Boxing is picking up on Long Island, with Chris Algieri leading the pack of the resurgence. You had Joe Smith shock most of the planet when he dropped and stopped Andrzej Fonfara two months ago. Cletus Seldin has quietly edged up the rankings, and you have Anthony Karperis creeping in the Seldin path.
Karperis went to 13-2 on Aug. 13, on a card put together by Joe DeGuardia, who promotes all four Islanders mentioned.
NYF checked in with the 28 year old 140 pounder to get his take on his win over Ariel Duran and the state of his career.
“Well, I was happy with my performance given the circumstances with the two cuts and all of the blood,” he told us. “The first four rounds I clearly outboxed him and remember saying to myself “this is easy.” Then as the fight went on and I was cut twice from headbutts, it got a little more difficult on account of all the blood. I've been cut before, and on the same spots too, but never during a 10 rounder before and never with this much blood. My face was covered and it was dropping into my eyes from my scalp so it made it a little more difficult in the middle rounds. By round 8, my corner started to tell me to pick it up and finish strong, which I did, and was able to score a knockdown in the 9th. I would've liked to have stopped him but the circumstances, with all of that blood, I think I did a good job with keeping my composure and making sure I came away with the victory.”
So, he won the NY 140 crown. Is he a contender, a prospect, or somewhere in between?
“I feel I'm a prospect,” Karperis said. “I'd still like to get a few wins, and still feel I need a few wins under my belt to get a real shot at a big fight…and I understand that, but I do feel that if I'm willing to put in the work, which I am, and I'm exciting enough to keep bringing the fans back to watch me, which is what I'm told, that opportunity will come sooner rather then later.”
Indeed; DeGuardia has done well making the Paramount in Huntington a perennial destination for solid prizefights.
Karperis has two losses on the ledger. What happened there, in 2013 and then last year? “At the time of each loss, of course, I questioned myself, but after self evaluation there were reasons for why I lost. Remember I didn't have an extensive amateur background…I was 6-1 and won the Golden Gloves my first year I entered, so my professional career has been a learning experience itself and I continue to learn more about the game as well as myself with each passing fight.”
Randy Gordon, of SiriusXM, has called a bunch of Karperis' bouts. His thoughts on him? “An exciting, gifted, well-trained fighter who is also the biggest ticket-seller in the history of Long Island boxing,” said the former NYSAC commissioner.
One note: Karperis tore his right shoulder in the win, and will have surgery in two weeks. He will be back in February, probably.
Put the kid on your watch list. DeGuardia has a good track record as a talent builder, and matchmaker Ron Katz is a pro's pro at helping fashion competent pugilists.