Update, it has been confirmed that Edwards will be on the card.. Much more on this in the next couple days.
If the first two months of 2009 are an indicator of what type of year this will be for Minnesota boxing, we are really in for a great ride. While 2008 seemed more like, “matches, we don’t need no stinking boxing matches”, 2009 has had professional bouts on January 17, Jan. 24, and February has the 13th at Epic Night Club, along with two huge away fights for Zach Walters and Matt Vanda. Below is a quick rundown of whats coming up for our favorite Minnesota boxers.
February 13, Seconds Out Promotions, Buy tickets and help fight ALS
February 20, Zach Walters vs Byron Mitchell in Buffalo NY. More information can be found here
February 21, Matt Vanda vs John Duddy at Madison Square Garden
February 26, Horton ProAm card
March 28, Andy Kolle vs Anthony Bonsante, That’s what we are talking about!
” I know if you are reading this, you probably already support as many shows as you can. But make sure and tell a friend, coworker, family member…. We need to support our boxers and promoters so they can continue to bring us live boxing.” Bear
As I am sure those that have been reading our site would guess, I was absolutely jazzed to be able to sit down with Andy Kolle. He is definitely a favorite of MNBL. Kaos was more than happy to answer emailed questions from Minnesota boxing fans. Thanks to those that sent in questions. Sorry we were not able to ask him all of them, we also had an interview to conduct. Now to your questions…..
Nathan…. “What is it like going into a fight like the one with Paul Williams?”
Kolle…. “Its one of those things that make you motivate yourself to train like you have never trained before. You know, nobody else wants to fight him. Margarito and Mosely were offered millions and millions of dollars to fight him and wouldn’t. You see him (Williams) on TV and they list him at 6′ 1″, I got in there and it was like, damn, he’s huge. He was bigger than I was.”
M…. “What was the scenery like going into the fight? Were there lots of recognizable boxing people there? Also, what were the differences compared to a Minnesota fight?”
Kolle….“We got there late Sunday night. Monday morning all of the opponents were gathered at 5 AM and we didn’t get back until 8 at night. It was a real rugged day. We had to sit in office and get MRI’s, cat scans, anything you could think of before a fight and elaborate on that. They really ran us, we flew in late and up at 5. That’s one of the things where they don’t treat the opponents, if you want to call us that, the same way as the featured fighters. That kind of stuff gets in your head and then the rest of the week you have to catch up on your sleep. As far as fight night and weigh in stuff, Obviously Paul Williams was there, we also got to see Chris Arreola, James Toney, and William Mccullough, actually Mccullough was staying at the hotel we were at. It was pretty cool to talk with those guys.”
Tarah…. “How many days a week do you train leading up to a fight?”
Kolle….“Its usually about a six day a week thing, I do strength with Adam Daily, we do cattle bells four days a week. Cattle Bells are something kind of new to the USA, they help muscle endurance and strength. You use every muscle in your body. I try to be in the gym 5 or 6 times a week. I’m a firm believer in listening to your body, if your body tells you to take a day off, you listen to it. Rest is just as important as anything else. You hit that wall when your training. Once you hit that wall you need to rest and take a step back and go after it again.”
Miller….“Whats your opinion on why some Duluth fighters tend to get the short end of the stick in discussions of Minnesota boxing?”
Kolle….“We get it cause we are up here and they are down there. Almost every fighter in the state who has a fan base live down there. Most of those with a voice live and watch those fighters. Just like if you’re in Minnesota, you like the Vikings, if you live in Wisconsin you’re usually a Packer fan. There’s no real reason, just where you live.”
Shane…. “What made you decide to train out of Horton’s gym? What is your opinion on why in some circles Chuck Horton has been given a bad name?” (I would like to say here, I think its sort of the nature of the beast. Success breeds detractors. In the short time I have been running this site, I have observed how harsh fans can be on managers, trainers, and promoters.) Todd
Kolle….“First of all, Chuck gets negative attention because he is so aggressive. If Chuck thinks something is wrong he means it, its not up for debate. Chuck says what he thinks, that’s one of the reasons I came up here to train. I see how loyal he is to his fighters. I met him as an amateur, and saw just how loyal he was to Zach (Walters). Zach told me about how when he fought Robert Linton in Washington, Chuck had Zach’s back and was ready to go to war for him. In the boxing world there is not a whole lot of loyalty going on. A manager is a manager to get paid by the fighter, promoters do their thing and so on. Its not all about the money for Chuck. We all have formed a friendship over these years. Friends first, business partners after. I watched Chuck’s fighters, I liked the way they fought. I also loved that he is out of Duluth. Duluth is one of the best places to train, with all the hills for running. Chuck’s boxers had such sharp skills. I watched Zach when he was in Fergus Falls and then saw him after training with Horton. It was obvious how much stronger and quicker he was.”
M…. “Have you noticed a difference in your game since having Chucks influence on you?”
