The height of hype

MURRAY GREIG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:05 PM ET

EDMONTON - You've gotta hand it to Calgary's FanBase Promotions when it comes to hyping the Jan. 13 NABA junior middleweight title bout between champion Adam Trupish (9-0, 6 KOs) of Edmonton and Calgary's Janks Trotter (7-0-1, 7 KOs).

A few days before Christmas, FBP solemnly informed the media that homegrown former Top 10 cruiserweight contender Dale Brown has declared the Time For Truth card -- which will be staged in the cozy confines of Calgary's Desperados nightclub -- "the best boxing event ever presented in Western Canada."

Thanks, guys. And all these years, I thought that perhaps Muhammad Ali vs. George Chuvalo (Vancouver, 1972), Ken Lakusta vs. Willie de Wit (Edmonton, 1986) or Lakusta vs. George Foreman (Edmonton, 1990) might deserve that honour.

That's not to say Trupish vs. Trotter won't be a corker.

There's been enough trash talk between the two camps to fuel a genuine dislike, and both fighters see this 10-round showdown as a springboard to a possible world title shot later this year.

A few weeks ago, Trotter, 27, called out the 32-year-old Trupish online, saying the champ "needs to stop backing up and stand up like a man, if he can."

Trupish responded by saying he intends to teach Trotter "some lessons in respect."

Keeping pre-fight hype in perspective is nothing new to Trupish, of course. The eight-time national amateur champ and two-time Olympian has fought all over the world. The fact he's won four professional titles in a little over two years is testament to his ability to separate the steak from the sizzle.

"You just roll with it," he said of the breathless hype. "Promoters do what they do; fighters just fight.

"Right now, with just over a week to go, it's a little like walking on eggshells. You've gotta be careful in training, careful with what you eat. Everything.

"But once the bell rings, we're just two fighters out to win. And that's what I intend on doing."

The palpable antipathy between Trupish and Trotter has sparked tremendous fan interest, and since the venue can only accommodate 500 spectators, FBP is wisely making the fight available on a live Internet feed, at a cost of $9.99.

A link to the sign-on instructions can be found at www.fanbaseboxing.com

The Time For Truth co-main event will feature Calgary junior welterweight Steve Claggett (12-1-1, 7 KOs) vs. Ryan Wagner (4-1) in an eight-rounder, while the prelims have Albert Onolunose (19-1, 7 KOs) vs. Jason Naugler (18-14, 11 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight bout, and Andrew Hernandez (3-0) vs. Steve Franjic (7-0) in a six-round light heavyweight match.

RETURN OF THE TWIST?

Ali had his shuffle, Floyd Patterson his peek-a-boo defence. And George LaBlanche -- who in 1866 became the first Canadian to challenge for the world middleweight title -- had his pivot punch.

The 'Trupish Twist' is still a work in progress, but it might one day join those others in the pantheon of great signature moves.

We might even get a peek at it on Jan. 13.

During sparring sessions at the Beverly Bronx Gym, Trupish has worked at perfecting a tricky little upper-body twist to avoid incoming punches.

Moving sideways or backwards, he bends Gumby-like at the waist in order to swivel just out of range.

The move is designed to be especially effective against taller opponents like Trotter, who's 5-foot-10.

"Slipping punches is just as important as throwing them; the secret is to put yourself in position to be able to do both," said Trupish, who's 5-foot-9.

"By bending and moving at the same time, I can still fire back. Coming down to 154 pounds, I'm quicker. I've been working with several different sparring partners and no two have the same style, so I'm ready for anything."

DOWNTIME A DOWNER

A month shy of his 33rd birthday (Feb. 8), Trupish is fully aware that 2012 could be the make or break year of his career.

"I love being a professional fighter; the only thing I don't like is the long layoffs É the downtime between fights," he said in reference to his last ring appearance, a sensational two-round KO of Rogerio Pereira for the NABA title 10 months ago in Toronto.

"For almost 20 years in the amateurs, I had a regimented schedule -- when to eat, when to sleep, when to train. Everything was controlled, especially during my time on the national team and when I was training for the Olympics.

"In the pros, it's a lot different. It's so competitive and so selective, and the opportunities to sell yourself are so much fewer. You have to make promoters want to put you on their shows, and the only way to do that is to keep busy, keep the buzz going."

Despite his inactivity, there's still a buzz around Trupish -- one he hopes will be ramped up after a win over Trotter.

"I don't want any easy fights," he said. "I'd love to challenge for the Commonwealth title at 154, then beat a Top 10 guy to put myself in line for a (world) title shot.

"I figure I've got two or three good years left in me, and I want to fight as often as possible.

"If that can happen here in Edmonton, great.

"If not, I'll go where the fights are."

murray.greig@sunmedia.ca


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