JOEL Camilleri’s next appearance could potentially define the future of his career.
The former national and regional titleholder is set to face Blacktown product Koen Mazoudier (8-2-0, 4 KOs) on the undercard of the Tim Tszyu vs Takeshi Inoue fight on Wednesday night.
Camilleri (20-6-1, 8 KOs) could extend his winning streak to four fights with a victory, with his last loss coming against Tszyu more than two years ago.
The 31-year-old became just the third fighter to have gone the distance with the freshly minted WBO super welterweight mandatory challenger.
Speaking about the importance of this fight as well as his immediate future, Camilleri revealed what it’s like to face share the ring with Tszyu.
On teaching Mazoudier a lesson
Camilleri certainly has the experience advantage over a fighter five years younger than him.
While all of his fights have been in Australia, he’s had some major fights including the bout against the likes of Tszyu, Dwight Ritchie and former Commonwealth champion Anthony Buttigieg.
But rather than focusing on tiring Mazoudier out on fight night, Camilleri is looking to make the most of his 160 rounds of knowledge.
“My gameplan is to adapt better than he can adapt to me,” Camilleri told Aus-Boxing.
“I believe every single round, I will win these rounds. I’m going to teach him that there’s a lot to pro boxing.
“Credit to him for going from a big fight in Wade Ryan to me, but I’m a great boxer at adapting to people and just teaching people new things.
“I truly believe that he’s gonna leave that ring and be like, ‘What the hell just happened?’”
Despite his recent form, Camilleri admits a loss to Mazoudier could potentially be a defining result.
“Every fight from now is very important,” he explained.
“I’ve had 27 professional fights now. No offence to Koen, but he’s still fresh, 10 fights under his belt.
“If I can’t beat guys like Koen, 27 fights into my career… where do I go from there?”
Who is Koen Mazoudier?
Mazoudier is another Australian with plenty to prove, coming off a credible stoppage loss to Wade Ryan in Newcastle.
While Camilleri has a clear experience advantage over Mazoudier, the 26-year-old does have height in his favour, standing taller than Camilleri.
“He’s hungry, nothing to lose. They all say he’s a pretty boxer,” Camilleri explained.
“Good amateur but this is the pro game. There is a big difference between amateurs and pros and a difference between being a fighter and looking pretty.
“I’m an experienced campaigner., I’ve been there 27 times and [had] 160 rounds. I just think that it’ll be a massive difference on fight night.”
Although he lost in his most recent outing, Mazoudier still put in a performance that impressed the television audience, earning his second opportunity to compete on pay-per-view.
“His last fight was a pretty big fight with Wade Ryan,” Camilleri continued.
“He mentioned he started doing meditation, yoga, to sort him out which, credit to him for trying to sort it out.
“But that just shows me that he wasn’t ready for the stage. And obviously he’ll be a bit more ready going through that but at the end of the day, he didn’t perform on the night.
“The first time he stepped up to a pretty big fight night, he lost the fight and got hit with quite a few shots.
“I think it plays in the back of your head. Last time you had a big event, you got cracked, you lost the fight, you got stopped. I think it does play in the back of your head.”
What it’s like to fight Tim Tszyu
Tszyu is putting his world title opportunity on the line when he faces Takeshi Inoue to headline another blockbuster card from No Limit Boxing.
Although entering their fight as the reigning Australian champion, Camilleri picked up valuable experience, after sharing the ring with a truly world class talent.
“I think when you fight Tim, only the strong survive,” he continued.
“You know, it’s a bit of an overused quote but I went 10 rounds with him when people were questioning how good he was. But everyone who actually knew him, had been in camp with him, knew how good he was.
“He was bashing sparring partners, dropping light heavyweights, I’d heard all this. When you’re in with him you realise how good he is.
“I’ve said this before, but he’s the only person who’s beaten me. I’ve had six losses in my 27 fights, and he is the only person I can confidently say actually out boxed me on the night.
“I went the 10 rounds, I’ve never been dropped, never been stopped and I showed how tough I was.
“But it was definitely a pretty new kind of experience and a pretty testing and challenging experience to get in the ring with Tim.”