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Dzinziruk vs. Vera on Friday night in Verona, New York

Sergiy DzinzirukBy Jason Kim: On Friday night, former WBO junior middleweight champion Sergiy Dzinziruk (37-1-1, 24 KO’s) will be challenging WBO NABO middleweight champion Brian Vera (21-6, 12 KO’s) at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.

Vera, 31, recently won the WBO NABO 160 pound title with a close 12 round majority decision win over Sergio Mora last year in August. Vera has a tough first defense tomorrow night against the 36-year-old Dzinziruk and it’s going to be tough for Vera if he can’t hurt Dzinziruk with any of his big shots.

Vera, #2 WBO, #12 WBC, a former contestant on the ESPN2’s “The Contender” reality TV series, has had a lot problems recently with his rollercoaster career in losing five out of his last ten fights. Earlier in his career, Vera pulled off a huge upset in beating Andy Lee by a 7th round TKO in August 2008. The win was huge because at the time, Lee’s trainer Emanuel Steward was talking about putting him in with then WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik for a title shot, but Vera spoiled those big plans by stopping Lee. However, things turned immediately bleak for Vera with him losing his next three fights to James Kirkland, Craig McEwan and Isaac Rodrigues.

Vera finally halted the losing streak with a win over Sebastian Demers in June 2010, but he was then beaten by Max Bursak in his next fight. Vera picked up two wins over Sergio Mora and Eloy Suarez before losing to Andy Lee by a lopsided 10 round unanimous decision in October of 2011. Vera has since won his last two fights against Taronze Washington and Sergio Mora, but he’s still pretty much the same fighter that lost all those fights. You just don’t know what you’re going to get from Vera from fight to fight.

Dzinziruk is an interesting fighter. He held the WBO 154 pound title from 2005 to 2011, successfully defending the belt six times before he gave it up in order to challenge Sergio Martinez for the WBC middleweight Diamond title in March of 2011. Dzinziruk didn’t have the power or the chin to stand up to the quicker and stronger Martinez and he ended up getting knocked out in the 8th round.

Although Martinez had nothing but compliments for Dzinziruk after the fight, there’s no mistaking that the fight was completely one-sided from start to finish. Dzinziruk then stayed out of the ring for a year and a half following the loss to Martinez and finally came back last September in fighting to a 12 round draw against Jonathan Gonzalez. Dzinziruk didn’t look good in the fight and perhaps the only reason the fight ended up a draw was because Gonzalez was so badly out of shape.

Dzinziruk should be able to beat Vera tomorrow night if he can handle his power early on. Vera is strong early in his fights but he tends to tire out as the fight progresses. If Dzinziruk can avoid getting knocked out early he’ll have a good chance of winning.

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