Local Derby on tap when Buttigieg and Camilleri collide

REMEMBER where you heard it first, because after tomorrow night, you may be hearing a lot more about talented Victorian duo Anthony ‘The Boss’ Buttigieg and Joel ‘Cama KO’ Camilleri.

While their fight is slated to open the stacked pay-per-view card from Hisense Arena tomorrow night, there’s a very good chance that their six-round fight might steal the show.

Given that both Camilleri (6-2, 4 KOs) and Buttigieg (6-0, 1 KO) are from the western suburbs of Melbourne as well as sharing Maltese heritage, it comes as no surprise that their fight has generated a lot of buzz across social media as well as within the niche circle of fight fans too.

As the old saying goes, styles makes fights and for that reason it appears that the stylistic matchup that both Buttigieg and Camilleri share will lead to a potential fight of the year candidate.

They have been scheduled to face off a handful of times throughout the year, but the fight has finally come together on the biggest platform available.

Part of the delay has been credited to Camilleri’s change of trainer, moving from initial trainer Daryl Ford and his Glenroy Boxing Gymnasium to the trusting hands of Sam Labruna at the Team Labruna headquarters in Airport West, where he trains alongside leading Australian light heavyweight Blake Caparello amongst many others.

“When I made the move, I was looking for a trainer who could help improve my technical boxing as I found I was starting to be too reliant on my power and front foot fighting,” said Camilleri in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “Sam has been able to help me make improvements where it was needed and made me feel comfortable on the front and backfoot. Improvements are being made every training session.”

“Training alongside such experienced fighters and one of the most technical boxers in Australia really motivates me to keep putting in the hard work and aim to get to the level they are currently at,” Camilleri explained. “We have a close bond at our gym and Blake is always giving me great advice to add onto the excellence of my trainer Sam Labruna.”

As time has passed, Camilleri, 24, expressed that it was frustrating to delay a fight that many people wanted to see, but in the end it has been beneficial for all parties involved as a national audience will be able to witness a fight that they may have otherwise missed.

“We’ve both wanted this fight for a long time,” Camilleri added. “My transition delayed the fight a bit and a couple of injuries too, though it couldn’t have been put together at a better time.”

“This is a rivalry, where two young boxers that have one goal – to be the best – and I want to get through my opposition one by one, not by taking the easy route. It’s always been my goal to fight in an arena such as Hisense Arena and in front of a big crowd, but the fight being televised on Main Event is a bonus,”

“I love the camera and it just makes me want to put on a great performance for everyone watching,” Camilleri said in closing. “This victory will eliminate one more Australian fighter that I need to get through before I start seeking international fights,”

“Defeating Buttigieg is my objective and only objective on my mind at this current time.”

Unlike his rival, Victorian light middleweight champion Anthony Buttigieg is softly spoken and generally keeps to himself. His mentality towards fighting is strictly business and his resume shows that.

Buttigieg, 26, and his head trainer Sam de Moor have quietly plotted his rise up the light middleweight ratings and will look to score a break-out win against a rival they have wanted to face from some time.

Recent wins over Ben Capps and Franko Valenzuela tell the story of a fighter who is willing to face anyone along the way, even if it means fighting someone, who he at one point considered as a friend.

“In my last few bouts, I feel like my work rate has improved and I’m able to keep the high intensity pace throughout the whole fight,” said Buttigieg in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “I’m getting into the bigger fights and I’ve upped my training, sparring with quality fighters like Dwight Ritchie and Rivan Cesaire.”

“I know Joel pretty well, we did a few rounds together back when I was in the amateurs,”

“For me, I don’t believe it’s a rivalry but Joel may have turned it into one,” Buttigieg noted. “Joel likes to talk a lot and is better known as light entertainment on social media more so than what he has accomplished in boxing,”

“We will see what he has to say on the night after the fight.”

When recalling how long a fight between himself and Camilleri has been in discussion, Buttigieg remembers it being an option from as early as his professional debut last April, where he outpointed South Australian Mark Dalby over four rounds.

“It was Fox Sports commentator Andy Raymond’s idea after myself and Joel fought on the same card last year,” Buttigieg stated. “I guess the promoters agreed and really wanted to put it on,”

“We were scheduled to fight a while back, for the state title until his camp pulled out. I believe I’ve overcome much better quality opponents than Joel, in the amateurs as well as in the paid ranks too,”

“The opportunity to fight on the Mundine undercard is massive and the exposure will be really good for me.”

Like his familiar counterpart, Buttigieg sees this fight as a stepping stone to bigger fights as well as a good way to raise his profile with the Australian fight fans, who may not be familiar with his exciting forward-walking style.

Both Buttigieg and Camilleri were in action last month, meaning they are both in prime physical and mental condition ahead of what will surely be a can’t-miss fight.

“At the moment I’m trying to stay active and climb the ladder one at a time,” Buttigieg said in closing. “Being only six rounds, it will be an action-packed brawl and I’m feeling supremely confident going into this one, feeling cherry ripe from my last outing three weeks ago.”

“I’m looking for another win and it will top off a good year for me,”

Photo: Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz


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