On October 25 in Milan, Italy, Opi Since 82, Matchroom Boxing Italy and DAZN will promote a major event at Allianz Cloud (5,300 seats). European lightweight champion Francesco Patera (22-3 with 8 KOs) will defend against Italian lightweight champion Domenico Valentino (8-0 with 1 KO) over the 12 rounds distance.
Born in Belgium from Italian parents, Francesco Patera said that he is sure to win: “I know Domenico Valentino’s style very well as I saw him competing as an amateur and I also saw on You Tube some of his professional fights. He is a great technician and moves a lot, but I am faster and more explosive. I’m sure to beat him and keep my belt on October 25.”
Domenico Valentino is not impressed by Patera’s words. Valentino had a very long career as an amateur as he competed in 3 Olympics and became world lightweight champion in September 2009 in Milan defeating in the final Jose Pedraza who went on to become IBF/IBO world super featherweight champion and WBO world lightweight champion.
Domenico, what’s your answer to Francesco Patera?
“We have a similar fighting style. I always said that he is my photocopy. Does he thinks to be more explosive than me? We’ll see on October 25. Every fight is a different story. Maybe in Milan I will be the explosive one. I was at Allianz Cloud last June 28 when Patera defeated Paul Hyland by TKO 6. That night I rooted for Patera. At the press conference, I will ask him to do a selfie.”
When your manager told you that you would have challenged Patera for the Euro belt?
“Last August and I got emotional. I couldn’t let this opportunity go away. Fighting for the European lightweight championship after only 8 professional fights is incredible. I am hungry, I want to win fights and titles and I hope that this will make the difference on October 25.”
Tell us about your training.
“I’m training twice a day: in the early morning I run for 1 hour, maybe 1 hour and 10 minutes. In the evening I go to the gym. I work as a police officer in Napoli, 25 km from my town of Marcianise. My job as a police office has the priority. In my free time, I train for my boxing career. I give 100% both on the job and in boxing.”
Did you have any boxing idols?
“The first one was Oscar De La Hoya, then Olympic super heavyweight champion Roberto Cammarelle, today is Vasyl Lomachenko. I fought Lomachenko twice. The first one as an amateur and the fight was almost even. The second time as a semi-pro on the five rounds distance in the World Series of Boxing. I must recognize that I was no match for Lomachenko the second time. He is an alien from another planet. Against him a fighter must be at his best to win a few rounds.”
You became amateur world champion beating in the final Jose Pedraza who became world champion as a pro in two weight divisions. Did you beat another famous name?
“Josh Taylor, who became IBF world super lightweight champion. I beat him 3 times, once at the Olympics in London. I’m still in contact with Josh. I like to keep good relationships with all the fighters. You’ll never hear me talking trash about another fighter. This is my 20th anniversary in boxing. As an amateur I had 280, maybe 290 fights. I plan to have many pro fights in the future.”