MORE opportunities and a better fight purse are what thai boxer Oliver Hanson is looking forward to after turning professional this year.
Hanson has been training and fighting since he was 10, and although coach Vince Parkes said he had been fighting pro-level fighters for years, he wasn’t able to officially turn professional until his 18th birthday last month.
“They wouldn’t let him fight the longer rounds, he couldn’t fight in some states at all and now he can fight anywhere under any rules,” Parkes said.
“We’ve lined him up in the Super Four in Cairns on March 25, and in Brisbane and Perth later in the year as well.”
Hanson joined Full Boar Gym as a youngster looking for something to do and fell in love with the sport of muaythai.
“I don’t know what I like about it so much it’s an addiction,” he said.
“I like the feeling of it, the hard work; when you’re fit and strong you feel good and when I get unfit I hate that feeling.”
The teen said after 37 fights for 22 wins, he doesn’t feel nervous stepping into the ring anymore.
“I was a bit nervous when I fought Ryan (McDonald in Cairns), but when he hit me I thought (brother) Christopher hits way harder than that in sparring and I was fine.”
Hanson said he was looking forward to covering some of the costs of training and furthering his muaythai career as a professional.
“I’m keen for the fight purse, helping cover training fees and fuel coming in to training every day, as well as being able to fight anywhere,” Hanson said.
“I watch people and I know I can beat them, that gives me that keenness; now I can start again, it’s a whole new thing going pro.
“But watching all the fights, I have the confidence that I can beat them.”
Parkes said Hanson was one of the most dedicated fighters he’d had in more than 25 years.
“He’s been training for eight years and he’s still as hungry as he was for his first fight, nothing has changed,” Parkes said.
“He’s so dedicated, and I wouldn’t be so keen on keeping the gym going if he wasn’t here.”
Parkes said Hanson has been training five days a week for the past five weeks in preparation for his first professional fight at the end of the month.
“He is in a four-man eliminator with Tyson Faulkner, Ryan McDonald and Quinton Smith; it’s too hard to pick a favourite, anyone could win it, but I’m still that confident in Oliver I’d put $1000 on him to win.
“We are studying our opponents and we know they’re not invincible, we can get them.
“We’re confident in everything Oliver has got, his kicks, knees, hands and elbows.”