Fenech sees Jarvis world title ‘around the corner’
WITHOUT a doubt, Brock Jarvis is one of the most exciting prospects in Australian boxing right now.
The 23-year-old has a perfect 19-0 record to his name, which has included fights in Thailand, Mexico and Australia. Throughout his professional career, Jarvis has only had two fights come down to the judge’s decisions, having ended 17 of his bouts by knockout.
Jarvis is now set for what’s undoubtedly a milestone for any up-and-coming fighter, as he’s set to make his American debut this weekend.
He’s set to face Mexican Alejandro Rene Frias on the undercard of the Mikey Garcia vs Sandor Martin fight in Fresno, California, on Saturday night local time – or Sunday morning in Australia.
In Jarvis’ corner this weekend will be trainer Jeff Fenech, who is himself a three-time world champion.
The two met when Brock was just a teenager, but the impression he left on Fenech paved the way for a career that could potentially reach the highest heights of the sport.
The two were introduced by Brock’s Uncle Pat, who had known Fenech from years earlier. The rest was history.
Speaking with Aus-Boxing, Fenech discussed the special relationship that he shares with Brock Jarvis, as well as a boxing career which is very much on the rise.
The long journey and early days
“The first time I met him [he] was this little skinny kid who obviously came to the house to show me that he loved boxing and he worked his backside off,” he told Aus-Boxing.
“Reminded me a lot of myself. I had that history not just with his Uncle Pat but with his grandmother who was my nutritionist because of his uncle. There was a lot happening.
“I enjoyed training him, I enjoyed the hunger, the work ethic. What he put into it that day… he went away and came back, and the rest is history. We’ve been together ever since.
“We’ve travelled when he had his first fight in Bangkok, second fight in Mexico. We’ve travelled to Japan. We’ve been all around the world together training and he just got better and better.
“At the moment and looking the best he’s been, he’s been sparring over here. He’s been absolutely awesome.”
WBC headquarters and ‘special’ prediction
Fenech is a long-time advocate of the WBC, having held the iconic green belt at both super bantamweight and featherweight.
The three-division titleholder has maintained his relationship with its president, Mauricio Sulaiman.
“I can’t even tell you how special it is,” he explained.
“I was in the WBC office the other day with Mauricio Sulaiman, and Mauricio met Brock when he was 16 and a half.
“And when I told him that this kid is going to be something special and we were just talking about it the other day.
“For me it’s really, really special.”
American debut on the world stage
Jarvis will make his American debut almost six years after his professional debut in Mexico.
The significance of the debut isn’t lost on Fenech, given the timing of his own Stateside run.
“Yeah for me it was really important for Brock because I think I got here too late, I got here much, much too late,” he added.
“Boxing and at a few gyms sparring, he’s been so impressive and then other people are talking about him already. Some of the good trainers and the fighters that he’s boxed, they can’t believe what this little pretty boy can do.
“They look at him and go, ‘oh, we’re going to belt his head in’, and every day they send somebody new to the gym and everyday he puts an exclamation mark on them. He gives it to them. He’s just getting better and better.
“A couple of the guys that we’ve sparred over here, we sparred a kid named Keith Hunter who’s with Floyd Mayweather and all those guys.
“They send Keith to the gym, and they asked to box somebody else so that they could give Brock a little lesson, that’s what they thought. After sparring, Keith said to me that ‘I’ve never been in the ring with anybody like that in my life.’
“He’s just so strong and dominant. He’s just doing things that are so, so good. It’s just amazing at the moment.”
The challenge ahead with Frias
Jarvis has campaigned across five divisions in the paid ranks, highlighting his physical development.
His latest assignment agains live-wire Rodriguez will test his body-punching credentials. And after years of perfecting his phone booth style, Fenech looks forward to showcasing this against his Mexican counterpart.
“I watched lots of video of the guys fighting and all that stuff I’m supposed to do,” he concluded.
“The secret to this sport is you make these guys fight your fight. Nobody can beat him fighting the way he fights, so I’m very, very confident.
“Just around the corner he’s going to be world champion.”
Photo: Michael Capparelli/Betelgeuse Films
Words: Finn Morton/Follow Finn on Twitter