Most boxers who train in a converted church, hail from a small town in Pennsylvania, and turn pro at the age of 20 with no amateur experience hope to get a few wins and maybe win a state title at the most.
Very few go on to be ranked in the world by three of the four major sanctioning bodies and fight at an extremely high level.
Tommy Karpency falls into the latter category. When he steps into the ring this Saturday at the Zembo Shine arena in Harrisburg he will look to add a win to an already stellar career.
Karpency has a record of 20-2-1 (13 KO) and currently holds the WBA Fedecentro Light Heavyweight Title. One of those losses came to recent title challenger Karo Murat in his native Germany.
Karpency took the fight on short notice and felt that he could have won with a full training camp under his belt. If you ask Karpency there is one person that has gotten him to this level.
“Without my dad I wouldn’t be here, you know. He taught me everything I know as far as boxing goes.”
Tom Karpency Sr. is the head trainer for his son and has been with him since the start. One of the reasons Tom Jr. didn’t have an amateur career was he was always in the gym with his dad.
He has an athletic background though, as he was a wrestler for two years and says that the one-on-one competition helped him get ready for the intensity of the squared circle.
Karpency has had a solid training camp and is in top-shape heading into this fight. His training camp was spread out over five weeks because his fight will be fought over eight frames.
“I had about 70 rounds of sparring—I have sparred with my brother (Jeremiah 3-0 pro heavyweight), Justin “The Lumberjack” Howes, Eric Watkins gave me some rounds.”
Finding quality sparring is a problem in this area as Karpency touched upon. “I’m lucky that I have my brother here, although he is a heavyweight southpaw. He helps with my conditioning but I have to travel.”
His brother Jeremiah will be fighting on the card and that presents a unique situation for Karpency as he will be fighting after him.
“I’m back in the locker room with him while he warms up and when he enters the ring I stand in the back behind the crowd, watch his fight and once it’s over go back to the locker room.”
“You always have anxiety for your fight; you’re actually more nervous for your brother fighting then you are because you can’t control the outcome. It’s a little bit tough but I have been doing it so long.”
When he does step through the ropes this Saturday his opponent won’t know what kind of fight he will be getting into.
“I would say I can go either aspect, boxer or puncher. It depends on my opponent—if I think I can rough my opponent up I’ll get a little bit more aggressive. If I think he is a little more dangerous I’ll try to win the bout on points.”
Karpency has his eye on a world title and his father thinks that he will win a title if someone gives him the opportunity.
Who ever stands across the ring from him on Saturday is just another stepping stone to that goal.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and fights start at 7 p.m. this Saturday (the 12th) at the Zembo Shrine Arena in Harrisburgh.
According to Karpency Dallas Vargas pulled out of the fight and he will now be fighting replacement fighter Andre Hemphill (10-16-2 5 KO).
Hemphill has won his last two fights but is only 3-7 in his last ten fights.
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