Napolitano still waiting for next fight
Antonio Napolitano was looking forward to his first battle in the ring since recording a knockout victory over Kenny Chery on Nov. 23, 2019 in Niagara Falls.
But the 27-year-old member of the St. Catharines Boxing Club will now have to wait even longer after his April 24 fight on pay per view in Vancouver, B.C., against Winnipeg boxer Codey Hanna was cancelled when Hanna lost the Battle of the Bulge.
The two agreed to fight at 172 pounds but Napolitano was told that Hanna weighed in at 190 pounds the night before the weigh-in, raising the ire of the fight’s promoter.
“The promoter freaked on him because he was so overweight but even at 190 he could have cut 10 to 12 pounds of water overnight and then he would have only been eight or 10 pounds over and the fight still could have happened,” Napolitano said. “The guy must have thought that because the promoter freaked out the fight was automatically off.
“The next day at weigh-in, the guy walked in with a swinging gut and I thought right away ‘Holy smokes. There is no way that guy is 172.’ He stepped on the scale and he weighed 210 pounds.”
The St. Catharines native was understandably upset after he took extra measures and weighed in with all his clothes on to tip the scales at 180 pounds.
“Obviously it was an emotional rollercoaster. I thought, ‘What the hell?’ I had worked two months for it and trained hard every day. When you are training hard you spend time away from your children and I had sparred so hard for this fight,” Napolitano said. “I have been through a lot for it and it was his fault. There was a lot of anger there and then because I was expecting a fight. I knew with him being 210 there was not going to be a fight and there wasn’t a replacement.
In the heat of the moment, Napolitano forgot the rule that if you weigh-in under contract, you automatically get paid.
“I assumed there was no money involved so you have probably seen the video where I went after him. I wasn’t leaving without his phone and his wallet because my coaches and I had come out there, spent the money on hotels, flights training and equipment,” he said. “The guy smirked at me and I told him to either get his fat ass on a treadmill and run to make the damn weight or see me outside because I am fighting you either inside the ring or outside the ring. I told him to give me his phone and wallet. People held me back but I caused a bit of a ruckus, a bit of a rampage.”
In a video at the weigh-in, Napolitano’s anger was evident.
“There’s no way I was just going to let him get away with it and not kick up a stink. That is not who I am if someone rips you off and laughs at you after two months of training and I missed my daughter’s birthday to come for the fight. That was the biggest thing that set me off.”
Napolitano said he would react the same way again and had no regrets.
“Everyone commended me and a lot of respectable coaches walked up to shake my hand and congratulate me on how I handled it. Not one person said anything negative about how I acted,” he said. “They told me I flipped out but I didn’t lose self control. I wasn’t flipping chairs, taking chunks out of people’s necks or biting off ears. And believe me, I can get like that.”
He flew home from Vancouver Monday night and is not sure what comes next in his boxing career.
“I am always training and I am always in shape so that is not going to stop. As far as fights go, I have absolutely no idea and I don’t even want to think about it because is so demoralizing when you work so hard for something and it just doesn’t happen.
The former national senior silver medalist, who signed with Three Lions Promotions in January 2020, has a pro record of 5-0 with three knockouts.
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