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Winwood studies rivals on his road to glory

Noongar rising star Alex Winwood has issued a warning for WBC strawweight world champ Panya Pradabsri and title challenger Norihito Tanaka ahead of their bout in Thailand on Wednesday night with his eye on taking the belt from the victor.

Winwood, 25, is 3-0 since entering the professional area after extending his unbeaten record against Nicaraguan Reyneris Gutierrez to claim the WBC International title at minimum weight on June 16.

A couple of kilos heavier, after just his second bout, he wrapped the International light fly title around his waist.

Still riding the high off his most recent win back at home in Perth, Winwood will be assessing how Pradabsri and Tanaka go about it in his pursuit to be the fastest Australian man to win a world title.

He believes any doubters were made to eat their words after getting the better of Guiterrez in their 10-round tussle.

With the win his bargaining chips for chances at big fights have been bolstered.

“I’ve shown that I can go 10 rounds quite comfortably and two more is not going to throw any spanner in the works. I’m ready to go 12 rounds. A lot of questions have been answered and we just keep checking boxes and going forward and winning fights,” Winwood told National Indigenous Times.

Winwood has three fights to work with to pip Jeff Fenech’s record pace to a world title.

On the way, he’s steadfast about taking on the best, not doing the rounds fighting “taxi drivers and gaining you empty wins”.

“I have the self belief that I can do it within that amount of experience. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be so vocal about it,” Winwood said.

“The time is now and I think I’m coming into my prime so I don’t see why we take our foot off the gas. We just keep going forward and fighting the best. I’ve showed that I belong there.”

He fancies the current champ, who holds a 39-1 record with 23 knockouts, to best his less experienced opponent on Wednesday, but hasn’t ruled out the potential of facing both down the track.

Pradabsri comes in having already beaten Tanaka when the two met in August.

“To fight the winner I might have to fight the loser first. So it’ll be interesting to see how this fight goes (and) whether the table’s turn this time,” Winwood said.

“Boxing is a funny sport. One punch can change the game so it’ll be very interesting to see.”

Whatever the outcome, Winwood says their attention should be turning towards him.

“Don’t show me too much because I’m gonna exploit everything that they show us today,” he said.

Credit: Jarred Cross

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