Ola Afolabi - "I'd Fight Anyone!"
by James Slater - New interim WBO cruiserweight champion Ola "Kryptonite" Afolabi was a studio guest on today's Steve Bunce Boxing Hour on Setanta TV, and the man who sensationally made a big name for himself by stopping Enzo Maccarinelli back in March made it clear he is very much up for the big fights from here on in.
Article posted on 09.04.2009
If Afolabi had been a guest on the Setanta show a month ago, it's likely no-one tuning in would have had much of a clue about who he was. Some fans in America knew how good the British-born 29-year-old was - due to seeing him knock off the promising and unbeaten Eric "Danger" Fields by TKO in the 10th round back in April of last year - but it's fair to say Afolabi's name would not have rang any bells with UK fight fans. This is not the case anymore, though. Due to the way he rang Maccarinelli's bell on March 14th, stopping him in the 9th round, Ola is a new star of the 200-pound weight class.
After struggling for so many years in obscurity (even giving up boxing for a time due to his failure to get meaningful fights), Afolabi is enjoying the attention his win over the big-hitting Welshman has give him. Yet the 14-1-3(6) fighter who was born in England but now lives in California is focused on taking on more top names from the cruiserweight division.
Asked on air about who he wants to fight next, Ola said there is no-one he is looking to avoid.
"I'd fight anybody," Afolabi said confidently. "Anybody who gives me the biggest cheque. I'd fight the devil - I've been fighting him for twenty-nine years. I've proved now that I can fight, and now it's about me making as much money as I can and living a good life."
Afolabi has certainly earned the right to make some decent cash, but what about his mandated fight with fellow WBO interim champ, Victor Emilio Ramirez of Argentina? Ola said he originally thought he'd be fighting him next, but now he is not so sure.
"We are both interim champions with the WBO," Ola said of himself and Ramirez. "At the press conference [for the Maccarinelli fight] I heard Frank Warren say the winner would have ninety days to fight Ramirez. But I've not heard from him [Ramirez], and I don't know what's going on. I just leave all that to my promoter."
A fight between Afolabi and the 14-1(12) 25-year-old nicknamed "El Tyson del Abasto" would be a most interesting fight. Would Ola prove he is no here-today-gone-tomorrow champion by beating the big puncher, or would his reign indeed be a short-lived one were he to meet the Argentine? One thing is sure, there are quite a few attractive fights for Afolabi right now. Tomasz Adamek and Marco Huck were mentioned on today's show, and again Ola said he'd fight absolutely anybody.
The man Afolabi upset, in Enzo Maccarinelli, was also mentioned as a possible future opponent. Woud Ola be interested in a rematch?
"Enzo's a cool guy," Ola said. "He never said anything bad about me going into the fight. You never know [about a rematch]. Like I say, I'll fight anybody, I'm not running from anyone. Whoever my promoter says to fight, that's who I'll fight."
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