Promoter Gary Shaw announced today the addition of undefeated lightweight sensation Leonardo Zappavigna, known professionally as Lenny Zappa, to Gary Shaw Productions’ roster.
Zappa will be making his U.S. debut on Saturday, December 12, on the non-televised undercard headlined by the Timothy Bradley vs. Lamont Peterson / Vic Darchinyan vs Tomas Rojas world championship doubleheader at Agua Caliente Casino Resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
The two title fights will be televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / PT (delayed on the West Coast.)
Australian by birth and Italian by descent, Zappa (21-0, 15 KOs), of Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia, established himself as a prospect as an amateur. The four-time national amateur champion fashioned a 72-9 record which culminated with a Bronze Medal in the lightweight class at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, where he represented Australia.
“Lenny Zappa is the goods – the whole goods,” said Shaw. “His hair style is reminiscent of Kostya Tszyu, but more importantly so is his power. I see him following in the footsteps of those that have been great in the lightweight division before him.
"The best part of promoting Lenny is that I get to do it with Vic Darchinyan and Elias Nassar. It's the byproduct of a beautiful friendship and I look forward to working with them on developing more talent from Australia, Armenia and Russia for many years to come."
Zappavigna, 21, trained by Billy Hussein and Tommy Mercuri, is considered Australia’s best young star and a future world champion. Back-to-back IBF Pan Pacific junior welterweight title victories over former world title challenger Tommy Browne and former world champion Gairy St. Clair have catapulted him to a No. 13 world rating by the IBF.
In between bouts, he is a favorite of top fighters for sparring, including Manny Pacquiao. He returns to the ring in December fresh from a first-round knockout victory of Thongthai Rajanondh in August. He is 4-0 (2 KOs), in 2009.