LUKE Jackson will take his first step towards a world rating on March 5th.
The 31-year-old Moonah resident will be challenged by seasoned former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario at the Hobart City Hall as part of a five-fight professional card presented by Fightcard Promotions.
Apolinario, 26, has challenged for versions of the WBA bantamweight title three times – drawing twice with interim titleholder Roberto Vasquez – before dropping a decision to the outright champion Koki Kameda in 2013.
The pair will collide for the vacant WBA Oceania featherweight title after the belts previous owner Nathaniel May, opted to vacate the strap instead of facing Jackson, shortly after his team lodged an official challenge.
The regional title opportunity was also granted to Commonwealth title challenger Joel Brunker, who also declined.
Speaking at the official press conference at the Best Western in Hobart earlier today, Jackson’s team unveiled Apolinario as the official opponent, shortly after the lively Filipino veteran was sanctioned to face Jackson.
“We only received confirmation about half an hour ago that the opponent has been approved for Luke to fight for the WBA Oceania featherweight title,” said Adam Wilcock, who has promoted Jackson since his professional debut.
When queried about the challenges that come with professional boxing, Jackson admitted it’s an unique situation.
“It’s different – it’s all different – but I don’t worry about that,” said Jackson to the media gathering.
To his credit, Jackson (now 10-0, 5 KOs) was the first to admit he has fought better opposition as an amateur, but with that in mind, the former Olympic captain confessed that learning in the paid ranks is a continued process.
“I believe I’ve fought better guys in the amateurs. But amateur and professional boxing are completely different.”
“I’m not ready for a world title, I know that,” he confessed. “I need progression and that’s what this is all about,”
“I don’t play around with this stuff, it’s all business.”
Photo: Getty Images/Provided