Keilor Downs boxing champion Joel Camilleri is just the “other guy” in the eyes of Foxtel promoters and the daily press.
Camilleri, 28, will get his first shot at the main card of a Main Event channel night of fights when he takes on son-of-a-gun Tim Tszyu for the Australian Super Welterweight Title at The Star in Sydney on May 15.
Instead of talking up Camilleri’s chances of retaining his Australian title belt, all the coverage has been focused on Tszyu, son of legendary Australian boxer Kostya Tszyu.
Tszyu is the inexperienced fighter in the bout, but the fascination with his name is what is drawing all the attention.
Camilleri understands the Tszyu name is the one that will sell Main Event passes for Foxtel, but he will use the bout to show the nation he is ready to steal the headlines and bring to an end the hype surrounding Tszyu.
“They’re promoting his name so much, making out he’s something that I believe he’s not, so when I beat this so-called next best thing in the world, they’re going to have to put all the attention on me,” Camilleri told Star Weekly.
“Tune in May 15 because I’m coming out to create my own story and end the hype train.”
Camilleri has fought in prime time to a nationwide audience before – on an undercard for an Anthony Mundine bout with Siarhei Rabchanka in 2014.
That night ended in a loss for Camilleri to Anthony Buttigieg, but it provided him with much-needed experience on a big stage at the Melbourne Arena.
Camilleri, who has a 17-5 record, believes his experience in the ring will be too much for Tszyu, who is 12-0.
“I’ve got five losses on my record, a couple of very debatable ones, but I’m still rated 73 in the world and he’s rated 138, which shows that I’ve beaten much better guys than he has,” he said.
Camilleri will travel to Sydney to defend his title belt – and that will make it all the more sweeter if he can bring down Tszyu in front of his home fans.
Camilleri has vowed to put on a memorable show for the Victorians that purchase a Main Event ticket on Foxtel or attend their local sports bar to watch the fight.
“I’m going to give them something to talk about for a long time,” he said. “I’m looking to finish Tim Tsyzu and end the hype.”
Camilleri is wary that he could be treated akin to a challenger in the fight and not the title holder.
He believes he will need a comprehensive victory – by way of knock-out or by a large margin on the scorecards – to retain his belt.
“I’ll have to win an extra round on the scorecard because they’ve already booked him in for three or four more pay per view fights and they’re planning his fights already,” Camilleri said.
“They cannot let me win, so I’ve got to go in there and take it out of the judges’ hands.”
Camilleri described Tszyu as a “gentleman” and his dad, Kostya, as a “legend” of the sport, but maintains this is his time to put his name up in lights in Australian boxing circles.