Interview by Peter Mark Heintzelman, Photo by Peter Mark Heintzelman - Hartford Connecticutís pride, Matt ďSharp ShooterĒ Remillard continues to stay busy on his climb to the top of the featherweight division, taking his fifth fight in 2008 against a tough Colombian, Mauricio Pastrana, this Thursday at the Dunkin Donuts Center, in Providence, Rhode Island. On the undercard of the Manfredo-Bika showdown, the Remillard-Pastrana fight could have been a headliner of its own, as it faces off two top lightweights, so keep your eye on this bout, a hidden jewel on an otherwise fantastic card, pitting Contender competitors in the headline attractions..
Article posted on 13.11.2008
What makes this fight so interesting , is that the undefeated Remillard (15-0, 8 KOís) has risen quickly in the rankings, but mostly against new comers with records of less than a dozen fights to their credit. On the other hand, his opponent, thirty five year old Pastrana , currently residing in Miami, Florida, has 45 professional bouts under his belt, and boasts a record of 34 wins against 9 losses, two draws, and a big 22 wins by knockout.
A 22 year old rising star with 15 professional bouts under his belt, against a 35 year old seasoned veteran with 45 bouts to his credit. Watch out, Matt!
Colombians have fared well in upsets in New England in 2008! Take, for example, Mike Oliverís first defeat at the Roxy in Boston on May 7th at the knock out hands of Reynaldo Lopez - - who would have guessed! You gotta give Team Remillard and CES Boxing kudos, for taking such a dangerous fight. But, why not, thatís what boxing is all about, and Remillard is not one to back down.
ďToo SharpĒ took time today, for a brief interview today with EastSideBoxing, before his scheduled fight:
EastSideBoxing: Matt Remillard, When did you first find out who your opponent will be for Thursdayís fight in Providence, Rhode Island?
Remillard: I found out a couple weeks ago, we had a couple people fall out, but thatís boxing. Right now, itís Patrana, and he arrived yesterday, and a very good fighter out of Florida. He was always on the back burner. It seems these featherweights and super featherweights fall out so quickly. So, itís hard to get a lock down. He was on notice, so he was able to come in, in shape, and heís been training, and he didnít get like a last minute notice. Itís so hard to get opponents when people fall out, and itís hard for me to prepare for someone like that, but I just stay focused, and let my team worry about what particular fighter I will face on any given night.
EastSideBoxing: Are you ready for Pastrana, and what, if anything, do you know about him, and his fight style?
Remillard: Heís definitely a shorter fighter, like 5í 5Ē. He comes to fight, and has a dangerous right hand. Iíve seen him knock out someone with one punch, and seen him knock out somebody with a couple punches. He definitely has more experience than me. Heís fought a lot of fighters at super bantamweight. He had to come up a couple pounds to face me. Itís going to be a very entertaining fight. I believe he has a style to please crowds, and I believe I do too.
EastSideBoxing: Seems like a dangerous fight to me, Colombian fighters seem upset minded this year, and heís fought professionally for seventeen years with forty-five professional bouts in his career. You have had a brief four year professional career, with a spell off due to injuries, and only fifteen professional bouts . What makes this a good fight for you?
Remillard: I think Iím at the right place in my career, and heís at the right place in his, for me to be able to come out on top . He has a tremendous amount of experience, but I think that will bring out the best in me. He has a lot of experience with the top notch fighters. He has a lot of rounds under his belt, but I feel like heís the gatekeeper to my division, and it will push me to that next level. And, I gotta find out if Iím ready for the next level! He will help me see if I am ready for that next level.
EastSideBoxing: Must be difficult to know you are scheduled to fight, but not knowing against who, until a couple weeks before the fight. How do you and Paul Chicon prepare yourself mentally and physically under these kinds of circumstances?
Remillard: Well, Paulís job is to prepare me physically, and I been pretty good at preparing myself mentally for these types of fights. Itís happened to me so many times in my career, Iíve had 15 fights, and I donít think Iíve ever had one opponent for sure for all six weeks of a training camp. It seems like people are always falling out, or suffer injuries, its typical for boxing, you know, anything can happen. I train outside the ring, so that itís easy for me when I started fighting. The hard work is putting in the hours in the gym. Me and Paul just try and prepare for everything, you know, tall fighters, short fighters, boxers, brawlers, itís just being professional - learning how to adapt. And thatís what youíre going to see tomorrow, just how I adapt.
EastSideBoxing: Who have you been sparring with, and who will be working your corner on Thursday night?
Remillard: Chief second will be Paul Chicon, heís the head trainer, along with John Scully who is kind of like my assistant trainer and mentor, and my father, Mike Remillard will be with the stool and the bucket. Its good to have family in the corner. I feel like thereís nothing worse than fighting and feeling like youíre alone. Every time I come back to the corner, I feel I have a good bond, and everything works smoothly so, I can relax and focus on fighting. Iíve done a lot of sparring with John Scully, and heís taught me a lot of the inside tricks and style. I try to shadow him. I also spar with a lot of fighters out of Holyoke (MA), and they give me intense rounds a couple times a week, and itís always been good.
EastSideBoxing: What is your prediction as to the outcome of your fight?
Remillard: I think itís the type of fight that I have to wait and see what happens. Iím the type of fighter that if I see the knockout, or that I can hurt my opponent, Iím definitely going to go for it. Right now, I think Iím going to teach him a boxing lesson. I think itís the safest route right now, because heís a dangerous fighter. Iíve never really seen him live, so I guess I have to feel him out the first couple of rounds, and take it from there. But, Iím definitely able to go the distance, or take the knock out, but either way, Iíll be pleased.
EastSideBoxing: How great is it for you, Matt, to be on such a great card at the Providence Dunkin Donut Center, with Peter Manfredo, and the likes of Sakio Bika, Grady Brewer, Cornelius Bundrage, and Jaidon Codrington. What a long way youíve come in your professional career, huh?
Remillard: Yea, itís definitely an honor. Iíve fought on one other Contender card a few years back, in the Dunkin Donutsí Center, and that what a great experience for me, having only fought a couple of fights. Iíve watched these guys on TV, and now itís a reality for me, and Iíll be weighing in with them, and on the same card with them.! Iím good friends with Peter Manfredo, and I believe he has what it takes, to get to the top. And just to be on another card with him, and some other Contenders, and on a Jimmy Burchfield card, its great, and an honor, and itís going to be a good outcome for CES tomorrow night.
EastsideBoxing: Finally, Matt, thank you for this interview, and is there anything else you want to say to your fans at EastSideBoxing.com?
Remillard: Definitely one, to thank EastSideBoxing: Number one boxing site! And, I want to thank all my fans for their support, and to watch out for Thursday night and a good win over Marcio Pastrana!