Rising Wollongong kickboxing star David Pennimpede hopes a silver medal at the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) World Championships in Malaysia can propel him to a NSW title next Friday.
The 17-year-old surprised more fancied opponents at the world championships in April en route to a controversial narrow points decision loss in the final.
Coach Danny Jones said his charge would take plenty of confidence into the NSW 79kg title bout despite giving away eight years in age to Tamworth fighter Scott Chassey, who has just one loss from eight fights.
"He's [Chassey] got a strong karate background so he doesn't fight like a traditional thai fighter, he just comes straight at you," Jones said.
"He'll come at him pretty hard. He's physically pretty imposing and he's 25 whereas David's still developing but he's a strong boy and he's got great technique."
With the fight taking place over five two-minute rounds, Pennimpede will look to utilise his greater experience fighting under full Thai rules that allow the use of the knees and elbows.
"David has a lot of experience fighting full Thai rules and this guy hasn't fought full Thai before so we'll be using that as an advantage," Jones said.
Pennimpede's stablemate Mitch Brisbane will also be fighting on the "War on the North Shore" card at North Sydney League Club for the NSW 63.5kg title, hoping to utilise his experience of the full art against Terry Kounsavat, from Manly's Bulldog Gym.
"They [Bulldog] always produce good fighters but he hasn't fought five rounds or full Thai rules yet," Jones said.
"Mitch is a really technical fighter, he's fought five five-rounders all under full Thai rules.
"He's also fought in Thailand against guys with over 100 fights so he's pretty experienced, so we should match up pretty well."