Teresa Perozzi and Tori Nelson go head to head on Saturday. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Teresa Perozzi and Tori Nelson go head to head on Saturday. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1: If victories in the ring were based solely on a fighter’s belief, then Tori Nelson already has tomorrow night’s title bout sewn up.

The American landed in Bermuda yesterday weary but upbeat ahead of her rematch with home favourite Teresa Perozzi at the Berkeley Institute.

Two judges scored their previous showdown a draw, meaning the undefeated American is back on the island to contest the vacant WBC Middleweight Boxing Championship belt.

The local crowd will be baying for her blood but middleweight Nelson is undeterred.

Speaking before she left the States, she told the Bermuda Sun: “It’s a tough business but I look forward to keeping my unbeaten run going. I’m going to retire undefeated and I just feel that if I do my part that’s what I’ll do.

“When I do retire I want to have all the belts.”

Initially, the 36-year-old admitted the result of the last battle between the pair left a sour taste.

Both she and Perozzi were adamant they had  done enough to win.

Impressing the judges this time, Nelson says, will be just as important as dealing with her opponent. 

She said: “It did [upset me] but the judges saw what they saw and I can live with that. 

“I now know I have to do more and be busier and, bless God, that will impress them enough to get me the win.

“I think in the last fight I did what I needed to do because I restricted her.

“She came and she wanted to box — you fight a boxer and you box a fighter. I made her frustrated.

“She might want to change up but I’ll stick to my plan and make adjustments if I need to.

“I need to let my hands go a lot more. I’m not worried by her, it’s the judges I have to please. I’m fighting more than one person — I’m fighting her and the judges.”

Safely in the grounds of the Fairmont Hamilton yesterday, Nelson cut a slightly more cordial figure. But the message was the same: she’s here to win.

She said: “I trained as normal but it’s my fight so I’m going to bring it the same way I did before.

“I am blessed, I’ve trained hard, it’s not about beating her, it’s about impressing the judges and showing that I beat her clear.

“I know she’s probably  not going to come the same but I’m just prepared for either or. 

“I’m always the underdog. She has more pressure on her to win. I don’t. But I love it – the people here are beautiful.”

The American will be facing a home boxer who is teaming up again with legendary trainer Troy Darrell, a partnership Perozzi believes is reaping dividends even at this late stage of her career.

She said: “With Troy we have the advantage of having worked together for one fight before.”

She added: “I expect a lot of the same from Tori, more aggression, we know each other now. So I expect a great fight. Definitely she’ll be ready and I’ll be ready.”

Darrell believes his charge is ready to fine tune her tactics to greater effect this time. He said: “We going to stick to the same game plan. My whole point last fight was to outbox her. 

“Tori comes forward, she likes to slug punch and likes to get into the mix. Basically we are going to make her miss and make her pay.” 


Undercard

Red/Blue, Bermuda unless stated, first fight 8pm, Saturday

Nikki Bascome v Matthew Abregu (US) (Five rounds)

Andrew Lambe v Christopher Gooch (US)

Jashaun Thomas v Jose Israel Flores (US)

Shannon Ford v Stefan Dill

Steven Wright v Diandre Burgess

Reyel Bowen v Justin Tucker

Trey Simons v Corey Boyce

Brian Flynn v Tariq Lynchwade

Bernard Opoku v David McHugh