Nicolson eyes homecoming defence next

April 8 2024

New WBC World Featherweight Champion plots path to undisputed

A sensational Skye Nicolson rolled the dice in Las Vegas and made it a perfect ten to become the new WBC World Featherweight Champion by beating Sarah Mahfoud on Saturday.

Now promoter Eddie Hearn wants Australia’s new boxing queen to reap the rewards of her crowning glory and embark on a huge homecoming defence Down Under.

It was total domination for Nicolson (10-0, 1 KO) at the five-star Fontainebleau Las Vegas Resort as she captured the coveted green and gold belt with a unanimous points victory, with scores of 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91 – over former IBF holder Mahfoud.

And by doing so the 28-year-old star restored Aussie pride and broke the Sin City hoodoo after compatriots Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa lost recently.

Matchroom Sport chairman Hearn revealed he is planning talks with Australian authorities as early as this week in a bid to deliver Nicolson’s return – before targeting huge fights with the likes of mandatory WBC challenger Raven Chapman and division ruler Amanda Serrano later this year.

“I now need to speak to people in Australia because she needs that homecoming defence quite quickly,” said Hearn, speaking to Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel.

“Skye barely broke sweat in there. She was very impressive and loads more to come from her. I didn’t give Mahfoud a round, but one judge did.

“I think you’re only seeing 20% of Skye Nicolson. I’ve seen her train and I’ve watched her spar where she’s hurting girls repeatedly. But how can you criticise her when she’s beating the No.2 ranked featherweight in the world in a mismatch?

“We all want excitement and I want to see her letting her hands go a bit more and stopping people. I know it’s there and I know she can do it.

“But she’s winning so easily, and her style is a nightmare for people. That’s why people like [Amanda] Serrano don’t really want to take the fight until the money is out of control because it is high risk. Her feet, her movement is really good and if she can start letting her hands go – because she can punch – then she’s going to be even more tough to beat.”

With an immediate world title defence Down Under being Hearn’s preference for Matchroom’s latest World Champion, he admitted a massive Matchroom vs. Queensberry fight could be in the works too against Chapman.

“Raven Chapman is the mandatory and that’s the fight I’ll speak to George Warren about because there will be another 5-v-5 later on in the year – and it’s exactly the sort of fight we should be looking to put on,” he added.

“To beat Sarah Mahfoud far more convincingly than Amanda Serrano did is a major statement.

“Skye’s doing what any champion should do and that is to chase the very best in their division – and for her right now it is Amanda Serrano.

“I want to see her make a homecoming defence, then fight Raven Chapman and then hopefully the fight with Amanda Serrano becomes big enough for her to accept.”

Nicolson is now Australia’s second current reigning World Champion alongside Matchroom’s king of the Cruiserweights, Jai Opetaia.

“It sounds pretty good, I really do like the sound of it,” she said.

“When I heard my name being read out as the winner, it was exactly how I imagined it and how I’ve played it out in my mind leading up to the fight. It was very special.

“But it’s not the pinnacle for me. I know this is the first of many – and there will be many more and I’m very excited for where I’m headed.

“With [Amanda] Serrano, it’s nothing personal. If you don’t want to fight me then that’s fine. But let us know what you’re doing with all the belts because I want them. But if you do want to fight, I’m ready when you are.

“It would be a dream come true to fight in Australia, especially in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. I’m a Queensland girl through and through.

“To bring the World Title to my home country and fight in front of all my family and friends would be amazing – and the start of a really special journey. I’m a true blue Aussie and it would mean absolutely everything to me.”