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Anthony Buttigieg: “Tukes has had seven weeks, so no excuses,”

 
UNDEFEATED Victorian light middleweight champion Anthony Buttigieg plans on cementing his place as the state’s premier fighter in his division when he makes the third defence of his state title on Friday night.

 
Buttigieg (8-0, 1 KO) will defend his state strap against former Australian welterweight champion and seasoned campaigner Fred Tukes (12-2-2, 6 KOs) at the L’amour Reception in St Albans.

 
“The only concern I’ve had for this training camp is that I only had seven weeks to prepare for a southpaw,” said Buttigieg in an interview with Aus-Boxing.

 
“But it’s not an issue any more,”

 
Buttigieg, 26, has sparred with a handful of different fighters, most notably putting in work with recent Australian super middleweight title challenger and fellow Melburnian Tej Singh.

 
This is an experience that Buttigieg believes has been hugely beneficial, given Singh’s weight advantage and southpaw stance.

 
“We were lucky enough to get some solid sparring in with Tej Singh, who just fought for the Australian super middleweight title,” said Buttigieg. “With Tej being more heavier handed than Tukes, I thought I went really well,”

 
In Tukes, 42, Buttigieg is facing a fighter that he is expected to beat, given that their most recent shared opponent – Victorian light middleweight Ben Capps – is a fighter that Buttigieg has handily beaten two times.

 
Capps and Tukes shared a six round draw last December before Capps emphatically defeated Tukes in a regional title rematch in March, with the fight ending in a seventh round stoppage.

 
“I was there the second time they fought,” explained Buttigieg. “Tukes floored Capps early and I didn’t think Capps was getting back up,”

 
“And then Tukes gassed in the third round,”

 
Although Buttigieg is relatively new to the paid ranks, he speaks with the assurance of a veteran. The Altona resident believes that his preparation is a major contributor to his success.

 
“With my experience in boxing over the years, I live by a simple rule – failing to prepare is preparing to fail – Tukes has had seven weeks, so no excuses,”

 
“I don’t want to give too much away but I’m feeling pretty confident coming into this fight.”

 
If Buttigieg is successful in making his third state title defence, it appears inevitable that a shot at the national title will take place. When probed on his motivation to fight for the Australian title, Buttigieg was honest in his answer.

 
“Being able to prove to myself that I am the best in the state at light middleweight is really satisfying,” added Buttigieg. “But yeah, of course, the Aussie title is definitely something I’ve got my eyes on,”

 
“I missed out both times I tried in the amateurs at elite level, losing to both eventual winners by a bee’s dick,”

 
“After this fight I plan on having one or two more fights to finish the year. I’ll see how we go.”

 
In preparation for Tukes, Buttigieg – who has scored a singular knockout as a professional – has increased his strength and conditioning work in the hope that it will pay dividends on fight night.

 
“I started a strength and conditioning program about eight weeks ago with a mate Brad Mickelsson down at Goodlife in Point Cook,” Buttigied added. “I’m feeling much stronger,”

 
“I really feel that once I’ve tapered down from training that it’s going to make a big difference come Friday night,”

 
 
Photo: Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz

 

 

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