Remember when you turned 18? You were probably full of nervous energy, thinking about what the future had in store for you. Theorising about setting goals, let alone achieving your dreams. Late teenage years can be a scary prospect for some young people as they try to find a balance between maintaining the life they have and carving out a future.
Thanks to the life-changing year that is 2020, one full of the chaos created by devastating bushfires and a global pandemic, it is understandable that these nerves and uncertainties might be heightened. Then again, rules have exceptions.
Meet Brisbane’s 18-year-old Bantamweight, Vegas Larfield (1-0) who is aiming to build on a dominant debut performance – a first-round TKO against Ricky Hunt in the opening bout of the Tim Tszyu v Jeff Horn undercard – in August of this year. After fighting on arguably the biggest Australian boxing card in some time, who would have thought that the stakes could be raised again, so quickly and so early into his career?
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💥 Fight Announcement💥 🇺🇸🇺🇸 Las Vegas Nevada 🇺🇸🇺🇸 November 14 I will be fighting undefeated Mexican Juan Flores on the Terence Crawford V Kell Brook card over here in Las Vegas🇺🇸 along side @andrewmoloney the co main event fighting in a rematch to win back his world title 🥊. A huge shoutout to my team for getting me such an opportunity. opportunities like these don’t come up every day and I’m not one to pass up a scrap 😉 also thank you all for the support and well wishes they mean a lot. Get behind the aussies 🇦🇺👊🏽 🇦🇺 🇦🇺 🇦🇺 #Allstarboxing #OxmarProperties #Adidas
When Larfield steps into the ring on November 14, it will not be for a fight on home soil that is afforded so many fighters – past and present – in a similar position. Instead, he will be making his United States debut in Las Vegas. The bout will be a part of the Top Rank card headlined by Kell Brook (39-2) challenging WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (36-0), a man considered by some pundits to be the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. While the magnitude of the opportunity to fight on such a grand stage has not been lost on the young man, it has also not really sunk in yet.
“I think it might take until maybe the weigh-ins or the night of the actual fight where it’s really going to hit me. It’s very surreal, yeah,” Larfield said.
“It’s just the same as any other fight, you’ve got to take it just as any other fight. It’s a big stage but I can’t let it get to me.
“I’m blessed to have this opportunity and to see this standard of world level boxing.”
To suggest that Vegas will be easily overcome by the pressure of the situation though, would be inaccurate. As well as an incredible amount of support from friends and family back home, he has a strong network of fighters surrounding him in Las Vegas for this camp. Fighters such as fellow Australians, Jason and Andrew Moloney.
While Jason fought Naoya Inoue for the WBA and IBF Bantamweight titles on October 31, twin brother Andrew will fight Joshua Franco in an attempt to regain the WBA Super Flyweight title on the same card as Larfield. Their influence cannot be understated.
“It’s been really good to live with the Moloney brothers and see how they prep their meals, what they eat and the way they train… Everything that they do is to benefit themselves for training and getting better for their fight,” he told.
Standing opposite Larfield will be Mexico’s Juan Alberto Flores (2-0-1) who will be stepping back into the ring after a 14-month absence. Admittedly, there is a lot that is unknown about the opponent.
“I’ve watched a little bit of footage of him – one fight that I’ve seen of him. All I know is that he’s had two wins and a draw, and he likes to go to war like a typical Mexican fighter,” Vegas said.
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It’s fight week. 2nd Fight of my young Professional Career to be over in 🇺🇸 is such a huge opportunity. A huge thanks to everyone that has made this possible. . . @oxmarproperties @tonytolj @angelohyder @jasonmoloney @andrewmoloney @bobarumtr @toprank we appreciate you all 💯… now it’s time to get down to business 💥🥊 #Allstarboxing #boxing #mma #kickboxing #fitness #ufc #muaythai #bjj #training #boxingtraining #gym #fight #martialarts #boxeo #workout #fighter #motivation #sport #wrestling #boxinglife #boxer #boxe #fitnessmotivation #sports #fit #fitness #toprank #crawford. @tbudcrawford @specialkellbrook @jolsboxing
The four-round bout is not a challenge that will be taken lightly. Larfield will be aiming to show off the ‘ring generalship’ that earned him an emphatic victory in his professional debut. However, should the contest turn into a brawl he will be a willing participant.
“I’ll definitely be looking to dictate the pace of the fight and fight at my distance, but I’ll do whatever I have to do to win,” he said.
What also sticks out about the fight, in part, is the environment that it will take place in. While Larfield’s debut took place in the open air of the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, the bout against Flores will be in the Top Rank Bubble at the MGM Grand in what is essentially a television studio. Although it will be a unique experience, he believes it will not interrupt his focus.
“I don’t think it’ll impact the way that I fight. I feel it will be a little bit strange but when it comes time to fight the only thing I’ll be worried about is what’s in front of me and the task ahead. I won’t really be too worried about what’s going on around me,” Larfield told, giving an insight into his mindset.
What is that task ahead, you might ask? Adding another emphatic victory to his record.
“I’m definitely looking to win in dominant fashion,” he said.
Follow Vegas Larfield on Social Media: @vegas_larfield on Instagram