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Pagliara's popularity growing

More and more in this economy, with ad money scarce and promotional budgets thin, promoters are looking for fighters who put butts in seats.

Floriano Pagliara is growing as an attraction for Lou DiBella, who runs a card tonight at Roseland headlined by super middleweight contender Thomas Oosthuizen.

Pagliara, a Cecine, Italy native, sports a 13-4 record with 7 KOs is promoted by Rich Kommissar of RKO Boxing International. Kommissar, who has been placing Pagliara on DiBella cards lately, said, on Tuesday, he expects about 150 Floriano fans, from all five boroughs, to cheer on their guy at Roseland tonight. (Doors open at 6:30, first bout is slated for 7 p.m. on FIGHT NOW TV, which is available on Cablevision, will air three fights, starting at 10 p.m. ET in America. They will also stream the three bouts on their Ustream powered broadband player for $4.95.)

“Floriano has such a great personality that people of this community have grown to love him," Komissar told NYFightBlog. The fighter, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is trained by Don Saxby at Gleasons, and is aiming to head back to Italy after this scrap against New Mexico's Willie Villanueva (10-4) for a fight versus a junior welterweight champ of that nation.

How far he'll go, of course, remains to be seen. At 33, he wisely has started to think about vocational Plan B. Komissar's son Dan is in the restaurant business in New Jersey, and recently learned that Floriano is a trained chef, who worked on the Tuscan coast. Dan and Floriano might open a restaurant in the near future, Komissar said.

I saw the interaction between the boxer and Komissar at the Tuesday press conference at Jack Demsey's in midtown, and frankly, you will not often see a level of fondness like this between a promoter and a boxer. Old timers would say this is a recipe for future heartbreak, that you should never fall in love with a fighter, so to speak. Komissar can't help himself.

"Floriano is a true sportsman and gentleman," he said. "I’ve been around boxing and fighters all of my life. I can honestly say I’ve never met any fighter with such a true heart. He is truly intoxicating to be around."