Interview with Joel Julio –“I’ll become champion of the world in this 2008”

Joel JulioBy Jaime Castro-Núñez: I have been following Joel Julio’s career since he won his first amateur championship in his native Colombia, in 1999. Back then, JJ was a rough diamond who pleased the crowd by dispatching his opponents with a devastating left hook or a vicious straight right hand. I saw him again two years later, in 2001, when he turned pro in a bout that took place in a colorful pueblo called Moñitos, in Northern Colombia. However, I never had the opportunity to talk to him, until today.

Currently training for his fight against Ishe Smith (19-2-0, 9 KOs) on April 30 in Vancouver, BC, JJ very kindly gave me this interview. Here is what the Monteria-born had to say.

Jaime Castro-Núñez: Hello, Joel, how are you doing?

Joel Julio: I’m well, thanks. As you know, training hard for my next fight, ready to trade punches.

JCN: It seems to me that your unexpected loss to Carlos Quintana divided your boxing life in two. Based on that personal opinion, I must ask you, what did you learn from that fight?

JJ: In that particular fight I realized that I had no energy to reach the twelfth round. I was exhausted. It was very hard for me because I lost the opportunity to fight for the championship. I wasn’t in the greatest condition.

JCN: Then you had a difficult fight against Cosme Rivera, who put you in trouble in the last round. Reflect back on that fight…

JJ: Yes, Cosme Rivera is a hungry, experienced fighter who put a lot of pressure. It was a very close fight against him. He was a tough rival, and as you said, he knocked me down in the last round, but I scored enough during the first part of the fight. He was a good test.

JCN: How did you feel against Cornelius Bundrage?

JJ: Great! Both my physical and mental conditions were great. I feel stronger at 154 and I don’t have to struggle with the weight. This is my category.

JCN: Talk us about your next fight. What do you know about Ishe Smith?

JJ: He can take a lot of punches. He doesn’t hit hard. My plan is to castigate his body, punish him hard. That’s what the crowd is gonna watch, Joel Julio nailing Ishe Smith’s body.

JCN: If you pass this test, what is your plan for the future?

JJ: To fight for the championship, probably against Vernon Forrest.

JCN: Are you ready for him?

JJ: Yes, the time has arrived!

JCN: Joel, it has been a great pleasure to talk with you. Best of luck in Vancouver! Is there anything that you want to say to your fans?

JJ: The pleasure is mine, Jaime. I would like to thank all my fans for their constant support. After my defeat to Quintana a lot of questions were raised, but I came back to prove that I just had a bad night. Everybody has a bad night and I had a bad one against Quintana, but this is my year. I will become champion of the world in this 2008.

Joel Julio, “The Loved Child” who has been fighting since the age of nine, is close to get the opportunity to fight for the championship. Many believe he will be a long-lasting champion. Will JJ fulfill all the predictions? He says “yes”. JJ speaks with confidence and pictures himself as the new king.


I would like to thank Felix Zabala Jr. and trainer Roberto Quezada for making this interview possible.

Article posted on 07.03.2008

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