After nearly a decade of boxing on the Australian circuit, there are very few goals remaining on the ‘to-do’ list of Joel Camilleri (20-6-1, 8 KOs). From filing the mid-card slot at clubs and town halls to fighting regularly on pay-per-view events, he has seen and done it all.
Career progression has gone hand in hand with numerous title accolades, such as the WBC Australasia Super Welterweight title he won with a unanimous decision over Luke Woods (7-4, 2 KOs) in May.
Despite such a wealth of experience, the 31-year-old believes he is just scratching the surface.
Now entering the final stages of preparation for his bout at No Limit Boxing’s Tszyu v Inoue event in Sydney on November 17, Camilleri is driven by a burning desire to reach great heights in the sport.
“I truly believe that I can beat anyone,” he told The Inner Sanctum.
“I’m getting better every fight and there’s no one in the world that I won’t be able to beat in the next 12 months with my progression.
“I’m 31 but I feel that I’m still young and going into my prime.”
Looking to capitalise on a surge of form that has resulted in five wins from his past six bouts, Camilleri has his sights set on broader horizons.
Central to this goal is the will to take his career away from the home front and into the global arena. Whether it be against a foreign opponent at home or competing in another country, the man colloquially known as ‘CamaKO’ wants to prove that he can thrive amongst the international ranks.
To this end, there are still some boxes left unticked.
“My aim is, one fight at a time, in the next six to twelve months to get a top 15 rating in one of the organisations,” he said.
“I’ve had 27 fights, this will be number 28, in Australia. I want to go overseas in the rest of my career. I want overseas opponents, I want to fight the best. I’ve done what I’ve done in Australia.”
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Standing in the opposite corner on the night will be Koen Mazoudier (8-2, 4 KOs), who will step into the bout as a late replacement following the withdrawal of Wes Capper (22-4-1, 13 KOs) late last month.
Now presented with a golden opportunity, the 26-year-old will have every intention of derailing his rival’s grand plans, all while taking the aforementioned WBC title home to Blacktown.
Even with the change of opponent though, Camilleri has faith in his overall game planning for the fight and sees a number of similarities between the two fighters.
Moreover, there is full confidence in the unique, defensive style that he brings to every contest.
“They’re both orthodox fighters, they’re both around six-foot, both big guys. It’s the same thing, they both box. Nothing really changes, it’s just another opponent in front of me,” he claimed.
“When I go into the gym, every time I punch I think ‘alright, I’m going to punch there, what can he counter me with? How can I move? What gives me the highest percentage to not get hit?’
“I haven’t been dropped, I haven’t been stopped yet and you barely ever see me getting hit from flush shots.
“I’m always thinking that way. Over and over again, I practice the same thing. I’ll practice it a thousand times and move on to the next until it comes natural.”
Coupled with the conviction shown in his skills, Camilleri has surrounded himself with high-level coaching and training partners in preparation for the bout.
Complimentary to the usual tutelage of Dundee Kim and Paul Briggs, the Victorian turned Brisbanite arrived in Sydney early to work alongside former opponent and surging World title contender Tim Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs).
There he also shared the ring with heavy-hitting Japanese prospect Kazuto Takesako (13-0-1, 12 KOs), who is in ‘the Harbour City’ as the main sparring partner of Tszyu’s opponent Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1, 10 KOs).
The experience then put the finishing touches on a successful fight camp.
“Coming down and spending some time Sydney, working with Tim Tszyu has been pretty good. Me and Tim are good mates,” he said.
“My last spar was with the Japanese and OPBF Middleweight champion (Takesako), so that was a great way to finish.
“He’s a good fighter, knocking everyone out at Middleweight and a good mover. I watched him doing some light sparring movement with Inoue and I was like ‘this guy looks good, who’s he?’
“I found out he’s number two in Japan, 36 in the World, undefeated. He’s pretty good.”
With round upon round of high-level sparring banked and an ambitious mindset driving his future, Camilleri believes he will emerge victorious over Mazoudier. In fact, he envisions domination.
Most important of all however will be taking the first step towards the elusive international showcase that currently spurs his fighting spirit.
“I believe I’ll win every single round of this fight and there’s a good possibility to stop him. I don’t know what round but I do see it. As the fight goes on, I start breaking you mentally and physically,” Camilleri concluded.
“If it’s a stoppage, it’ll be a stoppage. Otherwise, it’ll be a unanimous decision.
“Let’s go for those overseas opponents, but first on my list is Koen Mazoudier.”
Camilleri v Mazoudier is part of No Limit Boxing’s Tszyu v Inoue card on Wednesday, November 17, and can be ordered via Main Event/Kayo here
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