By Ezio Prapotnich
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Behind it is another dimension, a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You just crossed into… No, not the Twilight Zone. It’s the WBA…
Italy based Cuban Fernandes “Brunet” Zamora is the current WBA number 2 Light Welterweight in the world and Inter-continental Champion. After a blazing amateur career, where he beat the likes of current IBF champion Jan Zaveck and former British champions Lenny Daws and Barry Morrison, not to mention losing a 43-35 decision to Marcos Maidana, he turned pro in 2005, conquered the WBA Inter-continental belt in2008 and patiently climbed the ladder. After being ranked number 2, with the first position vacant, for a year, he just saw his overdue chance of a title shot disappear when a proposed Interim match with former European champion Paul McCloskey fell through. In a recent interview to Irish-boxing.com, the former Khan victim declared he wanted Zamora but, unluckily, the Cuban had injured his hand in his last TKO win and could not fight. “Brunet” has a different story to tell.
Q: How did the proposed deal to fight McCloskey come along?
A: He was promised by the WBA an interim match to decide who would occupy the then vacant number 1 position in the ranking and his first choice of opponent was no.3 Alberto Mosquero, but I was designated as mandatory co-challenger by the sanctioning body, so we were approached by his camp and negotiations started.
Q: What went wrong, then?
A: With the publication of June rankings, Humberto Soto was installed at number 1. Therefore, I reckon they saw a match with me as a risk without rewards. Prescott, who still has the reputation of being the only man to beat Khan but has been beaten twice in his last 5 bouts, is a bigger name, but he and McCloskey are respectively number 5 and 6. The only thing the winner can hope to get out of this is a pint of Guinness at the pub after the match.
Q; When and with what justification were you told the match was off?
A: I was told at 8 pm of the day before the official announcement. They claimed Prescott was cheaper than me. My purse was going to be 25.000 euros. I guess Prescott must really be fighting for a pint, then.
Q: What about the rumour that you injured your hand?
A: That’s a pathetic excuse. I had already started training.
Q: How do you feel about this?
A: How do you expect me to feel? I am 36 years old and I am not getting any younger. I have a wife and three daughters, I work every day from 7 to 15 as a gardener so I can support them and on top of that I train. I am unbeaten, I have been in the top ten for years, finally I seem to get a break and instead they pick a lightweight who did nothing in his career to justify his position but knocking Khan out with a lucky punch. But I blame McCLoskey for this, not Prescott.
Q: Would you like to send a message to him directly?
A: Paul, you will always be behind me in the ranks and you will be beneath me, on the canvas, if you ever face me. I can get very cheap flights to Belfast with Ryan Air. Just call me and I will fight you for free.
So, the ball is in the middle. We wait for Paul McCloskey to give his side of the story.