By: Rich Quiñones
Less then 24 hours after dispatching Venroy July thanks to a vicious 2nd-round KO win Friday night in Fort Washington, Maryland, Philadelphia’s Anthony Ferrante was already thinking about getting back in the ring.
Meanwhile, Ferrante’s brash and outspoken manager/trainer Mike Cassell has engaged in a social media war with U.S. cruiserweight contender and current NBC Sports boxing analyst B.J. Flores.
Ferrante will not have to wait any longer, but it will not be against Flores. Instead he will take on Alex Guerrero for the NABA crusierweight title November 21st in Wilmington, Delaware.
Ferrante, who is coming off the best win of his career, made it know he would love to fight in December if not sooner.
As recently as Tuesday, there was a potential bout on the horizon against Guerrero as both camps were negoatiating the purse and then on Wednesday afternoon the bout was confirmed to “Against The Ropes host Rich Quinones.
“I’m coming off a big win this past Friday,” said Ferrante exclusively. “I trained very hard for that fight and now it’s a few days later and I am set up with the make it or break it fight in my career.”
The fight will be promoted by Dave “TNT” Tiberi’s Champs Management group, which actually signed Ferrante’s opponent back in May after he earned a six-round unanimous decision over Kamarah Pasley.
The most likely venue will be the Chase Center at the Riverfront, which held the inaugaural “Champs at the Chase” Fight night May of 2013.
A former IBC Super Middleweight champ, Tiberi has done a great job giving Delaware boxers exposure and figures to be a major player on the local club scene for years to come.
“I had the opportunity to follow Alex Guerrero over a number of fights,” said Tiberi at the time of the signing. “His desire to win is second to none,” he added.
Ferrante echoes Tiberi’s sentiment and knows Guerrero is no push over.
“Alex Guerrero is an undefeated figther, so I have a tough fight in front of me. I took the weekend off to relax and recover from training. I am in the gym now preparing for this fight.”
The bout against Ferrante (13-6, 8 Ko’s) is interesting, because Guerrero can bang and also box, but Ferrante is the stronger fighter and has more power behind him as evident of him making quick work of an over matched July.
The 33-year-old Guerrero (11-0, 5 Ko’s) resides in Salisbury, Maryland and his younger brother Fernando is an active middleweight.
Moments after defeating July, Ferrante insuiated that he would love to take a fight against Flores, who got into a heated social media exchange this week with Cassell.
“I do not get involved in that kind of stuff, I am just going to continue to train hard. All I said is that it would be a good fight, and he went off on me,” said Ferrante earlier in the week.
Ferrante declined to further discuss the issue but Cassell, who has seen it all in boxing, took it from there and did not hold back any punches.
“All my fighter Ferrante did was said he would like a shot at Flores,” Cassell said exclusively Monday. “He didn’t say anything negative, in fact it was a compliment. Then Flores starts spewing all this vile shit saying he would call Tony if he needed a quick KO. Called him a below average club figther, who lost to bums. Flores isn’t a nice guy like he pretends to be. He is a real piece of shit, and you can quote me.”
The 35-year-old Flores (35-1-1, 20 Ko’s) is fresh off a 3rd-round TKO win over Kevin Engel on October 8th. Flores was dropped in the opening round but regrouped and composed himself in the second to dominate Engel, who had dropped five straight and eight of 10 before being unable to continue in the third.
“The reality is Flores is infamous for offering guys fights on two weeks notice,” a fired-up Cassell added.
Engel gained over 15 pounds to go over 190 pounds as a cruiserweight against Flores, who weighed in at over 203 pounds as a heavyweight. The fight went off anyway despite the weight disparity.
“He is a fraud and a coward. He would never fight guys like Ferrante or Garrett Wilson. He ran from Danny Green and got his ass beat, and the same would happen with any real competition.”
Flores’ only setback of his career was when he lost an unanimous 12-round decision against Green for the IBO World crusierweight title in 2001.
Flores, who has flourished as his role as boxing analysis for NBC Sports, has gone on record saying he would like to fight the winner of Tony Bellew/Nathan Cleverly, which is set for November 22nd in the UK.
So the arguement could be made what does Flores have to gain by fighting Ferrante?
“The only real ranked contender Flores fought was Anthony Caputo and he dissed him calling him a below average club figther,” said Cassell. “He (Flores) then proceeded to post Anthony Ferrante’s record on a public facebook page.”
Flores is a very talented fighter, who has had some back luck in his career due to promotional problems that have stalled his career growth on several occasions. However, he signed with Al Haymon in April and has been very active, stepping inside the ring three times since then and remains sharp and an astute on-air commentator.
“No comment for him. He is a 13-6 club figther,” Flores’ said via email when pressed about the thought of a bout against Ferrante.
That being said a win for Ferrante against Guerrero would continue his climb up the ranks in a wide open U.S. crusierweight division, perhaps giving him the momentum that has stalled after his win against Isa Akberayev two years ago was ruled a no contest.
A subsequent suspension by the New York State Boxing Commission for a failed drug test followed.
Ferrante took the fight on 21 days’ notice back in 2012 and he was not given much of a chance to win by anyone.
He subsequently went into Madison Square Garden and promptly broke down a an undefeated boxer with well over 300 amateur fights.
However, after the fight he received a call from the New York State Boxing Commission that he failed his drug test for two injectable steroids.
After being suspended for a year, Ferrante got back into the ring to square off against Anthony Caputo-Smith for the USA Pennsylvania Cruiserweight Title and suffered a controversial split-decision loss.
He followed that up with a less than inspiring fight against journeyman Pedro Martinez. After the bout it was made public that Ferrante was hospitalized 20 days before the Anthony Caputo-Smith fight with bi-lateral pneumonia and he didn’t take any time off when the Pedro fight came.
He entered the bout with a 103 fever from the pneumonia returning and lost an ugly fight.
That was then and this is now and this will be another make or break fight for Ferrante, who understands what is at stake and seems to relish his second life in boxing.
“I am coming home with the NABA title,” he concluded.
Rich Quiñones is an award winning broadcaster and journalist. He is the lead blow-by-blow Boxing voice for GFL.tv and Go Fight Live’s Boxing on Comcast as well as Joe Hand’s “Tuesday Night Fights” Boxing Series in Philadelphia. He has sat ringside calling the action with Monte Barrett, Brian Adams, Amir Mansour, Danny Garcia, James Kirkland, Mark Breland, Ronnie Shields, Teddy Atlas and Lou DiBella, while broadcasting over 250 bouts for GFL in 2013-present. He also called the 87 Annual New York Daily Golden Gloves tournament and was ringside calling the action for the first-ever all-female Pro card in North American history in Gatineau, Canada.
Rich is also a contributor to Ringnews24.com, Hub Pages, Examiner and BoxingLet’sTalk.com and he has also handled calling the action for Muay Thai and is exclusive lead blow-by-blow voice for CFFC MMA.