BOXER LOSES BOUT AT W IN HOBOKEN BUT WINNING WAR AGAINST OBESITY

BY RYAN SONGALIA
FOR THE JERSEY JOURNAL

HOBOKEN, July 16, 2012 — Fight Night at the W Hotel tonight featured the first two knockouts in the series’ history as the amateur action brought out many top names in the New York/New Jersey boxing community.

ESPN2 boxing commentator Teddy Atlas, former heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney and rising super middleweight Will Rosinsky were just a few of the notables in the crowd to witness the event, promoted by Mike Nestor and Mark Settembre, which benefited FAITH services, the only totally HIV/AIDS-dedicated program serving Hudson County residents since 1988.

Of the eight bouts on the card, it was Dimitri Verteouris who had the most vocal, visible support. The 28-year-old Verteouris, of Brooklyn, was a contestant on the Food Network reality show “Fat Chef” and has since used boxing to work his way to a healthier weight. He has started a program called Knockout Obesity, where he trains five other people striving for a healthier lifestyle.

Verteouris, who weighed in at 229 pounds after being as high as 327 just six months ago, has sustained two open heart surgeries since being born with a heart murmur and was told by his doctors six months ago that he wouldn’t live past 35 unless he changed his lifestyle.

It wasn’t his night, however, as Verteouris was overwhelmed by a taller, fitter Peter Buscemi, receiving two standing eight counts before the referee stopped the bout at 1:14 of the second round.

Verteouris took the defeat in stride. “There’s very little room for error in the heavyweight division,” said Verteouris. “Everyone is heavy-handed at this weight, but I’m working my way back into shape. I won’t fight again until I get under 201 or 185 pounds. I’m only 5-8.”