No stranger to the spotlight, Joel Camilleri (21-7-1, 9 KOs) has taken his boxing notoriety to another level at the start of 2022.
Coming off a knockout victory over Krishna Mudaliar (7-13-2, 4 KOs) in December, the Super-Welterweight has been extra busy, taking on the role of co-promoter for his own event alongside manager Peter Maniatis.
The ‘CamaKO Show’, set for Thursday February 17 at the Melbourne Pavillion, will see the Victorian turned Queenslander top the bill in a bout with the vacant WBA Oceania Super Welterweight title on the line.
Now entering training camp while dealing with the pressure of running an event, Camilleri opened up on the challenge of working as both fighter and promoter simultaneously.
“It’s been pretty crazy. My manager is the main promoter of the event but I am running the show,” he told The Inner Sanctum.
“We nicknamed it the ‘CamaKO Show’ and it came about because I had a fight locked in on February 4th.
“It got pushed back, but we had an opponent locked in. My manager goes to me, ‘why don’t we run a show ourselves?'”
Standing in the opposite corner to Camilleri on the night will be the well-travelled 38-year-old, Geisler AP (15-11-2, 12 KOs) of Indonesia.
Not shy of hitting the road for battle during his 28 outings, the southpaw has showcased his skills across the globe, fighting in Japan, Macao, Thailand, China, the Philippines and his native Indonesia.
Geisler has also competed in Australia twice, losing both contests by TKO to Czar Amonsot (35-6-3, 22 KOs) and Steve Gago (12-2, 5 KOs).
Despite his opponent’s wealth of experience, Camilleri has full faith in the lessons he has learned throughout his own extensive career.
“Experience is something that can’t be taught. It is my 30th pro fight now and I know what I need to do,” he told.
“I know what intensity I have to train at, how often I have to recover and what work I have to put in.
“People are seeing all the promotions about the event that I am putting on, but there is a lot of training I am doing behind closed doors.”
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One such lesson emerged from Camilleri’s split-decision loss to Koen Mazoudier (9-4, 2 KOs) in November. The closely contested bout, one that could have easily been awarded to the 31 year old, also resulted in the surrender of his WBC Australasia title.
The loss was further compounded by interruptions to his usual preparations, as he headed to Sydney for the fight without his usual cornermen behind him.
Instead of focusing on the negatives though, Camilleri is of the belief that a learning experience presented itself, one that will hold him in good stead for the year ahead.
“You have to do things that you want to do. It was a different experience because I went to Sydney without the team and it was different training,” he lauded.
“But I learned a lot from that, and I also learned that no matter the circumstances, I can perform and do enough to win as I believe I won that fight.”
Rejuvenated, wiser and fully confident in his ability, Camilleri feels that the only way his upcoming opponent will dispatch him is through an early knockout. The threat of such a heavy blow is something he is acutely aware of.
He is also driven by a feeling that the best is yet to come and despite having mixed fortunes in 2021, the goal has not changed. That is, to secure a World title eliminator fight at the back-end of 2022.
The desire to remain active and compete with the best in the sport remains as strong as ever.
“I truly believe that the only way he will get me out of there is if he knocks me out,” Camilleri said.
“I have never been dropped in my life so it’s a very small chance he will do that.
“He is a tough Indonesian and he will come here to win, [but] I want to win this belt and defend it. I want five fights this year.
“I believe when I get a shot overseas in one of the World title eliminator fights, I will be ready.”
Now reunited with veteran trainers, Dundee Kim and Paul Briggs, Camilleri believes he has been instilled with a winning strategy ahead of February 17.
Moreover, he revealed exactly what the trio have been working on in the leading up, before surmising the magnitude of a potential victory over Geisler AP.
“With Dundee Kim we work on quite a few things, upping the pressure, increasing the intensity and with Paul Briggs, we are working on precision punching,” Camilleri concluded.
“My game plan is to look good and open my ears and do what I plan to do, you don’t go in there with one plan.
“I have got an objective. I’ve seen this guy fight I know his style.
“My aim is to show my experience and not be told one thing and go in there and do another. If I finish him early then beautiful.
“I want to get him out of there but I’m not fussed. A win is a win to me.”
The ‘CamaKO show goes down at the Melbourne Pavilion on February 17. For information on how to secure tickets to the event, click here.
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