Liam Paro title fight looms as Eddie Hearn reveals plans for September event in Australia

Super-lightweight Liam Paro (22-0) could be set to fight for a world title on an Australian show packed with local talent later this year.

Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, one of the sport’s most powerful promoters, has been stacking his stable with Aussie fighters and he’s ready to “make a bang” down under.

Along with Paro, Matchroom counts IBF bantamweight world champion Ebanie Bridges, as well as rising stars Brock Jarvis, Skye Nicolson and Demsey McKean among its charges.

Hearn revealed plans were in place to host a Matchroom show in Australia in September, likely to be headlined by a WBO world title fight between undefeated Queenslander Paro and American former world champion Jose Ramirez (27-1).

Paro is ranked number one with the WBO and, with champion Josh Taylor all but confirmed to move up to welterweight, the 25-year-old is at the front of the queue for a crack at the vacant title.

“It looks like Liam Paro is going to fight Ramirez for the interim world title or the WBO world 140-pound title and that’s a fight that I’d love to bring to Australia,” Hearn told reporters.

“That’s a genuine world championship fight for an Australian fighter to try and win. 

“That fight’s definitely going to happen, it’s just that everyone’s waiting on Josh Taylor. 

“That fight would either be for the interim world title or if [Taylor] vacates, which we know he’s going to, will that fight be for the full world title, which it will be.”

He also confirmed Paro’s team, headed by Ace Boxing’s Angelo Di Carlo, were fighting hard for it to be held in Australia.

Paro himself is champing at the bit to fight for the WBO belt and would love the chance to headline a show in Australia.

“In a perfect world that would be the way that it would go down,” Paro told Sporting News.

“Win the title here, in front of the Australian fans. I’m super excited, to have it in Australia would be unbelievable.

“It’s going to be hard. Don’t get me wrong, Ramirez was a good champion, I’ve got a lot of respect for Ramirez but I feel like I can beat the top guys at 140.

“I believe in my skill, I’m very confident in my ability, I feel like I can get the job done against him.”

Liam Paro

Hearn, who’s never been to Australia, confirmed he would be making the trip on a “scouting mission” in June to get a lay of the land and potential locations ahead of Matchroom’s expansion into Australia.

The Englishman shared his excitement about the array Aussie talent he’d put together.

“If we did Paro versus Ramirez, Ebanie Bridges in a world title fight, Skye, Dempsey in a good heavyweight fight, Brock Jarvis in a world-class fight, that’s a nice show, certainly a great starting point,” he said.

“We want to come in and make a bang.”

Hearn and Matchroom looked to have the perfect launchpad to expand in Australia when George Kambosos’ mooted undisputed lightweight title with Vasyl Lomachenko fell through, leaving WBC champion Devin Haney as the obvious opponent.

Haney was signed to Matchroom but Hearn said the broadcast rights to the fight in Australia were not available to Matchroom’s partner, DAZN, meaning Haney needed to switch promoters to get the fight.

“It was really frustrating. I’m very close to Devin and we worked together and we always said we’d become undisputed together and it was really hard for him,” Hearn said.

“Once we knew the Australian rights weren’t available, the interest from DAZN was filtered down and there was a better offer on the table for ESPN to do it and [Kambosos’ promoter] Lou DiBella wanted to take that offer.

“Haney was told that unless you take the offer, you’re not going to get the fight. He held out and held out to try and almost call their bluff and there was no bluff. 

“Devin said, “I’ve got to take this fight.” And I said, ‘of course you do.’

“It’s a two-fight deal and it’s an opportunity of a lifetime for Devin.”

Kambosos will take on Haney on June 5 in a fight that will be aired on Foxtel’s Main Event.


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