Australian boxing’s best kept secret Paul ‘Showtime’ Fleming 25-0 (17) is looking forward to returning to the ring this month before making a world title run next year with reigning WBO super featherweight champion Masayuki Ito 24-1-1 (12) of Japan in his sights.
The 30-year-old Sydney southpaw is keen to get some momentum going after a year on the sidelines.
“The last time I fought I took care of Filipino strongman Vergil Puton in seven rounds,” says Fleming. “I had him cut-up, busted-up and closed up his right eye. By the time I was finished with him it looked like his face had been put through a meat-grinder.
“It took WBO 130-pound champion Ito two more rounds to get rid of Puton than it did me – and that was after I’d already carved him up.
“If this Japanese kid is everything he’s cracked up to be, we might have an entertaining fight on our hands. If he’s anything less, I’ll put him away the same way I did Puton. It’s as simple as that.”
Fleming is set to headline MJA Platinum’s inaugural card when he takes on former two-time WBO bantamweight champion Panya Uthok 52-5 (35) of Thailand over eight rounds at the Emporium in Bankstown, Sydney on December 21.
“This is a great opportunity for me to knock off some rust and set myself for a title run in the new year,” says Fleming. “Uthok won’t last the distance and neither will Ito if I can get my hands on him.
“If the Ito fight does happen I won’t be sitting on the outside waiting for him to throw, I’ll be using my speed and giving him those southpaw angles and making him work every minute of the fight.”
The card will also feature the return of former world title challenger Luke ‘Action’ Jackson 16-1 (7) of Hobart, Tasmania who is having his first fight back since his lone career loss to interim WBO featherweight champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton 26-1 (15) at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland in August.
“I won’t lie, the loss hurt,” says Jackson. “But I took some time off for the first time in my career and sat down with my trainer Billy Hussein to figure out where we go from here.
“I was keen to go round again but I needed Billy’s sanction to do that. He gave me his blessing and we are both very excited to get the monkey off my back after my first professional defeat and return to the winner’s column.
“Next year is going to be my year and you’re only going to see a new and improved version of ‘Action’ Jackson in 2019.”
The show will also feature natural-born entertainer ‘Gelignite’ Jack Brubaker 14-2-1 (7) against big-hitting Indonesian Larry Siwu 27-11 (23) as the Cronulla prospect prepares for his own world title run.
“I didn’t have much of an amateur career so I’m still learning on the job,” says Brubaker, 27.
“But now I have the right team behind me with my management team of Mike Altamura and MTK Global along with my trainer Graham Shaw, so I’m confident I can get the fights I need to stay busy.
“I will be ready for the Terence Crawfords and Errol Spences of the world within the next 12-18 months.”
Also on the card will be hot prospect Youssef Dib 9-0 (4), younger brother of former IBF featherweight world champion Billy ‘The Kid’ Dib, in a six round welterweight contest.
Exciting junior welterweight Dylan Emery 19-1 (12) returns from a 14-month layoff in a four round bout while bantamweight Moey Ibrahim will also be in action in another four round contest.