By Ezio Prapotnich
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Behind it is another dimension, a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You just crossed into... No, not the Twilight Zone... It’s the WBA...
Italy-based Cuban, Fernandes “Brunet” Zamora, is currently ranked as the WBA's number 2 light welterweight in the world and Inter-continental Champion. After a blazing amateur career, where he beat the likes of current IBF champion Jan Zaveck and former British champions Lenny Daws and Barry Morrison, not to mention losing a 43-35 decision to Marcos Maidana, he turned pro in 2005, conquered the WBA Inter-continental belt in 2008 and patiently climbed the ladder.
After being ranked number 2, with the first position vacant, for a year, he just saw his overdue chance of a title shot disappear when a proposed Interim match with former European champion Paul McCloskey fell through. In a recent interview to Irish-boxing.com, the former Khan victim declared he wanted Zamora but, unluckily, the Cuban had injured his hand in his last TKO win and could not fight. “Brunet” has a different story to tell.
Q: How did the proposed deal to fight McCloskey come along?
A: He was promised by the WBA an interim match to decide who would occupy the then vacant number 1 position in the ranking and his first choice of opponent was no.3 Alberto Mosquero, but I was designated as mandatory co-challenger by the sanctioning body, so we were approached by his camp and negotiations started.
Q: What went wrong, then?
A: With the publication of June rankings, Humberto Soto was installed at number 1. Therefore, I reckon they saw a match with me as a risk without rewards. Prescott, who still has the reputation of being the only man to beat Khan but has been beaten twice in his last 5 bouts, is a bigger name, but he and McCloskey are respectively number 5 and 6. The only thing the winner can hope to get out of this is a pint of Guinness at the pub after the match.
Q; When and with what justification were you told the match was off?
A: I was told at 8 pm of the day before the official announcement. They claimed Prescott was cheaper than me. My purse was going to be 25.000 euros. I guess Prescott must really be fighting for a pint, then.
Q: What about the rumour that you injured your hand?
A: That’s a pathetic excuse. I had already started training.
Q: How do you feel about this?
A: How do you expect me to feel? I am 36 years old and I am not getting any younger. I have a wife and three daughters, I work every day from 7 to 15 as a gardener so I can support them and on top of that I train. I am unbeaten, I have been in the top ten for years, finally I seem to get a break and instead they pick a lightweight who did nothing in his career to justify his position but knocking Khan out with a lucky punch. But I blame McCLoskey for this, not Prescott.
Q: Would you like to send a message to him directly?
A: Paul, you will always be behind me in the ranks and you will be beneath me, on the canvas, if you ever face me. I can get very cheap flights to Belfast with Ryan Air. Just call me and I will fight you for free.