cardio, Kilkenny said he’s been putting a lot of focus this training camp on making sure his gas tank can keep up with Boser’s.
Kilkenny said he recently hired a strength and conditioning coach, and said it’s given him a new perspective on training.
“I do a lot of assault bike, rowing, medicine balls, kettle bells, sprints, and more horrible, horrible s**t,” said Kilkenny.
“I’m actually more anxious about these training sessions than I am about the fight. They are f**king hell.”
Kilkenny will be looking to add his first championship to his resume, having failed to secure a belt in his previous two attempts against Victor Valimaki for Maximum Fighting Championship and Tim Hague for King of the Cage.
And while it would certainly be a tremendous personal achievement and milestone, Kilkenny said he wants the belt for his team at CMC.
“For me to go out and get that win, no matter how it comes, it’s just validation for my team. It’s validation for all the work I’ve been putting in and it’s validation for CMC,” said Kilkenny.
“I know they’ll be proud of me, win or lose, no matter what happens, but I want to show we’re the best. This is a good opportunity for me to go out and put our name in the big lights and get some recognition for the team.”
“I’d like to thank all my training partners: Teddy Ash, KB Bhullar, Neal Anderson Christian Larsen, Matt Klute, Graham Park, and Jeff Porter. I’d like to thank my coaches, Jeff Montemurro and Keijiro Noda, and my sponsors: Platinum Solutions, Paul Peddle Services, Mealkraft, Thinkwerx, and Travel Gurus. Lastly, thanks to everyone who’s going to come out and watch this fight.”
“I’d like to thank my head coach, Lee Mein, my team at CMC, my team and training partners at Temple Fitness in Medicine Hat, and SACA Kickboxing in Medicine Hat.”
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