Jarred Cross – November 16, 2023
The World Boxing Council has mandated a final eliminator between Noongar boxer Alex Winwood and Mexico’s Luis Castillo for 2024 – putting pieces in place for a shot at the strawweight world title.
An outright position to meet current champ, Japan’s Yudai Shigeoka (8-0), beckons for the victor.
Winwood, currently rated number two behind Castillo by WBC, must first get through the 20-5 Cris Ganoza in Perth on December 1.
The 26-year-old heads into the fight 3-0 on the professional circuit, placing his ultimate goal of claiming a world title inside seven bouts – Jeff Fenech’s current Australian record.
The blueprint is materialising, with increasingly high stakes.
Winwood took to Instagram on Thursday to announce “the biggest news of my professional career” – later telling National Indigenous Times the job is far from over.
“It just makes the dream more of a reality and possible. It’s huge news and I’m thrilled to be in this situation,” he said.
“It’s obviously put more fire in the belly…every fight from here on in is a must win. I still have to get the job done, and hopefully in convincing fashion.
“If we dropped the ball here, that’s the end of the line. But it’s just given me that extra kick that I needed at this stage.”
The three men in sight all boast experience, albeit varying, over Winwood.
He’s no stranger to getting in the ring with more seasoned opponents – it’s a challenge central to his plans towards the top of the tree.
There’s anther element poised to be in their favour – they all lead with their right hand.
Winwood’s camp have regularly said their building “a Phd in southpaws”.
Manager Tony Tolj “It’s the ultimate preparation to come into that world title fight.”
“We’re not looking overlooking anyone,” he said.
“Alex is old school..he’ll fight anyone, anywhere.”
Tolj’s ultimate goal is making sure his man reaps his rewards at home in Perth, where Winwood has already blown past Mario Bunda, Tobo Monabesa and Reyneris Gutierrez in the past twelve months.
Ahead of next test, Winwood said he’s feeling sharp and looking forward to beefing up his credentials.
“Everything’s coming together nicely..pretty much as many smiles as you can get out of a camp.
“It’s just great news to hear right now at 15 days out, so we’re gonna have a really strong run through to the finish.”
Winwood v Ganoza is scheduled for Friday, December 1 at Perth’s Metro City.