Boxing


Emanuel Steward: ďHaye-Harrison is something that I think is almost like a jokeĒ

by Geoffrey Ciani - This weekís 91st edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with Hall of Fame boxing trainer Emanuel Steward, who just led IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko to a tenth round knockout victory against Sam Peter last weekend. This Friday night, Stewardís middleweight contender Andy Lee is back in action and this Saturday Steward is running the third in a series of Boxing Clinics that takes place in Houston, Texas. Additionally, Steward is also training Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto for a December 4 date which is expected to be against Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. Steward shared his insight on these matters and also provided opinions on various other topics including Manny Pacquiao, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Oscar De La Hoya, Haye vs. Harrison, the Williams vs. Martinez rematch, and more.

His views on Wladimir Klitschkoís overall performance in his tenth round knockout victory against Same Peter:

ďWell I can give you his assessment and my assessment because I just spoke to him about two hours ago. We thought it was good. It could have been better. He looked at it and he said, ĎI should have stopped him about three rounds beforeí and I said, ĎYesí. But overall, weíre satisfied with the performance. He came out with a style a little bit different than we expected. From the first fight, we expected he would be relying a lot on landing right hand punches. Instead, he was primarily fighting from a bob-and-weave style which he had never fought in before. In the first fight with Wladimir, he was more of an upright walking him down type of guy where Wladimir was just moving and hitting him easily with his head up. This time he came out with more of a Joe Frazier style of fighting with his head bobbing and weaving and throwing a lot of powerful left hooks and very seldom throwing right hands. So we had to make an adjustment. As the fight wore on I realized that even though Wladimir was hitting him with right hands, he was really never hurting him that much, much like Ali was with Frazier in the third fight they had which ended up with Ali winning by a fourteenth round stoppage. So we decided just to throw a lot of right hands regardless of the power to just gradually try and wear him down and to move left to right whenever he came forward and not going straight back.

We saw in a lot of films that Sam has bad footwork. Heís a very physically strong man with a very strong chin, but his footwork is not the best so thatís why he was always off balance and uncoordinated. The clinches were the result of Wladimir having this mental thing from the first fight where Sam Peter made him move so much and when he did punch he had to punch at Sam and then try to get out and move away. So in this fight he was determined that he didnít want to be backing up. He wanted to, whenever Sam got close, just physically just jump on top of him and rough him up and make him feel his physical strength and size and to wear him down, but not to move too much. So it resulted in a style where both guys were in excessive clinches, but it still worked to Wladimirís effect because he gradually drained him of his physical strength by doing that. Overall we were satisfied with the performance. He got the result that we went after and in his last probably three or four fights, heís only been hit probably about four times maybe and he hasnít lost a round. So thatís very interesting.Ē

On the way Wladimir responded to his corner instructions before proceeding to stop his opponent shortly after for the second consecutive fight:

ďWell Wladimir and I are very close and I think thatís the result of the time that we spend together. When weíre training, in fact we laugh. We probably spend about 30% of the time physically training and we spend 70% of the time talking. Even after we finish training, sometimes everyone has left the gym and weíll sit there for about another hour just going over everything in detail. So our communication is great, and when I speak itís something he respects and itís something weíve discussed already because we go over about three or four different scenarios in a fight the last week, so weíre prepared to do whatever we have to do. But in this case here, I could see one single punch and a clinch, one single punch or two and a clinch. I knew that if he would start putting punches together, particularly not throwing hard shots but just little small shots and throw them from different anglesómeaning left uppercuts, left hooks, right uppercutsólittle short punches and just keep moving and pivoting while heís doing it, that Sam because of his exhaustion, he would end up getting stopped because I remember Sam couldnít deal with the movement and in particular the short punches, instead of just one or two big punches. So Wladimir looks at you and gives you this look like, ĎI got youí. You notice often in between the rounds I only speak for about thirty seconds and then I climb out of the ring. We donít have to do a lot of talking because we have such a good communication. He may talk with his brother some in their native language. Theyíll talk a little bit more, but usually I speak very little until I get excited and sometimes the referee will have to tell me to get out of the ring, almost. We understand and communicate very well with each other.Ē

On rumors that Wladimir is looking to fight again this December and whether he thinks that is practical:

ďWell this is the first time in history where you have champions that are having problems finding challengers. Usually itís just the opposite. Well as I said earlier, he likes getting fights and heís enjoying them and he actually loves fighting more than people realize. Itís unusual to have a guy that everyone perceives as being so conservative and laid back, and he loves boxing. He loves training and today when we were speaking on the phone, heís very anxious to get back in the gym and we can start laying out strategies and plans for dissecting and breaking down a new opponent. He looks at it like a game, and we consider ourselves like two hit-men who are going after a common victim. We spend so much time analyzing and researching everything from the way that a guy walks to the way he thinks so we have a complete feeling for the opponent and we know his strong points and his weak points. We do a pretty good job of breaking down a guy. Usually the fights go pretty much the way we planned and sometimes when we see it drifting and decidedly going into a pattern, and naturally the fighter himself doesnít see it. When I tell him to he usually steps it up.

