World title bout
By MITCHELL DALE
COFFS Harbour trainer Mick Magnay believes his big-hitting charge Justin Clements is in peak condition ahead of Friday night's WBF Asia-Pacific light heavyweight title fight with Kiwi Willie O'Neill at Sawtell RSL.
Magnay has praised the preparation of Clements, 32, and junior light weight Daniel Hoskins, who will also fight for a WBF Asia-Pacific belt.
"Justin's preparation over the last 10 weeks has been absolutely sensational, I have not seen him in better condition," Magnay said.
"I never like to predict a knockout and he has trained to go the distance, but if he can knock him out then that will be even better."
Magnay believes victory on Friday will open a number of doors for Clements, who already holds the WBF Inter-Continental belt.
"If he wins, we will probably aim at fighting for the PABA belt, which is held by Paul Murdoch," he said.
Magnay dismissed criticism from some corners that Clements's fight will be a mis-match stacked in favour of the local lad.
"He (O'Neil) has known about this fight for 10 weeks, so he will have been over there training his guts out to come here and beat the Aussie," Magnay said.
"I wouldn't spend a lot of money to bring out a nobody that would be beaten in the first round.
"People are saying he (O'Neil) is not a worthy opponent, but if New South Wales Sport and Recreation think he is not a worthy opponent, they wouldn't allow the fight to go ahead.
"That is what happened to Anthony Mundine, he had to move his fight (against Darmel Castillo tonight) from Newcastle to Queensland because NSW Sport and Recreation wouldn't allow it."
Clements, an English-born Australian citizen was bursting out of his skin to fight in front of his new home crowd for the first time.
"I'm very excited about it, especially being in front of my home crowd," he said.
"I don't know a lot about my opponent, but I know he is a tough character."
Magnay also feels Hoskins is primed for a strong showing against Philippine Rolando Gerongco for a WBF Asia-Pacific belt.
"Daniel has never fought in front of his home crowd so he has put so much effort in at training," Magnay said.
"He has trained superbly... but his opponent will be very tough. I am predicting this will go the 12 rounds, Justin's will be the main bout of the night, but Daniel's will be the best fight."
Other locals to fight preliminaries will be Corey Wickens, Joe Gordon-Smith and Taj Singh .