In what can only be considered a strange, ghoulish twist of fate during Halloween season, Shelito Vincent and Jackie Trivilino, who will slug it out for 10 rounds next Friday night for a world title, might be more inclined to bond over a mutual disdain for a certain undefeated New York fighter than trade blows with one another when the bell rings Nov. 7th.
Though it's not exactly a love-fest - both have promised to unload a million punches - the two are comically linked as adversaries to Brooklyn's Heather Hardy, the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) International super bantamweight champion, who earned the title earlier this month in a narrow, majority decision win over Crystal Hoy.
Vincent has made it a point to challenge Hardy on numerous occasions over the past year and a half, but to no avail. Trivilino, on the other hand, actually got the opportunity to unseat Hardy in June at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, losing a split decision on the scorecards after the fight was stopped following the seventh round due to an accidental head-butt.
"It was a fix, 100 percent. I beat her for seven rounds," said Trivilino (9-8-3, 1 KO), who'll face Vincent (12-0, 1 KO) in the 10-round main event of CES Boxing's "Winner Take All" on Friday, Nov. 7th, 2014 at Twin River Casino for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) super bantamweight title.
"Everyone in the building booed the decision. That girl is a fake. God knows how many other fights she actually lost. They're just trying to make something out of her. She's not a fighter. If she ever left New York, she'd lose. It's a joke. If I didn't love this sport so much, I'd have nothing to do with it."
That genuine love for boxing kept Trivilino, a Plattsburgh, N.Y., native, from flying off the handle. With her new trainer, Rick Sweeney, in her corner, she's focused on making another run toward the top of her weight class, starting with another tough fight Nov. 7th against the unbeaten Vincent, the New London, Conn., native now ranked No. 4 among super bantamweights in the WBC.
"I want all the top dogs. That's what I want," she said. "I want to show I'm at the top, too. I want people to know who I am, to say, 'Wow, that girl is good!' The best way to do that is to fight the top girls."
As frustrating as it was to lose to Hardy in such controversial fashion, the fight accomplished a few things for Trivilino, among them validating her faith in Sweeney. That was their first fight working together and it was arguably Trivilino's most impressive performance given the circumstances.
"It made me realize, first, that I can make the weight," said Trivilino, who had previously fought as heavy as 129 pounds before clocking in at 119 ½ against Hardy, "but I also did exactly what I had set out to do in that fight and that was an accomplishment in itself.
Trivlino linked up with Sweeney prior to that bout after the relationship between her and her previous trainer began to fray. Their schedules didn't match up and the old trainer began losing confidence in Trivilino following an uninspiring performance in a loss to Lucia Larcinese, whom Trivilino had beaten decisively four years earlier.
"I went out there on short notice, but I should've beaten her. No excuses," Trivilino said. "I didn't do well at all, and he lost some belief in me. I understand that, but your trainer needs to believe in you. I need to know my trainer believes in me.
"I had known Rick for a while," she continued. "I used to spar at his gym with all of his girls. He always told me, 'If you need me, I'll train you.'"
The rest is history. Trivilino's career arc is actually similar to that of Vincent, who also switched trainers midway through her career and now works under the guidance of Peter Manfredo Sr. Both fighters figure to be brimming with confidence once the bell ringsnext Friday.
"I'm working harder than I've ever worked before and in better shape than ever. I feel good," Trivilino said. "Rick does right by me and I know he believes in me. Everything's good now. For the last three years, I had questions about my trainer. We'd fight. It wasn't healthy. I finally made that change and it's made a world of difference."
Vincent noted earlier this week that Trivilino, in her opinion, has the tendency to throw elbows and butt heads, sometimes deliberately, but Trivilino denies those accusations - "I'm not a dirty fighter," she says - and is instead looking forward to an action-packed fight that will end CES' 2014 Twin River Fight Series in spectacular fashion. No tricks, just a real treat for the fans.
"She's a come-forward fighter, just like I am," Trivilino said of Vincent. "As my new trainer says, 'We're going to go at it!' That's my style. I'm coming for you."
"Winner Take All" is an all-ages show. Tickets for the event are on sale now for $40, $100 and $126 (VIP) and can be purchased online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Twin River Box Office or by phone at 401-724-2253/2254. Doors open at 6 and the first bout begins at 7 p.m. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Angel Camacho Jr. (12-0, 4 KOs), the undefeated super middleweight from Providence, R.I., returns for the first time in more than three years in a tough test against hard-hitting veteranTylon Burris (5-2, 3 KOs) of Hartford, Conn., while unbeaten Brockton, Mass., heavyweight Julian Pollard (4-0, 4 KOs) makes his Twin River debut in a special four-round attraction against Providence veteran Arthur Saribekian (23-5-1, 18 KOs).
"Winner Take All" also features New Bedford, Mass., prospects Ray Oliveira Jr. (1-0, 1 KO) and Scott Sullivan (1-0, 1 KO), who both won their pro debuts Sept. 12th. Sullivan faces unbeaten lightweight Oscar Bonilla (2-0-1) of New Haven, Conn., while Oliveira Jr. takes on 6-foot-3 super middleweight Mike Rodriguez(0-1) of Springfield, Mass.
Unbeaten Worcester, Mass., middleweight prospect Khiary Gray-Pitts (2-0, 1 KO) faces Greg Thomas (0-4) of Philadelphia. Cranston, R.I., welterweight Nick DeLomba (5-0) will battle Miami's Lazar Stojadinovic (1-1-1) in a six-round bout. Warwick, R.I., super middleweight and Air Force vet Zack Christy (1-0), who also debuted in September, returns in a separate four-round bout.
Visit www.cesboxing.com for more information, follow CES Boxing on Twitter at @CESBOXING and Instagram at CESBOXING, or "like" CES Boxing on Facebook.
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