Naim Terbunja vs Jason Escalera on ESPN FNF
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights and Star Boxing’s Special Feature This Friday July 18th At The Paramount Theater, Huntington, Long Island!
Naim “The Albanian Warrior” Terbunja is a 29 year old boxer born in Pristina, Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia. Moving to Linkoping, Sweden as a young boy Terbunja following his older brother into boxing joined the Swedish junior national team in 1998. Terbunja wins all boxing titles in the Sweden for juniors and he continue boxing career with 17 years in the senior competition.. He always was in the top team of national team of Sweden . turning to boxing quickly excelled winning numerous junior, intermediate and open titles, twelve Swedish Championships and represented Sweden in the 2008 Olympics losing to undefeated WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight Champion Russian Matt Korobov.
Travelling to New York in 2009 teaming up with Atlantic Veteran’s Memorial Boxing coach Mike Murphy, Terbunja to won the 2009 NY City Golden Gloves 165lbs open division going onto claim a 2009 National Golden Gloves title in Salt Lake City, winning five bouts in seven days and defeating Wisconsin’s Luis Arias the top ranked fighter in the country at the time.
Signing with boxing’s powerful manager / advisor Al Haymon in 2011, “The Albanian Warrior” returned to Sweden do to visa problems which kept him waiting close to two years finally making his super middleweight pro debut April 26th 2012 at the Cloetta Center, Linkoping, Sweden on the undercard of Frida Wallberg / Amanda Serrano WBC Female Super Featherweight Championship card winning a one sided 40-36 times three shutout unanimous decision over Vladimir Spasojevic.
Terbunja with continuing visa problems fought four more times in Sweden running his record to 5-0 against advanced competition. With visa problems cleared “The Albanian Warrior” finally made his US debut in March winning a six round unanimous decision blanking Maurice Amaro at the Five Star Banquet, Queens, New York at on the undercard of the Sonya Lamonakis vs Tiffany Woodard vacant New York State Female Heavyweight Championship.
Looking to stay busy Terbunja would return to Sweden where fighting Bartlomiej Grafka and the flu Niam wouldn’t be denied winning his seventh straight victory. With wins over Vladimir Spasojevic, Marijan Markovic, Kirill Psonko, Srdjan Mihajlovic, Maurice Amaro and Bartlomiej Grafka in the rear view mirror Terbunja returns to action this Friday, July 18th when he faces his toughest test to date in Union City, New Jersey’s heavy handed Jason “Monstruo” Escalera, 13-2-1, 12Ko’s on the undercard of ESPN Friday Night Fight’s and Star Boxing’s “Rockin Fights 14″ card headlining Karim Mayfield vs Emmanuel Taylor at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York.
Meeting Terbunja after a sparring session in which I witnessed, “The Albanian Warrior” man handle a top local light heavyweight I was greeted with a warm smile and a cheerful hello. The congenial fighter was very open and willing to discuss his up and coming fight, repeatedly saying he was very prepared and happy to be joining the Joe Deguardia’s fighting family at Star Boxing.
When asked specifics he responded “I’m in great shape and have been doing a lot sparring which will end today as I cool down for the fight.”
I then asked Niam about his visa problems to which he sharply replied “That’s all behind me, its time for me to see how far I can go here in boxing.”
I then asked him about his lack of knockouts and he was quick to answer: “That’s mostly from me fighting up early on and having to take fights against bigger fighters. Niam was quick to add he feels he hits hard but through experience knows winning is the important thing and they will come as he moves on.
When asked about if he was doing anything special in training for this fight he said that coach Mike Murphy and coach Dan Rhodes have him in great shape and they were just doing some fine tuning as he looks forward to impress in his Star Boxing debut.
When talking to coach Murphy about “The Albanian Warrior” it is easy to see the enthusiasm and talent Naim brings to the table. A highly encouraged coach Murphy was quick to say “Finally, we got Naim back & in full pursuit of his destiny: a “World Title” in the only sport he lives for! His work ethic, skill & focus is second to none. He is a positive influence and a great help with my gym and boxers. The Albanian Warrior is back, New York!”
The 29 year old Escalera, 13-2-1, 12Ko’s, the nephew of former WBC super featherweight champion Alfredo Escalera while not carrying the amateur pedigree of the 2008 Olympian Terbunja entered the pro ranks in 2008 with an amateur record of 25-12. Winning three New Jersey Diamond Glove Championships, a 2007 New Jersey Golden Glove title and reaching the a finals in the 2007 National Golden Gloves “Monstruo” carries one tangible pro factor impressive punching power compiling 12 knockouts in 16 pro bouts.
The Terbunja / Escalera six round super middleweight bout will be a special attraction on the July 18th Star Boxing Rockin Fights 14 card headlining the Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield vs Emmanuel “Tranzformer” Taylor ten round light welterweight main event and eight round junior welterweight co-feature matching Long Island’s popular Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin against “The Mongolian Mongoose” Bayan Jargal.
Also scheduled are six rounders matching Hicksville, New York welterweight Anthony “Showtime” Karperis, 6-2, 3Ko’s vs Queens, New York’s Ariel Duran, 7-6-1, 4Ko’s and unbeaten light middleweights with Huntington’s own Wendy Toussaint, 4-0 vs Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington, 7-0-1, 4Ko’s.