Undefeated Aussie Liam Paro will head deep into enemy territory for his next bout, taking on local boy Robbie Davies Jr. in Liverpool on March 11.
It’s not the blockbuster fight the world-rated Paro was hoping for following his first-round demolition job on the previously undefeated Brock Jarvis back in October, but the southpaw’s attitude ought to be commended.
Paro (23-0) is ranked second with the WBO and fifth with the IBF, putting himself in the world title picture at super-lightweight.
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While the Queenslander could have been forgiven for biding his time and waiting for a shot at the belt, he’s putting his ranking on the line to face Davies Jr. (23-3) on his home turf.
“I’ve got to keep busy and my back is against the wall with this one, it’s like I’m getting thrown out there but if I want to be a champion, I have to get past these kind of things and perform no matter where I am, his backyard or mine, against whoever,” Paro told Sporting News.
“I love fighting and it’s simple, if I can’t get past this guy, I don’t deserve the title shot.”
Promoter Matchroom is expected to officially announce the bout shortly as part of a card headlined by the return to the ring of another Liverpool local in Callum Smith.
When asked about the prospect of some hostile treatment from the crowd and the M&S Bank Arena, Paro is under no illusions what to expect.
“I know it’s going to happen there definitely but it is what it is, I love that,” he said.
“I’ve never experienced it to that extent, it’s going to be awesome.
“That’s what it’s all about, these are the things that you’ve got to overcome if you want to be on top. Liverpool’s going to be crazy supporting him.”
The Mackay product, who has recently moved to Las Vegas, will be making his UK debut when he steps out in March.
It follows victories in the USA and on home soil in Brisbane in his past two fights.
Last time out, Paro stunned the Jeff Fenech-trained Jarvis with a left hand, ending the fight inside the first round.
Paro had been hoping that victory would propel him towards a long-awaited crack at a world championship.
“We’ve been told since 2019 there’s whispers of a world title shot,” he said.
“Now it’s just talk to me, I’m not believing anything. I’ve learned now that until it’s signed and sealed, there’s just a lot of talk in boxing.
“We just got offered [the Davies Jr.] fight, there wasn’t much else around at the time.
“It’s a big risk, but every fight’s a big risk. Like I said, if I can’t beat these guys, I don’t deserve a title shot.”
Despite being among Australia’s most credentialed boxers, Paro is yet to receive the accolades and attention befitting his unblemished record.
Scheduling hasn’t been kind to the 26-year-old – his win over Jarvis came a day before George Kambosos’ lightweight title rematch with Devin Haney, while his next fight will take place hours before Tim Tszyu faces Tony Harrison for the WBO super-welterweight title.
“It is what it is, I just hope when I get my title shot, there’s nothing else on and all of Australia is tuning in and watching,” Paro said.
“I wish Tim all the best for his fight.
“I’m just hoping this year, 2023, I get past Robbie Davies Jr. and fingers crossed I get a title shot this year, I’m more than ready I feel and I’m just going to keep proving it.”