LENNY Zappavigna isn’t letting his most recent loss get him down. His goal of winning a world title is still well and truly alive.
It was last December when Zappavigna (35-3, 25 KOs) was handed an opportunity to secure a title shot when he faced off against dangerous Kazakh, Sergey Lipinets in an official IBF light welterweight title eliminator.
Despite a brave effort, Zappa was stopped in the eighth round and many questioned whether or not he was done as fighter, but Lenny Zappavigna is a man with more resolve than most.
“When you lose it’s hard but you have to get back up and get that right fight to get you back in the rankings,” says Zappavigna. “You have to stay positive, I’m still young and I still have a lot in me. I have to stay patient and when that opportunity comes, I’ll be ready to go.”
At 29, time is still on Lenny’s side but he admits that he needs to work on a few aspects of his game if he’s to take the next step and achieve world title honours.
“I won’t completely change my style, I’m always going to have that aggression but I will be slowing it down and boxing more, especially at this level,” Zappavigna said. “I need to use my skills.”
Sonny Liston once said, “my punches are just as hard in Chicago as in New York,” and you could say the same for Zappavigna, whose heavy hands have taken him from Sydney to LA. but it’s his ability to box that has improved so much during his time spent training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym.
However, it’s only in hindsight that he acknowledges that he should have put those skills to better use against Lipinets.
“The thing is – I do so well on the back foot – during sparring I box amazing on the back foot,” he explained. “I can box well going back but sometimes come fight night I get too anxious and try and go for that knockout.”
“The next fight preparation will be about mastering my mind for patience and slowing things down.”
You can hear the excitement in his voice when he mentions fighting again, it’s clear he’s up for the challenge of working his was back to the top.
“I know I’m at that level on the world scene,” he said. “I’ve been in with some of the world’s best and I know I belong. There’s just a few things I need to fix up with myself and I know I can win a world title.”
Sticking with the old adage that a loss should be viewed as a lesson in disguise, Zappavigna feels he has taken more from this most recent fight than many of the previous ones.
“I feel that I’m a lot more mature as a fighter and I definitely took a lot more out of this loss than the others,” Zappavigna said. “Against Ammeth Diaz there was a lot of other excuses I could have given but this one here, I definitely took a lot more from this loss.”
Legendary trainer Cus D’Amato once said that “to see a man beaten not by a better opponent but by himself is a tragedy,” and Lenny Zappavigna needn’t be concerned about that happening.
His approach to the road ahead is a positive one and there’s every chance we’ll see him fighting for a world title again before all is said and done.