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Thu, 13 Jun 2024

Aussie challenger knows landing IBF crown in Puerto Rico sets up blockbuster battles

Liam Paro insists he is not looking beyond Subriel Matias as he prepares to challenge the hometown hero for his IBF World Junior-Welterweight title at Coliseo Juan Aubin Cruz Abreu in Manati, Puerto Rico on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN – but admits that he knows that he could become a major player in the hottest division if he lands the title.

Paro (24-0 15 KOs) fights for his first World title on Saturday night in Matias’ (20-1 20 KOs) backyard, as tough an assignment there is in the sport with the fearsome champion champing at the bit to get back into action.

The Australian holds no fear though and says that winning the World title the hardest way would make it all the more satisfying – and would pique the interest of some of the biggest names in the sport that operate at 140lbs, like Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, and Jack Catterall in facing him.

“We never look past any opponent, we have our target locked on Matias, people get unstuck when they look ahead,” said Paro. “But we know the potential opponents, we know the names in the division that are there, God willing I get the job done. It’s probably the hottest division in boxing right now, the names are endless and if I get the job done, you have the best out there to go at, so I am excited.

“I love being part of this division, there’s big names out there for massive potential fights, I knew that I was at this level and now I have to go and prove it to the world.

“I thought Jack Catterall got the job done against Josh Taylor. He wasn’t as convincing or as one-sided as the first fight, and he should have had the belts first time. I wish him nothing but success and we might cross paths in the future. I want to see the world and I’m getting to do that, hats off to Eddie Hearn that I’m getting these opportunities worldwide, and I’d love to go and win over some UK fans.

“I miss my family and loved ones, but I am away for a reason, I’m here to do a job and give us all a better life, there’s a reason behind it and it’s all going to pay off in the long run. I’m in the crucial part of my life where I can set myself family up for the rest of our lives, so I am just going to keep taking every opportunity with both hands.

“It’s huge, it’s so good for Australian boxing and sport and I’m glad to be a part of it. We’ve always been overlooked by America and the UK, but now we’re not only competing but we’re winning the big fights, we’ve got some World champions and high-level world-rated fighters, so the future is looking bright.”

Matias’ clash with Paro tops a stacked night of action in Puerto Rico, where Angel Fierro faces Alfredo Santiago for the WBO NABO Jr. Welterweight title and Yankiel Rivera meets Victor Sandoval for the WBC and WBA Continental Americas and WBO Intercontinental Flyweight titles – and new Puerto Rico signings Stephanie Piñeiro and William Ortiz continue their pro journeys.

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