PHILADELPHIA (JANUARY 15, 2013)— Northeast Philadelphia native, Cruiserweight Tony “Boom Boom” Ferrante is heading up I-95 to face undefeated cruiserweight prospect Isa Akberbayev 10- 0 (7KO’s) on Saturday January 19th inside the MECCA of boxing, Madison Square Garden. Ferrante recently moved up in weight from light heavyweight to cruiserweight. Ferrante had struggled in recent years trying to cut nearly thirty pounds at a time trying to make weight at 175lbs.
“Since the loss to Omar Shieka, I came to the realization that I was killing my body trying to make 175lbs. Now I feel stronger. I hit harder. I feel like I am able to move in the ring the way I need to move to demonstrate my skills. I’m working with a new trainer and I feel better and more importantly, healthier than I ever been in my career.”
Ferrante began his career with nine straight wins, but in 2010 making the light heavyweight limit of 175lbs began to really effect his power and stamina with suffering two loses. He would go on to KO three in a row, but really hit a wall with his weight, losing decisions to Dhafir Smith and Omar Shieka, but gaining twenty rounds of experience. It was at that point Ferrante decided enough was enough.
“I was just destroying my body trying to cut that weight. I knew it was time to move up”. In late 2012, nearly six months after losing to Smith, Ferrante hired trainer Mike Cassell of Philadelphia.
“I knew Mike was very familiar with my style. We come from similar backgrounds. He is a good fit. “
Cassell who was training fighters at Rocco MMA in NE Philadelphia reveled at the chance to work with Ferrante.
“Tony’s boxing IQ is through the roof” said Cassell. “I always thought he was a tremendous talent that wasn’t reaching his true potential. I saw a lot of real natural punching ability and raw natural power. I think Tony relied on that too much, and as he grew into his body and attempted to cut weight, it really displayed what he was lacking. The kid has a brain. He just needed to find more patience and discipline in the ring. I think he turned a big corner.”
Saturdays fight will be Ferrante’s debut at cruiserweight, and with his newly found discipline, he will be doing a lot of damage in the cruiserweight division. But first things first, he must face Isa Akberbayev on the biggest stage in boxing Madison Square Garden. There are some much bigger names on this card, but Ferrante is very confident he will make some fans on Saturday.
ORLANDO “Siri” SALIDO will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) FEATHERWEIGHT title against undefeated No. 1 contender MIKEY GARCIA; undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) / International Boxing Organization (IBO) middleweight champion GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN will look to extend his reign into its third year against world-rated contender “King” GABRIEL ROSADO and two-time WBO junior lightweight champion ROMAN “Rocky” MARTINEZ will put it all on the line when he goes mano a mano with No. 1 contender JUAN CARLOS “Mini” BURGOS. All three fights will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®, Saturday, January 19, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
These six warriors have a combined record of 170-18-3 (123 KOs) — a winning percentage of 89% and a victory by knockout ratio of 72%.
Promoted by Top Rank® and K2 Promotions, in association with Tecate and Madison Square Garden, remaining TICKETS, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, are currently available for purchase at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at WWW.TICKETMASTER.COM or WWW.THEGARDEN.COM.