It was different in the Ibragimov fight and not so much just Wladimir. Many people donít realize after the first six rounds I saw in Ibragimovís face that he realized he couldnít do what he expected. Even when he would have Wladimir off balance he couldnít take advantage because Wladimir was much faster than he anticipated and Wladimir was controlling him. I actually saw him give up. I saw in his corner, they all gave up. At that point, every time Wladimir would take one step forward you could see Ibragimov go back a step and he was bending his head back almost halfway out of the ropes. So whenever you threw a punch you knew youíd have to be reaching and bending and getting all out of position so it made for a bad fight. It wasnít just Wladimirís fault. It was also Ibragimovís fault, as well, but nevertheless that was the one fight he couldnít do much more because of the style of the opponent.

Heís done what has been necessary to win fights and in most of his fights he wins by boxing a guy and mentally breaking him down and then knocking him out. But sometimes he goes out like he did with Ray Austin, and Eliseo Castillo, and Chris Byrd. He was very aggressive in those fights for different reasons, but the thing is he can punch very well early in a fight and heís very dangerous late in a fight, which means at no time are you safe in a fight with him and itís something Iím very proud of. Heís becoming a pretty complete fighter. I loved him throwing a few uppercuts and some of the things that he never tried before. It was a little awkward. It maybe wasnít the best when compared to some of the guys like George Foreman, but at least heís trying to throw some punches like that. It was necessary when fighting this fight because of the way Sam Peter was bending and bobbing and weaving his head, and I thought that Sam fought a very strong determined fight. If Wladimir hadnít have fought such a technical fight of moving, and changing directions, and utilizing his reachóit could have been a very tough fight.Ē

On which of the four rumored opponents for Klitschko (Tomasz Adamek, David Tua, Jean-Marc Mormeck, or Odlainer Solis) would be most likely if Wlad returns in December:

ďI really couldnít say. We have not discussed that. We went over the list and youíre right on the list, but I think that Adamek would be a big, big east coast fight, definitely. I think itís so easy for the European people coming from Poland and all over Europe really to come to the east coast as well as the big population of Europeans we have right here on the east coast in the United States. Itís a big fight. I donít know exactly where it would be but I would love to see it. I would love to see it in December if heís going to fight, but I donít know if it could happen. Itís the only fight I see thatís logical after this and that the public has shown some interest in this since Povetkin and Haye decided that they donít want to fight for the titles. So thatís the most logical fight, I think. I donít know about Solis, heís not that big a name.

I said, ĎWladimir, youíre going to have to stay busyí and this happens to many heavyweight champions. At one time Joe Louis was in the same situation. They called it the ĎBum of the Month Clubí because there was no standout challengers, but sooner or later thereís going to be some situation thatís going to jump up over night and it will be a big super fight. It doesnít take much for a heavyweight guy to win one or two fights and for the public to just get excited. It will happen. Adamek is the biggest name for us right now in the United States and in Europe, naturally, it would be David Haye. I think that something will happen and I would not mind going back in December.

I would just love to see him get more opportunities to fight here in America. The opponents have not been big marquee names and thatís no fault of anyoneís. Itís just the situation of the heavyweight division. I guess Thompson was not a big enough name to create a lot of excitement, and even Eddie Chambers who had been unfortunate in that he was not seen that much on TV. Compare these fighters that, regardless of who the opponent is in Germany, itís a massive event. The Klitschkos have become like rock stars now. They are selling out stadiums, not small arenas. People are paying. Itís not free tickets, and actually when we get to the place, sometimes there are people sitting outside on a line, trying to get in, trying to buy tickets and thereís usually a big line that precedes it in the stadiums, and there is a big party that goes on that goes until about three or four in the morning. So itís a major event, a Klitschko fight. Itís no longer just a boxing match. When you canít draw too much here because the opponent is not a hot name with the American public, you have to go wherever you can draw forty or fifty or sixty thousand people. Unfortunately outside of Adamek, he is the only one, and the other one here that theyíre always trying to build up but he has no consistency is Arreola. Itís hard for him to win three fights in a row it seems, or even two fights with a quality opponent.Ē

