Boxer longs to kiss the girl

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:18 AM ET

Neven Pajkic laughs when asked about the characters he has played on the big screen.

“Put it this way,” he said. “I haven’t kissed the girl yet.”

But he has laid a beating on a few guys.

The part-time actor, full-time boxer was ‘Richie’s Thug’ in the David Cronenberg film, A History of Violence.

He also played ‘Mercenary #6’ in the Mixed Martial Arts flick, Death Warrior.

And was ‘Henchman #2’ in Jeff Ltd., which was a TV show.

Apparently.

Yep, not a lot of kissing.

“I usually play the ugly type, the bodyguard or something,” Pajkic said.

Like a lot of professional fighters, acting is something the Sarajevo-born Pajkic does between bouts, to keep busy and to score some extra cash.

“Hey, I would like to get something with more depth,” Pajkic said. “And I have told that to casting directors. But it hasn’t really happened yet.”

There aren’t likely any Academy Awards in the foreseeable future.

Though his ‘Henchman #2’ was sublime.

But now that Pajkic’s boxing career is starting to take off, the acting can wait.

When Pajkic climbed into the ring to face Canadian heavyweight champion Greg Kielsa on March 27 at Casino Rama, few gave him much of a chance to win the title, not even his trainer Peter Wylie, who, when asked how his boxer would do against Kielsa, repeated that Pajkic “should show well.”

Whatever that meant.

Kielsa, 30, has an extensive amateur background and is a two-time Olympian and world championship medallist.

Pajkic, on the other hand, didn’t start to box until he was 26 (though he did come from a karate background) and hadn’t impressed anyone prior to the Kielsa fight — though he was 11-0.

But from the opening bell, he took the fight to Kielsa, hammering the Canadian champion with frequent combinations, en route to a 10-round unanimous decision.

And now he’s the Canadian champ. And if Pajkic can get past Kielsa again in a rematch on June 30, back at Rama, he’ll likely go to Europe for more lucrative fights. Though he’s a late bloomer to the sport and already 32, Pajkic believes that one day, he can fight for a world title.

“I don’t look like Klitschko,” said Pajkic, while not specifying which Klitschko, IBF and WBO champ Wladimir or WBC champ Vitaly. “I’m not that polished. But I’m going to keep coming and coming and coming. And I’m never going to back down.”

At 6-foot-3, 240 lbs, he’s certainly big enough. And unlike during any other time in his career, he is concentrating solely on boxing. Before, Pajkic worked in the construction trade and trained when he had the chance.

Now, working alongside Wylie, a respected trainer out of the Cabbagetown Club, he’s training twice a day.

“I’m throwing more punches and working on my footwork and I’m moving better,” Pajkic said. “I know I still have lots of room for improvement and a lot to learn.”

For the first Kielsa fight, Pajkic tipped the scales at 2401/2 pounds. For the second bout, he plans to be down to about 235. For his part, Kielsa said he injured his foot just prior to his defence against Pajkic, which affected his movement and ability to plant and throw a power shot.

“Without the ability to move, what can I do?” the Brampton fighter said.

The first bout was a high-action affair and promoter Allan Tremblay is almost foaming at the mouth at the prospect of a rematch.

Tremblay calls it an old-time “Neighbourhood War”, matching two boxers from the same city, but with divergent backgrounds. Kielsa is Polish-Canadian and Pajkic Serbian-Canadian, and both fighters attract plenty fans from their respective communities.

“I don’t give a s--t about that,” Pajkic said. “I just want to beat him again.”

Monday’s media conference to announce the June 30 fight lacked drama and controversy, as the two fighters are soft spoken and have tremendous respect for each other.

But Pajkic believes that Kielsa, whose record dropped to 11-1 with the loss, is psychologically scarred from the first fight.

“I’m in his head, he knows I whipped him,” Pajkic said.

“I think he has a little fear of me.

“If he does beat me, more power to him, but I don’t see it happening because I’ll be stronger, faster, lighter, more punches, more polish,” he said.

“I think I can up my game 15-20% for the next fight. And that will be huge.”


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