Prior to box for North Queensland title
Bowen boxing standout Gareth Prior will be back in the ring this weekend when he squares off for the North Queensland title against Mount Isa's Clint Elliott.
It could be a fortuitous turn of events for Prior, who had been originally scheduled for a rematch against reigning Queensland champion Nathan Webber.
But the 24-year-old will now co-headline Rite of Passage at the Townsville Entertainment Centre on Saturday night.
With more than just bragging rights at stake, Prior said he is eager to get the show underway.
"This fight is about bragging rights for best fighter in North Queensland,” he said.
"Some say he's the best, some say I'm the best. We are fighting for the North Queensland Championship belt in the light middleweight division, so it will be a good fight.”
Prior has been running 8km every day in preparation for the bout to ensure his legs are strong enough to go the distance.
As for his opponent, not much is known other than he is an extremely fit country boy from Mount Isa.
Prior said his superior height and reach will be key in his attempts to score an early knockout.
"He's a pressure fighter, he likes to come in and brawl,” he said.
"Pressure fighters throw lots of punches but tend to leave themselves open. So my defence will have to be tight as I block, counter and wait for an opening.”
The bout will mark the second professional fight this year for Prior who came up just short against Webber in a 10-round thriller back in May.
Prior said an impressive showing in Townsville would just about guarantee a rematch.
"I'm coming to make a statement,” Prior said.
"It's close to home so I'll have a lot of family and friends there. They say he's supposed to be tough but my aim is to score a knockout.
"A lot of fighters are trying to build their record up by taking easy fights.
"But I'm trying to climb the ladder faster by fighting the best early in my career and make it known that I'm the real deal.”