ESB Exclusive Interview: David Estrada

david estrada16.08.07 - By Keith Terceira: On September 29th at Atlantic Cityís Boardwalk Hall, world ranked welterweight David Estrada (21-3) faces top prospect Andre Berto (19-0) on the Jermain Taylor-Kelly Pavlik under card. While many in the boxing world already consider Andre Berto the heir apparent in the division, some minds may have changed a bit or at least, a wait and see approach adopted after Cosme Riveraís flash knock down of Berto last week. Giving Berto his props, Andre displayed the size of his heart when he quickly recovered and went on to easily win the boutÖ

David Estrada had gotten little respect until losing to Sugar Shane and his comeback showing against Kermit Cintron. Even after his performance against world champion Cintron some are still writing off and writing of Estrada as a fringe contender in the division. One thing his performance did get him was a contract with Yaseen Malnik and the Seeno Group of Miami.

Estrada has reeled off three straight wins since his bout with Cintron and has placed himself right in position for a rematch with Kermit Cintron providing he can get past the divisions crown prince Andre Berto. I caught up with David shortly after his and Andreís appearance on TalkinBoxing with Billy C.

ESB: David, what was the response like from the boxing community after your bout with Kermit Cintron last year?

Estrada: I got a good response, a lot of interest, with everyone saying it was a good fight and that they would love to see a rematch.

ESB: Iíll beat you received a lot of offers after you showing?

Estrada: Yes, there have been offers but I basically have been taking my time and not rushing into anything. Now I have this fight coming up with Andre Berto and I think the timing was perfect.

ESB: Sometimes when a boxer has such a great fight as you did with Kermit the offers start to dry up because your danger level increases, do you think people took you a little lighter in the beginning of your career then they do now?

Estrada: Yes, I think you are right, and I think people misjudged me and overlooked me early in my career. If anybody breaks my record down and looks at who I fought and the type of fighters that I fought then they have no choice but to respect it. Going off the fact that I donít have a big time, big name manager, and that I have only been with a large promoter for my last few fights, plus I wasnít an Olympian or anything like that, then that is where that disrespect came from in the beginning.

ESB: Do you think that the boxing community (fans included) should stop looking at a fighters loss column the way they do when they judge a fighters overall skills?

Estrada: Definitely, I donít fight guys that have more losses then wins but I have fought some guys that have more than a couple of losses. I tell you I am lucky that I didnít take them lightly because sometimes those are the guys that are the toughest ones out there to beat.

ESB: Boxers without a big backer in the beginning have got to work that day job and find time to train and really sacrifice because they donít have that protection. How do you feel about coming up that way?

Estrada: I feel good about it now, because when I do become a champion I will be able to say Iím a real champion and that my record was never padded and I never had anyone sticking a silver spoon in my mouth getting me easy fights against under 500 fighters.

ESB: Fans rarely get a glimpse at a fighterís personal story to often, about the sacrifices made, so some people donít identify anymore with boxers on a personal level as they did years ago. Tell us what it was like for the prelim David Estrada. How did you survive coming up?

Estrada: I did what I had to do; it was hard working full time and training full time. A lot of fighters who donít have that money backing them a lot of times have to do things differently to make things happen. I have been there and done that. I worked construction, sand-blasted graffiti off of walls, I was a delivery man. I did anything I had to.

ESB: David you now have a promotional deal, correct?

Estrada: I am now promoted by Seeno Group based out of Miami.

ESB: How did you get involved with Seeno Group?

Estrada: I got involved with Seeno Group because Justine Malnik the founder of Seeno is a very good friend of mine.

ESB: What difference in your training has having these companies behind you made?

Estrada: Of course my trainers are the same and sparring changes according to who I am fighting and how much money we put out to pay the sparring partners but the thing that has changed is the perfect combination. The two companies working together to get me what the boxing world calls tune-ups that I needed and now this big fight (Berto) that will put me back at number one. If everything works out I am going to be the mandatory. We will see what happens from there.

ESB: Do you feel there are a lot of people in the rankings that shouldn't belong there based on who they have fought?

