One more shuffle for Trupish

MURRAY GREIG, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

You can forgive Adam Trupish if he's feeling a little like a Jeopardy contestant this morning.

It's a wonder the first words out of his mouth at breakfast weren't: "Alex, I'll take 'Last Minute Opponents' for $1,500."

Over the past 72 hours, Trupish, the stylish Edmonton middleweight whose third punch-for-pay outing is headlining tonight's pro-am card at The Palace banquet hall, has had to think about fighting three different guys.

He originally signed to meet Juan Sanchez of Dartmouth, N.S., but Sanchez was scratched after sustaining burns in a New Year's Eve fire that destroyed his apartment building.

Scrambling for a replacement, promoter John Mendonca and matchmaker Jeff Henwood came up with trialhorse Terrence Jones (12-13, 7 KOs) of Oklahoma City, but problems with his medical records KO'd Jones' appearance in Edmonton.

On Wednesday, Mendonca and Henwood finally landed 37-year-old Etianne Whitaker of Warren, Ohio, who was signed, sealed and delivered in time to attend last night's official weigh-in at the Yellowhead Inn.

"You can't worry about stuff like this -- it's boxing, weird stuff happens all the time," said Trupish, who scaled in at a svelte 153.6.

"I won't lose any sleep over who's in the other corner, because I can't control that. All I can control is how I prepare myself, mentally and physically.

"I've worked hard in training, I feel great, and I'm really looking forward to this fight."

Nor is Trupish fazed by the fact he's now stepping in with a 10-year pro with a record of 33-31-2, with 21 KOs.

"I don't know anything about him, other than that he's been around for awhile and he's fought some tough guys," said Trupish. "He looks to be in good shape, so we'll see what happens."

Whitaker, who bears a striking resemblance to legendary Warren heavyweight Earnie Shavers, is no stranger to being a last-minute sub.

"Yeah, I've been in this position before ... but usually I have more than one day's notice," he said.

"I'm happy to come up here to fight this kid. They told me he went to the Olympics a couple of times and this is only his third pro fight, so I look at it as a chance to maybe take him to school.

"I've been in this game a long while and I'm used to being a road warrior. To me, it's all water off the duck's back. There's no pressure on me, 'cuz everybody's gonna be cheering for him. That's no problem. In a way, it makes it easier.

"I'll have a few surprises, for sure. I got some old-school tactics that he's probably never seen.

"Even though I've been off for awhile, I've got a bag of tricks that's taken 10 years to build up."

Whitaker's last fight was a KO loss to Bryon Mitchell (25-4-1) in November. His last win was a decision over Gonzalez Jones in July.

Trupish notched a first-round KO over Edgar Hernandez on Oct. 16 and a four-round decision over James Dearmin two weeks later.

MURRAY.GREIG@SUNMEDIA.CA


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