Damian “Devo” Frias (19-4-1, 10 KOs) and his trainer, John David Jackson, are finishing up preparations for his nationally televised co-main event against top junior middleweight contender “King” Carlos Molina (19-5-2, 6 KOs) this Friday, August 17, at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.
Presented by Warriors Boxing and Tony Holden Productions, the blockbuster night of boxing will serve as the ESPN Friday Night Fights season finale for 2012 (10 PM Eastern on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3) and also features a super middleweight co-main event between Chicago’s Don “Da Bomb” George (22-2-1, 19 KOs) and powerful Colombian slugger Dionisio Miranda (21-7-2, 18 KOs).
Frias and renowned trainer Jackson have been putting in the hours at Contenders Gym in Sunrise, Florida, trying to ensure that a surprise Frias victory will propel the 35-year-old late bloomer to where he wants to be in boxing.
Cuban American Frias is an elusive southpaw with good technical skills. He is coming off the biggest win of his career, a nine-round stoppage of then 22-1 Henry Crawford last September.
Why would you take a fight against Carlos Molina, the most dangerous spoiler in the division and maybe in all of boxing?
I’m a fighter. To be a fighter, you have to be willing to fight. I also find myself with no fights, so I’m up for the challenge and willing to take a chance to get where I have to go. I do this for my family. I train hard and work hard and I don’t want to waste anybody’s time. I have to take fights like this that nobody wants.
Why do you think you have problems finding fights?
Probably because I’m a Cuban southpaw.
Tell me about your start in boxing.
I came into boxing at 25 with no amateur experience. Only had 3 amateur fights. I’m learning on the job. When I was young, I was always into football and baseball and then I had an incident in my life where I lost eight years, so to turn it around, I wanted to do something with my life, so I walked in the gym and took it from there. I enjoy competing.
You’re coming off a big victory in your last fight. Tell me about it.
Henry Crawford. People say it’s my biggest win, but I had time to prepare myself for him and I knew who I was fighting and what I was getting into. I got a chance to study him and stuff like that. I do better when I have time to prepare.
Have you had enough time to prepare for Molina?
I had enough time to get ready for Molina, plus I’ve seen him fight enough times. Me and him are pretty much on the same side of the fence. He’s proven himself, but let’s be honest. They bring him in to lose like they do to me and you have to turn it around on them. I know exactly what’s going on.
What do you think of Carlos as a fighter?
He’s a good fighter and he’s been in with some good guys. He’s a difficult, hungry fighter and I have a lot of respect for him. But I have to beat people like him to get where I want to go.
What would a victory over Molina mean to you?
It’d mean a lot to me, personally. I hope I do so well that some promoters see me and want to bring me back and help me get where I want to go. I feel like I belong in the top 10 or top 15. I feel I paid my dues and put in my work.
You started late in boxing, so how have you managed to become as good as you are?
I’ve been in the gym with a lot of great fighters: Andre Berto, Chop Chop Corley, Zab Judah, that Aydin guy that just fought Guerrero, you name them. Breidis Prescott. Randall Bailey. I’ve sparred with all those guys, so I’ve been around a lot of world champions and I’ve been able to pick up a couple tricks or two.
Tell me about your new trainer John David Jackson.
John David is more my style. He’s a southpaw fighter like me. In his days he was elusive. I do that at times. We have a good relationship. I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s a cool, humble guy. He’s the type of guy that will not only explain to you how to throw the proper punches, but also why you should throw it that way. He’s very technical.
How do you picture this fight going on Friday?
I picture working on my jab. I always picture my fights going the distance. I picture me winning a good, hard, tough fight.
Tickets are priced from $35.00 to $65.00 and are available at the Buffalo Run Casino Box Office or online at stubwire.com.