On whether we can expect to see Wladimir throw more uppercuts in the future or whether this was something they specifically worked on for the Peter fight:

ďYou definitely can expect more, but heís always told me that one thing he admired about Lennox particularly was Lennoxís uppercut. I said to him, ĎWell Lennox didnít use to have a big uppercut, we worked on ití. So heís been for the last two camps trying to throw them but he was still afraid to try it in a real fight because he felt maybe a little awkward and off-balance doing it. So he tried it. I think he landed some, he missed a few, but he just felt awkward throwing it in a real fight. I think you will see him start throwing more of those, because itís ideal for a guy like him. When he starts stepping forward their hands go up because they are expecting a jab or a right hand and when he starts throwing punches form underneath, it just creates more confusion I think for his opponents. Itís a natural punch from him and heís going to be doing it more in the future. In fact, when we spoke just recently thatís what he talked about. He said, ĎI did throw a couple of uppercuts there at the end at the finishí. I said, ĎYes you did, Wladimirí. So we both laughed. Heís proud of himself because itís something he wanted to do, but heís been afraid that he would look bad doing it. Even when he did throw it earlier, he didnít throw it with full power a few times because he was not sure of himself, but you definitely could expect more in the future.Ē

His views on Wladimir being able to overcome some early setbacks at the hands of Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster to become the dominant champion he is today:

ďTo say that Iím very proud of him would be an understatement. The first fight that I got involved with him after Lennox Lewis had retired, I got a call right away from I think it was Vitali. Iím not sure exactly, but I know it was the camp and they asked if I would be interested in getting involved with him. So I met him in California and we worked out and I said yes I would do it. I always had a lot of respect for him. I always told Lennox that this would be the dominant heavyweight that would dominate the heavyweight division after him and that just when he was right out of the Olympics when Wladimir won the Gold Medal. So I thought about it and I always had a lot of confidence so I went with him and the first fightóboom! We lose to Brewster. I still knew that he was the best heavyweight out there. I wonít go into all of the details, but yes. He had been stopped by Sanders and been down a couple of times probably, and then the Brewster fight, and then the fight with DaVarryl Williamson he was down again. So we maybe had one or two more fights in between, but for the most part in his last four fights this man had been on the floor maybe four or five times.

Then going into the fight with Peter, he was really the man at the time. He was more respected and feared I think than anyone out there. It was a fight that Wladimir didnít have to take but he said, ĎNo, I want to fight the bestí because everyone pretty much figured he was finished, he was washed up, and there was a lot the doubt was from people in our own camp, from everybody for the most part except he and I. So for the Sam Peter fight, it was the first time that he wouldnít let his brother come to the camp. They had been training all of their lives together. He barred him from coming to the camp and everyone. So we just went up to the Poconos and started to train knowing his whole future really was on the line.

Going into that fight, he was still not emotionally secure. Even the first two knockdowns, if you see the knockdowns. It was more anxiety and panic. He was hit on the back of the head, and the second knockdown wasnít really a knockdown. He was trying to get underneath to keep from getting hit in the back of his head again. He went through a lot of drama in that fight and still to come out in the twelfth round when many people wondered whether he could make it without getting stopped, because he had won the rounds but had been down three times. Then to have Sam Peter out in his feet in the twelfth, I think that was what changed his whole career about everything.

From that point on I have seen him grown. In the last fight at all the press things he was so comfortable that it was interpreted by Ivaylo Gotzev, the manager of Peter, that he was disrespectful and arrogant, but he wasnít. He just has been comfortable now with being champion for so long and really comfortable with himself now. But it hasnít affected his training because those losses that he and I were discussing have made both of us become I think better. As a trainer, regardless of what a fight might look like and appear, I still have these flashbacks of Tommy Hearns with one right hand out of the blue with Barkley, and the right hand from Hasim Rahman with Lennox Lewis in the first fight. As Wladimir was saying, those experiences are what made me a better trainer because even though I have tremendous losses and a high win percentage, I still have these memories of these mental experiences that have happened.

