Undefeated junior lightweight contender Mickey Bey speaks on Top Rank signing
Las Vegas, NV - It looked for a while that the 2010 campaign of undefeated junior lightweight Mickey Bey Jr. was all for not. Not having fought for nearly a year heading into fall, Bey himself wondered if his promising talent would ever come to light and his recent times were surely a test of his patience and fortitude both in and out of the ring.
Article posted on 19.11.2010
But as the year moved forward Bey would strike a deal of great proportions, as he signed an exclusive partnership with Top Rank promotions, the leading entity in the sport, and will now look to build upon his 16-0 record with 8 knockouts in the coming year. Asked for his thoughts on the new deal, Bey says that it had actually been on his mind for quite some time.
“It’s something that I feel had I done this kind of move years ago I would have been a champion at least two or three years ago,” Bey claimed. “I was supposed to sign with them before, years ago. So this is the boost that I need in my career. I have the perfect team now. I have a great trainer in Jeff Mayweather and a great manager in James Prince.”
Bey was in line to fight for regional title in February of this year but personal reasons would force him to withdraw from the fight and he had been sitting idle ever since. Asked how he was able to bide his time as other stars in the sport made progress, Bey reveals that everything happened for a reason.
“It was hard but at the same time I believe everything is mental anyways,” he continued. “I didn’t let it get to me as bad as I could have. I stayed in the gym all year long and I’m just a focused person. Boxing is what I do every day of the year. I don’t party or do anything I was supposed to do so I know that by me doing the right things that everything will fall into place. Look what’s happening now. Everything’s falling into place perfect.”
Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, young Bey remembers being a fan of boxing ever since he could walk. Even before he would begin competing in the sport as an amateur with his brother Cortez he became fascinated with the ring theatrics of such superstars of that era and little did he know he would one day become a part of that same history.
“My father was a fan of Top Rank so I was a fan just from the Hagler, Leonard, Duran and those days,” Bey said. “I’ve been watching Top Rank deal with those guys since I was young. Those are the main guys I watched, guys from the 70’s and 80’s and the majority of them are with Top Rank. It always was a goal of mine to work with them and now it’s just perfect. I plan to break out and be a star in 2011 and who better than Bob Arum to build a star?”
Bey’s first assignment with his new company was an appearance on the November 6th Juan Manuel Lopez-Rafael Marquez featherweight title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bey pulled out a very convincing yet rough victory over Puerto Rico’s Eric Cruz but insists there was more to his performance than meets the eye.
“It was great to be back in the ring,” an appreciative Bey said. “I broke my hand in the first round. I fractured my right so I was forced to fight the whole fight with the left hand. And I was still close to getting him out of there. I dropped him once and another time he was getting ready to take a knee but the bell rang. I think with one hand that was a pretty good performance, against a tough opponent as well.”
Bey grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before later relocating to Las Vegas to continue his pursuit of a professional title. While in the area he became good friends with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and learned many lessons from the undefeated fighter. Mickey was also able to connect with the other members of the Mayweather clan and insists that working with Floyd’s Uncle Jeff is something that he can’t put a price on.
“It’s perfect,” Bey says of working with his trainer. “It’s great, in and out of boxing. Some fighters have days where they don’t want to go to the gym but there is a lot of energy in the gym every day. We both have the same goals and we work hard. He has a lot of faith and a lot of belief in me. That’s just an extra plus and I’m learning a lot. The chemistry is great and I love working with Jeff.”
In hearing him speak you can tell how eager the 27-year old is to get the ball rolling and he expects a return to the ring in the coming months. While his first fight under the Top Rank umbrella came on a few weeks notice, he will have more time to prepare for a fight of greater magnitude the next time around.
“I’ll be back in the ring in January,” a confident Bey said. “I’m not sure of the date. My hand will be healed in three weeks. I’ll be back in the gym in December. I’m sure Top Rank will be lining up a bigger fight this time. They just pushed me to get on the card last time. We’ll be doing a ten-rounder in January some time. That should put me in the top ten rankings. From there I’ll be eying a title shot.”
Bey closed the conversation by reflecting on the title days of Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao when they were in the junior lightweight division while also being under the Top Rank banner. Bey definitely has plans to put his name on the list.
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