Gross Expects Slugfest with Hervey in Pro Fighting Series III

Jesse Gross fighting in Sarnia - Photo by

Jesse Gross fighting in Sarnia – Photo by

Bantamweight Jesse “The Ghost” Gross of Wallaceburg will step in to the cage against tough-brawling veteran Tony Hervey this weekend in the main event of Pro Fighting Series III from the Sarnia Arena. The card is filled with rising local talent with skilled fighters such as Adam Assenza, Mike Sledsion, Woodrow James, Josh Rich and Ryan Thomson all in action on the card.

Gross is looking for a nice bounce back win after his somewhat controversial loss to Michael Karkula in his hometown of London last October.

“That fight was so razor close. It was certainly disappointing, but I got to give the guy credit I put a beat down on him and he just kept coming. He wouldn’t go away. He surprised me there for sure.” Gross said

Karkula is a very skilled grappler and he dominated position for the entire first round. Gross came back with a vengeance in the second round and dropped the Toronto native to turn the tide and even the fight a round a piece. Gross continued to do the same for the first half of the final and deciding round but Karkula landed a sloppy takedown half way through the round and was able to control Gross’ back for the remainder of the fight. It was a battle of damage vs. control and Karkula got the nod ever so slightly from the judges. I scored that fight for Gross as it was clear to me that Karkula faded through the fight and when he did have position, he was unable to hurt or finish Gross.

The decision halted a nice two fight win streak Jesse had earned since moving down to fight at 145-pounds in the featherweight division. Gross has looked extremely solid at 145, dominating Seiji Sugiman-Marangos and then winning a tough decision against the ultra-experienced and highly-skilled Tristan Johnson. Jesse is managed by friend and UFC welterweight Chris Clements and he credits Clements and Adrenaline training partner UFC lightweight Jesse Ronson for pushing him to make the switch.

“The move to 145, really it was mostly Ronson chirping in my ear and telling me I should do this and do that. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do or if I was going to keep going but Ronson always took to the lead staying on me and in helping me believe and get motivated.”

Ronson may provide even more help for Gross leading up to this fight as he fought and took out Tony Hervey in Sarnia on The Score Fighting Series III in 2011. Watching Jesse Gross fight is always an exciting adventure because the guy simply brings it right into his opponents face and forces them to deal with him from start to finish with no lulls in between. His striking is aggressive, technical and he is learning more and more with each fight out.

If that isn’t enough, this fight brings real, genuine bad blood into the cage this weekend.

“It’s no secret that we just don’t like each other. There have been snarls and stares and some back and forth for five years in the making now, so I’m happy to have this chance the fight him. He’s just a guy with a big chip on his shoulder all the time and he is always trying to get into it with people. He’s a bit of a wildcard I wouldn’t be surprised if something happens at the weigh-ins on Friday.”

“One thing about him though he is a dangerous gamer. His record is all messed up because he takes on some of the toughest guys but he is dangerous I know that.”

I see Gross as being a better technical striker than Hervey and I asked him if he might implement the game plan to stay at a distance and pick him apart.

“When have you ever seen me throw punched with any other intention but to take a guy’s head off.” He laughed. “Someone is going to go down in this one for sure,” he predicted

“I am still working and I have a course coming up as well, so I still only fight part time. I’m just really happy to be in this fight and I want to thank all the guys in the gym who help me and of course I have to thank my girlfriend who has been really supportive and puts up with me.”

It is hard to say what a win over Hervey does for Gross and future opportunities to fight, but it will put him back on the winning track and give him a 3-1 record as a featherweight. The big shows are always looking for good talent in the lighter weight classes and Gross is ranked right up there in the top ten of Canadian featherweights.

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