“Iron” Mike Ditka would love this guy. Joey Abell’s opponents are intimidated from the moment the first bell rings. POWER, WOW, THE JAB, are all things I have come to expect when going to cover a Joey “Minnesota Ice” Abell fight. His size, power, and intimidating presence in the ring make him one of our fighters I think can make a name for himself far beyond Minnesota. I am very happy to be able to share our conversation below. I would like to give a special thanks to Mic for helping to make this interview happen.
M…. “Minnesota Ice” is one of the best monikers out there, how did it come about?
Joey…. One of my managers gave me that name early on in my professional career. I wasn’t to sure about it at first but when they announced me at the fight it sounded good so I kept it.
M…. There are very few heavyweights that have the look of a well trained athlete, you are one of them. How hard is it to stay in such great shape and maintain the fighting weight you and your trainers want to be at?
Joey…. I enjoy working out so it really is not hard for me to keep in shape. In addition when I am not working out I play softball, volleyball, football, etc. anything active. My ideal fighting weight is around 240 and its not really a problem except in the summer when I drop a bit lower because of the heat.
M…. Do you believe in weight training as a compliment to core training?
Joey…. I absolutely believe in weight training along with core training. I lift five times a week and believe my power punches are a direct result of this training.
M…. I have heard complaints about recent opponents. Personally, I think it would be very difficult to match you, given your very real power, and high risk/reward ratio any given fighter has when coming to face you. Do these thoughts and factors play on your mind at all when pursuing your dream?
Joey…. Its very frustrating at times. I don’t set up the fights, I leave that to management. Sometimes they have trouble finding a suitable opponent and I am given very short notice to train for that fighter. I think it is harder to fight some of these fighters without any records or videos because you don’t know how they will react in the ring. I would much rather face a top 50 opponent, I think they are much more predictable. I was only given two weeks notice for the Teke Oruh fight and was criticized because I wasn’t aggressive enough. Many of the good fighters won’t fight me because there is little to gain and much to lose. I have sparred with both Ruiz and Chambers and was sent home because apparently I was a bit to aggressive with them. I know I can beat Ruiz, Chambers would be a challenge because he is a lot quicker but I think I would do well against him also.
M…. You are getting a chance to avenge your loss to Alfred Cole in Sweden, How excited are you to get this opportunity?
Joey…. Extremely excited. I have wanted this fight right after the announcement that he won the decision last time. Believe me, he won’t have room to breathe next time.
M…. There has been a lot of talk about a possible showdown between you and Butler, the fans have been clamoring for it for a long time. How much do you want this fight?
Joey…. Butler and I are friends. We have known each other a long time. I believe we will be fighting in October of this year in a large outdoor venue. I want this fight because the fans want it,. We don’t hate each or anything like that. I have great fans and like to give them what they want and put on a good show for them. I give everything I have every time I step in the ring.
M…. I have made it no secret that I think you have a very real chance to make it big in the heavyweight division. What are your boxing dreams?
Joey…. World Champ, of course.
M…. How soon would you like to be taking on the top guys?
Joey…. I am trying to do that now and have been. Its hard and in boxing nobody has to fight anyone unless your champ. They must have motivation either in money or exposure or fan pressure, etc. We will keep trying but I think if I am going to climb the scale it may have to be outside Minnesota. The bigger the crowd (or tv) the bigger the purse. The bigger the purse the better the fighter.
M…. In person, I have never seen a more powerful jab than yours. Do you feel your jab has been increasing in power?
Joey…. I am not sure if the power is any better but I have found a new confidence in my jab. I have never really used it in the past as an offensive weapon, I used it more to keep the opponent a distance. My team has been working with me lately on this and I am finding out how effective it can be.
M…. You had a string of bad luck. What have you learned from having gone through that 3 fight losing streak?
Joey…. I make no excuses for my loses but I learn something in every fight I have. The thing in boxing is one mistake per fight can cost you the win so you try and minimize risk taking, stick to your game plan, and believe in your management team.
M…. Is there any fighter from the past or present that you try and pattern your style after?
Joey….. Like a lot of young fighters, I idolized Ali. I would dance, bob and weave. Once I made it to the pros I developed my own style based on what my managers told me. Its not really patterned after anyone fighter but rather trying to take advantage of my abilities, speed, power, etc.
M…. What should fight fans expect from going to a show you are on?
Joey…. They can expect me to give them 100% effort in every fight and expect the unexpected when you watch the heavies.
I would like to thank Minnesota Ice for taking time to answer our questions.