AVENTURA, Florida – Dervin Colina couldn’t say no.
The unproven Venezuelan veteran has waited his entire career for this type of opportunity. Even on one week’s notice, the 33-year-old Colina believes he is ready to introduce himself to the boxing world by beating Badou Jack on the Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul undercard Sunday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
“I wanna win this fight not only for myself, but more so for my family, who have supported me since I was a very, very young man,” Colina told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Friday at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa. “I’m coming with everything to win this fight because I know that the ramifications are great after I win this fight. It’ll take my life and my family’s life to the next level. So, I’m gonna lay it all out and give my whole life in the ring if I have to, to get the victory.”
Colina (15-0, 13 KOs) was training for a super middleweight fight against Vaughn Alexander (15-5, 9 KOs) on June 11 in Orlando when his team was approached about facing Jack (23-3-3, 13 KOs). Sweden’s Jack needed a replacement for WBA world light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KOs, 1 NC), who was removed from their 12-round rematch because he tested positive for four performance-enhancing drugs.
Colina has fought in the light heavyweight division, but he had been boxing as a super middleweight before accepting this fight with Jack. The weight limit for their 10-round bout was 177 pounds, two above the maximum for the light heavyweight division.
Jack hasn’t been able to find much footage of Colina, who has fought mostly a low level of opposition in Venezuela and Colombia since he turned pro in November 2013.
“I don’t know if Badou Jack is truly underestimating me or not,” Colina said. “I hope he’s underestimating me because I’ve got a lot of weapons that Badou Jack doesn’t really know about. But I think, in my heart, that I’m gonna make this a real complicated fight for him.”
Jack-Colina is the co-feature Showtime Pay-Per-View will air before Mayweather and Paul meet in the main event, an eight-round exhibition.
“My country’s going crazy back home,” said Colina, who is trained by Stacey McKinley in nearby Pompano Beach. “They’re showing me mad love on social media and supporting me. I’m gonna do everything in my power to come back to my country and have a nice parade.”
Showtime’s four-fight event is set to begin at 8 p.m. EDT, when retired NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson will battle Brian Maxwell in a four-round cruiserweight exhibition. After the Johnson-Maxwell match, former IBF/IBO/WBA 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs) will face Luis Arias (18-2-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight bout.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.