Report and photo by David Greene
The wait is over for Bronx, NY, resident Giovanni Lorenzo, 29, who has waited his whole life for a chance, that chance comes tonight, when the heavy-hitting fighter challenges for the middleweight championship. Lorenzo (29-2, 21 KOs) has been busy training at the new World Wide Boxing Gym on Jerome Avenue in the Bedford Park section of the New York borough, sparring 34-rounds with one-time, “Contender’s,” star Ishe Smith, in preparation for his challenge of WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm (33-2, 14 KOs), in Cologne, Germany on Saturday, September 4.
Trained by Mosholu Parkway resident and pastor Ralph Farrait, Lorenzo moved to the Highbridge section of the South Bronx, after immigrating from the Dominican Republic six years ago.
In the ring with Smith, Lorenzo seemed slick and polished, one could almost hear the heavy bag whimper in pain as he delivered a body shot.
Smith, who so far this year has sparred with such top pugilists as Floyd Mayweather, Zab Juddah and Chad Dawson and now after spending 36-rounds with Lorenzo, Smith explained, “I came out here and helped him prepare for Sturm.”
The Philadelphia native continued, “I think he has a real good chance to beat him, I’m not so hot on Sturm. I think he’s a good fighter, but I think Giovanni is a little better.”
After his first visit to the Bronx and the gym, Smith added, “The whole team has been first class… very professional people and I wouldn’t mind coming back in the near future.”
Lorenzo, who calls W. 166 Street and Ogden Avenue home, said through an interpreter, “I feel that I am in great form and ready to put on a show, not just a show but to bring the title back here.”
A week before the biggest fight of his career, Lorenzo said he hopes he will be invited to next year’s Dominican Parade along the Grand Concourse, and expects to have with him the WBA Middleweight Title, adding, “I’d like to be in the parade with my title.”
On his sparring sessions with Smith, Lorenzo called it, “good sparring, a good experience,” adding, “The guy is very mobile, very agile. It was a good experience, he’s a good fighter.”
Asked about Sturm, Lorenzo replied, “I’ve seen him on tape in all his fight’s, but I won’t get to know him until I’m in the ring. You can train one way but come fight night, you get a totally different opponent, so I’m going to take it as it comes.”
On his perdition for Saturday’s fight, Lorenzo stated, “I’m ready to take him out in any round. I think in Germany, fighter’s are protected, they are paper champions. The judges basically hand out a lot of decisions, but it’s going to be a different story when were in the ring.”
Lorenzo added, “The judges won’t get the chance. I’ve already had an experience against Sabastian Sylvester over there, where I felt I was robbed when I fought for the IBF middleweight Title… I will bring the title back to the Bronx.”