Dzinziruk vs. Vera Preview
This week on ESPN Friday Night fights, Serhiy Dzinziruk gets it on with tough-as-nails Brian Vera for the WBO NABO middleweight title…
“I’ve seen tougher croissants.”—Teddy Atlas
More often as not, we tune into ESPN’s Friday Night Fights less to watch boxing than to watch Teddy Atlas. Not everyone is of a like mind. His metaphors, which flow like wine, drive some people nuts. His outspokenness, no less than his courage to call fights and get it wrong, is, according to many, proof that he doesn’t know shit from Shinola. And for reasons too comprehensible to dignify, he brings out the snark in those for whom snark is second-nature.
This week on ESPN Friday Night fights, coming to you live from the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, former WBO light middleweight champion and middleweight contender Serhiy Dzinziruk (37-1-1, 24 KOs), he of the thousand mile stare, gets it on with tough-as-nails Texan Brian Vera (21-6, 12 KOs) for the WBO NABO middleweight title.
The 36-year-old Serhiy Dzinziruk will never been mistaken for a scintillating performer. He is a solid professional with an educated jab and good inside game, but he is methodical and his best years are behind him. He decisioned Daniel Santos seven years ago and held the WBO crown for five years with six title defenses. But when he moved up in weight to take on Sergio Martinez in March 2011, Maravilla took him to school by dropping him five times in eight rounds. Martinez, of course, is the exception that breaks every rule, and ends every win streak, but in his last outing Dzinziruk fought to a draw against the consistently uninspiring Jonathan Gonzalez.
“I felt like my last time out I didn’t capitalize on every opportunity that was presented to me,” Dzinziruk said. “It was my fight to grab and it slipped away because I let it. I’ve prepared to get back into the win column and anything less is unacceptable. I will define the moment and not let the moment define me.”
Brian Vera, 31, is a competent fighter who always comes to fight. But however competent he might be, he is also equally limited. He has a pair of wins against Sergio Mora and split two fights with Andy Lee. However, losses to James Kirkland in 2008, Craig McEwan in 2009, and Max Bursak in 2010 are a fair indication of how middling a talent he can be.
“Vera is a different monster,” continued Dzinziruk. “The guy never quits and he is always willing to take the fight to the most uncomfortable places possible. I’m willing to go wherever is necessary, but it won’t be Vera calling the shots because I’m going to dictate the pace and control the fight.”
“I think Dzinziruk is good,” Vera said. “He’s technical. I think my style is perfect for him. I’ll put a lot of pressure on him and I don’t think he likes that. I think he likes to dictate the fight and kind of control things. But somebody that’s going to stay on top of him and put a lot of pressure on him, is going to throw him off his game a little bit. I’m going to be the bigger, stronger guy, and am going to impose my will on him and take it from him.”
There’s no knowing how entertaining Dzinziruk vs. Vera will be. The same can be said for the undercard between junior welterweights Tony Luis (15-0, 7 KOs) and Jose Hernandez (13-6-1, 5 KOs). But that’s why Teddy Atlas is on ESPN, because it never stays boring for long when he’s around.