Liam Paro has doubled down on his criticism of "weak-in-the-mind" Montana Love after the American blasted the Australian's credentials in a spicy scene-setter to their boxing blockbuster in San Francisco.
Undefeated Australian super lightweight contender Paro (23-0) will return to action against the Cleveland talent (18-1-1) on Sunday (AEDT) at the Chase Centre on the Devin Haney-Regis Prograis card.
Injury has kept Paro out of the ring since last October, when he wiped countryman Brock Jarvis with a first-round knockout in Brisbane.
He was set to fight Prograis for the WBC strap in June after a facial fracture had ruled him out of another fight in England.
Love's last action was against Stevie Spark, another Queenslander, who dropped the heavy favourite early and then won by disqualification after Love tackled him out of the ring.
The winner on Sunday could earn a world title shot against the victor of Sunday's feature fight.
Paro is confident he can rattle the American just as his Toowoomba counterpart did last November.
"We've seen his last fight ... folded like a camp chair," Paro said on Friday.
"Very weak in the mind ... I believe when it gets tough in there he folds."
Love had earlier claimed he would "retire" the 27-year-old.
"I've been laying low, but with an ear to the street and hearing people talking, like Liam," Love said.
"This is not a drill, this is the real thing.
"All I see is me literally beating the ***t out of this guy.
"He's been fighting ducks sitting in front of him in Australia. He ain't made for stages like this."
On the same card, Australia's IBF bantamweight world champion Ebanie Bridges will make her first title defence against Japan's Miyo Yoshida, who is a late replacement for injured Aussie Avril Mathie.
Meanwhile, in a busy run for Australian boxers, Andrew Moloney will return to the ring against Filipino Judy Flores in Melbourne on Saturday.
The bout will mark Moloney's first fight since being knocked out by Japanese superstar Junto Nakatani in their WBO world super flyweight clash in Las Vegas in May.
Moloney's return follows fellow Australian Skye Nicolson's (9-0) defeat of Swede Lucy Wildheart in Ireland last month.
Nicolson is now slated to fight Dane Sarah Mahfoud for the full WBC crown after legendary Puerto Rican Amanda Serrano vacated the title in protest to the organisation's unwillingness to extend women's fights from 10 to 12 rounds.
Andrew's brother Jason Moloney will defend his WBO bantamweight title against Saul Sanchez in Canada in January, while WBO light-middleweight champion Tim Tszyu is still hopeful of a Las Vegas blockbuster against an elusive Jermell Charlo next March.
And cruiserweight world champion Jai Opetaia (23-0) will also fight on a stacked card in Saudi Arabia later this month in what will be the second defence of his IBF and the Ring belts.
"It's huge; Australian boxing's got a wave of talent and I'm blessed to be a part of it," Paro said.
"It's an Aussie takeover."
Australian Associated Press