Pictured: Youngs boxers at All Star Boxing Academy, Lawnton are ready to cheer on stablemate Liam Wilson tomorrow as he bids for a world title.
Seventeen years hard work has given Liam Wilson a chance to fulfil his boxing dream this weekend – and he is determined not to waste it.
Wilson, from All Star Boxing Academy in Lawnton, was confident and realistic ahead of tomorrow's WBO World Junior Lightweight clash with Emanuel Navarrete, in Arizona.
The Redcliffe-born Caboolture resident already has fans in Glendale and many of all ages will be supporting him at the All Star gym after sparring.
"I feel very privileged to be here and thank Top Rank for the chance to fulfil my dream and become world champion," he said of showdown on Saturday afternoon (AEST).
“I’m coming to this fight very hungry and to win, make no mistake about it.
“I am the underdog, the statistics don’t lie, but I plan on coming to fight and winning this fight.”
Wilson, 26, has been in the US since late December, training in Washington DC and now the fight city Glendale.
Navarrete, from Mexico, is a two-time world champion at lower weights and will step up to junior lightweight for the first time at the Desert Diamond Arena.
He has only lost once in 37 fights and is unbeaten in a decade. Wilson has 11 wins from 12 professional contests, but is a year younger than his opponent.
Navarrete is heavily backed in the US to win around the middle of the 12-round contest. But some experts, including former world champion Aussies Jeff Horne and Jeff Fenech, are tipping an upset.
“It’s going to be entertaining,” Wilson said on the Facebook page of his promoter No Limit Boxing.
“I got asked what are you going to do when a left upper cut comes towards you? I had to ask what’s he (Navarrete) going to do when my left hook counters him?
“It’s not one-way traffic here. It’s a two-way street. As much as I have signs to watch out for, so does he.”
Wilson has beaten two top 10 opponents in the last year – Joe Noynay and Matias Rueda – the latter despite breaking a hand halfway through the fight.
He was only the second man to beat Rueda. “I took one hard fight after another,” Wilson said. “I did that fight with one hand as well.
“It showed my resilience and proved I have what it takes to be world champion.”
Navarrete had less to say at today’s press call. Through an interpreter he said he was “looking to score the victory on Friday and we know Wilson comes with a strong desire to win.”
On becoming a three-weight world champion he said: “It’s something that’s not easy and for me, I will be satisfied with what I have done.”
Many All Star boxers will watch the fight at their Lawnton Showground gym and Wilson’s promoters No Limit Boxing are now in Arizona.
Glendale is also hosting Superbowl LVII on February 12, but George Rose said on No Limit’s social media: “Massive week here. But the biggest thing of all is Liam Wilson fighting for a world title!”
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