Family’s Arrival Set to Boost Liam Wilson Heading Into Oscar Valdez Fight Week

The candles went out on Liam Wilson’s birthday, signifying his 28th year on Monday, and he rolled over and went to sleep.

Even that modest “celebration” was only metaphorical in nature – no actual candles were involved – because the Australian super featherweight contender has been hyper-focused on his training in Las Vegas ahead of a March 29 date with Oscar Valdez at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

“I didn’t do anything,” Wilson said of turning 28 in the midst of camp. “Not a thing. I’ve been in Vegas for six weeks and I haven’t even really left the house. It’s been going to training, to the gym, back to the house to rest. I haven’t been looking [around] at all.”

Wilson (13-2, 7 KOs) rose to prominence following a thriller at the same Arizona venue in February 2023, when he lost a Fight of the Year contender to Emanuel Navarrete in a battle that saw both men taste the canvas.

Wilson is determined to beat the fighter who, in his last match, lost a decision to Navarrete. The Queensland warrior is leaving nothing to chance.

“That’s the reason why I’ve prepared so hard and the reason why I’m over here in America,” Wilson said. “I’ve been in camp here to prepare for the hardest fight of my life.”

Camp life in the U.S. means sacrifice for Wilson, and that mostly means being away from his family – including his partner of six years, Courtenay; daughter Charlotte, 5; and son Maverick, 3.

He was noticeably moved talking about them during a call on Tuesday, and is eagerly awaiting their arrival to support him when they land this weekend.

“I haven’t seen them in nearly six weeks, so I’m just excited to see the kids,” Wilson said. “They came over last time and they saw me come up short against Navarrete, and leading up to this fight, they’re very familiar with Valdez. My little girl always talks about him, ‘Dad, I can’t stand Valdez. I hate him.’ She wants dad to win. This time I’m going to leave Arizona with my hand raised and show them what dad’s made of. I can’t wait to put on a good performance for them.”

With the kids being so young, and Wilson being away for so long, the fighter knows he is missing key moments with his family, and it isn’t something he has enjoyed. But he understands why he must do it.

“It’s been crazy,” Wilson said. “My little girl started school just as I left to come to America, and I’m kind of missing all the growth and the early stages of her schooling year. But I’m getting kept up to date. Thank God for FaceTime.”

And when the cavalry arrives this weekend, it will be a last-minute cue as to why he is doing what he is doing, and why the sacrifice is important.

“The reason I come to America is to get away and get good rest, good sleep, focus on training, so I think that side of things was needed,” Wilson said. “But going into the fight week, it will be good to see the kids to really spark me, refresh me – and remind me of why I’m doing it. I can’t wait.”

Wilson does not have long left to wait, but he will be able to see his family and enjoy time with them after March 29.

“[There was] no birthday cake,” he said, smiling. “We will get that after the fight.”

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