It’s my time says McKenzie
PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 October 2015
‘Upsetter’ chasing world glory
Ovill McKenzie sat at the Wembley ringside on Saturday and predicted he would come back to Canning Town’s Peacock gym from Argentina this weekend as the IBF world cruiserweight champion.
McKenzie promised to live up to his nickname “The Upsetter” in Bueno Aires on Friday when he steps in as a substitute to challenge champion Victor Ramirez.
Having seen super-middleweight Frank Buglioni’s unsuccessful bid to take the WBA belt from Russia’s Fedor Chudinov, McKenzie vowed he would succeed six nights later.
It is a dream world title shot for the 35-year-old from Jamaica, who has been a professional for over 15 years, and is the current British, Commonwealth and WBA Continental cruiserweight champion.
With 25 wins and 12 losses to his name, McKenzie admits he struggled when he moved away from the east London gym to train in the Midlands.
But he stresses that his return to the Peacock and the guidance of Martin Bowers has seen him produce the explosive form which has brought the world title chance.
The one-time ring journeyman has sparkled in his last four fights, winning three by knockout, and has beaten Janne Forsman, Matty Askin, Jon-Lewis Dickinson and Tony Conquest.
McKenzie knows he is up against it in Ramirez’s backyard and is not underestimating the 31-year-old who has faced and defeated top-flight cruiserweights.
“This is as unbelievable chance that I won’t get again so I will give it everything I’ve got,” he said.
“I’ve been a pro for 15 years and I’ve never had it easy. I’ve not moaned about it and just kept training and fighting with the belief one day I would get a world title shot, well that day is here.
“I have had short notice fights all my life so this is no different for me. I am fit and ready and believe in my heart I can win.”
McKenzie thanks promoter Frank Warren, along with Bowers, for his big chance and the fight will be screened live and exclusive on the BoxNation TV channel.
Bowers headed the Peacock team that flew out on Tuesday and said: “It’s a chance that Ovill has been dreaming of. He’s a great guy and everyone who knows him hopes he will bring that title back.”
Buglioni, meanwhile, offered no excuses for his defeat against Chudinov, saying: “I was beaten by a better man on the night, but I will come back an improved fighter.”
The former Repton amateur put up a brave battle, but the classy champion dominated the action and landed sharp, effective shots in every round.
Buglioni managed to floor the champion at the end of the sixth round, but had two points deducted for a punch after the bell.
The challenger, backed by his usual army of fans, stubbornly survived until the final bell, but lost a one-sided decision 120-106, 118-108, and 117-109.
There was better luck for another ex-Repton amateur on the show as Peacock gym light-middleweight Ahmet Patterson stopped Georgian Giorgi Ungiadze in eight rounds.
Patterson floored his rival in the opening session and impressed as he dominated the action on his way to his 16th straight victory.
Romeo Romaeo was another Peacock fighter in winning form at Wembley, but he had to battle to keep his unbeaten record against tough Plymouth rival Chris Adaway.
Romaeo landed the sharper shots, but he was tested by the Devon fighter with just a single point separating the pair at the end of the eight rounds.
Also winning by a single point was former West Ham amateur lightweight Eddie Hussein, who beat Leicester campaigner Alex Phillips to make it seven unbeaten fights as a pro.
Hussein landed more accurate punches of the two, but was deducted a point when his body punching was ruled too low.
*Local entries weighed in at the West Ham BC gym this week for the start of the England Senior Developement title trail.
The novices championships open with preliminary round bouts today (Thursday) and the NE London finals take place the next day – at the Waltham Forest gym or possibly Friday’s Repton BC show at the East Ham WMC.
The chase continues with London semi-finals on Saturday and finals on Sunday – both at the TA Centre, Baring Road, Grove Park, Lewisham.