Goulburn's Luke Turner will fight Blake Ferguson. Photo: Goulburn Post
Everyone has written off Luke Turner, but the Goulburn excavator would like nothing more than to ''prove people wrong'' as he prepares for his ''once-in-a-lifetime opportunity'' to fight former Canberra Raiders bad boy Blake Ferguson.
Turner has taken RDOs and annual leave in the lead-up to the fight, on the undercard to the on-again, off-again Anthony Mundine-Shane Mosley bout in Sydney on Wednesday night.
It will be just his second fight, after only taking up boxing two months ago.
While Ferguson is best known for his deeds on a football field or a Canberra rooftop and has never had a professional fight, a win could still catapult Turner into the boxing spotlight.
When Mosley packed his bags and returned to the US just days before his fight with Mundine, it looked like Turner's chance of fighting Ferguson had left with him.
But Mosley's about-face has thrown the 22-year-old Goulburn Workers Bulldogs forward a boxing lifeline.
It's also given him an extra five weeks to boost his fitness and also helped him relax.
Turner admits to being a nervous wreck last month and even though he didn't end up fighting Ferguson he was still exhausted.
This time around he's much more relaxed.
''Everyone's writing me off and I'd probably rather everyone writing me off instead of backing me - there's no pressure on me, it's all on him,'' Turner said on Monday.
''I like to prove people wrong, even with footy, when there's bigger games on the line I thrive off that, let's just hope I can go out there Wednesday and do the same thing.
''The first time I was so nervous all week and then it got cancelled and I was so disappointed.
''I think this time I'm not so nervous, I'm just trying to soak it all in and enjoy it because I realise how much of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it is … I'm just going to go out there and have fun.''
Boxing promoter and gym owner Terry Devlin, whose daughter Ashleigh is now training Turner, said controlling those nerves was half the battle for Turner.
Devlin said Turner had ''everything to win and nothing to lose'' against Ferguson.
''He's pretty confident with what he's doing now, confidence is everything in boxing,'' he said.
''On the night of a fight is when it all counts, when you get nervous before a night you use up a lot of nervous energy for no reason at all and that nervous energy should have been structured into the ring.''
It is rumoured that Ferguson could withdraw, but Devlin was confident the bout would go ahead.