LIAM Paro has taken one giant leap towards reaching his goal of becoming world champion within 18 months, handing rugged German Robert Tlatlik his first stoppage loss at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Saturday night.
The German’s corner surrendered after seven one-sided rounds as junior-welterweight Paro took control of the Fox Sports battle from the opening round behind a rapid fire southpaw right jab and jarring left cross.
It was the first time in 24 fights over seven years as a professional that Tlatlik had failed to go the distance.
The victory starts a huge week of boxing for Australia with Paro’s teammate Mark Flanagan fighting for the interim world cruiserweight title against Armenian-born Arsen Goulamirian in Marseille, France next Saturday and Kingscliff’s Jason Moloney challenging Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez on the same night in Orlando, Florida for the IBF bantamweight title held by Aussie great Jeff Fenech more than 30 years ago.
Paro went into Saturday night’s fight as the No.6 contender for the WBO world crown held by American Maurice Hooker.
He will leave for France to cheer on Flanagan next week and then head to the WBO convention in Panama to make a case for a rise up the world rankings.
“My plan is to fight for a world title in 12 to 18 months and I’m right on track,’’ Paro said.
“Tonight was the toughest fight of my career but I came through it well and I believe that when the time comes I can win the world title too.
“I have terrific support from my family and fans and they are the people I’m fighting for.’’
Paro’s record improved to 15 wins in 15 fights, 11 of them coming by KO.
Tlatlik came to fight with a record of 22 wins in 23 fights, his only previous loss on points but the tough German did not have the speed or skills to cope with Paro’s measured sharp-shooting from a distance.
Paro won the world youth title in his previous fight.
Also on Saturday night Brisbane’s Adrian Rodriguez and Deception Bay’s Billy Limov fought out a thrilling eight rounder for the Queensland super-welterweight title only for the fight to be declared a draw.