World title last hurrah
IT HAS been 46-years coming, so Robert Glasson-Wilesmith is determined to be ready.
Ready for his one shot at a kickboxing world title.
On Saturday, December 3, at Gold Coast's Skilled Park Stadium, he will fight Mike Sheppard for the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) cruiserweight world title.
"I got a phone call at 4am at the beginning of the year saying 'how would you like to fight for the world title?'" Glasson-Wilesmith said from the Ipswich PCYC where he trains under Len Norman.
"I told him to bugger off.
"Who calls at 4am?
"But he was ringing from America."
Glasson-Wilesmith has formerly held Commonwealth and South Pacific titles.
When asked why he was offered the fight for the IKF title, he responds as though it is obvious.
"Because I'm undefeated and everybody wants to ruin a record," he said.
The Mt Crosby father of three last fought in January last year but remains undefeated from 15 professional bouts, with 14 knockouts.
"I couldn't ask any one better to train me," he said of Norman.
"To train a psycho, you need a psycho."
The pair seemed made for each other, with Glasson-Wilesmith not shirking any of the daunting challenges Norman has set him.
"I've got one crack," Glasson-Wilesmith said.
"One shot at the biggest title in the world.
"He's a brawler, which is right up my alley."
He doesn't see his age, 10 years older than Sheppard, as a hindrance.
It serves as his inspiration.
"Foreman did it at 50," he said.
"I'm doing it for my kids.
"They've never seen dad fight.
"My youngest son said to me 'Dad, if you win, can I get up on to your shoulders and hold up the belt?'.
"I almost cried when I heard that."
Glasson-Wilesmith is a Muay Thai master, has a bachelor's degree in sports science and masters degree in applied science, with a major in high performance for elite athletes. So he is under no illusions what he is getting himself in for.
"I want to be an inspiration to people who are in their 40s," he said.
"To show them that they can still do it.
"They've just got to believe in themselves.
"I want to show the world you're never too old.
"You're only as old as you feel and I'm 21."
As he sees it, the worst that can happen is he could end his fight career with one loss on his proud record.
Even that has an upside.
"If I lose, I've lost to the current world champion," he said.
"It's like unfinished business."