Vince Cervi R.I.P.

boxingBy Tony Nobbs: The fight game in Australia was hit hard with the March 9 shooting death of former National and OPBF havyweight champion outside the house he owned in Preston, Melbourne, following a tenancy dispute.

He was officially 41. Vinnie debuted as a pro light heavyweight on August 23, 1985 knocking out Glenn Irvine in one round at the Italian Club in Geelong. In his second fight he knocked out veteran Paul Donnelly in one. He fought on the under card of the March 1, 1992 Nelson - Fenech rematch at Princess Park in front of 38,000 live fans and a nation wide PPV audience in 1992, drawing with Steve Hudson - who he’d previously beaten. He won the Australian crown by knocking out Melbourne rival James Grima in 3 rounds in March 1995.. In September of that year he lost it to come backing Joe Bugner on points over 12 rounds at Carrara,on the Queensland Gold Coast. The following year he won the OPBF title at Nerang by decisioning Col Wilson. In 1997 he lost a decision to Colin for the Aussie title and never fought again. In all he won 11 (8 ko’s) – lost 5 and drew twice. Notable first round knockouts (6 in all) he scored were over Donnelly, Mitch O’Hello, Tommy Hammer and Gary Wills. He knocked out top rated Matthew Reid in two rounds.

I knew Vinnie. He was decent and genuine and was one of those rare people very few spoke ill about. During his career Vinnie was trained by Les Wilson, John Mc Cubbib and Rohan Flude.

Ironically, Wilson handled Bugner when they fought.

“His strength as a fighter was his strength. His best punches were the left rip and left hook. He was a sturdy fighter who fought some good heavyweights. His chin was good, he could give it and take it and it’s a shame he probably didn’t realise his full potential. After they fought, Joe told me himself that it was the hardest he'd been hit in the body since he fought Joe Frazier." said Les. "As a person - he was just a good, likeable bloke. Anyone who knew him will tell you that".

His funeral Service takes place in Melbourne, today, Tuesday March 17, at 2 pm .

Article posted on 16.03.2009

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