One has appeared in a half-dozen action movies. The other only looks like a Hollywood starlet.
But when Neven Pajkic and Ana Julaton appear at Casino Rama Wednesday night, the blood will be real, and so will the punches.
Pajkic, a part-time actor, is defending his Canadian heavyweight boxing championship against the fighter he stole the crown from last March — Greg (The Pole) Kielsa.
Win and Pajkic already has an invitation to fight on the big stage, Las Vegas, in September — another step toward that elusive world heavyweight title shot.
Given that he’s already 32, with only 12 pro bouts to his name — all of them victories, though — the idea of a Pajkic fighting current world champ Vitali Klitschko , or whoever, in another 18 to 24 months would seem far-fetched.
But here’s the thing.
The guy he beat — Kiesla — to win the Canadian crown, wrested the title from Arthur Cook in 2008. The same Cook who had defeated Albert Sosnowski earlier in his career.
Sosnowski just went 10 rounds against Klitschko last month in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Boxing, sometimes anyway, can be a small world and Pajkic brings some major currency to the table. He’s ruggedly handsome, scary without trying, and unbelievably charming. He’s a promoter’s dream.
Pajkic, who was born in Sarajevo, but learned to box in Canada, even knows poetry. Sort of.
“Before the last fight (against Kielsa), I wrote a poem — but it was a little bit controversial,” Pajkic said mischievously. “On March 27, I’m going to go on his ass 9-11. “But this fight being on June 30th, I didn’t make anything up for June 30th.”
Pajkic, 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, insists he’s not taking the Kielsa rematch lightly.
“Absolutely not,” he glowered. “There were rumours (Kielsa) had a foot injury the last fight. I don’t know if that’s true. I took it as if he was injured and he’s coming back mean. So I took it to the next level, training-wise.”
Fight promoter Allan Tremblay of Orion Sports Management expects Wednesday’s Kiesla-Pajkic fight to dwarf any previous Canadian heavyweight title fight.
“The fight they put on the last time (in March) was arguably, probably the greatest Canadian heavyweight fight of all time,” Tremblay said. “I know if George Chuvalo was sitting here, he would be glaring at me, but I’d say it anyway.
“This was a fight. There was no clinching, not hugging, no nothing. This was war. And the anticipation about this fight, which is already sold out, is extremely high.”
While Julaton exudes sex appeal, the 29-year-old Californian, is also a brawler, which trainer Freddie Roach believes cost her, her last fight. Brampton’s Lisa Brown, 10 years older and a lot more experienced, won a lopsided, unanimous 10-round decision over Julaton, who is huge in the Filipino community.
So big, in fact, that a Manila TV station sent a reporter and cameraman here for the fight.
Roach, of course, is boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao’s trainer and it was Pacquiao who discovered Julaton as an amateur.
Julaton, who teaches martial arts in her spare time, will fight Maria Elena Villalobos of Mexico for the vacant WBO Super Bantamweight title at Rama.
Punch to punch</p>
“Ana wants to fight too much. She wants to go punch to punch with everyone, instead of using her boxing abilities,” Roach said.
Brown opened cuts above both of Julaton’s eyes in their March 27 bout. The loss inspired her to work harder.
“I’ve been living like a monk,” she said. “I would train, sleep, eat, train, sleep, eat and it’s been just like that for me for the last two weeks, so hopefully on June 30th we’ll put on a show.”
Roach, meanwhile, thinks Pacquiao and his nemesis, Floyd Mayweather will finally hook up before year’s end.
“Mayweather is retiring, he’s not retiring, he wants to fight, he doesn’t — he’s always changing his mind,” Roach said, adding that Pacquiao is now willing to submit to drug testing if that’s what it takes to get the match.