IBF welterweight titlist Jan Zaveck is coming to America to fight for the first time on September 3, facing Andre Berto in Biloxi, Missi., with the fight televised by HBO. It's a big opportunity for the Slovenian fighter to show what he can do against a name opponent, on the road, and if you ask me, Zaveck is coming off just about as likable as he possibly could right now.
Here's a video Zaveck recently posted on his official YouTube account to introduce himself to those who don't know him:
For those who haven't seen Zaveck fight, no, he is not a world-beater. He's not what most of us would call a great fighter. But he's tough and solid, and if Berto isn't over his April loss to Victor Ortiz, this could be a huge trap fight for Andre. Berto will be the favorite in the minds of most, and I admit I expect him to win, but I also think Zaveck is a legit opponent. This isn't a true cherry pick or anything of the sort -- Zaveck can fight, and knows what a shot he has here to establish himself to American audiences at age 35.
I also loved this quote, from an interview with Ryan Maquiñana:
"I always say you have to push harder and challenge your luck and success, because this is the only way to go beyond the limits. I want to know where I am, and if I'm not good enough to defend my title everywhere in the earth—U.S. or Europe—I don't deserve it. It's not my intention to hide a belt away. It's not moral. Yes, it would be easier to defend the title back home, but that's not my way."
If you're not liking Jan Zaveck's personality right now, I don't know what to tell you.