Goulburn's Luke Turner will fight Blake Ferguson. Photo: Courtesy of the Goulburn Post
Luke Turner will look to make Canberra Raiders fans happy and knock Blake Ferguson out when the two meet on Anthony Mundine's undercard next Wednesday, according to his trainer Terry Devlin.
But the 22-year-old, who plays lock for the Goulburn Workers rugby league club, has distanced himself from the bragging usually associated with boxing because he's "not a cocky person like that".
Turner took up pugilism just five weeks ago and has only had the one fight, a draw in Goulburn last week.
Ex-Raiders player Blake Ferguson at the Anthony Mundine gym. Photo: Edwina Pickles
But it means he's more experienced than Ferguson, who has turned to the ring under Mundine's guidance after the Raiders sacked him a month ago for repeated off-field indiscretions.
World Boxing Foundation vice president Devlin got the call looking for an opponent for Ferguson, he thought of Turner, who he rates as better than a 50-50 chance of beating the former NSW State of Origin star.
He said if Turner had've won last week "he might not have got this fight".
"I'm training Luke up to win this fight ... and he's going to go for gold," Devlin said.
"I asked him yesterday, 'Do you think you can knock him out?'
"His answer to me was, 'Yes I'm going to knock him out'.
"And he did say if Raiders supporters ever got to be in the position he's in, so he's going to do it for them as well."
But Turner was more circumspect and distanced himself from his coach's comments, saying as a Canterbury Bulldogs supporter he wasn't worried about the Raiders.
He originally turned down the fight because he "didn't want to look stupid", but now he sees it as the "opportunity of a lifetime".
The excavator sees fitness as his obvious disadvantage – coming up against a professional athlete – but he hopes to make up for that with his heart.
The heavyweight's one-and-only fight was against someone 15 kilograms heavier, but he didn't take a backward step and went toe-to-toe with him in a fight Devlin described as a "slugfest".
"They set up these fights for the bloke like me to lose and I've only been doing it for five weeks, so I'm very raw," Turner said.
"It's the opportunity of a lifetime ... how many people can say, 'I've fought on the undercard of [WBC international welterweight champion] Shane Mosley', how ready you are or not.
"...There's only a few opportunities in your life that can change your life.
"This could be one of them or I could be the next bloke that you never hear about again."
Devlin predicted Ferguson would "box for 30 seconds" before resorting to brawling for the remainder of the four two-minute rounds.
He was hoping Turner would then be able to take control of the fight.