Jackson earns right to be heard
OVER to you, Mr Hodgman. Tasmanian Luke Jackson took a step closer to a world title fight on home soil against Oscar Valdez by accounting for fellow Mexican Humberto de Santiago on Saturday night. All the WBO Oriental featherweight champion needs is Government support — and the Premier is ready to listen.
UNBEATEN WBO Oriental featherweight champion Luke Jackson has played his part on the path towards a world title fight on home soil — and the State Government is ready to listen.
Jackson improved his professional record to 15-0 with a unanimous points decision against Humberto de Santiago at City Hall on Saturday night, outclassing the Mexican throughout the 10 rounds.
He now has another Mexi- can firmly in his sights in WBO world featherweight champion Oscar Valdez.
Jackson will rise to inside the top six in the WBO featherweight rankings by the end of the year and, if Valdez beats Filipino Genesis Servania next weekend in Tucson, Arizona, it will pave the way for a potential showdown in Hobart next March.
“If Will [Hodgman] and the Government get behind me, we can get Oscar Valdez here in March next year, 100 per cent,” Jackson said yesterday.
“If the government wants it, and Hobart wants it, we can make it happen.”
A purse of at least $300,000 would be required to lure Valdez to Tasmania — only achievable if Jackson can get Government support.
Daniel Geale twice held world title fights at the Derwent Entertainment Centre, both with Government backing, and Premier Hodgman told the Mercury he will sit down with Jackson to look at the available options.
“The Tasmanian Govern- ment would look closely at any proposal to secure a world title bout,” Mr Hodgman said.
“Luke Jackson is a great Tassie success story, proving again he is at the peak in his sport.
“If we can leverage off this to secure an event that stacks up against the other many requests for public funding we would give it serious consideration.”
Jackson, a former Olympic representative and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, said a world title fight in his home town would not only be a dream come true but bring the best out of him.
“The better the opposition the better I fight. Last night I put on a good performance against a guy who was a credible opponent,” Jackson said.
“I want to thank all the fans once again. Without the support of Tasmania it wouldn’t be possible, I am very humbled by it.
“A little kid from Clarendon Vale fighting for the world title in his home state, it doesn’t get much better than that.”