Estrada: I think there is a lot of guys that got it handed to them and get ranked the easy way, sometimes you see these guys in the top five and you look at their record and you wonder how they even got ranked in the first place. Sometimes I see a guy ranked above me and I have never even heard of him, so I go on the Internet and check him out and I say to myself this dude has fought nobody, I've never seen him fight on TV but they have him ranked on top of me just because he is undefeated and fought a bunch of guys with losing records. Itís crazy!

ESB: What was your family like when you told them you wanted to box?

Estrada: My grandfather and two of my uncles boxed so when I told my dad that I wanted to box he just looked at me and said ďyou really want to box, alright, Iíll take you to the gymĒ I think he figured that it was something I would change my mind on after I knew how hard it was. He took me to the gym in Chicago with my brother; I was 14 and havenít stopped since then. My dad didnít box but he was into martial arts.

ESB: Did your dad take a hands on approach when you started or leave it to the coaches?

Estrada: In the beginning , I think he thought it would only last a couple of months, but after I fought my first tournament which was the Chicago Parks District and I won it, I went right back to the gym afterward. I think then he knew that s what I really wanted to do. I did play football before I found boxing but I left that as soon as I got hooked on this sport.

ESB: How much flack did you get from the women in the family?

Estrada: At first, my mom sure didnít like it (laugh) because, you know, you pay your dues in the gym. I would come home with a busted lip, bruises and what not. It was tough love in the gym and they would stick me in with guys with way more experience, different weights, sometimes adults the same weight class. I was this little kid but I said alright and just kept at it. My mom would see these bruises and she would be like, you have to go to college and be all upset. I was not a school kind of guy; I got into the technical stuff. Iím good with my hands. Maybe that is why I took to boxing. Now she is like the loudest person out there at the fights.

ESB: Are you comfortable at welterweight, I know you found it hard at times making weight?

Estrada: I am now that I have been doing things right. In the past I would get all the way up to the mid-eighties and then have to drop all the way down to 147. Ever since I hooked up with Seeno group, they put me with a nutritionist and they really taught me what I was doing wrong. I was stuck on that high protein, low carb; starve yourself, before a fight regime. Running and going in a steam room to make the weight, really killing myself. They taught me the right formula to make weight so I feel so much better. That is why my last three fights I got TKOís. Iím a lot stronger now. Now it seems crazy to me that I was doing that but back then it felt that it was normal.

ESB: What are your weight swings now that you have better nutrition?

Estrada: Now I barely hit 160 walking around weight, thatís a big change from 183. I have more energy, I sleep better.

ESB: With that big a weight loss before a fight you must have really pigged out for days after a fight?

Estrada: Days, you donít know the half of it. I would be so drained of nutrients I would do it for months?
Now with a 4-5 week camp Iím at fight weight a week before the show.

ESB: Did you see the Berto-Rivera fight and how do you feel about his performance?

Estrada: Andre showed me his heart that fight getting dropped and coming back. He showed me that but he still hasn't been in a war. Cosme is not the type of fighter that is going to make you go to war, he is a boxer. I'm a fighter; I'm going to make Berto go to war. I am going to put him through something he has never been through before and we will see how he reacts to that.

ESB: When I talked to Andre before the fight and he really wanted to show the world that he belongs where he is in the rankings, so he made the mistake, according to him, of going right after Cosme for the KO. Do you think he will Attempt the same with you?

Estrada: I donít think so, he is a pretty smart kid and I think he learns from his mistakes. I donít think he will do the same things twice.

ESB: Describe the changes you see in yourself in sparring and such since you began with a nutritionist.

Estrada: I see myself doing things in the gym now that I got away from when I was only training to make weight. Now Iím doing the training for the fights.

ESB: Thanks for the time today David and best of luck against Andre Berto.

Estrada: Thanks Keith, keep in touch and we will see you in Miami sometime.

Both Andre Berto and David Estrada appeared on the Head 2 Head segment of this broadcast. I must be fair and confess that I am the co-host and bias as to it being the best broadcast on the airwaves. Hopefully Eastside readers won't mind my free plug here seeing as how I am back to the site (donít cry anyone) and now my life is complete. Writing for a great web site and having a great radio show, itís as good as it gets.

Well itís better than string beans, filing taxes, and Tanya Harding fights.

Just kidding, I Ďm proud to be back to ESB and look forward again to the many educated and abusive comments. Write me with your comments or wishes for my departure at

Article posted on 17.08.2007

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