By Ben Jacobs
Gary Shaw may have had some setbacks over the years but he is working as hard as ever and he currently has a number of fighters who are in significant bouts over the next couple of months. In addition, Shaw promotes some young talent who may not be far off challenging for big honours themselves.
The New Jersey based promoter took some time to speak to BoxingScene about the likes of Bryant Jennings and Daniel Geale who face Mike Pérez and Gennady Golovin respectively on July 26. He also discusses future plans for Thomas Dulorme and José Pedraza, among others.
BoxingScene.com: How pleased are you with Thomas Dulorme’s progress since he lost to Luis Carlos Abregú?
Obviously in the fight that he lost I would have wished that the trainer had not stopped the fight, I think it would have brought out a lot more in Dulorme. Since then he’s recovered, he had a great win over [Karim] Mayfield on HBO and I’m looking to get him into another big fight.
BoxingScene.com: Is it true that Ruslan Provodnikov’s team turned down a fight with Dulorme?
Yes, it is true. Rather than fight Chris Algieri, HBO said they’d like to see Dulorme and Provodnikov, and they turned down the fight, they said no. They chose Algieri which in retrospect was not a good choice. I don’t think Dulorme will fight for world title this year but I’d like to get him another big fight and fight for a world title in 2015.
BoxingScene.com: You also promote his countryman, José Pedraza, could you talk about his progression.
I believe José Pedraza, I’m not comparing him with Trinidad and Cotto, they’re at this point in a different class, but of the young guys I believe he’s the best on the island. They’re making a big deal out of [Felix] Verdejo, believe me, Verdejo will never fight Pedraza. Pedraza’s a much better fighter, he’s had better fights under his belt. Verdejo is still fighting stiffs. Pedraza is very good. He holds the IBO title, he’s moving up in the rankings and you’ll see a lot more of him in 2015.
BoxingScene.com: Has Gennady Golovkin been overhyped at all and is Daniel Geale his toughest test?
I believe Golovkin is real, he has very heavy hands but Geale will be the first world class fighter that Golovkin has ever faced. Geale believes he can beat Golovkin, which is important. Matthew Macklin went into the fight scared. So I think you’ll see on July 26 a different type of fight that Golovkin will be in, and it’ll tell a lot about him.
Daniel’s very fluid, has a lot of movement, he throws a lot of punches, a lot of combinations. Golovkin has not seen that type of fighter that will fight that style. I have a lot of confidence in Daniel, I believe he’s the one that can beat Golovkin. We’ll soon have our answer, on July 26.
BoxingScene.com: Is there something that sets Bryant Jennings apart from the other top American heavyweights like Deontay Wilder for example?
Wilder’s an American also but he hasn’t fought anybody. That reminds me of Gary Russell Jr who fought Lomachenko. He was 24-0 but they were 24 stiffs. Wilder has fought all stiffs, so level of competition really means something and Jennings is a finely tuned athlete as well. He’s an American and America needs a heavyweight, so this fight for him is really important. Two undefeated fighters fighting one another and it’s a final eliminator for the WBC.
BoxingScene.com: I thought Jennings’ last fight was his most impressive display yet. Would you agree with that?
Yes. I would have liked for him to start faster but he came on round by round and improved round by round and finally beat Szpilka down. I believe Szpilka is a very good fighter and underrated so that would have prepared him to fight Mike Pérez. That’s like the Geale-Golovkin fight, Mike Pérez hasn’t fought anybody that moves like Jennings. Bryant has a lot of movement, side to side and throws combinations.
BoxingScene.com: Do you think Mike Pérez has been affected by the tragic fight with Magomed Abdusalamov?
I don’t know if he’s been affected. He fought a guy in Canada that moves a lot, he was unknown and he had problems with that movement, so he’ll surely have problems with Jennings. If Jennings wins he’s in line for the championship of the world.
BoxingScene.com: It looks like Bermane Stiverne will fight Wilder. How do you see that playing out?
I’m interested to see that fight. Stiverne has fought Arreola twice and Wilder hasn’t fought anyone. But if he knocks Stiverne out then that would prove something to me and I’ll give him all the credit in the world. But right now I don’t see him beating Stiverne.
BoxingScene.com: How exciting would it be for America to have two American heavyweights like Wilder and Jennings fighting for the world title?
Two American heavyweights would bring a lot of attention, but again, Wilder hasn’t fought anyone. You have to look at boxing like a stepladder, you take one step at a time, if you do well you go up the rung on the ladder, if not you stay there or go back down a rung. If you just fight nobodies like Wilder or Russell it doesn’t prove anything. When you finally do step up you’re ill prepared and I thought that’s what happened to Russell, he wasn’t prepared.
BoxingScene.com: Could you talk about some of the other guys in your stable and what fights they have soon?
Jonathan Maicelo is fighting July 11, he’s had one loss but I think I can bring him back, he’s fighting Art Hovhannisyan, a real tough character, so it’ll be a great fighter Maicelo lost to Rustam Nugaev who is my guy and can really punch. So at 135lbs I’m loaded, Maicelo and Nugaev are my guys that can go and win a world title. I also have Darley Pérez at 135lbs who’s fighting for the WBA interim title this Saturday in the Dominican Republic.
BoxingScene.com: Has Tureano Johnson asked for a rematch with Curtis Stevens?
They’ll never give him the rematch. Main Events will talk about fighting everybody and talk about other companies, but believe me, Curtis Stevens won’t give Johnson another chance. Johnson is real at 160lbs, he can really fight. He won almost every round other than when he got careless and got caught. If it were a different referee, a better referee like Steve Smoger, then Johnson would have won that fight because a guy like Smoger would let the two guys fight