Wollongong kickboxer David Pennimpede is preparing to take on the world's best junior Muay Thai kickboxers when he travels to Malaysia for the IFMA world championships on Wednesday.
The 17-year-old, who trains under Danny Jones at Wollongong's Downtown Gym, won the right to represent Australia by claiming the Australian title at the national championships on the Gold Coast in December.
Jones said his promising charge was a chance of medalling at the championships but would have to go through well equipped national teams.
"Hopefully he'll do well and he can bring back a medal," Jones said.
"He will have a hard time because at the amateur worlds the Russian, Ukrainian and Kazakhstan fighters are well funded by their government. They bring big teams and they're really hard to beat at that weight [81kg] but I'm confident he'll go well."
Jones said a series of fights against bigger, more experienced fighters may give Pennimpede an edge fighting in the junior division.
"He's 17 so he's only a junior but he doesn't fight as a junior in Australia, he fights against grown men and he's had seven fights for five wins and a draw.
"He's had two fights this year for a win and a draw and in his last fight he beat a guy who was 27 years old and far more experienced so we've had a great preparation."
Jones said Pennimpede had the potential to be a star of the future and he saw plenty of similarities with former ISKA cruiserweight South Pacific title-winner Cody Brooks.
"He's got a really big future," Jones said.
"He reminds me a lot of one of my other guys, Cody Brooks, at the same age.
"Cody was 17 when I got him as well and he went on to win a South Pacific title, had 22 fights and fought on every big promotion in Australia.
"There's no reason David can't do the same thing.
"He's a tremendous talent and he's dedicated, he'd train every day if he could.
"At that age you've got a lot of distractions as a teenager but he's just so focused."