Jacob Ng returns to action against Blake Minto on Saturday night and one thing is certain; he will shuffle to the ring with no regrets at all.
Though he could be excused for feeling apprehensive.
After all, he is returning just over three months after the consensus 2020 Australian Fight of the Year. It was a bout that saw the 26 year old dropped in what appeared to be devastating fashion.
To Ng however, it is a case of looks deceiving the eye of those that saw the epic fight against Hunter Ioane.
“When I got dropped I knew that I got dropped and my head was still clear. I just got caught funny”, he told The Inner Sanctum.
“It was a weird shot. It sat me down but I got straight back up. My head was still there. I remember the shot and thinking to myself, ‘I can’t believe I just got caught’.
“It probably wasn’t as bad on my head, per se. I have no worries going back into my next fight.”
Moreover, the bout with Minto will be contested in unfamiliar territory – a weight class above the Lightweight ranks that Ng is accustomed to.
This is all by design, though. In fact, it is the starting point in a grand plan to take his status from that of Australian prospect to International contender.
Recently, news broke of online streaming company Triller winning the purse bid for the mandatory IBF World Lightweight title fight between champion Teofimo Lopez and Australia’s George Kambosos Jr.
As the number 9 ranked Lightweight by the IBF, Ng has his eyes on his fellow countryman and is positive about his chances.
“Kambosos is a quality fighter. He’s fought against some good people in his couple of fights – two, three ex-world champions and stuff.
“He’s got a high work-rate, quick hands and works hard. So I give all credit to him. It should be a good fight.”
More than being a passive observer though, Ng will be watching intently and making notes as he plans for his fighting future.
“I just want that Kambosos fight. If he wins or loses, I’m the next best option for him.
“If he wins, it’s an all-Australian Lightweight World title which I don’t think that’s ever happened before. So it’d be crazy for Australia straight away.
“Then, if he loses, who is the number one lightweight in Australia – is it him or is it me? So it’s another massive Australian fight which would sell out either way with a win or loss. Us fighting each other would be a sell-out crowd.
“I hope he gets that win and we can get an all-Australian world title fight.”
Aiming for the lofty heights in the sport has all been a part of a change in mindset.
Rather than go through the motions, “The Flamingo” aims to sore with the eagles at the top of the division.
For a fighter that has gone about paying his dues as a regional champion, setting up future bouts in now becoming more about enjoying the success of his hard work rather than risking it all.
“At the moment it’s like everyone gets a reward fighting me. It’s all risk for me if they’re fighting me.
“So it’s like, why am I going to keep fighting people in my weight in Australia that aren’t even world ranked and aren’t going to do anything for me. I want to try and go overseas and fight bigger opponents and we can’t because of COVID.
“These guys are getting all the accolades for fighting me and I’m getting nothing from fighting them. There’s no real reason to fight anyone else in the division (in Australia) apart from Kambosos.
“I’m going to go up a division and fight someone heavier than me at their weight so I don’t have to defend my title.”
Despite the move up in weight, Ng does not have long term goals in the division. To this, he gave his guarantee. His word is based on the bond of combat sports brethren.
“That’s never going to be my division. My teammate’s Liam Paro, he’s number 2 in the world with the IBF.
“So I wouldn’t be looking to make a name for myself in that weight division.”
The goal remains consistent – conquer the World Lightweight rankings – and if the Kambosos fight cannot be made, Ng has his eye on one of boxing’s hottest prospects.
“I’d really like Ryan Garcia. I think that would be a really good promoter’s dream.
“He’s a clean-cut, pretty boy. I’m like a tatted-up Aussie.
“I like to throw down, he’s sort of like a clean, moving style so I think we’d just be a promoters dream if we were to throw down.”
None of this is to suggest that Ng is overlooking Blake Minto though. On the contrary, he remains grounded.
He knows that the former WBF World and IBO Asia Pacific Super Lightweight champion poses as much of a threat to his perfect record as every other opponent that he has faced.
Ng instead spoke candidly about Minto, breaking down his strengths, weaknesses and what he must do to overcome such a serious challenge.
“He’s pretty secretive or, his camp’s secretive. There’s actually no videos of him online, maybe from ages ago. So there’s no real pro-footage of him.
“I think just from seeing his record, he’s just a high work-rate, good technique guy. Goes in there, works hard, wins on points, gets the rounds out and wins the rounds.
“He’s not a power puncher, which is another good thing going up a weight division. He’s only stopped 3 people out of his 16-17 fights, so that’s not a big stress on my behalf.
“My quality of opponents have been a lot harder I think, especially my last five or six fights have all been international opponents with more fights than I and better win-loss ratios than he’s fought with his opponents.
“I think I should be a bit too big, strong and awkward for him.
“So it’s pretty much just sticking to a game plan and fighting a bit smarter in there for this one. That’s what I’ll be looking to do.”
Jacob Ng does not promise to simply win. He promises to provide fireworks.
“I don’t go in fights to win on points, I go and try and stop my opponents. That’s just how I fight. Why stay in there for ten rounds when you can stop ‘em earlier.
“I’ve got a very high-paced style, a very high work-rate. Not a lot of people can match my work-rate.
“I’ve got good body punches and head punches and good placement. So I land them good and it just wears my opponents down. I just want to get on top of this guy straight away and I’m looking to finish him in under six rounds”, he predicted.
Ng v Minto goes down this Saturday 27 March and will air live on Epicentre TV – Order at: https://epicentre.tv/live-events/ng-v-minto
Read part one of our two part series with Jacob Ng ahead of Saturday night’s big fight.