Vinny Maddalone making one final run

He's been a pro since 1999, and has had a bunch of stepup fights but Vinny Maddalone hasn't been able to get over that hump. Against Al Cole, Brian Minto, Evander Holyfield, Dennis Boytsov, Jean-Marc Mormeck or Tomasz Adamek, he couldn't quite land that overhand bomb or the that left hook from the hot dog stand to change the fight, and the course of his career. But that is no slam on the 38 year-old Queens-based boxer, who headlines at a sold out Russo's on the Bay in Howard Beach against Chris Koval (25-8; 2-6 in his last eight fights; from Ohio) on Wednesday night.

Maddalone is of another era, he's of a dying breed, and the sentimental side of me hopes that the improbable happen, that on this, his final run, things fall into place for him and he gets that title shot.

Chances aren't good, I implied that heavily, but hopefully politely during a Tuesday phoner with the 34-7 heavyweight bomber. Maddalone would need to upset someone like a Seth Mitchell, and then get a last minute call to save a show when a Klitschko or Alexander Povetkin foe fell out at the last minute. He gets it, I think, that fate would have to smile upon him in a way it hasn't to this point for him to finish his fighting career in the way he'd like.

"It's been almost 13 year," he says, "and I got a year or two left, I want to go out full force. It seems I've been one fight away. Fights against Adamek and Mormeck, I beat these guys and I get that shot. I want to get an opportunity to fight for a world title. In the next year or so, I'm gonna be in the gym all the time, be ready, wait for that call."

He sold off a restaurant in Whitestone so he could go all in for this final run. But if the call doesn't come, there will be no regrets. He tells you boxing has been good to him. He's traveled the world. He's put off a 9-to-5 existence, been closer to the proverbial pot of gold than 99% of us sideliners. And if the call comes, and he does get one more shot at a belt or a Klitschko, he won't pull a Mormeck and sleepwalk his way through the fight: "No, I tell people, the only way they're getting me out of that ring is on a stretcher. I will keep throwing till I have nothing left."