Fringe junior middleweight contender Chordale Booker is not letting one defeat define his career. Or his opponent’s choice of words.
Booker will face Greg Vendetti in a crossroads clash Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The 10-round bout will headline a CES Boxing Winter Brawl 2024 card.
Booker (21-1, 10 knockouts), who resides in nearby Stamford, is usually soft-spoken, but has been irked by recent comments by Vendetti, questioning Booker’s grit, skills set and level of opposition. Booker stated he will let his hands do the talking rather than get in a war of words with Vendetti.
“I hate when guys downplay me as a fighter,” said Booker in a recent media release. “Vendetti said that I have a brittle spirit. I don’t understand that assessment. He can think that, but I’m still going to beat his ass one way or another on (Saturday night).
“Sometimes, when you tell yourself something enough times, you start to believe it. If Vendetti believes that, he’s coming into that fight to lose, because if you think you’re going to wait until the end of the fight to try to catch me, I’ll already have racked up six or seven rounds.
“I have respect for him as a fighter, but I’m a competitor. As a competitor, I want to step on anybody who comes on the court with me, in the ring with me, the chess table, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to make sure that I smoke you in anything that we do.”
Manager Paul Guarino is confident Booker can make a statement at the expense of Vendetti. He has seen Booker make great strides in recent fights, and staying active as well.
“After the win in his last fight, Chordale is now ranked No. 14 by the WBO,” Guarino told The Ring Sunday night. “We don’t overlook anyone and Vendetti is a great opponent and fought for a world title against (Erislandy) Lara.
“Chordale should move him up significantly in the WBC rankings (with a win). We should get some calls from the big promoters. The goal is the world title at 154 (pounds).”
Booker suffered the only loss of his career in April 2022, moving up in weight and losing by knockout to unbeaten middleweight Austin Williams.
Since then, Booker has reeled off four consecutive victories, all of which took place in 2023. In his last bout on October 11, which took place in the Dominican Republic, Booker stopped Julio de Jesus Rodriguez in the second round.
The 32-year-old was an amateur standout, culminating in a spot in the U.S. Boxing trials in 2016. In a close fight, Booker would lose by one point to Charles Conwell.
Vendetti (23-5-1, 12 KOs), who resides in Wakefield, Massachusetts, has not fought since October 2022, losing by unanimous decision to Courtney Pennington. Sandwiched between the loss to Lara (August 2020) and Pennington was a split-decision victory over Jimmy Williams in September 2021.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]