15/04/2024

No stranger to tough competition, 37 year old Francis Chua will battle the World ranked Hironori Mishiro of Japan on May 11 - Photo: No Limit Boxing/Facebook

Perth's Francis Chua is not short of motivation for his May 11 meeting with Japan's Hironori Mishiro, a bout the 37 year old believes is his 'biggest' yet.

Despite a near 13 month layoff from the boxing ring, Francis Chua’s (8-2-1, 3 KOs) will to take on the toughest challenges available has not broken.

Returning for the first time since a decision loss to surging Super Featherweight Liam Wilson (10-1, 7 KOs) in April of last year, the Western Australian will once again march head first into the fire.

This time, the tough task comes in the form of Japan’s Hironori Mishiro (11-0-1, 4 KOs) at No Limit Boxing’s Gallen vs Terzievski pay-per-view on May 11.

Entering the fight undefeated and World ranked (13 IBF, 15 WBO), the 27 year old from Tokyo is on an upward trajectory towards the top of the division. Through 12 fights, he appears to be at the height of his powers, holding wins over some of the best competition that the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ has to offer.

What is even more impressive is that Chua will take to the ring having had just three weeks to prepare for the eight round clash.

The Onyx Elite Gym product wouldn’t have it any other way though.

“I’m always like, ‘if an opportunity comes, just put me in there,'” Chua told The Inner Sanctum.

“It’s the shortest camp I’ve had. I was only given three weeks notice for this and I hadn’t really been training hard. I’m pretty busted up. My body is so sore.

“I have to take these opportunities, otherwise you don’t get them.

“I stay healthy and I’m always training a little bit anyway, so that’s why I feel like I can do it.”

In fact, working hard in this fashion is less a mantra to live by, than it is part of his DNA.

Some boxers market themselves under a figurative nickname that describes their fighting personality, but Chua’s moniker of ‘The Removalist’ is a very literal one.

Throughout his professional career, moving furniture across Perth’s suburbs has come to define training camps. As such, he has had to balance the challenges of full time work and an athletic career.

The benefit of a strong support network has allowed Chua to fully dedicate himself to the Mishiro fight, however.

“I’m working as a removalist six or seven days a week. This is the first time actually, because it’s such a short camp, I was able to get one of my teammates to get a truck licence,” he said.

“He’s actually doing all of my work for me. That’s how we’re making it work. I’m smashing myself twice a day and then he’s covering my work for me, so it’s okay.

“It wasn’t like that before. I was lifting furniture the whole time, two weeks before the fight pretty much.”

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Moreover, he is no stranger to performing on the big stage and taking the bull by the horns.

Chua’s profile recieved it’s first boost by a shock win over then WBO number two Lightweight, Kye MacKenzie (21-3, 17 KOs) in November 2018. While he would lose the subsequent rematch a year later, both performances are fondly remembered as a gallant ones.

Francis Chua scored one of Australian boxing’s biggest upsets in recent years, defeating Kye MacKenzie in November 2018

Now at age 37, he is aware that such opportunities might start to dwindle. The shinning lights and cameras, while a nice touch, are not his be all and end all though.

Defying expectations, learning about himself and accepting the challenging to be a better athlete and person, through competition, are his central reasons for fighting.

“It means a lot to me that I’m able to do it,” he shared.

“There’s so many things that you can give up on. It’s too easy to say ‘I’m too old, too sore, haven’t been training’ and just say ‘no’ to it all, but this is what brings out the best in people.

“I’m a little bit older than the other guys so that’s why I just want these opportunities. I want to keep doing this until I can’t do it anymore. Until the body says I can’t do it, then I’ve got to stop.

“I’m still strong, I still mix it up with the young guys.

“It brings out the best in me, makes me really fight and shows what I can do too, but also makes me dig deep. I love that about this sport. I love seeing that in people.

“You don’t really know yourself until you’re in the depths of it and you’re getting pucnhed in the face with nowhere to go.

“It’s just you and him, what do you do? You can only rely on yourself, your heart and what you’ve trained for. It’s exciting, I can understand why people get addicted to this.

“I learn more about myself every time I fight.”

That said, Chua is not going to shy away from taking a chance to climb the ranks. He knows the magnitude of this fight.

By defeating Mishiro, more doors become unlocked. Doors that are the gateway to more lucrative, high profile bouts within the Asia-Pacific region.

Then, of course, there is the ability to write his name into the record books.

Australia has a storied rivalry with Japan in the realm of professional boxing, dating back to Lionel Rose’s (42-11, 12 KOs) 1968 World Bantamweight title triumph over Masahiko ‘Fighting’ Harada (55-7, 22 KOs).

A win would most certainly add yet another layer to the history shared by the two nations.

With no shortage of motivaing factors then, whether it be personal growth, future prospects or legacy stoking the flame, Chua will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of having his hand raised.

Equipped with his aggressive and unorthodox, yet effective, southpaw style, he believes he can once again defy the odds and emerge victorious.

“This is actually a really big fight. If I do well or put on a good showing, travel to Japan could be there. That’s something I would love to do,” Chua concluded.

“If I win, and I feel like I have a very good chance of winning after seeing some of the fights I’ve seen, that puts me up and World ranked.

“I feel like styles make fights and I think my style against him will shock him a little bit, because I’m not so much a straight up boxer I’m a bit more of a brawler.

“Watching him and the way he fights, I don’t feel he’s busy enough. I’m an aggressive fighter. I’m always walking forward and I think I won’t change. That’s the thing I like to do, I enjoy that.

“This is a huge fight, probably my biggest. I’m excited for it. I hope I can do Australia proud, that’s for sure.”

Chua vs Mishiro goes down on May 11 and forms part of No Limit Boxing’s Gallen vs Terzievski pay-per-view. To order the event, click here.

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