Australian boxing was flying heading into last weekend, but with defeats for Liam Wilson, Michael Zerafa and Tim Tszyu, attention turns to gifted featherweight Skye Nicolson to turn things around.

The 28-year-old takes an important step up against Sarah Mahfoud in Las Vegas, at the new Fontainebleau, and while the aforementioned trio came unstick last weekend, two of them in Las Vegas, there are still big fights in the offing for Liam Paro, George Kambosos, the Moloney brothers and Jai Opetaia.

“I like to see any Aussie do well,” Nicolson said. “Jai is a special talent and will do some very special things in the sport. He is definitely causing some waves at the moment. 

“It is very exciting to be a part of it [the Australian boxing boom]. I’m hopeful it will have that knock-on effect because we have had golden eras in the past. 

“I feel boxing doesn’t get the love, recognition, and support it deserves in Australia, so I’m hoping that now, with the big names floating around in the top Australian divisions, Australia will get behind the boxers and support us.” 

Nicolson is 9-0 (1 KO) and has been in Vegas for nearly two weeks with coaches Eddie Lam and Bradley Skeete. She stopped Lucy Wildheart in Dublin in round nine in her last fight, in September.

She is also a student of the sport, with more than 150 amateur fights behind her and the ambition to reach the top. She fights 14-1 Denmark-based Mahfoud, who had been competitive with Amanda Serrano, for the vacant WBC title, and victory will put her up alongside some of the fighters she admires. 

“I think Sandy Ryan is a very special talent,” Nicolson said, of the Derby star who impressed while stopping Terri Harper last month. “She has an excellent boxing IQ, but she has that dog in her because she loves to have a tear up. She loves to fight and is very exciting to watch. I think she will do some big things in the 147 division. 

“I have been a die-hard Katie Taylor fan since I was young. I love that she is reigning in a new weight division now, which is exciting for her, especially after she suffered her first loss [since reversed against Chantelle Cameron] last year. 

“There are still some pretty big fights out there for Katie. I would like to see Alycia Baumgardner against Taylor because they are two of my favorites. I think it would be a huge fight for women’s boxing because they are both very marketable, very talented and are two of the biggest names in the sport for women.”