Just as clever outside the ring than in it, Luke Jackson knows his role well in boxing.
One day, the 32-year-old stands tall holding his title belt high, still keeping his undefeated reign intact.
But the next day, he turns promoter, advocator for all things Tasmania, politicking to the state government.
Jackson went to 15 fights without loss on Saturday night in an unanimous points decision against hard-hitting Mexican challenger Humberto de Santiago.
The win at Hobart’s City Hall almost assures Jackson of moving into the top-five featherweights in the world.
The Tasmanian’s defence of his WBO Oriental featherweight belt was almost inconsequential to raising his billing for a real world title crack at another Mexican, champion Oscar Valdez.
But rather than pull a swipe at Valdez, he took aim at the premier of the state.
“We’re now looking to fight for a world title here,” Jackson said.
“We’ve just got to get Will Hodgman to back us, so we can bring a world title fight back to Hobart.”
The spruiker in Jackson declared such a bout would be the “massive event” with the unbeaten 28-fight Valdez.
“At the end of the day, I’m now 15-and-0,” he said.
“I’m ranked inside that top five and ready to bring a world title back.
“That’s what we’ve got to do and government has to get behind me like they did with Jeff Horn.”
Jackson has not lost a fight in Australia since his 2006 Commonwealth Games loss in Melbourne that demoted the boxer, who only picked up the gloves two years earlier, to the bronze medal win.
He has retained five of his last seven professional fights in Hobart and feels his loyalty should be returned.
“I’ve been true to this state and I’ve never left the state,” Jackson said.
“How many professional boxers base their whole career in Tasmania to my level? Not many.”
Jackson said he never underestimated the 24-year-old de Santiago, whose record was 14 wins from 18 contests with 10 knockouts, but he never put himself at risk.
“It was a tough fight,” Jackson said.
“I expected a tough fight, so I prepared for a tight fight. He came out here to win and he pushed me hard.
“I thought I could’ve got him earlier, but that just goes to show his experience.”