29.04.06 – By Dan Horgan: The heavyweight division is always looking for new blood, and some new blood appears to have arrived in the form of Mike Mollo. The WBC, IBF and WBO Latino heavyweight champion has already beaten the likes of respectable journeymen Troy Weida and Rogerio Lobo, and takes his biggest step up in competition next Saturday against former world title challenger DaVarryl Williamson. Recently, I caught up with Mollo and his trainer Al Bonanni to see what they had to say about their preparations for next Saturday‘s fight.
DH-(to Al Bonanni) I read that you have Mike doing some “old school training.” What tactics are you using to get Mike ready?
AB-Well, I’ve been having him chop wood, hit the tire with a sledge hammer, and do some medicine ball exercises, but we haven’t been using all old techniques. We’ve been using some machines like the rowing machine. However, we have been using no weights..
DH-What is the rational behind that?
AB-Weights tighten up the muscles , and techniques like the sledge hammer, rowing, and chopping wood not only build muscle, but work on cardio as well.
DH-How does he look for his fight with Williamson?
AB-He is in fantastic shape. I have had nine world champions, and this kid is one of the best conditioned athletes I have ever trained. We have been training here in Orwell, Ohio for four weeks, and prior to that, he was training in Florida. In total, it has been an 11 or 12 week training camp. Now, it’s all up to him to take advantage of the opportunity.
DH-Thank you very much for your time.
DH-(to Mike Mollo)-How has your training been going for the Williamson fight?
MM-It’s been real good. No injuries or anything like that.
DH-Although you’ve faced some solid opposition, DaVarryl Williamson is a huge step up. Why make such a drastic leap so soon?
MM-Well, that’s what my managers thought was best for me at this point in time, and I’m happy with it. I’m game and ready fight. Also, I am fully aware at how much of a step up this is. I am not going to go in cocky and think this will be like any other fight.
DH-A lot of people have not seen you fight. What type of style do you bring into the ring?
MM-I’m a pressure fighter. I come forward, and am very aggressive. I don’t mind bangin’. I like going at it.
DH-What are your thoughts so far on your new promoter Don King?
MM-Well, I am very fortunate for the opportunity.
DH-What are your thoughts of the current state of the heavyweight division?
MM-It has certainly come alive. The Brewster fight was excellent. That fight was exactly what boxing needed. With the three Russian champs and Hasim Rahman, the division is great. They are all hungry and that’s why they’re winning titles. And right now, I’m hungry too and ready to go.
DH-As of right now, you are rated #15 by the WBO….how much longer before you are ready for a title shot?
MM-Well, I could use a few more fights. I only have fifteen fights, so I would like to get a few more in. It’s all up to my management. I have some say, but they are guiding my career. However, if the opportunity is there, I would have to seize the moment.
DH-DaVarryl Williamson has been in the ring with the likes of Chris Byrd, Joe Mesi, and Wladimir Klitschko…..what can you do that he hasn’t already seen?
MM-You’re right, he has seen it all. There really isn’t much I could do that he hasn’t already seen. I am a technically sound fighter, I don’t have a bag of tricks. I’ll just slip, get inside, and crack him.
DH-Do you feel stronger without using weights?
MM-The medicine ball techniques really strengthens my core. I also still do pushups and sit-ups.
DH-What are your running habits.
MM-The farthest I go is six miles.
MM-No I like to mix it up. One day I might do six miles, the next day four, and then I will do a two mile run with wind sprints. With the sprints, I’ll do one sprint, then shadow box, one sprint, then shadow box and so on.
DH-Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
MM-I would like to thank Don King for getting me this fight, and I would also like to thank Jesus Christ.
Writer’s note-In this interview, Mike sounded very humble and ready to fight. I truly believe that he could be something special. Also, special thanks to Trayce Zimmermann for setting up this interview.