There is, there still is an American Dream to attain. We are in an age where doom and gloom often win out, but the slivers of light are still there, you maybe just have to wade through a bunch of naysaying and critiques from the woebegone to see it.
At BB Kings in Manhattan on Wednesday evening, I will see a sliver of light, in the form of a man bred in Italy, who is plying his trade in the United States of America, and wishes nothing more than to fight under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. He cheerfully and humbly wants to share some of the molecules that have been absorbed in that space by pugilistic royalty, like Muhammad Ali and others who knew that to really, truly make it, they’d have to make it here.
Floriano Pagliara holds a 16-7-2 record, and knows what he is, and what he isn’t.
Expending every ounce of his will and skill, he cannot and will not climb to the heights of an Ali. Who among us can, God went one and done when Ali was sculpted by the Creator… But Pagliara, who fights Jude Franklin on the Dibella Entertainment card unspooling at the famed entertainment nook in midtown, could still snag that dream, to fight at MSG.
“This is gonna be great time for us,” the 39 year old Pagliara said, with imperfect grammar but superlative enthusiasm, which we New Yorkers tend to expect and prize in persons coming from other lands to mine for figurative gold in the States.
“We fight to win every time and we do it best in New York. I want to thank my people, the support team, Richie Komissar, Tommy Gallagher, they are the best in America. Also now we have the best trainer for me with Gary Stark Sr. I learn so much from him and every day I train with the best young champions in the gym. We learn from each other and get better. My sponsors are great. I give them always my best because they support me every day, even when I'm not on the schedule for a big fight. This is our dream to fight in Madison Square Garden this year. I love the people so much here. They say hello when I'm on the bus and when I'm doing my running. Sometimes I think I'm in the movies!”
Fighting under the DiBella Entertainment banner, the Italian Pagliara is given a tall task Wednesday in 6-0 super featherweight Franklin, a 22 year old Brooklyner. He’s respectful of Pagliara as a person, but not distracted by Floriano’s pursuit of the star spangled dream. He’s got his own to pursue, and Pagliara presents as a hurdle, not a helper.
Advisor Komissar spoke to NYFights about Pagliara’s status as a sweet scientist.
“We’ve had our best success in America when working with Lou DiBella and his team. There is no questioning that Floriano Pagliara is one of the most popular fighters and ticket sellers in the New York metro area. He is so very approachable, he’s like a mini franchise! When he fights, just about every pizzeria and Italian restaurant in the region will get on board. Flori is a throwback to the old fight scene, his fans support him to the finish. They love him, whether or not he gets a win, loss or draw. Dibella is one of the few promoters still working regular shows in the area on a regular basis and he knows what Floriano brings to the arena!”
He brings rampant enthusiasm, a joyful and infectiously positive outlook which comes from not taking things we have here in the States for granted. Pagliara is more aware than most practitioners of the hallowed history of the NY fight scene, of what a mecca Madison Square Garden has represented to athletes over the ages, and on Wednesday night, he will fight like hell to get to that heaven.