Bilal Akkawy took his first chance to light up the world stage when he fought at the famous Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
The man who toughened the NSW Blues earlier in the year continued his unbeaten record to 19 wins with 14 knockouts when the referee stopped Akkawy unloading punches on Mexican Victor Fonseca in the seventh round.
Akkawy hails from Peakhurst and fought out of Club Punchbowl in his early days, making his journey to New York City at boxing’s most famous arena all the more remarkable.
Hall of Fame trainer Johnny Lewis recently described Akkawy as a future world champion, and said he could be the heaviest hitter that Australian boxing has ever seen.
“I felt a great sense of achievement and accomplishment just to be given the opportunity to fight on the world stage and on such a huge card,” Akkawy said to NSWRL.com.au.
“It was a great moment, and to do it by stopping my opponent was a bonus. Few people can say they fought in Madison Square Garden and won.”
The sky is the limit for Akkawy, particularly now that he’s conquered ‘The Garden’.
The recent win was huge for his boxing resume and more people are beginning to take notice that Australian boxing may have someone special rising through the ranks.
He hopes he can be a boxer that can make Australia proud and has hopes that he will now generate interest from broadcasters to showcase his fights for all to see.
“I would love to make my family, friends, and all Aussies proud and have them get behind me in this gladiator sport.
“[I hope they] do all they can to encourage sports broadcasters to have my fights televised live back home.”
Despite a match that had so much physical and mental build-up, Akkawy doesn't plan to cool his heels for too long.
“I’ll head home for New Years & have a nice break catch up with friends and family.
“If that’s all going well head back to either Mexico or San Diego to commence preparation for my next fight.”