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Wach and McBride Set for Heavyweight Clash on July 29


BOSTON – When Wladimir Klitschko fought David Haye earlier this month, the matchup of a large heavyweight and a small heavyweight produced a rather lackluster fight.
 
Promoter Jimmy Burchfield is hoping that the main event of his July 29 card at Mohegan Sun, which pits two large heavyweights against each other, will produce the fireworks the Klitschko-Haye bout lacked.
 
Undefeated Polish heavyweight Mariusz Wach, who stands 6’ 8” and weighed 245 pounds for his last fight, will face the 6’6”, 285-pound Kevin McBride with the vacant World Boxing Council International title at stake.

For McBride, 35-9-1 (29), it will be the second straight Polish fighter he has faced. In April, he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titleholder Tomasz Adamek.
 
“After I fought Adamek, I was dizzy for two weeks,” said McBride at a press conference on Thursday at The Greatest Bar, located across the street from the TD Bank Garden. “I couldn’t catch him. Wach is not as quick but he’s coming to fight and I’m coming to fight.”
 
Wach, 24-0 (12), moved to the United States about four months ago. He lives in North Bergen, N.J., where he trains with Juan DeLeon and DeLeon’s brother, former cruiserweight champion Carlos DeLeon. The 31-year-old had 90 amateur fights and was a two-time Polish national champion who represented his country in the European championships and the 2000 Olympics.
 
Wach is co-promoted by Mariusz Kolodziej’s Global Boxing. Last November, he fought on a Burchfield promotion in Lincoln, R.I., stopping Galen Brown in four rounds.
 
“I’ve seen [McBride] fight five or six times,” Wach said. “I’ve been working hard to prepare for this. It will be an important fight and the start of a great career.”
 
DeLeon, who has been working with Wach for the last eight weeks, said he is more fluid and athletic than a typical Eastern European fighter.
 
“The first thing is his footwork,” Juan DeLeon said. “For someone so big, it’s very good. He has footwork and movement and he can do everything. We’re trying to get him to fight like a lightweight and he’s been very dedicated.”
 
DeLeon said Wach goes through two or three workouts a day, also working with Manuel Garcia Pensa on conditioning and Martin Machula on strength.
 
McBride is now 38 years old. He’s best known for his 2005 sixth-round stoppage of Mike Tyson but since that fight, he’s lost five of his last seven but still feels he has something left.
 
“He’s 24-0 and he has to prove himself,” said McBride, a native of Ireland who lives in Dorchester, Mass. “I’ve got what it takes to try to get to the next level.”
 
Said Classic Entertainment and Sports matchmaker Rich Cappiello, “I know on any given night, Kevin can knock anyone out.”
 
The co-feature will be an all-Connecticut battle between New Haven’s Elvin Ayala, 23-5-1 (11), and Hartford’s Israel “Pito” Cardona, 36-10 (28), for the vacant WBC-USNBC middleweight title.
 
While Ayala has fought most of his career at middleweight, challenging for Arthur Abraham’s International Boxing Federation title in 2008, the 36-year-old Cardona started out as a junior lightweight and had his best years at 135 and 140 pounds, fighting Paul Spadafora for the IBF lightweight title in 1999. In recent years, Cardona has fought at 147 and 154.
 
The heavier weight is more to Cardona’s liking, however.
 
“The last few fights, I was training to lose weight,” Cardona said. “Now I’m training to fight and I don’t have to worry about my weight as much. I’m eating and that’s great.”
 
Cardona began his professional career in 1993. He knows it’s almost time to get on with his life but he still feels he can accomplish some things in boxing.
 
“I have a few fights left then I’m done,” he said. “I started with Jimmy Burchfield and [manager/trainer] Jimbo Isperduli and I’m finishing with them.”
 
Former World Boxing Association welterweight and junior middleweight champion Jose Antonio Rivera is also on the card in an eight-round bout against an opponent to be named later. Rivera, 40-6-1 (24), returned to the ring in May after a two-year hiatus and won an eight-round unanimous decision over Luis Maysonet.
 
“I’m trying to keep the ball rolling,” Rivera said. “I fought in May and now in July. The goal is to fight for a world title sometime next year.”
 
There are currently 11 bouts scheduled on the card. Another familiar name who will be fighting is junior middleweight Jeff Fraza of Haverhill, Mass., who fought on the second season of “The Contender.” Fraza’s first fight in five years will be against Eddie Soto of Pawtucket, R.I. Fraza is 17-3 (10) and Soto is 12-2 (4).
 
You can contact Stephen at sg.tobey2@comcat.net


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