Carson, CA:When Natu “The Truth” Visinia steps into the ring Saturday in Philadelphia, PA, to face veteran Steve “USS” Cunningham, it will be with a heavy heart. Visinia buried his long-time trainer, Charles “Buddy” Bereal, on Oct. 10 after Bereal passed away suddenly from a heart attack.
Visinia, 30, is from, Clinton, Illinois, a small town with a population of 7,500. He travelled to California to train with Bereal for the last five years. When
Bereal passed away unexpectedly, Jermaine Lefeiloai, Buddy’s long-time assistant trainer, stepped in to finish out Natu’s training camp.
Natu said Buddy was excited for the match-up with Cunningham.
“He was more excited than I was about this fight,” Visinia said. “This is what he always wanted for me. This fight will be dedicated to Buddy. Jermaine has been with us from the beginning. He knows Buddy’s style. He knows my style. We fit in well. It is not like I am starting fresh with someone I’m not comfortable with. I am definitely comfortable with him.”
Bereal was a former welterweight from Mexico and Visinia is dedicating the Cunningham fight to him.
“The fact that we lost Buddy is the hardest part,” Visinia said. “I have to continue to fight. Having lost Buddy I think I am mentally even stronger than I was when I started training camp. This fight is dedicated to Buddy.”
Visinia (10-0, 8 K0s) has managed to stay focused on Cunningham through this tragedy.
“I am definitely going to be the bigger guy in this fight,” he said. “He’s got power. He’s obviously quick and a faster heavyweight. In my training camp I have been bringing in a lot of faster, smaller guys to spar with so I can get my eyes sharp to face a guy like Steve Cunningham. I look at it like he’s got the experience and the advantage over me. It is going to be a great fight. I’m not looking at it any other way.
“I respect Steve and all of the things that he is going through and the sacrifice that he has been through with his family. He’s where I want to be. I need to win this fight to get where I need to be. In his last fight with Mansour he showed a lot of heart. Mansour roughed him up in that fight. Steve showed he deserves to be where he is.”
Lefeiloai: “We haven’t made any major changes. Just real fundamental stuff. I believe he is in great shape. We understand that we are facing a formidable guy.”
About October 18
The Oct. 18 edition of NBCSN Fight Nightwill take place at the 2300 Arena at 2300 Swanson Street in South Philadelphia. It features a 10-round fight between Steve “USS” Cunningham, of Philadelphia, and Natu “The Truth” Visinia, of Lakewood, CA. A 10-round junior lightweight contest between Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry, of Wauchula, FL, and Osumanu Akaba, of Accra, Ghana, is the co-feature. Five additional fights open the show at 6PM. Tickets are $50 and $75 and are available by calling Peltz Boxing at (215) 765-0922 or at www.peltzboxing.com. They also can be purchased at Wanamakers Tickets (215-568-2400). The card is presented by Main Events and Peltz Boxing in association with Final Forum Promotions and BAM Boxing. The NBCSN Fight Night telecast will begin at 9 PM ET. Doors open at 5 PM and the first fight will start at 6. The event is sponsored by Rocco’s Collision.