BOXING. Andrzej Fonfara: “World championship is my destination”
IBF #1 Light Heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara (25-2, 14 KOs) has agreed to a very dangerous test for his next ring appearance on Friday, December 6, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. Fighting in one of the two main bouts, entitled “World Championship Boxing: Wlodarczyk vs. Fragomeni 3″, Fonfara will face Colombian KO artist Samuel Miller (26-7, 23 KOs).
25-year-old Fonfara, Chicago’s Polish Prince, is currently the IBF #1, WBO #2 and WBC #7-ranked contender. A native of Warsaw, Poland, and a long-time Chicago fan favorite since turning professional in 2006, he is riding high on a 15-bout unbeaten streak and known for his fight-ending power.
Andrzej, talk about your preparation and training for the fight against Samuel Miller.
I spent two very good weeks in Big Bear, California. We trained very hard there, paying a lot of attention to cardio preparation and physical aspect of the game. When we returned back home in Chicago, concentrated solely on boxing aspect of the game and sparrings. My conditioning is amazing. I am in a great shape for this fight and on weight. I am ready for this Friday.
Where did you stay in Big Bear, and whom did you work with outhere?
We trained at Abel Sanzhez’s (GGG – Gennady Golovkin – head coach) gym, ran and worked out together with Gennady. He is a very nice guy. I am very satisfied, how the camp went: we hiked in the mountains, we ran, did some physical training. I am coming back to Big Bear in the future. For sure!
How did you feel being in the climate of Big Bear?
At first we had lack of oxygen in our bodies. It was quite hard to breathe for like two–three days while training and working out. Later on everything came back to normal, we got used to the climate. When we got back to Chicago, I felt amazing for the first ten days. Right now I feel good as well, but not as great as when I just got back from California. Overall I am happy with the camp.
Have you ever been in Big Bear before?
No, I did not. I trained all over the place: Florida, Australia to name a few; but never went to Big Bear before. Now it is time to catch up! Big Bear is the number one place to prepare for the war.
What have you gotten a chance to learn about your opponent?
Samuel Miller has a good punching power. He won 23 of his 26 fights via knockout. So I have to pay attention to his right hand. I watched a few of his previous fights. Miller is a tough guy. But I am on top in the world’s rankings, so I must get a win over a boxer like him. Come December 6th at the UIC Pavilion, and you will see it yourself.
Are you hungry for more experienced opponents? For those you can challenge you more?
Of course, I am. But this bout is more like a “tune up” fight. It doesn’t give me anything, if I win. It doesn’t help me move in the rankings. But if I loose, then I am going down in rankings. So this bout can be called a bit risky for me as well. But it helps me to stay in shape, and get ready for bigger and better things in March or April.
So big things are coming after New Year’s, aren’t they?
True! True! We have no idea, who I am fighting, but big things are coming, as the spring is approaching.
Andrzej, you fought professionally 26 times. And you lost only twice. But what have you learnt from those “downs” in your career?
It was so much time ago, 5 and 7 years, so I couldn’t really recall those fights. I have grown and become much bigger and better boxer, changed weights classes. Right now I am, where I am. Physically and mentally I know that I lost two fights, but I don’t feel any pressure about that anymore.
What do you do to stay mentally prepared and be positive?
My wins are my great motivation, and I will do my best to stay in the winning column. I want to be a world champion. This is my destination. That is why I train very hard. Next year I want to fight for the world title.
Who is on your radar?
It does not matter to me. Let it be Kovalev, or Stevenson, or Shumenov, or Hopkins – bring it on! Those guys are the best in the world, and I want to fight the best guys in the world.
Does your hand bother you at all? How is your health overall?
Hand is good and strong. I punch bags and spar in full strength. I feel great overall.
Ready with a new hair do?
Yes, I am (laughing). I cut it a little bit like Mike Tyson. This is a different style of hair cut from what I usually do, but once in a while you have to change things up.
Do you feel any different that coming Friday you are not headlining the main card, but your fellow polish man, “Diablo” Wlodarczyk, does?
It does not really matter to me. A fight is a fight. I must step into the ring and do what I am good at.
In the night’s 12-round main event, WBC Cruiserweight Champion Krzysztof ”Diablo” Wlodarczyk (48-2-1, 34 KOs) of Warsaw, Poland, will attempt to make the sixth defense of his title and complete an epic trilogy of fights with Milan, Italy’s former WBC Cruiserweight Champion Giacobbe ”Gabibbo” Fragomeni (31-3-2, 12 KOs).
Tickets for “World Championship Boxing: Wlodarczyk vs. Fragomeni 3″ featuring the Warriors Boxing debut of Andrzej Fonfara can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000), the 8 Count Productions Offices: 312-226-5800 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office: 312-413-5740.