He has the same thing with running out of gas when he was with Ross Puritty when he was a young kid throwing so many punches, and then being knocked out by Corrie Sanders when he came in too relaxed and overconfident, and then the fight with Brewster the same. So with all of those things between the two of us, we realize you can be beat and we have a lot more respect for opponents. When we train, myself I have negative thoughts or bad vibes. I think sometimes itís good because it makes you work hard to make sure that you donít let those things become a reality. So I always dream of these punches that come out of nowhere because it happens in boxing. Youíre never comfortable with an opponent unlike other sports. You can have ten seconds left, twenty seconds, and the whole fight can be lost. I think the negative experiences that he has experienced and I have experienced have made me and him both better as a trainer and also as a fighter.Ē

His views on Andy Leeís upcoming fight this Friday and what he would ultimately like to see from Lee for the remainder of the year:

ďWell Andy and I are just coming in from the gym right now. Andyís up in his bedroom playing his guitar which he likes to do in the evening. We have a fight this Friday in Chicago and weíre fighting again a few weeks later, I think October 2 in the Chicago-Indiana area. We really would love to be on the Cotto and Chavez fight card. I think it would be natural for him and John Duddy with being both guys spending a lot of time in New York and both being Irish. Weíre still working with Bob Arum on the possibility of having that at the card in the Garden on December 4. The idea basically is to stay busy and by March, to be in a position to fight preferably the Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams winner, mostly, because weíve been offered to fight for the WBA title but we feel that the public, especially in America, looks more towards Martinez and Williams. So those are the two guys that he really wants to fight more than anyone. If we can stay busy and rack up five or six wins, the middleweight division is so void of name recognition, we think itís a very good possibility that by March he should be fighting or at least committed to fighting for the middleweight championship of the world.Ē

His views on the rematch between Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez which is expected to happen in November:

ďWell the last fight I thought first of all that the decision was fair as I said in my broadcast. I thought that it was a close fight, but Paul had more fire in him and he had more aggressiveness. I think many people forgot in the later rounds, Paul was actually landing good right jabs himself, which surprised me, and at a certain point I thought Martinez had a little give in him under the pressure. This fight here is a little different. Martinez is the champion. He has the mindset of a champion. I have it as kind of a toss-up. I think that the more skilled fighter is Martinez, but I notice a fire and competiveness in Paul that sometimes can overcome the boxing skills.

I think Martinez is a more skillful boxer and he took advantage of the fact that Williams sometimes starts his punches too far away where he gives the opponent time enough to counter him. Thatís what Martinez is very good at, but if Paul can apply that pressure and create a lot of stress on him he has a pretty good chance of winning. I donít know. Iím really kind of up in the air because the skill level is with Martinez and the pure hunger and aggressiveness is with Paul. I saw in a recent fight where Paul was having problems with Kermit Cintron I think for about two rounds, and I saw in his face when he came out for the third round it was like, ĎHey, Iím losing this fight and this is the way itís going, so Iím going to step it up and regardless of what happens, Iím going to take it to himí. Thatís what I liked with his attitude in that round that ended with all that confusion, but in that round he came out and started going directly at Cintron.

Thatís the one thing that I like about Paul. Heís going to test you. Heís going to fight you. A lot of Martinezís movement is what we get excited about, too. Sometimes heís doing more moving than he does actually punching, and you canít help but focus on his movement, his rhythm, his jigging back and forth, heíll drop his hands, and shake his head and all of that stuff. A lot of times heís not really throwing punches that much, but heís a more accurate puncher when he does punch than Paul is.Ē

His views on recent comments made by Marvin Hagler when Hagler stated he thought Mayweather ďmight be a little scared of PacquiaoĒ and he compared Mayweatherís demands of Pacquiao to the demands Ray Leonard made of him before their super fight:

ďWell I can understand how he feels that way because he portrays himself as being the pure fighter. I guess he relates more to Pacquiao than to Floyd, because Floyd is like the ĎGolden Boyí picking and choosing the way that Leonard was. So itís normal for him to say that. By the way, Iíll tell you that I think Marvelous Marvin Hagler was the greatest middleweight champion ever. I mean you look at the greatest fighter pound for pound in all things is Ray Robinson, but Ray Robinsonís greatest ability was really as a welterweight. We just donít see it because movies of it werenít taken, but he dominated for about seven years. It was phenomenal what he did, but when we saw him as a middleweight he was 31 years old. With just plain middleweights, I think Marvin Hagler is the best middleweight champion ever. But thatís another topic entirely, right there.

