21/04/2024

Luke 'Fast and Cocky' Woods will meet Ethan Law for the Australian Super Welterweight title on October 23 - Photo: Liahm O'Brien/The Inner Sanctum

Despite being branded the "underdog", Tasmania's Luke Woods is full of confidence ahead of his Australian Super Welterweight title bout on October 23.

Far from a stranger to the squared circle, Tasmania’s Luke Woods (6-4, 2 KOs) has a razor sharp focus ahead of his upcoming ANBF Australian Super Welterweight title fight on October 23.

Journeying to Queensland for the second time this year, Woods will meet Ethan Law (5-0, 4 KOs) over 10 rounds at Tasman Fighters’ Gold Coast Fight Night II event.

For the 29-year-old, it is business as usual. Under the watchful eye of father Craig and coach Tim Christie, Woods will enter the fight full of confidence in his preparation.

“We’re treating it no different. Every fight I have, I treat it like I’m fighting for a World title,” Woods told The Inner Sanctum.

“This one’s for the Australian title which, I guess, is every boxer’s dream to get hold of one of them.”

The southpaw is returning to the ring for the first time since a close decision loss to Joel Camilleri (20-6-1, 8 KOs) in May, a fight he believes could have been scored his way.

Unfortunately, the result was just another case of the judges having a different perspective. Coming up short in tight contests has been a recurring theme throughout Woods’ career.

Though the accumulation of losses has resulted in limited lucrative opportunities and title accolades, a silver lining emerged nonetheless.

While Camilleri took home the WBC Australasia Super Welterweight crown, the man known as “Fast and Cocky” walked away with a fresh outlook on the sport and his role in it.

That is, to fight pressure free and feed off of the tag of the underdog. To maintain an unbridled love of boxing without chasing fame and notoriety.

Knowing that he has given everything he can is the ultimate source of satisfaction.

“It’s better to do the sport for the enjoyment of it, rather than to be famous or make a million dollars. I’m just doing it for the love of it, now particularly,” Woods said.

“I know that they’re flying me up there to lose, they’re not flying me up there to win.

“They’re not going ‘oh, you know who we should put on this show, Luke Woods. We’ll take him up there so he can beat our boxer.’ It’s the complete opposite.

“So I’m just the underdog going up there like always and you know, I probably will get ripped off by the judges but I love the sport.

“A lot of big opportunities have been taken away from me because of it, but that’s fine. I live with it and deal with it.

“I come back home and all my friends and family buy me a beer and go ‘you won that fight, mate.’”

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Coupled with this mentality is a career-long commitment to throwing oneself into fights with the best competition available. At times, this has meant marching into enemy territory to take on the local favourite.

Woods has not fought in Tasmania since 2018, with the upcoming match up being his third in a row in Queensland. Had he been less willing to take on the best opponent possible, a different path might have been forged.

In all, he is more inclined to let his skills do the talking.

“I guess I’d rather go away and fight in competitive fights, whether I get robbed or not. Every fight I’ve had on the road has been very competitive. Some of them, no doubt, I think I did enough to win,” he said.

“I think I’d rather that than stay at home in Tassie, getting a big crowd encouraging me and supporting me where I’m beating people that I can hand pick.”

To this end, a bout with Ethan Law is no exception to the rule of ‘take on all comers.’

Holding an undefeated record through five fights, “The Stallion” will be looking to maintain the perfect start to his career. A win would also result in an ANBF title in a second weight class, having already won the Australasian Middleweight belt last year.

Stylistically, there have been few that are more impressed with Law’s output than Woods. That is not to say that the Latrobe native is counting himself out of the equation.

“I think he’s a pretty classy boxer,” he surmised.

“He’s a nice, long boxer and that’s how I like to box, so I think it’ll be a nice, long sword fight. That’s my aim, to try and beat him at his own game.

“I’m going to be the biggest challenge that he’s had out of all of his fights. I think that maybe some of the boxers that he’s fought, I would have done the exact same thing to them.

“I reckon I can do enough to shock them.”

Bringing the Australian title back to the Apple Isle would be a just conclusion to the career of Luke Woods, who concedes that he is nearing the end of his days in the ring.

In his mind, the idea of completing the trifecta of 2010 Commonwealth games representative and national champion at both amateur and professional level is incredibly validating. It is not an unnegotiable objective, however.

The ultimate rubber stamp will come from maintaining the determination to continuously test himself, something that has come to define his fighting spirit.

“I’ve always promised myself I’ll do what I can by the time I’m 30. I’ve sort of set on it,” Woods concluded.

“Thank God I’ve never had any concussions or really bad injuries, so I can retire knowing I’m not going to be old and broken.

“You think about how many World champions have retired and they’ve got millions and millions and millions of dollars in their bank account, but they’re broken now. They’re broken men.

“I’ll do everything I can in the fight. Win or lose this one, I know that I’ll be able to sit back on the couch in 10 years’ time and go ‘you know, I gave that sport everything I had.’

“I’ll be happy with that.”

Tasman Fighters’ Gold Coast Fight Night II goes down on Saturday October 23 from the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

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