Caparello Plans To Make A Statement On U.S. Television Debut
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Caparello Plans To Make A Statement On U.S. Television Debut
By Anthony Cocks (Doghouse Editor), Doghouse Boxing (Jan 31, 2014)

Blake Caparello
All Photos © Werner Kalin, Doghouse Boxing
Doghouse Boxing Exclusive - When undefeated Australian light heavyweight Blake Caparello 18-0-1 (6) makes his Stateside debut against veteran former world title challenger Elvir Muriqi 45-5 (24) at Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange, New Jersey this Friday night on ESPN2, he will be doing so without his regular trainer Sam Labruna in his corner.

“Sam had a few technical issues with the visas, I’m not exactly sure what the go is,” explained Caparello to Doghouse Boxing the day before flying out of Australia. “I think the late notice as well didn’t help.”

In Labruna’s absence, another well-credentialed trainer in Lou Korica will be taking the lead role in the corner.

“We’ve got a good relationship with Lou Korica, he’s an excellent trainer as well,” said Caparello. “He’s been there all through training camp, he’s been there for all my sparring sessions, and he’s taken the head role in every sparring session as well. Sam’s happy flying Lou over and I’m happy with Lou coming over as well.”

While the Muriqi fight represents a great opportunity to break into the U.S. market, it’s certainly not the first time Caparello has made a step up in class. In fact, he’s made a career out of it.

In his 19 professional fights, Caparello has been kept busy and has been moved along quickly. In 2012 he gave hard-headed and heavy-handed Kiwi Robert ‘The Butcher’ Berridge his first and only loss, comfortably defeated Aaron Pryor Jr on points, and in October last year scored a wide points victory over two-time world title challenger Allan Green (Pictured below).

At 27 years old, the lanky left-hander is at his physical prime and will take a three inch height advantage into the ring with him against an opponent who has more knockouts than he has had pro fights. On the other side of the ledger, Muriqi has shown himself to be adept at handling southpaws and is perhaps best known for losing a disputed majority decision to another rangy lefty in Antonio Tarver back in 2007.

“Muriqi is solid, he’s very strong,” says Caparello. “He does the right things against a southpaw, he steps out with his right hand. I just think that in his fight against Tarver, Tarver didn’t control the distance well, which I can do. But if he wants to come in close, we can fight in close. It will just come down to the angles, which I think will trouble him. We’ve been working hard on all that kind of stuff.”

Blake Caparello vs. Allan Green Despite the offer to fill in for Zsolt Erdei, who pulled out of the Muriqi fight citing personal issues, coming around News Years Eve, the timing couldn’t have been better for Caparello who had just returned from a month long training camp in the USA.

“I was actually in Vegas helping Jean Pascal preparing for Lucien Bute for a month from mid-November to mid-December,” said Caparello. “So once we got back we just kept fit because we didn’t know what was around the corner and luckily within a week or two weeks this fight came up. We found David Aloua, David has been staying in Melbourne and we’ve been getting in quality work.”

Caparello’s relationship with Labruna dates back to his amateur days, when it was determined early on that Caparello was destined for the pros.

“I only had 9 amateurs, I think we won the intermediate Victorian title,” says Caparello. “We always sort of trained for the professional ranks. Sam said what’s your goal and my goal had always been to be a pro. So we started training like the pros, always doing 4x3s and built up from there. You obviously need the experience of the crowds, the ring experience, so we did the amateur thing and went on from there.

“Sam and I have got a really, really good relationship. It’s like his own son is in the ring, so I know he’s looking after me. We’re like family. Outside the ring we’re close mates. Once its work time, he’s the trainer and I’m the fighter and I just keep learning. We mark ourselves very harshly, we’re never happy. I mean we’re happy we’re winning, we’re doing the job, we’re looking good and we’re always improving, but you can always do better. ”

An impressive victory away from home should make both Caparello and Labruna happy.

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