Chasing dream from Lawnton to Las Vegas

Published 5:00pm 8 December 2022

Chasing dream from Lawnton to Las Vegas
Words by Nick Crockford

Liam Wilson, from All Star Boxing Academy in Lawnton, will chase his sporting dream at one of the sport's most famous venues next month.

The Caboolture-raised Griffin resident will fly to Las Vegas for a world title eliminator against unbeaten Briton Archie Sharp on January 29.

It is on the same MGM Grand Garden Arena show as Aussie Tim Tszyu's clash with Jermell Charlo for the undisputed super welterweight world title. 

The winner - Wilson, world ranked three by the WBO or Sharp, world ranked one - would then fight for the WBO super featherweight crown later next year.

The likely opponent would be Oscar Valdez (world ranked two) or Emanuel Navarrete, the WBO featherweight champion who is stepping up a weight.

Chasing dream from Lawnton to Las Vegas
Liam Wilson with All Star trainer Ben Harrington.

The Mexicans are reported to be looking at a February 3 date for their battle.

Valdez and Navarette were ordered to fight for the vacant WBO super featherweight title after holder Shakur Stevenson moved up a division.

Wilson, 26, was recovering from an operation on his left hand when the world title eliminator was agreed and he believes it was “destiny”.

“The ducks have lined up,” Wilson told Fox Sports, “It all comes to this moment.

"I’m so grateful for the experiences I went through because I feel like it really has come to this moment.”

Chasing dream from Lawnton to Las Vegas
Liam Wilson hammers home a left hook.

After months recovering from surgery, Wilson now has the medical all clear and is counting down to his big night in Nevada.

He has started a 10-week camp for the fight, with the last four in Las Vegas, probably using the same gym as Tszyu and local sparring partners.

“My main goal is to be in the same position as Tim Tszyu,” Wilson said on a recent Alpha Blokes Podcast.

“Hopefully we can get this win and attract a big fight down here (Australia). Go from three to number one and see what happens from there.”

Chasing dream from Lawnton to Las Vegas
The role of honour at All Star Boxing Academy - Liam Wilson is bidding to add world champion to the list

At 27, Sharp is a year older than Wilson and has a fight record of 22 wins from 22 pro fights.

After a successful amateur career, Wilson has had 11 pro fights with one defeat – which he avenged with a stunning left hook to stop Joe Noynay in a rematch.

The bright lights of Las Vegas will be a long way from Kingaroy, where Wilson's career started, and Caboolture, of his formative years.

But, Caboolture coach Don Tindall forecast on social media two years ago: “I knew he was going to be a champion from that first night.”

Chasing dream from Lawnton to Las Vegas

Three All Star Boxing Academy juniors have returned from the IBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Championships with their reputations enhanced.

Jye Dixon, Craig Evers and Aaron Grealey were part of an eight-strong Australian team in Spain and gained important experience.

Though not returning with medals, Dixon was ranked five in his weight division and Evers nine. Grealey lost his opening bout on a 3-2 split decision.

All three booked their places by winning gold at the Australian Under 19 Championships in July, when Grealey was named men’s boxer of the tournament.

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