THE last chance saloon is a place seldom occupied by Blake Caparello.
But on the back of a disappointing performance against former world title challenger Isaac Chilemba in March, where Caparello (26-3-1, 10 KOs) was unanimously outscored over twelve heats for the WBC International light heavyweight bauble, the Melburnian now finds himself in a make or break scenario against fellow Australian rival Trent Broadhurst.
“A few things went wrong in my last fight, obviously in the ring [and] outside the ring,” said Caparello to Aus-Boxing.
“On the night, I started well but sort of lost my way a little bit and didn’t regroup well. After the fight I sat down with my team – and said that I don’t want any easy fights – I don’t need a tune-up, get me a tough fight. That’s why we’ve gone straight for Trent Broadhurst.”
“Trent is coming off a loss, I’m coming off a loss, it’s a fight that needed to happen.”
On Friday night, only one will be fast-tracked back to world level. No regional belts, no world ratings, just a good old fashioned domestic collision between two long-feuding rivals.
Despite the obvious dismay that follows a loss at world level, the 31-year-old refused to sit idle, instead boarding a flight to Las Vegas where he served as a sparring partner for Badou Jack. As Caparello admits, it’s all fallen into place, including the timing of his subsequent fight with Broadhurst (20-2, 12 KOs), who has promised to stamp an express ticket into retirement.
“We’ve been looking to fight Trent for years,” he explained. “We both turned professional around the same time, so it’s worked out well. But I was always going to go into camp with Badou Jack.”
“Their fight was earlier in the year anyway, it was always in the works.”
“After the Chilemba fight, I didn’t want to sit there and dwell on things. I told my team to call Jack’s camp and tell them we’re coming to camp. It fell into perfect timing with the Broadhurst fight and I’ve come back with three weeks to go. You can’t beat world class sparring three times a week.”
For this particular fight, Caparello has been placed in an unusual position.
Due to his strictly business approach to previous fights, the quietly spoken former world title challenger is rarely placed into a war of words. However, unlike any recent opposition, the 29-year-old Brisbane resident offers a more outgoing demeanor. With such bravado comes a tirade of taunts through social media, particularly on Instagram.
And while Caparello is aware of of the digital torment, he refuses to buy into any mental contrivance presented by Broadhurst.
“I didn’t really pay to much attention to it,” he admitted.
“Someone actually sent me the first bit he put out, telling me to go have a look. If it gives him confidence to say these things, he can say what he wants. At the end of the day, we’ve all seen how he takes punches and how he reacts, so we’ll just wait until fight night.”
“Apparently he’s going to come forward cause I can’t punch, he’s going to walk me down and knock me out. Most pressure fighters I know have a good chin, it’s going to be interesting to see if he sticks to his word.”
“I’m not going to do too much talking, it didn’t matter who was going to be in the ring for me. I’m chasing a victory.”
When probed on his thoughts as to why Broadhurst has been so vocal in the lead-up to this fight, Caparello could only offer the Chilemba loss as a valid reason. But with that in mind, the southpaw was quick to highlight Broadhurst’s shortcomings in his last fight, a first round stoppage to reigning WBA light heavyweight ruler, Dmitry Bivol in Monte Carlo.
“They’re going off my last performance, but he’s coming off a loss as well, a bad loss too,” he concluded.
“But we’re at a stage, what are we going to do? Go around again and build up our records. It’s a good Aussie fight, and that’s exactly what it is. Everyone’s wanted to see it and now it’s finally going to happen, it’s billed as make or break for a reason.”
“It’s going to put one of us straight back into the scene again. That’s why it’s a great fight.”
Photo: Marty’s Knockout Photography