I would say yes, to some degree, that Floyd is and you canít blame him. If heís able to do this and get away with it, why shouldnít he? Heís been able to pick and choose his opponents and make mega millions of dollars so I canít fault him for that. I mean if the public is willing to go along with it, he should do it if he can. To some degree, I do feel that Floyd does have a fear of losing to Pacquiao any way you look at it, so heís trying to get every possible advantage he can get. In my personal opinion, I think if he comes out and fights his regular fight and is trained the way he normally trains, heís not going to beat Pacquiao because he wasnít in condition because of them are in great condition. I think he has an edge over Pacquiao, myself personally, because I think his size and his skills will give him a slight edge but it doesnít mean anything if he doesnít feel that way. So I think that there are some doubts in his mind somewhere about the fight, and thatís why heís trying to get any advantage he can.

But the public is going to, I think, gradually start losing interest in the fight. As hot as it is, maybe the perception is that it will be bigger even in another year or so. You canít say. Sometimes interest in certain things changes and itís at a peak right now. I myself personally feel a certain drop. I may be wrong, but with the general public right now, I think itís starting to lose its momentum and interest that it has. If itís going to be made, it needs to be made soon and when I say Ďsooní, I mean it should be made in the next three months, really.Ē

On his upcoming Boxing Clinic September 18 in Houston, Texas:

ďWell this Saturday coming up Iíll be doing my third Clinic. It will be in Houston, Texas, and itís a real boxing town. One of my best buddies and fellow trainers Kenny Weldon has called up and said that he wants to be there. Heís going to be helping me doing the Clinic, and Ronnie Shields is going to be there. It should be a really good Clinic with a lot of good boxing people, in addition to some of the people I know that are coming from other parts. Iím interested in it because I will be dealing with more hard core boxing people than I have in the previous two. The questions that will be coming up, more than just the Clinic part, there is a lot of the Q&A thatís going to be very interesting. Iím really looking forward to it. Andy will be fighting Friday in Chicago, and Iím flying directly from there to Houston the next day so I have plenty of time to prepare for everything.Ē

His views on the upcoming WBA heavyweight title fight between David Haye and Audley Harrison:

ďWell I think Wladimirís said and Iíve said it, itís just a London fight. I canít even say itís for the European championship because in Europe they look at the Klitschkos. Haye-Harrison is something that I think is almost like a joke. Itís two buddies really. That ought to tell you whatís really happening. Theyíre just trying to create some waves to have a fight and make some money, and itís not fair to boxing. Whether you win or lose a fight, you owe a certain amount to the public when you become a star. When you make a lot of money you have to give fans what they want. There is no way that heís going to get support from anyone except a little hard core bunch of people out in London related to this fight, because itís not even a good British fight, even. I hate to say it, itís good for them if they can pull this off and make some money, but itís not good for boxing.

More excitement has been created by him talking about the Klitschkos. Itís not anything he did in the ring, and then to walk away from fights. Honestly, I donít dislike him. I like David, personally. I think what he did is amazing to create all this excitement for a fight without having done anything. I mean at the time coming up, Cassius Clay did that, but he was at least fighting regularly and then when he got his fight he fought his fight. But to create all this drama without even having fought anyone, and then to just pull outóI canít say signing, because he signed contracts and he still wonít fight. Ten days before a fight heíll say, seriously Iím not fighting. I think itís bad what David Haye is doing for boxing. Win or lose, I think it would be a good fight and with his skills, heís going to be competitive with anyone.

To fight this level of opposition, itís really whatís hurting boxing too. I look at the schedule, and I make my living in boxing as a broadcaster, a manager, and a trainer. Still, when I look at the list of upcoming fights, Iím going to be honest with youóitís not too exciting to me, and Iím a hard core fan in addition to being in all these other positions. Iím just not getting excited when I look at the upcoming schedule of fights. Itís hard for any of these kids to win over three fights in a row. Theyíre trying to build up a star, but itís hard for guys to win fights and then nobody is winning by knockouts. Everyone is just showing their speed these days, and I think itís not that good.

Manny Pacquiao is a truly consistent performer and he is really the best right now and heís holding boxing together. But most of the fights out there that I see coming up, I might even be doing something else rather than even going home to watch the fights and thatís not good. I wish we had more Manny Pacquiaos whoís a pure fighter and doesnít worry so much about the other intricacies, and the money and this and that, and who comes in the ring first, and the walk-in music. Pacquiaoís a fighter and heís a throwback to the guys like Marvelous Marvin Hagler and we need more of that in boxing, and not so many businessmen. Everybody needs to make money, but you still need to feel you have an obligation to the sport, especially when youíre at the top level because thatís what can bring boxing up.

