Advertisement
Advertisement

From Malawi To Las Vegas - Meet Isaac Chilemba

By Ryan Maquiñana

Light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba loves a good challenge.

Whether it was leaving his home of Malawi for South Africa six years ago to jumpstart his pro career, or taking on seven straight fighters with a combined record of 117-6, Chilemba (18-1-1, 9 KOs) has annexed both the IBO and WBC International belts to become a player in the 175-pound picture.

This week, Chilemba arrives at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas on short notice to face two-time world title challenger Edison Miranda (41-6, 35 KOs) in a ten-rounder that will serve as the main event on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.

BoxingScene.com caught up with the light heavyweight slugger who piqued onlookers’ attention in Atlantic City with an explosive second-round knockout of Jameson Bostic last October on the Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker undercard.

BoxingScene.com: Tell us about your beginnings in the sport, and how things have changed since you started in South Africa.  This is your fifth fight in America.

Isaac Chilemba: I did my amateur career in Malawi, where I grew up, and six years ago, I went to South Africa to start my professional boxing career.  Yes, I’ve been fighting in America now, and the promotion and atmosphere is really big here. It’s really different than in South Africa, about three steps ahead.  It’s quite an experience here.

BoxingScene.com: The last seven fighters you’ve faced have a combined record of 117-6, and that includes four unbeaten fighters.  In fact, all of them are wins with the exception of a draw with Thomas Oosthuizen.

Isaac Chilemba: You try to get the best fighters you can to fight you, and so I ended up happening fighting four guys in a row who had never lost before.  I’d say the Oosthuizen fight was definitely my biggest fight up to this point.

BoxingScene.com: In your last fight with Jameson Bostic, you seemed to really load up on your punches after you noticed he was hurt, and you finished him.  For the fans who haven’t been able to watch you fight, how would you describe your style?

Isaac Chilemba: I have power and quick movement.  That’s what I bring to the fight, and that’s what I plan to bring to the fans next Friday.

BoxingScene.com: Now you face a veteran slugger Edison Miranda, which is a step up from Bostic.  How have you and new trainer Dan Birmingham approached this fight strategically?

Isaac Chilemba: I try to do better than I did in the previous fight.  I try to add something different and grow.  From then to now, I’ve been getting good workouts with my new trainer [Dan Birmingham].  Miranda’s been around for a while.  He fought all the great boxers you can name, so he knows how to handle this game.  I’ve never fought such an experienced fighter.  He’s a puncher, and we plan on outworking him.  It’s my time to show him I can outwork him and knock him out.

BoxingScene.com: You’re replacing Yordanis Despaigne on what would have been a rematch. Coming in on such short notice, how ready do you feel for this opportunity?

Isaac Chilemba: I’m always ready.  I always try to live my life right.  I’m always in the gym, and I’ve been working out since December.  When my manager [Damian Ramirez] said we were offered the fight, we looked at his style, and went over the gameplan. It’s not so much time, but we’re working on it, and we’ll be ready for Miranda.

BoxingScene.com: You’re ranked in the top 15 of all four major sanctioning bodies, with the highest being sixth in the WBC. If you win this fight, you will surely rise up the rankings and get closer to a world title shot. Do you have an immediate plan of what you’d like to do next if you should beat Miranda?

Isaac Chilemba: I want to fight the greatest fighters out there.  We haven’t discussed with my team yet what we would do after this Miranda fight.  We’re focusing on this fight, and then either a world title or something that would help me move closer to that.  [Chad] Dawson, [Bernard] Hopkins, [Jean] Pascal, [Tavoris] Cloud—it all depends on how well I do in this fight.

Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (CSNBayArea.com). He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by TNTSUGAR on 01-31-2012

The record is wrong: Miranda is 35-6 with 30 KO in 41 fights

Comment by TX_BOXNG on 01-31-2012

Hes gona beat edison

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Oscar Molina, Jarrett Hurd Aim to Make Most of Surprise CBS Slot Porter: Fighting Me Will Be A Shock To Keith Thurman's System Arum: Ramirez Confident of What He Can Do Against Golovkin Frank Warren To Hearn: Joshua is Number 1? Let Him Prove It! Daily Bread Mailbag: Danny Garcia, Lomachenko, Thurman, More Semajay Thomas Embraces How Boxing Changed His Life Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep Easily Stops Outmatched Opponent Parker: Soon Joshua's Confidence Will Be Tested Against Me Golovkin's Coach: We Never Asked Andre Ward For 164 Weight George Groves Entering Last-Chance Saloon Against Murray LaRon Mitchell Stops Epifanio Mendoza in Three Rounds Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter: Pre-Fight Report Card Ricardo Rodriguez Beats David Quijano in Boxeo Telemundo Canelo's Manager Taking Smith Serious, Expects Dangerous Fight Photos: Vargas Rubs Shoulders With Mayweather at BWAA Awards Canelo's Manager To Critics: We're Back To Our Natural Weight! Kenny Porter Not Concerned With Layoff as Thurman Shot Nears Arum: Thurman-Porter is Good Fight, Hope it Gets Good Rating Thurman Reflects on His Long Journey, Lessons Along The Way Video: Jessie Vargas Talks Kell Brook, Thurman vs. Porter Photos/Weights: PBC on NBCSN - Justin DeLoach-Junior Castillo Photos: Mike Alvarado vs. Josh Torres, Korobov-Vera Weighin DiBella Breaks Down Thurman-Porter, Isn't Sure Who Wins Povetkin, Ryabinsky To Hold Meeting With WBC Next Week Liam Smith: I Will Shake Up The World When I Beat Canelo Groves Explains His Version of Events in Golovkin Sparring Tale Photos: Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter Ready For Barclays War Weights from Brooklyn: Porter Strips to 147, Thurman at 146 Liam Smith vs. Canelo Alvarez - Fight Poster Revealed Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith Finalized at 154, 9/17 on PPV Fury To Klitschko: I'm Hitler? You Stupid F***ing Ukrainian Pr*ck! Golden Boy VP Reacts To Arum, Insists Pacquiao vs. Broner is On! Video: Sky Sports Crew Discuss Klitschko vs. Fury Postponement Video: Joshua-Breazeale, Groves-Murray, Eubank-Doran Weighin Jason Sosa Drills Javier Fortuna in Eleventh, Grabs WBA Title Eubank Jr: I Didn't Want To Take Off Underwear, Scare Everyone Photos: Anthony Joshua, Dominic Breazeale Ready For Battle Felix Diaz-Levan Ghvamichava Tops PBC on FS1, July 12 Photo: Tyson Fury's Badly Bruised, Sprained Ankle Injury Felix Verdejo-Jose Felix Likely For October - If Pacquiao Returns
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement