Wilson names targets for world title heartbreak rebound

February 05, 2023 05:19 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Liam Wilson has sounded out George Kambosos Jr or Paul Fleming for an all-Australian blockbuster if his protest of a controversial world title defeat falls on deaf ears.

Wilson has appealed his loss of the WBO super featherweight world title to Emanuel Navarrete, to be heard by the Arizona Boxing Commission at their February 15 meeting.

His team reluctantly accused officials of cheating by first tampering with the weigh-in scales and then delaying a knock-down count that has been measured at 27 seconds at Phoenix's Desert Diamond Arena on Friday.

Wilson rocked likely hall of fame inductee Naverette - now unbeaten in 32 fights, 11 of them world title bouts, over 10 years - with a trademark left hook that triggered his crash to the canvas in the fourth round.

Benefiting from an alleged 17 extra seconds to regain his composure, the favourite then spoiled one of the great Australian world title upsets to stop Wilson in the ninth round.

But, supported by some of the world's leading boxing analysts, Wilson's promoter No Limit aim to have the fight at Phoenix's Desert Diamond Arena declared a no contest.

If successful, the WBO could order a rematch - one Naverrete has told Wilson could occur in Australia "at the right price".

But if not, Wilson has called out recent multiple world lightweight champion Kambosos or veteran super featherweight hope Fleming - ranked in the top 15 of both the IBF and WBA - for what would be a big-time local clash.

"What gives me motivation is seeing my whole country back me through this," Wilson told reporters a day after the controversial loss that took him to 11-2 overall. 

"I feel like a hero back home and want to do those people proud.

"So two or three weeks (of rest), then back into it - I've got a sore head but that's it and I still want that all-Australian showdown.

"George Kambosos or Paul Fleming.

"I only want to take hard fights ... fights that get remembered and are worth it.

"And I feel like this one was worth it and I want the next one to be worth it."

Promoter Matt Rose launched his protest while Navarrete was delivering his victory speech and said Wilson would demand top billing in his return fight regardless of the protest's outcome.

"It was an unbelievable performance," the No Limit Boxing boss said.

"He really showed he is world-class. Navarrete is a three-division world champion and no one gave him a chance. He still shocked the world.

"Liam is a warrior, he is the type of fighter people love to watch and support.

"We go back, put him on the big stage in Australia and show Australia we've got a little champion that's worth following."


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