By Rick Scharmberg
When Frankie Filippone (12-2-1, 2 KOs) got the call from matchmaker Nick Tiberi to take on Kevin “Hitman” Engel (20-6, 16 KOs) on Friday night at the Chase Center in Wilmington, DE with just a week’s notice, he accepted without hesitation. What makes that so rare in this day and age is, Frankie just fought and won a hard fought decision only two weeks ago. Plus, this is the second time in his 15-fight pro career that he accomplished that feat. Filippone possesses a rare throwback, relaxed style that allows him to stand in front of you and make you miss. He will take on Engel in the ten-round main event for the interim NABA light heavyweight title on a card promoted by Champs Management. Frankie sat down with FightNews at Thursday’s weigh-in at the Clarion Hotel.
What kind of amateur career did you have?
I had 20 amateur fights and won a Golden Gloves title in Virginia. I made it to the regionals, but I hurt my back and didn’t compete.
Describe your throwback style in the ring and how you deal with pressure.
My style developed a lot in my past four or five fights. I like to fight with a little extra flair. I like to have fun in there, and stay relaxed. Guys that come forward, they break down easier. They are easier for me to hit.
I understand that you are a police officer.
Yes, I am a police officer in Virginia Beach (VA), and before that I was with Newport News. I have a ten-year career going now. Being a boxer and being with the police department is a good fit for me.
How did you meet your promoter Diane Fischer of Dee Lee Promotions?
I met Diane through a mutual friend. When she came to Virginia Beach and did two shows, we instantly clicked. It’s like a family relationship now. She’s been there for me and is giving me a shot. We have a good partnership.
Your nickname “The Freight Train” doesn’t fit your style. How did you get it?
I got it when I was in the amateurs because my style back then was to never back down. I still don’t back down, but I use more angles now. I kept the nickname because of how nice it rolls off the tongue when you say it with my name.
What do you expect from your opponent, Kevin Engel?
I know he is a tough guy who has three different fighting styles, MMA, kick-boxing, and boxing. He is durable, and he’s a guy who just likes to fight. I’m a southpaw, and that’s my advantage. He is 6’2″, so I will beat his body. I think I will present a tough battle for him.