Interview with WBO jr featherweight champion Agapito "El Cicion" Sanchez

Ike Enwereuzor

16.06 - WBO junior featherweight champion Agapito "El Cicion" Sanchez from Dominican Republic now fighting out of Brooklyn, New York (35-7-1) 20 KO's has over 12 years of professional experience in the ring. This veteran and champion has proven himself against world champions and top oppostion throughout his career. He has fought world class fighters such as Antonio Marco Barrera, Guty Espadas, Fred Norwood, Cesar Soto, Manny Pacquiao and many other top contenders. Sanchez captured the vacant WBO jr featherweight title on the De La Hoya-Castillo card on June 23, 2001 in Las Vegas knocking out favorite Jorge Monsalvo in the 7th round.

The WBO 122 pound champion current plans are to beat Joan Guzman and move up to 126 pounds and challenge IBF featherweight champion, a possible showdown with Prince Naseem Hamed, a rematch with Barrera and willing to face anyone at the featherweight division.

Why did you choose boxing as a profession?
I loved the game of Boxing from childhood and my older brother use to box and he fought in Panama. One time he got KOed in 4th round so I said I must learn to box so I can revenge so I started to learn from my brother then the rest was history.

How is your training coming along for your upcoming showdown with Joan Guzman?
We're getting ready to go out to Panama for training camp. I'm already in good shape. I hope he comes in good shape too. He's ranked No.1 but hasn't fought anybody and his fights in America he went to distance in all of them.

Your impression of Guzman?
I don't know much about him but he's undefeated and from my country (Dominican Republic) I just have to defend my title. I'm coming in great condition, so if he comes ready then it will be an exciting fight but if he comes unprepared I feel very sorry for him. I'm going to be more than 100% ready so let him keep talking junk, I'll do my talking in the ring. He should go ask Manny Pacquaio the way it's when you get hit by Agapito Sanchez. Manny just quit because he has no heart and doesn't want to rematch me. I apologist to HBO that the fight didn't come out the way I wanted it but I know I'll knock him out next time if they can make the fight again.

Before you decided to turn professional. How many fight did you have as an amateur?
I had 68 wins, 8 losses with 62 knockouts.

Please, tell our readers about your fight with Manny Pacquaio?
He's just a chicken without a heart, if he calls himself a true champion he must sign contract for this rematch. He doesn't have a single heart and that's the truth. Why can't we do it again? The fans wants to see who the winner will be. I beat Manny the first 4 rounds then 6th round I was ready to knock him out then there was an accidental headbutt so he found a reason quit. I'll rematch him even if it's in his backyard in Philipines. If he doesn't want to fight then I could fight Johnny Tapia, the guys at 122 pound don't want to fight including all the champions in the division. Tapia said he'll give me an opportunity to fight him and I hope he keep his words.

Your thoughts on Tapia-Medina bout?
I was there to see the fight. It was a good fight that could have done either way but I think the judges gave it to Tapia because of his name. In the heavyweight that night, I think Jameel McCline won every round against Shannon Briggs.

Please, tell us your toughest fight since your pro career?
I'll say it was my fight with Antonio Marco Barrera in 1995. I didn't have experience, he was strong and undefeated with 37 wins, no loss with 26KO's. He was just beating everyone with first or second round knockouts but I was strong without enough experience. I dropped him and then the fight went to distance. I'll like to rematch Barrera before I retire, also wish to fight Paulie Ayala, Bones Adams and other top contenders. I'm ready for all of them.

Please describe your fight with Jorge Monsalvo?
This fight was on the De La Hoya-Castillo card. It was an exciting night for me and my family, he was the favorite with a record of 29 wins and only 1 loss but knocked him out in 7 to win the world championship. I'm happy to work with my trainer Francisco Guzman and manager, Richardo Bandonado, he manages Barrera also. I have been with Bandonado for over 4 years now.

Your impression of other champions in your weight class?
They are all afraid to face me beacause Agapito Sanchez is too strong for them. I want to tell them to step up to the plates

Your thoughts on Pacquaio-Ledwaba fight which was on the same night you beat Monsalvo?
I don't know what happened to Ledwaba, I know he's a better fighter than Manny. It was an easy win for Manny.



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