NORTH BERGEN, NJ (November 2, 2011) – As training camp winds down for the undefeated WBC International heavyweight champion Mariusz Wach, the true scope of his growth as a fighter becomes clearer. Wach, 25-0 (13 KO), of North Bergen, N.J., by way of Krakow, Poland, will face former world heavyweight champion Oliver McCall (56-11, 37 KO) this Saturday, November 5 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., the site of his Knockout of the Year performance against Kevin McBride in July.
The show, entitled “November Reign,” will be promoted by North Bergen-based Global Boxing Promotions.
Wach, who stands an imposing 6'7″ and weighs 250 pounds, has undergone an impressive transformation since relocating to North Bergen and linking up with highly-regarded trainer Juan De Leon and his brother Carlos, a former four-time cruiserweight world champion. Together, Wach and the De Leon brothers worked on improving the agile big man's speed, power and – most importantly – his confidence.
“I can really see how much his confidence has grown since he knocked out McBride,” said De Leon, who is working with Wach for the second fight together. “We built a real foundation of his strength and footwork and head movement. He works real hard and his main assets are that he's really smart and doesn't complain when he trains.”
Though Wach at 31 is 15 years younger than his opponent McCall, Wach will be facing his most difficult assignment to date as a professional. In his younger days, the Chicago, Ill., native McCall was a sparring partner for Mike Tyson and won the heavyweight championship in 1994 with a knockout of Lennox Lewis in two rounds. McCall defended the title once with a win over another legend in Larry Holmes before dropping the belt in a decision loss to Frank Bruno.
In recent years, McCall has proven he is still a dangerous challenger, having defeated the likes of Damian Wills (then 30-2), former world title challenger Fres Oquendo and Lance Whitaker.
“Oliver McCall is a real experienced fighter, I've seen him fight many times, and one thing that he has is a powerful punch,” said De Leon. “One of the challenges that we face is that Oliver McCall has never been knocked down or knocked out. I told Wach that the last thing that McCall will lose is his power. McCall has that street sense, that he doesn't care to fight and give it all. He knows that he's 46 and has nothing to lose.”
Still Wach is unfazed, and sees this as another opportunity to expand his resume' as a rising heavyweight force.
“Oliver McCall has made history, but this is the present and it's my time,” said Wach. “He will look good on my record.
“I still have time to grow and improve as a fighter. I have to focus on improving every day as a fighter. I'm hoping to be in the major fights by the end of next year. I'm getting better while the top guys are getting older.”
“November Reign” is on course to be the Mohegan Sun's first boxing sellout in nearly ten years, with full buses coming from around the Tri-state to usher in fans to see unbeaten NABF middleweight champ Patrick Majewski (17-0, 11 KO) of Atlantic City, N.J., by way of Radom, Poland against Jose Miguel Torres (22-5, 19 KO) for the vacant NABO middleweight title.
Other fighters slated for the show include heavyweight knockout artist Artur “Szpila” Szpilka (8-0, 6 KO) of Wieliczka, Poland and featherweight prospect Kamil Laszczyk (4-0, 3 KO) of North Bergen, N.J., by way of Wroclaw, Poland, plus several local New England fighters in action.