LaFarrell Bunting Q & A: LaFarrell To Face Hanshaw On October 6th on Showtime
02.10.06 - In one of two exciting semi-final match-ups, former sparring partners LaFarrell Bunting and Tony Hanshaw will square off Friday, Oct. 6, 2006, on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) as the “ShoBox” super middleweight tournament continues. In the other 10-round contest from the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., Jean Paul Mendy will take on Henry Buchanan.
Article posted on 02.10.2006
On Jan. 5, 2007, the winner of the tournament final will take home the International Boxing Organization (IBO) 168-pound title. Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, is promoting the tournament that offers two boxers in the original international field of eight the rare opportunity to appear on national television three times in only seven months.
Question: Can you discuss your career before entering the tournament?
Bunting: I started boxing in 2000 professionally and have been trying to get connections, get fights and establish my boxing record. After losing to Shannon Miller, I was real frustrated and got out of boxing. I worked driving a forklift, but eventually went back to boxing because it just was calling me. I came back and won, and the rest is history. I knew the business part of this was to build my record and I did so I could get more fights. I was in camp with Fernando Vargas while he was preparing for Raymond Joval and that taught me so much.
Question: What attracted you to the “ShoBox” super middleweight tournament?
Bunting: This is an opportunity now to let me prove my ability. I want to show my ability and my talent. This is my chance to rise and shine.
Question: Can you break down your performance against your first-round opponent, Jose Luis Herrera?
Bunting: It was a performance I expected. Actually, I expected more out of Herrera. I was prepared to be versatile and use all my abilities. I was expecting more pressure, but he did not do that. He let me do whatever I wanted to. You cannot wait around for me. One big shot and I can get you up and out of there. I was not sharp like I wanted to be, but when you get a stoppage like that, how much more can you ask for?
Question: After knocking out Herrera on short notice, what do you think will be different now that you have two months to prepare?
Bunting: My conditioning will be different, my speed will be better, my alertness, my sharpness, everything. I will punch more and use the jab more. I know Hanshaw well. We boxed in amateurs twice and were one and one (against each other). I will let him make the mistakes and then I will capitalize. I have reach and I am taller. He will get desperate in there. When he does that, that is when Showtime happens.
Question: What specifically do you think a win in this tournament would do for your career?
Bunting: A win is going to put me up a different notch. I would be a pro champion. That is a whole different thing than my past in boxing. You are right there with the Jeff Lacys and Allan Greens. That is what boxing is all about. When you talk about those guys, you talk about pay days.
Question: What makes you the class of the four remaining tournament fighters?
Bunting: I am a boxer-puncher, I am bigger, I have the most abilities, I have speed and I have tremendous power. At this weight division, that is what you need, and I have it all. Once all these guys get hit by me, it is game over.
Question: Is the opportunity to scout your upcoming opponent, Tony Hanshaw, an advantage, or does it not make a difference in your preparation or confidence level?
Bunting: You have to be confident in yourself. Another man cannot make you confident. My confidence comes from within. Hanshaw will do what he does. I already know how he fights and nothing changed, so I am ready. He will be slick. But, when I take his advantages away, then what? I am just a much bigger puncher.
Question: What makes Hanshaw more of a challenge than Herrera?
Bunting: Hanshaw will not just stand right there. He will move from side to side. He will not try to match me blow for blow. He is more intelligent. He will be quicker. I will have to create.
Question: What do you respect about Hanshaw?
Bunting: Hanshaw is a damn good boxer. He has real good skills. He will be doing things to make it through.
Question: What do you fear about Hanshaw?
Bunting: Nothing at all.
Question: Do you see any flaws with Hanshaw? If so, how will you exploit them?
Bunting: Hanshaw likes to pull back a whole lot and that leaves you open for a straight right hand. One thing about the chin is you cannot train it. He is a great fighter, but he is not a natural 168-pounder.
Question: What does Hanshaw do best, and how do you negate his strengths?
Bunting: My jab is not going to be stiff because Hanshaw will just slide. I am going to box him while pressuring him. Every time he starts his rhythm, I will hit him. When he has those shots coming at him, what can he do?
Question: How happy are you that you decided not to go fishing and enter this tournament?
Bunting: I am very happy I made that decision. We have a little place in front of where I am training where I can go fishing. I have been boxing since I was eight or nine years old and this is the opportunity I have been waiting for.
Question: You are the bigger man in this tournament and have only fought at 168 pounds once going into the next round. Do you see this as an advantage? If so, why?
Bunting: It (being the bigger man) is very much of an advantage. I have sparred with guys who are 260 pounds.
Question: Will you go looking for the knockout against Hanshaw?
Bunting: I am looking toward the KO, not desperately, patiently. I am a boxer-puncher, will apply slight pressure, and sooner or later, Hanshaw will get up out of there. But I am prepared to go 10-12 rounds.
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