Kolle….“Definitely, I trained in Fergus, we trained hard. Basically we came to the gym, did push ups, sit ups, ran 3 or 4 miles then sparred. That’s all we did. At the end of practice we hit pads for a few minutes. Then I moved to Fargo for school and trained in my back yard and garage. You watch my amateur career and now, I have changed so much. I didn’t have the power back then. If you would have told me then that most of my wins would be by knockout, I would have laughed at you. I was all defence and wait until you come at me. Chuck brought out my power.”
Please keep your eyes open for much more from Andy “Kaos” Kolle.
“You just couldnt let the fans have all the space here, You had your own full interview and still it seems like you asked as many questions as the fans got in. Looks like Todd loves him some Todd.” Bear
I was able to catch up with Willshaun Boxley Saturday night after his fight. Our conversation goes as follows.
M….“What was it like to fight against a Roger Mayweather fighter?”
Boxley….“I was expecting a lot more from him. Usually you see a lot more from a Mayweather fighter. I know he has been knocked out and was worried about my power. He was holding on to me a lot. I beat him at his own game. I study Mayweather a lot. I study fighters and I take what I can use. Tonight I came at him with the basics and it just didn’t work, so I used some of my Mayweather moves and he was not able to respond.”
M….“You looked like the Mayweather fighter. Only one time I saw him get a clean hit on you.”
Boxley…. “I think it was the second round he got me. Along with a head butt. I wont ever let somebody hit me with a bomb.”
M….“Am I correct in noticing your Mayweather defence, you using the shoulder role?”
Boxley…. “I used it few times, but I went back to the old way to make Ron happy. You can’t train with your hands down, you always need to keep your hands up. That’s what Ron wants me to do.”
M….“I watched you last weekend in your exhibition, and I also watched you tonight. To me it seemed like two different Willshauns. Do you agree?”
Boxley….“Yes I do, to a certain extent, I like both fights. The other was an exhibition. Tonight I feel I could have kept pot shoting him, if it went more rounds, I would have continued to laugh and ask him why he kept holding me. I was smiling a lot during that fight. I gave Roger a special smile as well, sort of a taunt, but in a good way.”
M…. “So you were having a good time in there? It looked like you were really enjoying yourself in the ring.”
Boxley…. “I play mind tricks sometimes, I even acted like he got me so he could wear out. Yes I was having fun.”
M…. “You had his corner pretty upset at him.”
Boxley…. “Yeah, I could hear them yelling at him.”
M….“Did Roger Mayweather come and say anything to you after the fight?”
Boxley…. “He said to my corner “he’s the real deal”. When I went back to get dressed, Roger said to me, “you really know how to box. There’s people with a lot of heart, but you also really know how to box.” That really meant a lot to me. I talked to Roger before the fight and he was just saying “what are you going to do”.”
M…. “How did it feel when the judges came out with the scores? Were you hoping to take him out?”
Boxley…. “I wanted to knock him out but he was being so defensive, he did not want to trade with me. I was expecting a little bit more from him so we could entertain the fans. That’s really what I want to do. I wish he would have opened a little more instead of just waiting to catch me with a big shot. He liked to hold a lot. There were times where I really hurt him. People have been telling me I should have jumped on him then, but you never know when they are playing possum, ready to land one of their own bombs.”
M…. “What kind of power did he have?”
Boxley…. “He had decent power, if he chops the shots, and his upper cuts could do some damage. His right hand also had some pop.”
I really enjoyed watching Boxley on Saturday night. Like I have stated before, I really think he stole the show. The talk among many fans seemed to be Willshaun’s performance. Lets hope this performance doesn’t scare off any future opponents.
“Todd, you may want to remember the man in Willshaun’s corner, Ron Lyke. I know you’re all goo goo over seeing Roger, but Lyke’s guy won the fight.” Bear
I was able to catch up with Jeff Osborne Jr and learn a little about the man and boxer. Jeff was scheduled to fight Shawn Estrada on the 24th, but as is usual in boxing, it seems things have changed. Dion Savage of Flint Michigan is The Rocks new opponent.
Jeff comes from a family devoted to boxing. He was his mothers dream come true, a son who loved the family’s favorite past time, boxing. The senior Osborne was a boxer with many amateur bouts under his belt. He went on to fight in the “Toughman” competition and won nationally in 1988 and then went on to win the world championships. It didn’t take long for Jeff to follow in his fathers footsteps, he was throwing jabs at a very young age. He started competing on the amateur level at the age of 11. The rock had 50 plus amateur fights before entering his first “Toughman” competition at age 17. He went on to take the national “Toughman” crown, after witch he suffered a disappointing loss in the world competition.
When the Worlds were over Jeff turned pro, also did some kickboxing. True to his moniker The Rock never worried about the strength or accomplishments of his opponents. Testament to this are his losses to Ronald Hearns, Zach Walters, and Shawn Hammack. However, Jeff shows no fear in the ring, only two times has he not made it to the final round in a loss. ”I was not brought up to lay down for anybody.”
