IBF 130 Pound Champion Robbie Peden On Bombing Barrera

20.06.05 - Interview by Fiona Manning: Aussie born IBF 130 champion Robbie “The Bomber” Peden is ecstatic that a long-planned unification with battle with his good mate, WBC champion Marco Antonio Barrera is finally scheduled for September 17.

“This is a fight, a real fight,” said Peden by phone from his home in Illinois. Planning to relocate for training camp at the Fourth Street Gym in St Petersburg, Florida on July 8, Peden is upbeat and positive following his first week back in the gym since stopping Nate Campbell in the eighth round of their February 23 rematch in Australia.

Peden, whose record stands at 25-2, 14 KOs, only recently returned from an extended stay in Australia after demolishing Campbell in front of thousands of supportive fans.

The champ took his girlfriend Shelley Pogue all over his home country, even introducing her to Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin..

“She loved feeding the dolphins in Morton Island, where they shot the Scooby Doo movies. She cried when we came home,” he said.

The fighter wasn’t crying however, he had his sights set on the biggest fight of his career: Marco Antonio Barrera.

“I am very grateful to Marco for giving me this opportunity,” Peden said. “He’s the best fighter in the division and he’s giving me the chance to fight the best. I haven’t received the contracts yet, that will be today or tomorrow, but it is a done deal.”

Peden also credits the hard work of his promoter Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor Promotions in securing the biggest fight of his career.

“I’m very happy with Dan,” he said. “He tells it to me straight, you’re gonna make this money here, this money there.

“He and Tom Brown have worked really hard to put me back in the picture. They’ve worked really hard to help get me to be the champion of the world.

“Dan’s been very honest with me, we’ve really built up our relationship. He asked me what I wanted in my fight with Campbell. I wanted to go to Australia and he kept his word with me even though he probably would have made more money here.”

Peden is a very happy man since his convincing victory over Campbell (for the vacant IBF title) the second time around, especially since their first fight was so bizarre.

For those who didn’t see it, midway in the fifth, Campbell dropped his hands, taunting Peden, urging him to take a free shot. Peden did, knocking Campbell out at 2.27 of the round.

“I heard he’s been telling people he won the second fight,” a shocked Peden reported today. “I know you’ve seen a tape of the fight. Did it look to you like he was winning when the ref stopped that fight?”

No, it did not. As a matter of fact, Campbell looked terrified from the opening bell. One only has to watch the tape to see the huge pro-Peden crowd to know that Campbell probably had no idea how beloved the heavy-fisted Bomber is in his own country.

Peden agreed. “He’s always been able to scare his opponents with his mouth, but as soon as he stepped off the plane in Australia, he knew he was out of his element. You could see it in his body language. I saw his last fight last week and he lost. He looked like a broken man.”

There were buckets of bad blood between the two fighters prior to the rematch but there won’t be a drop between Peden and Barrera. The two former sparring partners not only respect each other, but as Peden put it, “That’s not my style. It’s not the Australian way.”

Barrera still admires Peden even though it was one of the Bomber’s unintentional bombs that sidelined him when he was originally slated to face Prince Naseem Hamed. The fight had to be rescheduled, but as guilty as Peden felt, he said that Barrera never blamed him.

“These things happen in sparring,” Peden said.

When he relocates to St. Pete for training, he and his long-time trainer, the highly-regarded Roger Bloodworth will be working with gym owner Jim McLaughlan and “Diamond” David Santos to prepare for the Baby-Faced Assassin.

“Barrera is one of this fighters you have to be absolutely prepares for, you take no chances,” said Peden. “I’m not sure who I’ll be sparring but they’ll help me. We’ll be ready for Barrera.”
He’s not sure where the fight will take place but is “pretty sure it’ll be in a boxing ring,” he joked.

As he begins the long process towards fight night, Peden has time to ponder the future, even suggesting he may move up to 135 after this fight.

“I’ll see how I feel after this fight. The 130 pound division is amazing,” he said. “I mean we’ve got Barrera, Erik Morales, Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hernandez, Manny Pacquiao. You know, if we all sat down and just fought each other, we’d be giving the fans nothing but great fights.”

Giving the fans his best and respecting the best in his division are what make Robbie Peden an unusual man in his sport.

“Hey, if I rubbished Barrera, he’d be mad at me,” he said. “If he rubbished me, I’d be mad at him. The last thing I want to do is give the guy an excuse to train harder!”

Article posted on 21.06.2005

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