By: Rich Quiñones (Ringside Commentator)
When Venroy July steps into the ring Friday night to take on Anthony Ferrante he will not only be looking to continue his climb up the crusierweight division, but also silence Ferrante in the process.
The slated eight-round affair will be the co-main feature on a stacked card promoted by Keystone Boxing at the Rosecroft Raceway, in Fort Washington Maryland.
July (16-1-3, 6 Ko’s) is coming off an eight-round draw against a tough Quantis Graves back in April. The fight was ugly from the onset, but July is not one to make excuses especially against a talented boxer like Graves.
“He (Graves) made it an ugly fight,” said July exclusively to On “Q” Sports. “He told me he had to make it an ugly fight. He was tough, he fought Wilder in the trials, and he is a skillful fighter. There are no excuses.”
The soft-spoken July has had a very solid career, which has had it shares of ups and downs and he has handled adversity with class and dignity, but along the way realized boxing can be a very humbling sport.
When he suffered a devastating TKO loss to Elvin Sanchez back in February of 2013 most people did not even realize the adversity and challenges he was facing prior to that fight, let alone the fact he was really fighting with a heavy heart.
“When you are a fighter and you are struggling to get recognition, sometimes you just take a fight, ” he added. “My father had just passed and we went to Jamaica to bury him, then fly back and I was told I had the fight and it was in three weeks. Golden Boy was going to be in the crowd and some other top guys in boxing. I was not as prepared as I should have been and I got caught. I felt very confident that he (Sanchez) should not have been in the ring with me. I was over confident, but my mind was not where it needed to be, my psyche was not where it needed to be, with my father passing and I was just not mentally prepared. It happens.”
Against Sanchez, July took the first two rounds, but Sanchez was able to get inside, working the body and dropping the native of St Catherine, Jamaica with a gorgeous right hook to the head. July was able to get back on his feet, but his legs were shaky, prompting Malik Waleed to halt the action at 2:55 of the round.
The loss was tough to deal with and made July realize it is hard to get back to where you were before suffering a loss like that.
“I feel like it was going to be harder to get back up to where I was, but I am strong and I knew what I had to do.”
All the 31-year-old southpaw did was reel off three straight wins in impressive fashion, dismantling gritty Rayford Johnson, tough Joell Godfrey and talented Serbian prospect Sevdail Sherifi before the draw against Graves.
Now he preps for the always outspoken Ferrante who has dealt with his own adversity in the ring, but to some, it has been most self-inflicted. The always confident and brash Ferrante (12-6, 7 Ko’s) went on record predicting he would stop July. “I’m so excited to get back in the ring,” said Ferrante exclusively to On “Q” Sports last week. “Where this guy is ranked, after I knock him (July) out it will put me right back in the mix.”
The comments and prediction do not faze July at all.
“Some people in boxing have to talk to build it up and look I am fighting these guys and he (Ferrante) can talk as much as he wants,” July said. “I do not need to. I do not need to talk. We will figure it out when he sees me, he will deal with it then.”
A win would give July some good momentum as he closes out the year, but a dominating performance will position himself nicely going forward in a U.S. cruiserweight division that is wide open.
“Clearly, the reality is without the Sanchez loss I would be far ahead, that loss set me back,” he said. “I always knew that I did not have an ammy record and I started later. I was 27 when I turned pro. But the cruiserweight division is not really filled with big names, those guys are abroad. I look at guys that take easy fights and then they step up and take fights and they panic. I know I am better then them. My level of competition has prepared me to fight these guys, I sparred with Steve Cunningham as he prepared to take on Amir Mansour back in April. I feel I will be able to adjust against guys with different styles.”
A win on Friday would not only silent Ferrante but also July’s critics. However, July sees bigger paydays and opportunities ahead.
“I want to get another fight in December, we are going for a regional belt after December. It is interesting to see what people have tried to do to me in this sport, everyone in boxing thinks they are the smartest person in the world, and trying to get one over on you or pull you away from your team and the reality is I understand how this works and I interact with people who try to outsmart you on a daily basis.”
Spoken just like an educated lawyer, which July is.
“The fact is whatever I do, the people, who stuck with me will get the payoff. My career has not moved as fast as I would have liked it to, but I did it my way and I am confident I will get there.”
It starts Friday against a boxer in Ferrante who has talked more of late then box.
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. 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 200 bouts for GFL in 2013-2014.
He called the 87th Annual New York Daily News Golden Gloves Finals in April, 2014 for Broadway Boxing, and recently called the first ever all-female pro card in North American history in Canada.
Rich is also the lead blow-by-blow voice for Joe Hand’s “Tuesday Night Fights” Boxing series in Philadelphia and created “Against The Ropes” on his sponsored Youtube channel.
Rich is also a contributor to Ringnews24.com and Boxing Let’s Talk. He has also handled calling the action for “Take On” Muay Thai and is exclusive lead blow-by-blow voice for CFFC MMA.