Q & A interview with Atlantic City’s Super Middle weight Gabriel “GPHAM” Pham
By Lou McLaughlin: This past week I had the opportunity to conduct a telephone interview with Atlantic City’s rising super middle weight Gabriel Pham. Pham is promoted by Gabe LaConte’s First Round Promotions. The undefeated fighter is 4-0-with 2 KO’s. He is a tall and rangy southpaw for the 168 lbs weight division standing 6’ 3” reminiscent of the 70’s welterweight superstar Tommy Hearns who at 147 lbs. had a height of 6 ft. Gabriel’s height advantage coupled with a tricky southpaw stance can make him a force to be reckoned with as he advances through the super middle weight ranks He will be fighting at Bally's Event Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey on April 14.
Article posted on 06.04.2012
Q- You are a tall 6’ 3” weighing in at super middle weight. That’s like a Thomas Hearns height to body weight ratio ( Hearns was 6 ft –fought at 147lbs). You’re young and still growing. How much longer at super middle? What weight class do you think you’ll ultimately settle?
A- Hearns was orthodox, I’m southpaw. 168 is my natural weight. I don’t walk around at more then 170 lbs. I’ll probably make my way up but not any time soon
Q- What got you into boxing? And what motivated the transition from amateur to pro?
A- I’ve been boxing since I was 7 years old. Most kids get into sports when they’re young and I just went for boxing. It was really like a family thing my stepfather got me into it. I started in boxing in Puerto Rico and had most of my amateur career in Florida –the Orlando area. When I was 18 I moved up here that’s when I began my professional career.
Q- A first pro fight can make a fighter apprehensive. Your pro debut in 2009 was against another debuting fighter Troy Pollack and you ended that in 27 seconds! Per Boxingrec.com he hasn’t ever fought again. Share some thoughts on that. Did you think it would be that easy? Did you think this would be the track for the rest of your fights?
A- Well, most of my opponents retired after I fought them. I was well prepared for my first pro fight. I had trained for it over a year. I had the right people behind me. I was actually with Roy Jones Jr. at the time. I was on the Roy Jones Jeff Lacy undercard in Biloxi. As far as nervous I guess I had the jitters a little bit and it was a big crowd. I was different a lot different from the amateur experience. I was just glad that it was quick. I didn’t really get to fully experience it. Once the bell rang it was like 10 seconds and the referee was counting. It definitely gave me a confidence booster. But like I said I was well prepared. I expected a victory but I really didn’t expect it that quick. It was a right hook that put him down
Q- Your second fight was also a stoppage win. Last two were unanimous decision wins. Your opponent on April 14 Michael Mitchell is making his pro debut against you who is 4-0 with a 50 % KO average. How do you see this fight playing out?
A- I’m in the gym everyday. When someone is débuting you really don’t have too much information on them. I have an extensive background in the amateurs. You just have to train hard in the gym and do your work.
Q- This will be your first fight since August 2010. What’s changed since then? Why the time off?
A-Most of the time off was because I had messed my hand up. I had fractured my knuckle. I was off for like 6-7 months a long time. I had snapped my tendon in my finger and I was unable to punch. I had gained a lot of weight. I went up to 200 lbs. and now I’m back in shape I guess the time off made me stronger. I feel a lot stronger. And I’m a lot more focused because I was hungry that whole time I was off. Now I have the right team behind me-my trainer, my promoter and we’ll do the right thing. But I’m excited to get back in the ring. I’ve been doing this 16 years it’s like riding a bike. I would love a knockout but I’m not going to push it. If it comes it comes
Q- What boxers of today do you admire? Who would you compare your self to stylistically?
A I’d say I have more of like a classic style. I’ve mastered all of the fundamentals. I have my own style. I don’t know of any one who has the same style as me. My biggest asset is my speed and long arms. I’m just an all around boxer. Some guys are called fighters I’m a boxer
Q- What’s your training routine like?
It varies during the week I do my speed bag, heavy bag, jump rope, I run. My personal trainer comes in Monday, Thursday, and Friday and we do whatever routine he has set for us. But it’s pretty much like any other boxer would do. No weights though I do pushups my own body weight that’s how I keep my speed
Q - What do you do during your down time?
A-I just try to keep myself a 100 % for the gym I run , I swim, anything to improve myself. I watch fights. I do anything to develop my craft
Q- Open mike-Anything you want to say to the fans?
The fans should come up. I’m going to win the people’s hearts. I’ll be more active I should have five more fights real soon.
The main event is Andres Taylor vs. Garrett Wilson for with the USBA cruiserweight and the vacated NABF cruiserweight titles at stake. And six other bouts including Gabriel Pham at Bally's Event Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
For tickets call 215-765-0922; 800-745-3000
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