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ESPN Fri Night Fight Preview: Savigne vs Jackson, Vera fights Bondorovas


By Chris Cela

MIDDLEWEIGHT CONTENDER BRIAN VERA MEETS DONATAS BONDOROVAS TONIGHT ON FNF

Tonight on ESPN, live from the Turning Point Casino in Verona, NY, middleweight contender and WBO NABO titlist Brian Vera (22-6, 13 KO) will have look to stay true to his bid of fighting for a world title in 2013 by taking one step closer in defeating challenger Donatas Bondorovas.

Vera’s career has been a tale of two fighters; he won the first 14 fights of his career before being handed his first loss, but in the 13 fights since has only gone 8-5. As it appeared he was unable to be consistent and get back on track in putting together any type of winning streak, Vera has come out of his gate like a reborn pugilist in his last three contests, all stemming from his last loss, against Andy Lee in 2011. In the three subsequent fights Vera has looked at the strongest in his career and rejuvenated, ready to reestablish himself as a world contender.

“It was tough losing three fights in a row, and knowing I was getting further and further from a title shot,” Vera told Boxing Insider. “I knew I had to work harder, and figure out ways to win. That was it. If I wanted to get to the point of fighting for a belt, I knew I had to truly dedicate myself to boxing, and so I did it. I’m 31 now, and if it’s going to happen, it has to happen now.”

Just ranked outside of the top 10, Vera can possibly line himself up for a world title shot within the next two fights if he puts on an impressive performance tonight and shows he is ready to step it up.

Looking to play spoiler will be Bondorovas (17-3-1, 6 KO). The Lithuanian boxer hasn’t done much to gain international exposure through his career, but as of recent has found some hidden power he seemed to lack in earlier fights. In his last three fights he scored three second round knockouts.

But tonight against Vera will be only the second time in his career when he is scheduled to fight 10 rounds; the first and only other time he lost a MD to Dominique Dolton in 2011. Vera can be a strong stepping stone to earning bigger fights and bigger paydays, and so Bondorovas will surely be going out there tonight to play spoiler.

I’ve seen a little bit of Bondorovas,” Vera said. “I know he’s a tough kid. I don’t put too much into him, but we’re getting ready for him like we get ready for everybody. I’ve got to make sure he doesn’t go in there and do what I did to some other people.”

Umberto Savigne Looking to Make Statement Against Junior Jackson On FNF

Tomorrow night live from the Turing Stone Casino in Verona, New York, up-and-coming light heavyweight prospect Umberto “El Don” Savigne (10-1, 7 KO) will be facing one of his toughest tests to date as he squares off against Jackson “Demolidor” Junior (14-0, 12 KO) in what can be a very telling matchup of light heavyweights.

Both fighters will be looking to make statements in this 10 round bout featured on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, and line themselves up for bigger names and opponents going forward in 2013.

The undefeated Brazilian native Jackson made his first appearance inside the ring on U.S. soil this past January, where he put a hurting on journeyman Dante Craig, finishing him off in the first of eight rounds.

Jackson has looked impressive through the first 14 fights of his career, but knows he needs to step up the competition if he wants to make a bid for a world title.

Savigne got a late start to boxing, but since turning pro in 2010 has looked powerful between the ropes, with his only hiccup being a 2nd round knockout loss in his third pro fight. Since he has mounted an eight fight win streak, with five of those wins coming by way of knockout.

“A week after my last fight (Nov. 30),” said Savigne. “I was back in the gym working with my team: German Caidedo, Micky Ward and Claudio Lamont. Our goal is to go far beyond Jackson Junior. We know it’s in the gym where we can achieve our goals. “(Jackson’s) fights and record definitely don’t impress me. We’re talking about a fighter who has made his career largely in Brazil. The level of his opponents is not something that scares me. We want to make it very clear that we respect him as an athlete and boxer. Because of that I will come to New York in the best possible condition for our fight. We believe that is the greatest respect we can show him. I’ve been training hard the last three months for this fight.”

Savigne’s consistency has led him to being ranked number 5 by the WBA and number 10 by the WBC.

Tomorrow night he has the opportunity to show the world, as well as the rest of the light heavyweight division what he brings to the table, and that he can be a legit contender for a world title in the near future.

He has to get through a hungry Junior Jackson, who too will be looking to deliver and impressive performance, and make a name for himself outside of South America.

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