SURFING: Former world champion Mark "Occy" Occhilupo is backing Julian Wilson to win this week's Fiji Pro before making a charge at the 2015 World Title.
Occhilupo praised the 26-year-old for possessing the "full repertoire" of skills required to be crowned world champion.
"I think he can win," Occhilupo said.
"He is surfing smoother than all the rest and won Hawaii (Triple Crown) last year at the end as well.
"I have seen him surf Pipeline and Teahupoo really well and he charges and is the complete package, for sure.
"I think he is versed in all types of waves which you need to win a world title."
Wilson sits eighth in the race for the World Title after four rounds heading into the final eight events of the year.
Occhilupo said a win at Cloudbreak would provide the Coast surfer with significant momentum heading into the remaining rounds of the CT.
"It is a very important part of the year for sure," he said.
"You come into this and then Tahiti is around the corner and then J-Bay coming up, so he can make a real charge from here."
Wilson is regarded as the full package, renowned for his aerial prowess and power surfing.
Occhilupo said being the "complete surfer" gave him a distinct advantage over his counterparts.
"He can surf really well in big waves and small waves so I am not surprised at how well he is going this year," he said.
"I know he had a rough year last year but he has a really good chance this year.
"He is kind of flying under the radar a little bit but has the full repertoire and is as good as anyone else on the tour."
The Fiji Pro at Cloudbreak is expected to start tomorrow depending on swell.
Wilson faces Matt Wilkinson and Koanu Asing in round one.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.