Rarely has Ben Dencio been so desperate to make a statement.
The Canberra super featherweight has locked his sights on doing just that in his next bout after a controversial stoppage loss in his most recent outing denied Dencio the chance to claim the Australian strap.
Dencio (7-2) will meet Fijian Sachin Mudaliar (7-1) for the ANBF Australasian super featherweight title at Capital Fight Show 17 in Canberra on September 6.
"I have to come out and put on a pretty good show because I got stopped last time, even though I don't think I deserved to be stopped," Dencio said.
"These things happen. I'll come out firing and hopefully show people the last fight probably wasn't a good reflection of who I am as a fighter.
"It's an Australasian title so it would give me a better world ranking and a regional title rather than an Australian title.
"You win this and it's just a stepping stone. Fighting a good international opponent for a good international belt is a big plus for me.
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"It's really good fighting at home. It's a well-run show by Nick Boutzos where every fighter is looked after, not just the hometown boys."
A win would make Dencio Canberra's first Australasian champion since Dave Toussaint achieved the feat at middleweight before he was forced into retirement with an unblemished 13-0 record.
Dencio admits he knows little more than the record of his opponent to be.
"He's Fijian, he's left-handed. Other than that I don't know much. He looks like he hits hard, but so does everyone else," Dencio said.
Speaking of hitting hard, how about the talk Dencio had once recorded the hardest punch thrown at the AIS during Olympic Games trials?
"About four years ago before the Olympic trials in Australia, Dave [Toussaint] actually got the record but pound-for-pound overall I got the best," Dencio said.
"I came second overall, and pound-for pound I won in the testing we did."
Cameroonian refugee Arsene Fosso is slated to appear on the card in a heavyweight bout against Petero Qica.
He will be one of the headline acts on a card boasting promising super welterweight Alex Cooper, who leaves behind a sparkling amateur career in his move to the professional ranks.
CAPITAL FIGHT SHOW
Friday, September 6: CFS 17 - Dencio v Mudaliar at Hellenic Club of Canberra, 7pm.