Caparello recaptures world ranking

Blake Caparello after his victory in New York. (Supplied)

Oliver Lees

Three years after being urged to give up on his boxing career, Greenvale raised Blake Caparello has made a stunning comeback to the ring.

On February 23 Caparello defeated Italian Simone Federici by knock out at a fight held at Paramount Theatre in New York.

The win was hugely significant for Caparello’s career, as it placed him back on the World Boxing Association rankings for the first time in three years.

He is now ranked 14th in the world in the cruiserweight division and at the age of 37 his career is looking better than ever.

But it was almost a completely different story.

After a loss to Faris Chevalier in March 2021, Caparello received advice that it might be time to wrap up his career.

He was 34-years-old at the time and had enjoyed a successful career since 2009, but he wasn’t yet ready to throw in the towel.

“My old team wanted me to retire, I thought I had more to offer and wanted to go up in weight,” he said.

“[Winning in New York] was an extra buzz because there were a lot of doubters back home who thought I couldn’t do it because of my last performance three years ago.

“Now I’ve got a new team, new culture.

“This fight was the perfect fight.”

Caparello has now returned to Melbourne with two prestigious boxing belts to his name.

In boxing, competitors are defined by their weight class, which means that professionals must constantly manage their training and diet to fit within a certain category.

After the disappointment of his loss in 2021, Caparello decided that he would move up a weight class from light heavyweight to cruiserweight, which he said has freed him up to focus more on the technical aspects of his preparation.

“Sometimes you can focus more on making weight rather than the actual fight itself,” he said.

“Now I just train and eat, I don’t have to worry about my weight.”

While some within his team thought his career was over, Caparello said his then-girlfriend, now-wife Monique encouraged him to keep going.

He has since been going back and forth from Westmeadows to Los Angeles for training sessions since 2022.

“It was good to just focus on boxing and get into a good mental space,” he said.

“Just going back and training over there has reenergised me, I love being in the gym.”

With three children under the age of five, the juggling of family and boxing has demanded full commitment and support from both Monique and Blake.

Sometimes that means extended time apart, but it can also mean memorable trips together.

The whole family traveled to New York for his fight last month and Blake and Monique decided to seize the opportunity to have their destination wedding atop the Rockefeller Center.

While he may no longer have the physical exuberance of his youth, Caparello said he feels more sure of himself now than ever before.

“I’m 37, I don’t want to fight the little fights anymore, they’re all strategic,” he said.

“Some thought I was taking a risk getting married [after the fight in New York], they thought I might cop bumps and bruises, but I was very confident.”