By Jano Tantongco
Just before a 5 p.m., Thursday appointment in Huntington with one of his personal training clients, state Junior Welterweight Champion Anthony Karperis spoke with Long Islander News about his upcoming fight in the very same village, where he’s set to be challenged by Scott Burrell tomorrow night at The Paramount as part of “Rockin’ Fights 26,” hosted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
Born and raised in Hicksville, Anthony “Showtime” Karperis (13-2, 4 KOs) said he’s not only in it to win, but also wants to dazzle the crowd.
“I’m always looking to be successful and to win, but I also like to put on a show for everyone. I look at myself as an athlete and as an entertainer almost,” Karperis, 28, said.
When he’s not boxing, Karperis is a personal trainer at the Academy of Boxing (2077 New York Ave., Huntington), where he takes clients ranging from those looking to actually compete to those who just want to keep in shape or lose weight.
In his boxing Karperis draws on his extensive experience in Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing, which he’s practiced since he was a teenager.
“You learn a lot about yourself when you’re going head-to-head with someone. You really see where your ego is at, too,” he said. “If you’re willing to overcome yourself, [you can] overcome someone else.”
When he was about 15, Karperis said, he saw a fight between Italian-Canadian boxer Arturo Gatti and American boxer Mickey Ward. The fight inspired and pushed him to eventually lace up his own gloves and step into the ring.
He went on to win the New York Golden Gloves tournament in 2008 and earned the then-vacant state junior welterweight title last year, when he defeated Alan Gotay.
On Friday, he’ll be facing off against Burrell (12-2, 8 KOs), dubbed “Bang Bang,” who’s a Queens native, but was raised in London.
“He’s a good fighter, he’s got fast hands, good footwork. From what I’ve seen, he’s very technical. But, I have every answer to his problem. I’m ready to go,” Karperis said. The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds.
There are also four other fights set to make up the undercard for tomorrow night’s event. They include Huntington-bred lightweight Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez (8-1, 1KO), who is set to take on Dean “Badnewz” Burrell (11-1, 8 KOs), of Brooklyn, in a six-round contest.
Tickets range from $50-$200. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the matches are set to begin at 7:30 p.m.