When you have these stars fighting the best, thatís what was so great about Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar made lots of money off of boxing, but also Oscar was willing to take risks and gamble. Thatís one thing I loved when I even trained him. Whoever it was, if it was a tough fight heíd say, ĎLetís make ití. He thrived on challenges and thatís what really helped boxing and we do need more Oscar De La Hoyas. Oscar was also great with people. Thatís what a lot of people donít realize why he gets so much support. Even if he loses fights a lot, but heís a wonderful person with being open and warm and supportive. We need more people like that and thatís what helped boxing so much, was Oscar.

Earlier we had Hearns, Hagler, Leonard, Duran, Benetiz, and these guys pretty much all fought each other when they had an opportunity and there were no demands on weights and stuff for the most part. They were fighters, and even when they did lose they were still revered as great fighters because of the guys that they fought and the way that they fought. Today everybody just wants to be a businessman, and a lot of these fighters are turning professional and getting these big enormous contracts and they just canít think of fighting without getting $50,000 or $100,000 or whatever, so they donít want to fight any fights unless itís these big television fights. If they canít get a television date they think that means they canít fight.

Iím not saying this because Iím involved with Andy, but Andyís been telling us to make fights whether he gets $2,000 or $4,000. He doesnít care. He said, ĎI just want to be busy fighting, I donít feel like Iím a fighter fighting every four or five monthsí and these were the orders he gave us and thatís why weíre going to keep him busy. Not that everyone has to go that extreme, but I think that fighters are going to have to start fighting good competitive fights and I like the idea that HBO with the junior welterweights have demanded a fight between Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander. This is whatís going to have to happen in all of these divisions.

Just in 140 you have so much excitement that can be made if we can make these fighters all start fighting each other. The 168 pound super middleweight thing, itís kind of lost its momentum to me. Itís been too long. Itís dragged on way too long. I mean with all of these cancelations of this, and cancelations of that. So it started off red hot, and to me personally, Iíve lost my interest in it to some degree now.

We got to have these best fighters fighting each other and if we start doing that, the fans will support it. Usually when the best fight the best, even when they lose itís going to be so competitive so you are going to have a lot of dignity still in a loss. I mean Tommy lost to Ray and he lost to Hagler, but still he could come right back and have the place sold out because of the way he fought and thatís what made him one of the most popular fighters of his era. Today these guys view losses like itís the end of the world, and this is not enough, and I can make another million here, and I can pick up another million, and I need the rights to this. Thatís whatís hurting boxing.Ē

On Miguel Cottoís upcoming fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Junior:

ďWell itís very, very interesting. Itís strange. I trained Julio Senior for three or four fights and about three months ago he talked to me about possibly working with his son. Now all of a sudden itís switched around and Iíll be going against his son. I think itís a very interesting fight because everyone knows that Chavez Junior has not fought a big marquee name. Thatís what everyone says. He has a great record, but he hasnít fought a big name. Still, heís got physical size going for him. Heís got weíd say the momentum. Heís a young fighter and everything, but heís going in with a guy whoís a seasoned fighter and itís a big test.

A lot of people say, ĎWell, Yuri Foreman maybe wasnít all that, anywayí. So Miguel beat him, but still they donít believe in him that much. This fight pits that old standard great rivalry with a Mexican and a Puerto Rican. Itís an intriguing fight. Itís the young and veteran fighter all matched up, but one thing thatís interesting to me is I watched for the first time about a week ago the fight between Duddy and Julio Cesar Junior, and I was surprised that Julio is fighting more and more like his Daddy now. Heís not utilizing his height and heís really bending down and really trying to become more of a body puncher much like his Daddy, which means that this falls right into Miguelís pattern.

I thought the Miguel was originally going to have to be trying to catch up to him because he was going to use that great height to move and outbox Miguel, because heís about six feet tall I think. Miguelís only about 5í6 ĹĒ-5í7Ē, but from what I saw from his last fight, I think heís going to be standing there head-to-head with Miguel and not trying to use his height which means itís going to be a wild and exciting fight. There might not be any clinches at all, so I think itís going to be a much more explosive fight than I originally thought because I had planned on having to cut the ring off and having Miguel do much like I had him do with Yuri Foreman. But after looking at the tapes Iíve changed my mind. Heís going to be right there. Heís not going to have to run after Chavez at all. Chavez is going to be in there to sit down and punch with him, and you will see probably a lot of wicked left hooks to the body and head from both fighters.Ē

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For those interested in listening to the Emanuel Steward interview in its entirety, it begins approximately fifty-nine minutes into the program.

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Article posted on 18.09.2010



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