Shot at world title could be on the cards for Coast boxer

Boxer Craig Hill Junior showed his temperament was up to speed when he won his first US bout on a TKO despite a disrupted preparation.
Boxer Craig Hill Junior showed his temperament was up to speed when he won his first US bout on a TKO despite a disrupted preparation. John Mccutcheon

COACH Rob Fogarty reckons Caloundra's Craig Hill Junior could be in line for a world title fight if he continues his winning form during the next year.

The 24-year-old made an immediate impression on the American boxing scene on Friday when he won his maiden bout in the States in convincing fashion.

Hill Junior overcame some pre-bout problems, including a change of opponent, to score a technical knockout triumph over Bryan Smith in Detroit.

He put his adversary on the canvas twice before the referee called a halt to proceedings prior to the third round, when Smith (0-4) sported a swollen eye.

Victory kept Hill Junior's unblemished record intact at 9-0 and it prompted promising discussions with promoter Vlad Warton, who is the former manager of four-time world light welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu.

"Craig impressed the promoter big time," Fogarty said.

"I had a late dinner with him after the fight and he assured us he'll have us back before the end of the year.

"And he asked me to try and get him (Hill Junior) another eight to 10 fights within the next 12 months and he's pretty much assured us that if the winning streak continues there could be a world title shot in the States."

It would be a hectic schedule but Fogarty believes Hill Junior is capable.

His next bout will be in Newcastle on June 29, but perhaps his biggest test will come in the form of Shannon King, who is unbeaten through seven fights.

Hill Junior and King will collide for the Australian lightweight title in August.

But for now, Hill Junior can recuperate after a draining experience in the US, where things didn't exactly run smoothly.

"There was a lot of stuffing around," Fogarty said.

"We had a training camp in Chicago and we were meant to fight one guy and with four days to go he pulled out.

"They found the ex-kick boxer (Smith) who put his hand up. So we had a game plan for a southpaw and then all of a sudden we were back to fighting an orthodox fighter."

On the night, the fight was delayed by four hours.

"We were revved up to hop in the ring at 8pm but they put the fight back until 1am, so he warmed up two or three times," Fogarty said. "It was a big ask."

Topics:  boxing caloundra

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