Bookies have them both as outsiders but unbeaten WA boxers Andrew Green and Luke Sharp go into their live Foxtel debuts in Brisbane tonight in bullish mood.
Cruiserweight Green (11 wins, one draw) can expect a warm reception after a social media spat with his Queensland opponent Mark Flanagan, while gym-mate Luke Sharp (8-0-2) faces an examination against middleweight prospect Michael Zerafa.
The winners are set to get a crack at their respective Australian titles.
“We know we’re going over there and these are real fights,” trainer Dave Hassan said.
“The boys have been in camp for eight weeks, two to three times a day, six times a week. We’ve got something to prove, everybody in Australia is doubting us (as WA boxers) and we’re going there to prove a point.
“These were guys we had on our list (of potential targets). So when (promoter) Angelo Di Carlo mentioned Zerafa and Flanagan, our ears pricked up.
“Flanagan’s a seasoned pro and Zerafa’s an unbeaten fighter, there’s no question that these boys have some talent. But we believe we’ve done the homework.
“Andy is now 30 and may not go as far as he might have if he’d stuck at boxing when he was say 24. But he’s looking to have a strong few years now. I think people will take notice after they see him on Friday.
“And Luke Sharp, they’ve put Michael Zerafa as the favourite, but if you go through their previous fights Sharpie’s fought more winning opponents than Zerafa has. The ‘Ls’ (losses) in Zerafa’s opponents’ column is massive, all he’s done is fought guys who are trained to lose.
“So come Friday, win or lose there will be no excuses.”
A Facebook post attributed to Green when the fight was announced reportedly got a few backs up in Queensland, and Flanagan (14-4) hit back this week calling Green “a grub”.
“It’s a bit rude, but it shows they are worried and we have got under his skin,” Hassan said.
“Flanagan’s starting to jump up and down, saying he doesn’t respect my boxing, he doesn’t respect that. He’s a fool, Andy Green respects Mark Flanagan, don’t worry about that. He hasn’t spent eight weeks training because he doesn’t respect him. But he’s going there to beat him.”
Sharp said Zerafa (13-0) would be his biggest test yet, despite having faced Peter Mitrevski Jr and Xavier Lucas in the last year.
“It’s my Foxtel debut and first pro fight outside WA, so it’s exciting,” Sharp said. “I’m not going to get embarrassed on national TV, I’m going to go out there and put on a show and box this guy’s head in.
“I want the Aussie title next. I know (champion) Dennis Hogan has a defence coming up against Leroy Brown in March and I’ll want the winner of that.”
Unbeaten Bunbury teenager Nathaniel May is the third West Aussie on the card and, fresh from a training stint at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, should be too good for Waylon Law.
- Perth light-middleweight Daniel Dawson had surgery on his troublesome left shoulder yesterday.