Local spotlight shines Thursday
By PETER LIM
Former heavyweight contender Lou Savarese promotes his fourth pro boxing event at the Houston Club, 811 Rusk, Thursday nighton July 22. Since the sport debuted at the Downtown venue last September, it has become a regular platform for budding local prizefighters to showcase their skills and pad their records.
The latest card features junior welterweight Tiffany Junot, 8-2-1 (5 KOs), heavyweight Skip Scott from Cy-Fair, 7-1 (4 KOs), heavyweight Steve Collins, 22-1 (15 KOs), cruiserweight Willie Dynamite" Edwards, 8-1 (2 KOs), junior welterweight Ivan Otero, 1-0 (1 KO), and super middleweight Vashon Living, 1-1 (1 KO). At press time, opponents had yet to be determined.
It will be Junot's second consecutive fight at the Houston Club in less than three months since outpointing Kita Watkins, 5-5 (1 KO) over eight rounds in April. Junot said she will continue to maintain a demanding fight schedule, raise her profile and secure a world title fight in the coming months.
I have a good training camp, so I'm always in shape and ready to jump in there quickly," Junot said. In the next year, I'd definitely like to step up the level of my competition and be in line for a recognized world title. Once I get over 10 wins, I don't think that will be too much of a problem."
A native of New Orleans, Junot, 31, began boxing in 2002 and quickly made a mark in the sport by earning a spot on the US National Team while accumulating a 40-4 amateur record. After turning pro in 2006, she relocated to Houston, a reputed and prolific spawning ground for aspiring pugilists.
At this point, it's been seven years of working very hard and proving myself," Junot said. I just have to keep reminding myself of my vision to be the best that I can be and not let other people force me in any direction away from my game plan."
Admittedly her own worst critic, Junot said she is never satisfied with her performance immediately after a fight, especially since her opposition thus far has been less than stellar. She meticulously scrutinizes tapes of her fights to iron out the flaws, knowing she will need to raise the bar once she steps onto the world stage and faces the likes of WIBA titleholder Holly Holm, 27-1-3 (7 KOs), of Albuquerque.
I definitely have high standards," Junot said. It gets me right back in the gym to tighten those things that I fall short on before I get in the ring with a Holly Holm or any other world titleholder."
Scott, like Junot, last fought at Houston Club in April, and his bout on Thursday will be his fourth this year. A former kick-boxer, Scott, 32, got a late start in boxing due to an injury sustained in a pick-up basketball game, but intends to make up for lost time by embarking on a hyper-hectic fight schedule.
Our goal is to get six to eight fights this year," Scott said. I've been on every show at the Houston Club this year and I'm getting a good fan base there, but I'll be fighting in other cities as well as Louisiana to get my name out there and build my career."
Although most professional boxers with 7-1 records are typically 10 years his junior, Scott refuses to view his age as a major obstacle to his goal of winning the most cherished prize in boxing, since heavyweights tend to peak at a later age. He cites brothers Vitali and Vladimir Klitschko, 38- and 34-year-old brothers from the Ukraine who currently hold three of the four major heavyweight belts, as prime examples.
I'm a young 32 because I haven't taken much punishment and I've kept myself in good shape," Scott said. If I can get the title when I'm 34 or 35 and then hold it for a few years, that'll be great."
As an up-and-coming heavyweight, Scott said there could not be at a better training facility than the Main Boxing Gym since it is rife with sparring partners with diverse styles the likes of Eugene Hill, 22-1 (16 KOs), Steve Collins, 22-1 (15 KOs), Nagy Aguilera, 16-3 (11 KOs) and Justin Jones, 8-0-1 (5 KOs). Even retired 45-year-old Savarese, 46-7 (38 KOs), periodically dusts off his gloves to spar with the younger generation.
Standing at 6-8, Scott towers over all of them.
I'm a tall fighter so I have to learn to use distance," Scott said. If I can control a fight with my jab, I'm going to be a fighter that's real tough to beat."
Both Junot and Scott are co-trained by Aaron Navarro and Bobby Benton.