AUSTRALIAN boxing legend Jeff Fenech says Craig Hill Jnr's skill in the ring is as good as any he has seen from a young boxer.
Fenech, who first saw Hill Jnr at a fight night on the Coast a few years ago, said there was no doubt the 24-year-old had the skill to become the best, but it would all come down to his ability to prepare.
"That first night I saw him, I couldn't believe the precision and the skill and power of the kid," Fenech said.
"That night, he was as good as any young fighter I have ever seen and I thought he was the best prospect in Australia.
"But in saying that, he might have been fighting a guy that really suited his style. So the important thing for him to do now is to spar with different boxers with different styles and get his preparation right."
The national interest in the Caloundra boxer only heightened at Brisbane's Mansfield Tavern last Friday night when he felled Clayton Cook twice in the first round, before the referee stopped the fight in the second.
It was Hill Jnr's sixth win from as many professional fights and his first bout under the guidance of new trainer Rob Fogarty from Core Fitness.
Fogarty said with the win over Cook under his belt, his charge was eyeing off an Australian light middleweight title fight with Shannon "Shaggy" King in September.
"Jeff has always told me that Craig has got a good eye and more talent than a lot of the blokes he has seen coming through," Fogarty said.
"It's a very big deal to fight for an Australian professional title, especially when you have only had six fights, but he has been up there in the top 10 for his last couple of fights.
"Since he came and started training with us, he has been improving week by week in the gym. I reckon he is fighting at about 60% at the moment, so there is a lot of potential there."
Fenech had originally secured a fight for Hill Jnr on the under card of Anthony Mundine's fight in the US on July 4 but after some deliberation Fogarty thought it best to fight for an Australian title first.
"I had him in the fight in the US, but Rob has done what he feels is best for Junior. And I agree with him," Fenech said.
"You have to become the best in your country first and then have a look overseas, but I believe he has the skill to beat anyone in the country and I know Rob will make sure he has the best preparation."
CRAIG HILL JNR'S PRO WINS
- May 6, 2011: Will Parsons (majority decision)
- June 24, 2011: Shane Thompson (KO)
- August 26, 2011: Casey Hannan (TKO)
- October 7, 2011: Alex Ahtong (TKO)
- February 25, 2012: Brad Pole (TKO)
- June 15, 2012: Clayton Cook (TKO)