Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Lots Of Moving Parts In Place For 8 Count This Weekend

By Jake Donovan

It’s going to be a busy and emotionally draining next couple of days for 8 Count Productions and its founder and president, Dominic Pesoli. Not that he’s asking for a pity party, mind you.

“This is a big weekend for our company,” Pesoli remarks as the finishing touches are applied to Friday night’s ‘Windy City Fight Night 22’ card at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. Headlining the event is light heavyweight prospect Andrzej Fonfara (20-2-1, 11KO), who endures his toughest test to date when he takes on former super middleweight champion Byron Mitchell (29-9-1, 22KO).

While all of his efforts are placed into the local show, an even bigger moment for the Chicagoland company comes one night later. Donovan George takes a massive leap in competition as he faces unbeaten super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez in New York City. Their 10-round bout airs live on HBO, marking George’s debut on the network.

“I have Fonfara fighting for the USBO title and then George the following night in a fight that can open up huge opportunities with a win. It’s exciting times for us,” Pesoli notes.

The leading promoter in the Midwest has seen plenty of big moments through the years, but perhaps not this much going on back to back. Last month marked the 14-year anniversary for 8 Count Productions, though refusing to rest on its laurels as another big card is in store tonight.

While alphabet title are viewed as a dime a dozen these days, that Fonfara is in position to challenge for a regional belt marks what Pesoli refers to as the start of a new chapter in his rising young career.

“Ever since he’s moved up to light heavyweight, it’s been a series of milestones,” Pesoli states, pointing to his struggles in making middleweight and even super middleweight before moving up into a division more befitting his huge frame. “He’s a totally different fighter these days. We have big goals in mind for his future but can’t look past Byron Mitchell.”

Fonfara serves as the centerpiece of a big evening that also includes unbeaten Viktor Polyakov (10-0, 6KO) in his first regional title fight as he faces Derrick Findley in a 10-round middleweight bout. Findley was the last fighter to hang a loss on the career of Fonfara, who has won ten straight since suffering the shocking knockout loss in their nationally-televised ESPN2 bout in July ’08.

The loss confirmed Pesoli’s worst fears, that the Polish fighter was perhaps more suspect than prospect as long as he was starving himself to make a weight that didn’t fit his body frame.

“I’ve certainly had my opinions – you can even say reservations – on Andrzej early on,” Pesoli admits. “Sam (Colonna, Fonfara’s trainer) told me early on that this kid is a beast in the gym. I’ve had him since his second pro fight, but I didn’t see that same beast fighter when I watched him early on. Some guys are better in the gym then they are on fight night. I was worried that was the case with him.

“More troubling to me was these weight classes he was fighting at. Now at light heavyweight, he’s a completely different fighter. He’s no longer at a weight he’s struggling to make. He now has power and is back to knocking people out.”

That’s no sales pitch as Fonfara has scored eight straight knockouts since growing into the light heavyweight division in 2009. Most of the run has taken place at the UIC Pavilion, where he now fights for the 10th time in his last 11 fights and has become a huge draw in the process. 

The growth of a fighter like Fonfara – in the ring and at the box office – is the stuff that helps Pesoli get out of bed in the morning. Being in the boxing business for more than a decade will surely include its share of disappointments and deceit. It’s the success stories, though, that make it all worthwhile.

“Boxing is a tough business,” Pesoli states. “When I first began, I was around the sport for quite some time but wasn’t really educated quite well on it. I learned a lot of important lessons, but recognized what would and wouldn’t work in making a show successful.

“Kids like Andrzej truly allow me to enjoy my job. I’ve had him nearly his entire career. He couldn’t get more than 10 people to see him fight when he first began; now he’s selling more than 1,000 tickets per show. He’s the talk of the Polish-American town. We had Andrew Golota come through here and Tomasz Adamek a few times. Andrzej is now stepping into those shows.”

Those are massive shoes to fill, but there’s plenty of time to allow the 24-year old Fonfara to continue to grow. In the meantime, his next ring appearance tonight marks a different kind of milestone – this one for Pesoli himself, even amidst the career-changing moments for his company that can potentially take place throughout the loaded boxing weekend.

“This show will mark my favorite moment in 14 years as a promoter,” Pesoli reveals. “My son is already a fight fan; (tonight) I get to take him to his first fight.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by chiguy91 on 03-16-2012

good luck to george. man, i hope he wins. i'll be at the fonfara fight tomorrow. should be fun. the ukrainian on the undercard, viktor polyakov is a fun fighter to watch. was at his last fight, very entertaining. should…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Denis Lebedev vs. Murat Gassiev - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard LIVE Results From Aarhus, Denmark - Sherman Williams Wins Julius Indongo Destroys Eduard Troyanovsky in One - HUGE Upset Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey - CompuBox Punch Stats Maxim Vlasov Blasts Rakhim Chakhkiev in Wild Shootout Frank Warren: Eubank Jr is All Talk, Won't Sign To Face Saunders Denis Lebedev vs. Murat Gassiev - LIVE Results From Moscow Jessie Magdaleno: Manny Robles Should Be Trainer of The Year Jose Ramirez Ready To Travel, Challenge Ricky Burns in Scotland Juan Manuel Marquez Will Enter Camp in January, No Retirement Abel Sanchez To Saunders: Stop Talking, Call To Fight Golovkin Pazienza Understands Blackwell's Desire To Put Himself at Risk Frank Warren on Flanagan's Options, Saunders' Return, More Cecilia Braekhus vs. Klara Svensson Looms For January 28 Bellew: McGegor Just Wants UFC Shares, Mayweather Drills Him Video: Thomas Dulorme on Sparring Mayweather, Joining TMT McGregor: If Mayweather Runs, I Have Other Boxing Targets! Denis Lebedev-Murat Gassiev: Pre-Fight Report Card Video: Ellerbe Talks McGregor, Mayweather, Pedraza-Davis, More Abraham Lopez Decisions Sergio Lopez at LA Fight Club Jose Ramirez Stops Issouf Kinda in Six Rounds Dana White Baffled By McGregor's Move: He's Under Contract To Me Ashley Theophane Bounces Back, Decisions Yakubu Amidu Lebedev's Manager Explains Why NO WBA Title Shot For Gassiev Tevin Farmer Dominates Dardan Zenunaj in Showcase Conor McGregor on Malignaggi: Who The F*** is That Guy? Wilder Cleared To Train; Says He'll Fight "In February Or March" Ceferino Rodriguez Beats Mousaoui For EBU Belt, Malignaggi Next? Commey: I Clearly Won, Look at How Banged Up Shafikov Is! HBO, Showtime To Televise Shows Simultaneously on January 28 Tevin Farmer Thrilled With Getting Fourth Fight In 2016 Marquez: Andre Ward Adjusted, Fought Well - Kovalev Also Faded Joseph Adorno Pumped After Signing Deal With Top Rank Photos: Jorge Paez, Johnny Navarrete Ready For Los Mochis Scrap Photos: Mario Barrios Putting in Work For Ring Return Charles Conwell, 2016 United States Olympian, Turns Pro Roach: Gassiev is Dangerous Early - We'll Take Him Deep, Stop Him David Rodriguez Autobiography Generating Positive Press Deontay Wilder: Joshua vs. Molina Winner Will Eventually See Me Denis Shafikov Edges Richard Commey In Title Eliminator
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement