Western suburbs boxer Qamil Balla will put his undefeated record on the line when he squares off with WBA Oceania lightweight champion George Kambosos Jnr in a fight over 10 rounds at the Vodafone Events Centre in Auckland on Saturday night.
Balla, nicknamed the Golden Boy, has 11 wins and a draw from his 12 fights, takes on Kambosos Jnr, who has a near identical record of 11 wins from 11 fights.
It will be a mouth-watering semi main event to the Joseph Parker and Razvan Cojanu bout for the WBO world heavyweight title that will garner international attention on pay television.
Balla, raised in Hoppers Crossing and trained at The Gym Yarraville, is so confident that he will get the better of Kambosos Jnr, he is already looking beyond the big fight.
“It’s just an opportunity that it brings after I take this victory,” Balla said.
“That’s what I’m really looking forward to because it’s going to put me in the spotlight.
“I’ll be one of the biggest names in Australia after I beat George because he’s got this high profile, he’s talked himself up.”
Balla reckons the records of the two boxers are misleading.
The 27-year-old from Altona North wants to expose Kambosos Jnr for what he calls a “padded” record.
“My record speaks for itself more so than his,” Balla said. “He does do all the trash talking, but his one is way padded when you look into the fighters that he’s fought.
“The only reputable win that he’s had is probably the last one that he fought and that was [Brandon] Ogilvie.
“Other than that, it’s pretty well padded and I can’t wait to expose it.”
Balla has predicted this fight will begin his ascent in the boxing world.
He has put no ceiling on what he can achieve in the fight game with a world title his ultimate goal.
“If I fight for a world title, then I will be bragging, but until then, I will just build my way up and this is going to take me there,” he said.
Balla could not be better prepared to inflict a first defeat on Kambosos Jnr.
He says he did not want to roll out “the usual spiel” about having never trained harder for a fight in his life, but it’s true.
“You’ll not only be able to see it May 6 on fight night, but during the weigh in, how much my body has changed and how ripped I am compared to my opponent,” Balla said.
“It’s probably going to scare the pants off him before we actually get into the ring.”
Balla, who is supported by wife Rabea and young children Nuri, two, and Mia, five months, is not only well placed physically, but he is mentally stronger than ever before.
Entering the prime of his career at 27, he has enough experience in the ring to dictate terms and all the support he needs.
In his corner is his brother Ibrahim, an Olympic boxer turned pro, and trainer Lim Jeka, a former Australian super welterweight champion.
“I’ve pretty much graduated from the trade,” Balla said. “Now, being 27, I’m fit and strong and a fully fledged man, I’m ready to take this all the way to the world title.
“I’ve got no doubts about this in my mind.”