BEN Savva has overcome a rocky start to his professional career to establish himself as a darkhorse in a stacked welterweight division.
The relocated Englishman, who now calls Sydney home, will make the first defence of his recently acquired OPBF Silver welterweight strap against Filipino import Joel Dela Cruz on Saturday night at Doltone House in Sylvania Waters.
We caught up with the quietly spoken Savva (5-1, 1 KO), who discussed his fledgling professional journey and plans to challenge the best in his division domestically, including popular OPBF titleholder Jack Brubaker.
“I went into last year losing my first professional fight,” said Savva in an interview with Aus-Boxing. “But I started the year strong with a state title and finished with an OPBF Silver title at the end of the year. Hopefully, I’d like to get a trip overbroad if possible. I know there is a fight there in Japan that could potentially happen, I’d love to do that just for the experience.”
“My main focus is the fight in front of me this weekend, but the big goal would be to fight Jack Brubaker for his OPBF title at the end of the year. They have put Jack and me on the same card, so it would be good to build a rivalry there. His fans get to see me and my fans get to see him.”
Ironically, it will be Brubaker (12-1-1, 6 KOs) headlining the stacked six-fight card with his third OPBF title defence against Mark Sales. But the way that Savva see things, being on the same card as Brubaker puts him in pole position to stake his claim as the Australian’s mandatory challenger.
“I’m already mandatory for his OPBF title as I have the OPBF Silver belt,” he explained. “It’s just a matter of the when, the where and the how really. I know he’s chasing Jeff Horn – so it may not happen – it may be someone else. If he vacates, or it’s someone else, I’ll still be chasing the belt.”
In Dela Cruz (20-25-3, 8 KOs), Savva is facing a crafty veteran who is just two fights shy of tallying a half century of professional appearances. Along the way, he has fought many of the best operators in the country, while recording a win over former amateur standout and Olympian Ryan Langham.
To his credit, Savva admits that this fight is a part of his progression in the paid ranks, and sees bigger fights in his immediate future if he continues his winning run on Saturday night.
“I see this fight as a good stepping stone,” he continued. “The guy has a lot more experience than me. I’ve seen some footage of him and he doesn’t seem to make a lot of mistakes. I really think I’ll be just a little to busy for him, a little too fast. He’s not vulnerable – he will be challenging – and he will be coming over here to win.”
“It’s a massive opportunity for him, so it won’t be an easy fight. I haven’t been out of the gym since my last fight. I’ve had two days off, he won’t be as fit as me. If my skills don’t do it, which I think, they will; I’ll definitely get down the stretch with my fitness anyway.”
“I just want to take my boxing as far as I can,” he concluded. “Obviously, the goal would be to win a world title. But it’s just a case of taking it fight-by-fight and go as far as I can. I don’t want to fight too many journeymen.”
“I want to keep on challenging myself and get as far as I can as quick as I can basically.”
Photo: Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz
Aus-Boxing will be streaming the entire card from Doltone House in Sylvania Waters on Saturday night live on our Facebook page.