Me….”What gym do you train out of?”
Jeff….”I started out training in my garage then going from gym to gym. I now train out of Alley Cat Boxing Club”
Me….”You are on a 4 fight win streak, What would you attribute to your recent success?”
Jeff….”With the economy, there have been less hours at work. I have been able to devote more time to training in the gym. I work at a foundry, working with aluminum at 900 degrees. It makes it difficult to get my body and schedule straight for training when working full hours.”
Me….”How many fights would be ideal for you this year?”
Jeff….”I would love to fight once a month if all went well.”
Me….”You will be fighting on the 24th, what can those of us who have not seen you before expect to see from one of your fights?”
Jeff….”I like to go after the other guy. I love the inside game.”
Now I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Jeff’s family. He has a wife and 2 kids and they are his world. Jeff’s mom and dad’s passion for boxing even rings through in his name. Jeff’s middle name, Albert, comes from the great Iowa trainer Bert Baskony(sorry about spelling). Well, while Jeff’ was dating his wife, he discovered that she is the grand daughter of Baskony. Boxing is definately in their family tree.
I would like to close with this thought. As I talked to Jeff, he kept coming back to how much he loved the sport of boxing. He reiterated how much he enjoyed getting into the ring with the best, even if it brought him a loss. Jeff “The Rock” Osborne Jr boxes for love of the sport.
Lets talk some boxing. Anyone who has seen Walters greatest hits on YouTube, or better yet in person, knows this is no mild manored warrior. Zach’s demeanor outside of the ring gives no clue to what he is like in battle. He always comes prepared to give all he has to his opponent as well as the fans.
I dove into the subject of achieving every boxers dream of wearing a title belt. Zach has worn subdivision titles for the WBC and WBA sanctioning bodies.
M…. “How do you get a chance to fight for a belt?”
Zach….“You need to build up a certain profile before a sanctioning body will allow you to fight for a title. They need to see promise in the fighter. They need to be sure he will make their belt look better, allowing for future earnings. You need to be able to generate enough money to pay for sanctioning fees. That’s why I thank, thank, thank, all the fans for supporting me. People come from all over to watch me fight, I am so glad for their support. I can not do what I do or achieve what I want to achieve without the fans. It is an honor to have their support.”
M…. “Tell us how the WBC African subdivision title became yours?”
Zach…. “I lived in Africa when I was younger, therefore was eligible to fight for the vacant title. This is kind of a deep story. Carl Daniels was a last minute replacement to fight me for the belt. At least a last minute replacement to us. He was (50, 11) and had been training with Paul Williams to help Paul prepare for his future fight with Carlos Quintana. Needless to say this was quite a change. But I trained my butt off for that fight and won.”
Zach’s other belt, the WBA subdivision title, was won in his bout with Aaron Norwood. A side note, Norwood just recently fought Glen Johnson. Zach made quicker work of Norwood, two rounds quicker to be exact.
M…. “What should fans expect from one of your fights?”
Zach…. “I want to deliver boxing entertainment. The fans will get 100% of what I’ve got. Win, lose, or draw, I want them to see a great fight. If I lose, I want the fans to know I gave it my all. I will shake the hand of any boxer who beats me, because I know they were in a FIGHT.”
Zach and I did talk of one such moment in his last fight. All who were watching know that Jungle Boy had 7 and 1/2 rounds in the bag. But Zach wanted to give the fans what they wanted to see. He exchanged blows with Shawn Hammack, and as often happens in boxing, one snuck through. Now, Zach is a remarkable man, he tips his hat to Shawn and hopes to see him in the ring again soon. But I know it was more than a punch and flurry of punches that took Zach down. He was incredibly dehydrated, he had to down countless bottles of fluid just to get back to himself. It is my opinion that the dehydration played a much larger role in the defeat than anything Shawn could muster.
College degrees are not always a common place in boxing, But Chuck Horton has a few in his stable that have achieved this accomplishment, Zach being one of them. I asked Zach what it was like to be so severely dehydrated. I don’t consider myself a genius, maybe not even that smart of a man, but Zach going into detail about all the ins and outs of dehydration had me feeling like I need some more schooling. Zach is one smart Man. There is so much more to the champ than just boxing. He is truly an inspiring young man. Some people are blessed with looks, some smarts, or athletic ability. Zach seems to have nailed down all of the above. If you ask Walters how he has gotten to this point in his life, he will tell you its God and hard work.
I will close part 2 with the ever important Andy “Kaos” Kolle question.
Zach…. “Kolle is the best middleweight in Minnesota and deserves it. He works hard and is not afraid to mix it up with anybody. His future in boxing will be what ever he wants it to be. He’s got talent and he never stops learning which are good characteristics for making it big with the sport.”