Teenager Vegas Larfield will fly back to Bray Park this week as a rising star of Australian boxing after his knockout display at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In only his second professional fight, Vegas twice had Mexican Juan Alberto Flores, 27, down and then hanging through the ropes when the referee stopped the contest.
Within seconds top US boxing promoter Bob Arum texted Vegas’ manager Phil Murphy saying: “That was fantastic. What a great effort.”
Australia’s former world welterweight champion Jeff Horn was quick to praise Vegas posting on Facebook: “Congratulations Vegas! Great finish.”
Top Rank Boxing, the show promoters, said on Twitter: “An Australian named Vegas came to Vegas and did. the. work.”
Vegas responded on social media saying: “Thank you all. Was great to represent the country over here in Vegas, I’ve got plenty to work on … and I will.”
Phil, of Oxmar Properties who also sponsors Vegas, said it was a “mind-blowing” achievement on the world stage before a global TV audience.
But, he will not rush the rising star, who went to US to train, until Phil asked Bob Arum to include him on the undercard.
“We’ll see how Vegas pulls up, there’s no great rush,” says Phil. “He lives and breathes boxing but he’s only 18. He will maybe have three or four fights next year.
“Vegas was in a bit of trouble in the second, but those 20-30 seconds have made him a man.
“In the third round he stood up and said: ‘I’m Vegas Larfield, here I am’.
“He has grown up so much going the Las Vegas to train and fight. You only get that sort of experience in fights, not in the gym.”
Phil arranged for more than 100 members of Vegas’ family, friends, trainers, sparring partners and supporters to watch the fight at Club Pine Rivers on Sunday morning.
He also set-up two live crosses to Vegas’ dressing room moments before and seconds after the fight, first to wish him good luck - and then to celebrate.
“I feel blessed to have been able to see what this young man did with his family, friends, everyone from Lawnton PCYC and supporters,” says Phil.
“I love it, love it being able to see young people doing well. Lawnton PCYC will be pumping this week.”
Vegas turned to boxing during the rugby league off-season five years ago and as an amateur won three state titles, an Australian title and three Golden Gloves.
His first professional fight, in Townsville, in August, lasted less than one round.
“Massive thank you to all who made this possible I am so grateful for the opportunity to do what I love on such a big stage,” Vegas said on Facebook.
“Plenty of work to do and I can’t wait to get back in the gym! Thank you everyone for the support. Love you all.”