By Peter Mitchell
A couple of nights ago Australian light heavyweight boxer Blake Caparello was flicking through the TV channels in his Atlantic City hotel suite when he came across Rocky IV.
It's the movie when Rocky "The Italian Stallion" Balboa takes on Soviet Union giant Ivan Drago.
Caparello, a 27-year-old former carpenter from Melbourne who is also proud of his Italian heritage, laughed when he saw the classic 1985 film starring Sylvester Stallone.
"I was like, 'It's meant to be'," Caparello told AAP on Wednesday.
On Saturday in the New Jersey seaside casino city Caparello will take on a real life Russian destroyer, World Boxing Organisation light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.
The undefeated Kovalev, who has the ring name Krusher, has knocked out 22 of his 24 victims.
The longest any opponent has lasted is seven rounds, and that was his last prey American southpaw Cedric Agnew who was knocked down in the second and sixth rounds before being pummelled to his knees and opting not to take more punishment.
Balboa took a beating from Drago, but eventually overcame the Soviet and knocked him out in the 15th round.
The US boxing media believes if Caparello is going to upset Kovalev and take his WBO belt he will have to outbox the Russian for 12 rounds and score a points decision.
It was the same plan fellow Australian, middleweight Daniel Geale, was hoping to follow last weekend in New York, but he only lasted three rounds before suffering a technical knockout loss to undefeated Kazakh heavy-hitter Gennady Golovkin.
"It's a similar sort of story," Caparello, comparing his underdog status and opponent to Geale's, said.
"They're both big punchers and Daniel and myself try to move.
"But, I'm confident my fight will have a different ending.
"I'm known as a defensive fighter and mover and I have the attack as well."
New Jersey has been great for the Essendon-born, Greenvale resident Caparello, with a unanimous points decision there in January against Kosovo-born, US resident Elvir Muriqi.
Caparello's biggest scalp was another unanimous points decision three months earlier at The Melbourne Pavilion against American Allan "Ghost Dog" Green.
Kovalev is in another league to Muriqi and Green, but just as the Italian Stallion downed Drago, Caparello says he will live up to his ring moniker and beat the Russian.
"I won't know how much power Sergey has until I get into the ring, but I'm 'Il Capo'," Caparello said.
"I'm the boss.
"I'll be the boss of the ring this weekend."
The bout will be televised in Australia via Main Event on Sunday 10.30am AEST.