Chances are very good that a Baltimore-based fighter, Ron Essett, could be laying claim to a title belt soon. His manager, LTC Ton Rothe, revealed yesterday that Essett is getting a shot at the WBC super middleweight title of Mauro Galvano June 5 in Monte Carlo.
"The situation is perfect," said Rothe. "Ron's been down in Florida training for a tuneup fight [which has been canceled] and he's in very good shape already. He's done all his weightlifting work and all he has to do is reorganize his mind in the direction of Galvano and get the work in the ring done."
Incentive and focus should prove no problem for Essett as his manager has reminded several times in the last day or two how fortunate he is to be getting a second title shot.
"The first came in October of 1989 and we just flat-out blew it," said Rothe. "It was in Korea against In Chul-Baek and we were ahead when it was stopped in the 13th round. Going over there was a horrible experience, but that's no excuse. We learned from it."
Essett has been ranked as the top contender among 168-pounders by the WBC for months, patiently awaiting the title shot mandated by the organization's rules. Essett posted an early knockout in his last fight March 7 and carries a 24-3 record with 17 knockouts into the bout. He had 250 fights as an amateur.
Galvano captured the vacated (by Sugar Ray Leonard) crown late last year.
"We have tape of the guy and he's a runner, a tough guy to fight," said Rothe. "He hasn't got much of a punch, just four knockouts on his 16-1 record, so Ron knows he's going to have to be in great shape to chase him down and put him away.
"In a way, this is a last hurrah for us. It happens or it doesn't happen. No one ever gets a third title shot. It fact, it's a little amazing we're getting a second chance."
As opposed to the situation when he lost in Korea, Essett will have his favorite trainer, Ben Getty, with him this time. "Ron has great faith in Ben and Ben gets the most out of him," said Rothe.