While Jeff Horn and Tim Tszyu are preparing for their high-profile bout at Townsville’s new stadium, Bray Park boxer Vegas Larfield will be making his professional debut in the same ring, in front of the same big crowd. It’s a dream come true.
The 18-year-old bantam-weight fighter is still pinching himself and can’t wait to get on a plane and head up there on Monday, ahead of the fight on Wednesday, August 26. It’s an undercard bout ahead of the high-profile Horn V Tszyu clash.
“I can’t wait. It’s unbelievable, it’s a dream come true to open up such a good card. It’s crazy,” Larfield says.
He’ll be facing Ricky Hunt, who made his debut last year and has had four fights, but no wins yet. Larfield is planning to stop him from recording his first, in what will be their first encounter.
“He’s late 20s or maybe 30. So, he’s a bit older. My last few amateur bouts I fought against older men as well to prep me for this. I’m always sparring against grown men, so I’m used to it,” Larfield says.
“I think I just need to be focused and sharp and come to do damage.”
He’s hoping his speed and the hard work he’s put in will also make a difference.
Larfield started boxing in 2015, and it seems he was destined to make a name for himself in the sport.
“Basically, the footy (rugby league) season had ended and I’d always been interested in boxing. I grew up around it, so we decided I would start boxing in the off-season of footy. I never went back to footy and fell in love with boxing,” he recalls.
“My stepdad was a professional boxer and my dad was also a boxer when he was younger. I was always exposed to it.”
So, what captivated the kid who swapped his footy boots for boxing gloves?
“I just loved the fact that I was just able to fight. I just always loved fighting. I think the competitiveness of it and to see who’s better, who’s tougher … I’ve always loved it. The fitness is amazing,” he explains.
Larfield, who until recently was juggling training with work as a concreter, has impressed his All Star Boxing Academy coach Ben Harrington with his work ethic and dedication.
“I’m training two to three times a day. Running in the morning or strength, so it varies of a morning, and whatever my coach has planned for my evening session. Obviously, it gets a little bit more intense getting closer to the fight,” Larfield says.
As an amateur, he’s earned three state titles, an Australian title and three Golden Gloves.
“I’m really competitive and I’ve always strived to be the best at anything I do. I just want to make my family proud – everything I do, I’m trying to prove myself to my family and one day make myself a better life,” he says.
Larfield’s favourite boxer as a kid was Kostya Tszyu, so to be on the same card as his son is pretty special.
He says it would have been amazing to have Tszyu Snr watching his first professional fight, but he’s not sure if that will happen due to travel restrictions. The Aussie boxing legend is now living in Russia.
Regardless, there will be thousands of other boxing fans in the crowd who’ll be sharing the moment with Larfield, his coach Ben Harrington and manager/sponsor Phil Murphy of Oxmar Properties. Not to mention those watching online and via pay TV at home.
So, is he nervous?
“A little bit. It is a little bit daunting, but it’s OK I’m kind of used to it,” Larfield says.
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