Good looking Italian boxer out of Canada; does that sound familiar? If that doesn’t ring a bell, well then you must not appreciate the blood, guts, and heart that was Arturo “Thunder” Gatti. Trying to make his own thunder and hailing from town of Corleone in Sicily is the newly signed Golden Boy prospect Phil “The Italian Sensation” Lo Greco. “My dad loved boxing and while he was working in Germany, the sport was emerging there. So he put me in a gym and I been there ever since”, explained Lo Greco on why an Italian chose boxing over soccer.
Sporting a record of 22(12 KO)-0 at the age of 27, Phil has fought all over the world from Canada to Germany to Italy but he says the real boxing is south of the border of Canada in the states. “The best boxing is south of Canada where you guys are at. I’m happy I signed with the best promotional company in Golden Boy and finally have a fight set up on April 28th, 2012 in Atlantic City on the Hopkins-Dawson 2 undercard”, said Lo Greco about his United States Debut.
It may have taken longer than expected to get his U.S. debut but to Lo Greco patience is a virtue. “You know I’ve been out of the ring for a year but I waited patiently for the right opportunity. I met Eric Gomez from Golden Boy in Budapest. They like what they saw. My management team and Golden Boy knew when it was time to make a move and that’s what I’m doing. I like to surround myself with a winning team that is willing to go above and beyond for me”, said Lo Greco.
The reason he needs that support because he has a lot of responsibility and weight on his shoulders. “It’s a big responsibility being an Italian boxer”, he said. “It’s an honor to represent all the Italians and the Italian-Americans in the boxing world. But along with that honor, it’s a big responsibility. I’m just trying to do my best to represent like my boy Paulie Malignaggi does”, continued Lo Greco.
Malignaggi and Lo Greco are good friends and the mutual respect is there but he doesn’t rule out a mega Italian fight. “We have fun together. We clown around. That clowning around on a beach led us to filming a pilot for a show and maybe a network picking it up but it’s all in good fun. We support each other and Italian moms don’t like us fighting each other. But sure It’s a big Italian fight but I leave that to my team and promoters because I learned to not get involved but if it’s a big fight down the road my team will make that happen”, explained Lo Greco.
But first things first for Le Greco, a movement through the welterweight division where he is ranked in the top 20 in most of the sanctioning bodies. “To me the tougher the task, the better the test, and the better I get. I’ve been fighting at this weight since I was 16 years old. Now I’m finally having fun making this weight. I feel stronger, more relaxed. I’ll be ready for whoever on the 28th and then the best afterwards”, said Lo Greco.
He feels strong enough to spar guys bigger in size “I’ve been in the gym with Glen Johnson and let me tell you guys, he’s not done. I like sparring bigger guys. It gets me ready for wars”, said Lo Greco. Wars is what made Arturo Gatti revered by the boxing masses but Lo Greco says “There can only be one Arturo Gatti but while I’m in the sport, you can believe I will leave it all in the ring”, said Lo Greco. And that’s where it should be left.