Chicago’s “Polish Prince” and top light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara (27-3, 16 KOs) and his opponent Nathan Cleverly (29-2, 15 KOs); along with Kohei Kono (30-8-1, 13 KOs) and Koki Kameda (33-1, 18 KOs), worked out for the media today in advance of their Premier Boxing Champions on Spike showdowns this Friday, October 16 from UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
“I have won some big fights and I am proud of that, but I have to stay focused on the sport and continue to do my best. I’m just a normal guy. I’m a boxer and a warrior and I continue to improve with every fight. That’s more important to me than being called a rising star in boxing.
“Cleverly says he’s too slick for me, but we will see what happens in the ring on Friday. You never know what will happen in a fight. Maybe he is faster and slicker, but I’m stronger and I think I’m a better fighter right now.
“The plan is to beat him on Friday, but if I get the opportunity I will knock him out. This is the sport we are in: blood and sweat.
“Cleverly is a really big step for me. I know he’s an experienced guy. He’s a good technical guy. He’s fast and sneaky, but I want guys like him. I don’t want bums who show up to get paid and go down in the second or third round. I want a guy who tells me before a fight that he can beat me. That motivates me.”
“It’s going to be an enjoyable experience fighting in his backyard of Chicago. It’s a bit of an adventure. The pressure is off in a way because he has the expectations of the home crowd. I’m just coming here to do my job and win the fight.
“I’m confident it’ll be a good fight and I’m ready.
“Fonfara is a good fighter. He’s tall and rangy. He’s a good puncher and strong. He’s fit. He throws correct, solid punches, but I believe I’ll win because I’ve simply got more tools and I’ve done more to my game. I’m sharper with more movement. My combination punching will be too much for him.”
“I have always had a dream to fight in the United States. I will do my best to perform up to the historic nature of this fight.
“Kameda says he is a ‘charismatic genius.’ I disagree and I’m here to prove him wrong. I will prove it Friday night that I am the true force.
“I am proud of my stamina and activity rate and my punching power. That is why I will win this fight.”
“I am in the best shape of my entire boxing career right now. I spent five weeks in Las Vegas training with Ismael Salas and that was best thing I could have done. I didn’t do anything but prepare for this fight.
“Kono promised the Japanese press and his fans that he would knock me out… that’s about the last thing that is going to happen in this fight. I find that funny.
“This is the first time two Japanese have fought for a world title in the United States, but I don’t have any special feeling about the historic nature. This is just another fight for me because every single fight I’m in is equally important to me. Even a four-round fight is life or death for me.”