Aussie ‘chippy’ takes on Russian champ
A little over four years ago Blake Caparello gave up his job as a carpenter and devoted himself to the dream of winning a light heavyweight boxing world title.
The chippy from Melbourne quickly found out life without a regular pay packet was tough.
“I was living off credit cards,” Caparello told AAP.
“It’s hard going to your parents and girlfriend and asking for help.”
On Saturday (Sunday 10.30am AEST) at the Revel Resort in the US east coast casino capital of Atlantic City the 27-year-old can achieve that dream.
Caparello takes on World Boxing Organisation champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev.
There’s a reason Kovalev has the “Krusher” ring name.
The undefeated Russian has knocked out 22 of his 24 victims and not a single US boxing writer or analyst thinks Caparello has a chance of causing an upset.
US reporters have actually voiced their disappointment about Caparello being Kovalev’s challenger.
They expected the Florida-based Russian to fight the other top light heavyweight and big hitter, Haitian-born, Canada-based World Boxing Council champion Adonis Stevenson in a unification bout.
Kovalev and Stevenson both had relationships with the US pay TV network HBO, making the fight appear inevitable, but it hit a roadblock when Stevenson jumped ship to rival network Showtime.
With other challengers unwilling to face Kovalev’s power, the fearless Caparello put up his hand.
“I know this is my opportunity and I’m not very well known in America,” Caparello said.
“But, a win here will leave me holding all of the cards.”
The Kovalev-Caparello fight has drawn comparisons to last week’s middleweight world-title bout in New York between Kazakh knockout king Gennady Golovkin and Australia’s Daniel Geale.
Just like Geale, Caparello is not a renowned big puncher, with most of his wins points decisions after 12 rounds.
Geale was knocked out in the third round last week, but Caparello and his team say there will not be a repeat result.
“The thing with Blake is he’s unlike any fighter I’ve known before,” Caparello’s manager, Brendan Bourke, said.
“He’s so relaxed, calm and confident in his own preparation.”
Caparello’s girlfriend, Jessica, and his big Italian-Australian family that backed him from the beginning have made the long flight from Melbourne to be in Atlantic City to cheer him on.
With a big Russian population on the US east coast and American fight fans salivating for another explosive knockout, Caparello will be walking into a lion’s den.
“He’s a champion for a reason,” Caparello said.
“I can’t disrespect him, but I can’t fear him either.”
The bout will be televised in Australia via Main Event.
FACTBOX – CAPARELLO VS KOVALEV
Name: Blake Caparello
Born: Essendon, Victoria
Alias: Il Capo
Pro Record: 19 wins (KO 6), one draw
KO Percentage: 30 per cent
Name: Sergey Kovalev
Born: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Pro Record: 24 wins (KO 22), one draw
KO Percentage: 88 per cent