THE revamped Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville is expected to host a major fight this year.
But it isn’t just the domestic super-fight between former world champion Jeff Horn and unbeaten star Tim Tszyu — with slick southpaw Liam Paro closing in on a possible world title challenge.
Paro (19-0, 12 KOs) is expected to face talented Englishman Jack Catterall (25-0, 13 KOs) for the vacant WBO light welterweight crown, with its current holder Jose Ramirez tipped to vacate in the coming months.
“Hopefully when this is all over… it’s soon, that we do get this world title shot,” Paro told 7 News.
“That will be my next fight. I hope to fill out the stadium up in Townsville.”
The 24-year-old Queenslander, who has strong ties to the coastal city, would be thrilled to make a maiden world title challenge with the vocal backing of his friends and family.
“To win a world title in front of them would be unbelievable,” he added.
“Mark Flanagan moved me up there. His family are pretty much my family.”
Despite his immediate focus being a temporary foray into tradesman work, Paro sees the change of scenery as a blessing, with the opportunity to ground himself ahead of a career-defining chapter.
Having had the backing from a slew of loyal sponsors, the world rated light welterweight is among a small number of fighters who can solely focus on their pugilistic pursuits.
“I do really have it really good being able to box full-time with my sponsors,” he added.
“Being back here has refreshed my mind. I’ve got to keep working hard to keep doing what I want to do.”
Paro is determined to reach the highest level, having made a vow to his late boyhood friend Regan Grieves, to capture an elusive world crown.
“To conquer the world,” he revealed.
“We’re still on that journey. I’ve had hard fights where I’ve been put in the trenches. It’s all I’ve got to think.
“To picture his face — that’ll get me through anything.”
Photo: Getty Images