Andre ďTombstoneĒ Purlette: A Good Fighter Becomes Great Under Pressure!

04.04.08 - Interview by Peter Mark Heintzelman, Photos by Peter Mark Heintzelman - Thirty-four year old, Andre ďTombstoneĒ Purlette, 40-2, 35 KOís got started in boxing because he was tired of getting his school lunch money beat out of him during his youth in Guyana. He moved to the United States to enhance his boxing opportunities, and has amassed an unbelievable record of 40-2, 35 KOís in a tough cruiserweight division..

Along the way, he grabbed the NABO Cruiserweight Championship defeating Jeremy Bates by a second round TKO, in 2001. Although fighting since 1992, back in Georgetown, he has a gap in his record, not fighting at all in 2004-2005, and only once a year since then, with a five fight winning streak.

He is considered a notable step up for his opponent, ďAwesomeĒ Aaron Williams, against whom he is pitted to fight on ESPN2ís Friday Night Fights from Twin River Event Center, in Lincoln, Rhode Island tonight.

EastSideBoxing had the opportunity to interview Purlette just after he weighed in at 199 lbs before the Rhode Island Boxing Commission:

purlette Andre, how are you feeling, and where are you living?

Purlette: Iím good, Iím feeling good. Iím outta town right now. I live in Florida, but lately, Iíve been spending a lot of time training in New Jersey with my trainer and managers. Boxing is my life. Are you ready for this eight round fight Friday night with Aaron Williams?

Purlette: Iím as ready as Iím going to be. Iím in great shape, I had good boxing from John Banks. I train with James Ali Bashir. I was out in Detroit for camp, and Iím in great shape. Are you coming into this fight with any injuries?

Purlette: No, no, Iím in good shape. Whoís your favorite cruiserweight, besides yourself?

Purlette: There are some interesting guys out there that Iíve seen. I like David Haye. I look like to fight with him in the future. I like Wayne Braithwaite heĎs an interesting fighter as well, and would like to fight him.

purlette What do you know of your opponent, Aaron Williams, and what do you expect his fight strategy will be against you?

Purlette: Heís a fast, speedy boxer. If the referee will let us fight, it will be an unbelievable fight. What is your strategy for the fight?

Purlette: Iím coming to fight, but the looks of it, heís going to be in a fight like heís never been in! So, how do you describe your style - are you a boxer or a puncher?

Purlette: Well, I can box when I need to box, like my fight with Castillo, of course, that was years ago. Heís was boxing me, so I had to box. But this guy (Williams) is a boxer, so I need to be ready to box, but, I can fight when I need to fight too. So, you are on a five fight winning streak, and when do you think thatís going to end?

Purlette: Thatís not going to end. I havenít lost at cruiserweight up to now. My two losses were at heavyweight (to Jeremy Williams in 2003, and Elieser Castillo in 2002), and I donít intend to leave it in the referee or judgesí hands. Williams comes in 13 years young than you. Do you think being 34 years old, and him 21, gives him any advantage?

Purlette: I donít see that it means anything. What are your predictions as to the outcome of this fight?

Purlette: I hope that the judgeís are fair, and everybody sees me as one of the best legitimate cruiserweights out there. I hope they give me the opportunity to fight for a title. Iíve been around the business for so long. Dang It! You know what I mean? How does it feel to be on ESPN2 national television for this fight?

Purlette: It feels good, after being out for a while, its good to come back. Iíve been on ESPN before, but my thing is, Iíve been here already. Iíve been where heís at. While he (Williams) is the guy who has to prove himself, Iím going to make him prove himself, and he will have to do a damn good job of it, to prove himself. Do you feel it puts any more pressure on you, to be on national television, to do all the better on Friday night?

Purlette: No, I donít see it putting any more pressure on myself. A good fighter becomes great under pressure. So, I see an opportunity, you know. You see, pressure makes dominance, right? What ever got you into boxing to begin with; what got you started?

Purlette: It was my start many years ago, defending myself. Being beat up on as a youngster in Guyana. I was encouraged to go into the gym, and learn how to defend myself. I picked it up from there, and never looked back. It brought me this far. I know heís (Williams) a good young fighter, and Iíve got the experience, so I think it makes for a really good fight. Whoís working your corner on Friday night?

Purlette: My trainer, James Ali Bashir.

purlette Anything else, Andre, you want to say to your fans at

Purlette: I just want to thank EastSideBoxing for your support, and Iím not going to let you guys down!

ESPN2 airs at 9:00 p.m., for those of you not fortunate to see the fights live.

Tickets for ďHeavy HittersĒ are priced at $35.00 (ADA stage seating only), $40.00, $50.00 are sold out, (Bronze), $75.00 (Silver), $100.00 (Gold) and $150.00 (Jimmyís Platinum Club) and are available to purchase by calling CES (401.724.2253/2254), going on line at or, at the Twin River Event Center (100 Twin River Road, Lincoln, RI), or any TicketMaster location. Contact CES at 401.724.2253/2254/ or Twin River Events Center (877.82.RIVER/ for more information. Doors open at 6 PM/ET, first bout at 7 PM/ET. Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for ďHeavy Hitters.Ē Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by an adult and they must enter through the West entrance.

Article posted on 05.04.2008

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