Monday, September 14, 2009
Maybe it's because he's a veteran of New York's underground fight scene, or maybe it's because he's considered a vale tudo badass, but James Funaro, a 175-pound warrior with a 7-3 record, is having a hard time securing his first pro fight. And that's insane. Funaro - a product of Vamos BJJ and BoxFit - is a finisher, capable of ending things on the ground or on the feet, and when he has to he can wage war until the final bell. What more could you want from someone who always seems to have a decent-sized cheering section rooting him on? Thus far Funaro has had zero luck getting through to local matchmakers. As ROC promoter Lou Neglia banned those who continue to fight in underground events from competing in his organization, Funaro hasn't fought since January (when the rule came down) lest he sink his pro career before it even starts. Meanwhile, an opponent he defeated in an unsanctioned show has fought twice now in Atlantic City, and Funaro's goal of getting paid to do what he loves remains unrealized. Why can't this man get a fight?
- Ricardo Romero needs a step up in competition, as he is no longer being tested by those he faces. Seriously, it's like a man fighting a boy.
- Victor O'Donnell vs. Costa Phillippou was super-close and could've gone either way. I hope this isn't the last we see of O'Donnell.
- Props to Rob Wince for stepping in and facing Gian Villante. Big props to Wince for his willingness to throw down.
- Chris Schlesinger's still got it.
- Kudos to the New Jersey amateur circuit for making Liam Kerrigan into a monster for his first pro fight.
- Louis Gaudinot is a beast. Also impressive was Jackson Galka, who, despite losing, showed some sharp Muay Thai.