By Ryan Burton
Hot cruiserweight prospect Lateef "Power" Kayode (16-0) is working hard in camp as he prepares for the biggest test of his professional career. The Nigerian fighter faces former title challenger Matt Godfrey (20-2) in a clash that headlines the June 10th edition of ShoBox. The show takes place in California at the Chumash Casino.
BoxingScene.com caught up with Kayode's manager Steve Feder of Standing Eight Management to see how his heavy handed client is doing in camp.
Kayode is known as a hard worker and he is pushing himself to new limits in this training camp.
"This camp was our best to date. Lateef worked six days a week at the Wild Card Gym. We also sparred with heavyweight Chris Arreola in Riverside. Chris and Lateef traded great together and the experience Chris brought was great for us," Feder told BoxingScene.
There has always been a good team around Kayode as he is led by Freddie Roach who has won Trainer of the Year honors multiple times. Kayode has added another member to his team for this important fight.
"As for the team, strength and conditioning coach Mike Vale is on board again and we also added Juan Ruiz Bernabe who is Jamie Kavanagh's trainer to work specifically on balance and speed work. Head trainer Freddie Roach worked on a plan tailor made for Matt Godfrey. Also on the team are co-trainers Jessie Arevalo and Pepper Roach so Lateef has plenty of attention."
The fighter of Nigerian descent had his fourteen fight win by knockout streak stopped in his previous fight which was a unanimous decision win over Nicholas Iannuzzi. Feder feels that Kayode gained valuable experience in that fight and will be ready for whatever Godfrey brings.
"The Godfrey fights is perfect for us coming off the Nick Iannuzzi fight. Iannuzzi came with a game plan to punch and run. We expect Godfrey to rely on a similar tactic. We hope he'll go toe to toe, but fourteen fighters who traded with Lateef ended up on the canvas. Lateef will hunt his opponent down to get him to trade."
Feder feels his fighter is almost ready for a world title shot and wants him to face top competition so that when the time comes he will be prepared. Facing a former title challenger is the newt step in Kayode's progression from prospect to contender.
"We had a slew of opponents we could have taken on but we have no plans to take
a step back. I worked with matchmaker John Beninati and promoter Gary Shaw to keep finding us the next test. I feel we have the best cruiserweight prospect in the world and anyone less than a Matt Godfrey would be a step back. We expect him to come to win. If he watched Lateef's last fight it would be a mistake in our favor. There is nowhere in the ring that he won't find Lateef right there with him. This should be a great fight for the fans."
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