Boxing


Roger Bloodworth: Tua could fight with any of the champions right now

boxingby Geoffrey Ciani - Boxing trainer Roger Bloodworth has been a busy man lately. He is simultaneously juggling two training camps with different heavyweight contenders, each of whom might find himself in the hunt for a title shot sometime soon. David Tua (51-3-1, 43 KOs) is preparing to face Monte Barrett (34-9, 20 KOs) this Saturday night at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Tua is currently the WBOs number two ranked heavyweight. In addition to training Tua, Bloodworth is also preparing Tomasz Adamek (41-1, 27 KOs) for an August 21 date against former title challenger Michael Grant (46-3, 34 KOs). I was recently afforded an opportunity to speak with Roger about both of his fighters and their upcoming matches. Here is what he had to say:

Q: Roger, how does David Tua look in his preparations and training for his upcoming fight this Saturday night against Monte Barrett.

A: He looked He looked good, hes well prepared.

Audio:








Q: Now Barrett has lost three in a row and six of his last nine. Do you think that Monte still poses a real threat to somebody like David Tua or do you think this is more of a stay busy fight for David?

A: Well, anytime you crawl in the ring with a heavyweight he can be a problem, and from some of the remarks Ive heard him make I expect him to come to fight. You know the old axiom that every great fighter has one great fight left in him. You just dont know when hes had it. He could be a problem. Hes got a good punch, but David is in terrific shape and I expect him to take care of business.

Q: Assuming Tua wins and everything goes according to plan, how many more fights do you believe David would need before he is ready for a title shot?

A: Listen, Tua could fight with any of the champions right now. I wouldnt have a problem putting him in.

Q: Right now the three champions in the division are Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko, and David Haye. Would you have an ideal target out of those three?

A: Well I think ideally youd be looking at David Haye because hes a smaller guy. He is a good boxer, hes got a fairly good punch, his chin is somewhat suspect, but I dont expect to get that fight because I think that David is taking the safe course with his championship. But he would be the ideal. Next would be Vitali, the older one, simply because hes older and a little bit slower. I dont think hes quite as good a boxer as his younger brother but I do think he has a better chin.

Q: David Tua, he caused a lot of excitement in the division back when he beat Shane Cameron. You said you didnt think that Haye would give him a chance anytime soon, but do you think any of these guys would be willing to give Tua a shot in the next year or so?

A: I dont know if theyre going to be willing to but they may in a position where they have to because Davids number two right now in the WBO. Povetkin has signed to fight Wladimir, so after that fight, no matter what happens, Dave should go to number one if he wins this fight and he looks good. It might be a matter of a box-off for a mandatory.

Q: Now Roger, you worked with David Tua earlier in his career when he was climbing up through the ranks and youve worked with him again in recent years. What differences do you see in David as a fighter?

A: Yeah, Ive known David since he was 19 when he first came over when I used to work with Main Events and George Benton was the head trainer then, Ronnie Shields and myself were there. There was a period when he left and he went with America Presents and Ronnie was training him. I think the biggest difference in David right now is his mental maturity. Hes been through a lot. Hes had a lot thrown at him and hes been able to stand up under all of the pressure and I think hes become just more mature as a person. Plus, he has a lot of experience and now hes not fighting like he did at one time. Hes not just a one punch fighter. He can use the jab now. He can hurt you with a right hand or a left hook or an uppercut. So I think hes a lot more versatile now and he has a lot more options in his attack than he used to have.

Q: Do you have an official prediction for Davids upcoming fight?

A: No. I never predict fights because I dont want to disrespect the other fighter. I respect every fighter that gets in the ring. All Im looking for is a win.

Q: Now in addition to training David Tua, youre also currently working with Tomasz Adamek for an August date against Michael Grant. Hows everything going in that training camp?

A: Its going well. Weve had five weeks together already and its going really well.

Q: Now Michael Grant, of course, is a man youre familiar with. You trained Andrew Golota when he faced Grant. Is your preparation with Adamek similar to when you prepared Golota to face Grant?

A: No, because Adamek and Golota are different fighters. Golota, of course, was about 64-65, 250. Adamek is not that big, hes 62 about 220 so the preparation is different. They both have different rhythms so you have to prepare each fighter according to the way he fights.

Q: Grant will be the biggest fighter that Tomasz has ever faced. Do you think Adamek will have any problems handling someone of that size and stature?

A: Well he could. Lets face it, the guys 67, hes got long arms, hes got a good right hand, and a lot of people dont realize that hes won eight straight fights in a row since his last loss. So you know, he could be a big problem. If Adamek makes a mistake he can get caught. Thats why they call it a fight. So yeah, he could cause him problems.

Q: Do you view Grant as somebody who is perhaps a stepping stone to a Klitschko where it will help Adamek prepare for a taller fighter?

A: A stepping stone, no. To prepare for a taller fighter, yes. I dont consider him a stepping stone because I think thats a bad label to put on anybody. Like I said, I respect every fighter who gets in the ring and hes got a good trainer in Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. So I expect him to come very well prepared and I expect him to come to fight. What it will tell us is if Tomasz is prepared to fight a man that big. I think Michael will be a little more desperate than he has been in his past fights because I think a loss would hurt him a lot worse than it would hurt Tomasz. But we will see in this fight where Tomasz is in respect to fighting a big tall guy, which both champions are.

Q: Speaking of that Roger, in your professional opinion, how far removed do you think Adamek is from being ready for a title shot in the heavyweight picture?

A: One or two fights. A lot of its going to depend on his performance in this fight, but I would say one or two fights no more. You have to understand you also have to get the opportunity. You cant just say I want to fight because some of these guys, for lack of a better term, dont really seem to want to face the tougher fights. Im not going to accuse anyone of picking and choosing but sometimes I think it seems like that.

Q: Now Roger, youre working with two top heavyweights who have vastly different styles inside the ring. Is this a challenge to you as a trainer to juggle two guys from the same weight classes with such different approaches to the fight game?

A: No, Ive been doing this a long time. I started out in the amateurs so I had about ten years amateur experience and you work with a lot of different guys with a lot of different styles and one thing that you learn as you go along is that you cant train every fighter exactly the same way. You have to take what they do and add to it.

Q: Roger, for my final question, do you have anything else youd like to say to all the fans out at East Side Boxing?

A: Yes, you know without the fans this sport wouldnt be anything. So Im very grateful to them. Just tune in and watch and well see what happens.

Q: Great. Roger, thank you very much for your time. I wish you luck with both of your fighters in the future.

A: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you for having me.

***

For more information about On the Ropes Boxing Radio please visit our website:
http://www.ontheropesboxingradio.com

To contact Geoffrey Ciani:
ciani@eastsideboxing.com

To read more by Ciani please visit The Mushroom Mag:
http://www.eatthemushroom.com/mag

Article posted on 16.07.2010



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