BRIDGEPORT — Fans of Frankie "Timebomb" Scalise will have to wait a little bit longer to watch the next bout in the neighborhood fighter’s ongoing comeback.
A shoulder injury has forced Scalise’s team to postpone Friday’s fight, part of a fight card at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. The fight has been rescheduled for Nov. 27.
“This doesn’t stop us at all. In fact this will help rejuvenate his body,” said Mike Cericola, who acts as Scalise's co-manager along with Scalise’s wife, Shawna.
Scalise, 34, mounted his comeback campaign last year after a 12-year absence from the ring. Since then, the city worker and father of three has gone undefeated in four fights, leaving him with a career record of 7-1. All of his wins were knockouts.
Scalise got his start at fights hosted by the Old Neighborhood Italian American Club in Bridgeport and cut his teeth training at the shuttered Chicago Boxing Club at 3508 S. Halsted St.
Now, he trains at Body Shots Boxing, a renovated loft inside an old industrial building at Cermak Road and Canal Street where he spars and does bag work, part of a daily training routine that also has him jogging around Bridgeport or the lakefront.
He’d been training eight weeks for Friday's lightweight bout, and you get the sense he’d fight if someone, anyone, would give him the green light.
The event at the casino, which features nine other bouts, was supposed to double as his 35th birthday celebration.
"I don't feel too old," he said. "I got ready for this, and I'm ready for anybody, but, you know ..."
Rather than risk the longterm comeback effort, Scalise's managers, doctor and even Bobby Hitz, his longtime promoter, ordered him to sit this one out.
“The No. 1 thing is to have him healthy and back on track. We’re off to a good start,” Hitz said. “Most guys who’ve been out 12 years, it’s like they’ve been in penitentiary or something, but for Frankie to be a guy to come back and have a good job and being a family man, it really says a lot about his tenacity.
"It’s all part of the longterm plan: first a handful of local cards, then move him up to state and local championship fights next year.
“This is a speed bump on his way to a championship.”