Antwone "The Truth" Smith didn't get his nickname because it rhymes with his last name - the 26-year-old Miami resident has a habit of telling the truth no matter what you ask him.
Smith (22-4-1, 12 KOs) will face two-time former world champion Jose Luis "EL Temible" Castillo (64-11-1, 55 KOs) in the 10-round welterweight co-main event for this Friday's (February 1) ESPN Friday Night Fights-televised "King" Carlos Molina vs. Cory "The Next Generation" Spinks 12-round main event at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
"I feel like a lot of guys on TV try to be somebody different and I want to be myself and be the truth," said Smith of his ring moniker. "What you see is what you get. I'm not one way on camera and one way off."
So what does he think of his well-known and possible future hall-of-fame next opponent?
"He (Castillo) has the best name of anyone I fought; I guess you could say that. But to be honest, before he passed, my favorite fighter was Diego Corrales, so I'm definitely not a fan of his. He's just a typical Mexican fighter and I'm prepared for the best version of him there has ever been, so if anything less than that shows up, he's going to have a problem."
Smith has no problem admitting he's in an almost "no win" situation facing Castillo.
"A loss gainst him would be devastating, but I don't think a win would do much for me because people will just say he's old. I just want to stay busy and get this win and hope it propels me to something bigger and better. If you win fights like this it's no big deal. If you lose, it's bad."
Not one to pre-plan much of anything that happens during his fights, Smith says he's more of an ad-libber.
"I never really think about how a fight is going to go. I just deal with it when it comes. When I get in the ring, I go with the flow. When you have a plan, if things don't go as planned, that's when you have a problem. It depends on what Castillo does. Maybe he'll come forward, maybe he won't. If I'm anticipating him to come forward and he doesn't, I'm already out of my game."
Presented by 8 Count Productions, Round 3 Productions, Warriors Boxing and Blue Wave Boxing in association with Don King Productions, advance tickets are priced are $151, $101, $51 and $31 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000), the 8 Count Productions Offices, 312-226-5800 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office, 312-413-5740.
VAZQUEZ: I’LL BE RUTHLESS LIKE HERNANDEZ
Mexican hitman Miguel Vazquez says he’ll be as deadly as fellow countryman and Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez when he faces WBO World Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns at Wembley Arena.
Vazquez, the IBF World Champion, puts his title on the line against Burns’ belt in a big unification clash on Saturday 16th March that also features stars Nathan Cleverly, George Groves, Dereck Chisora* and Liam Walsh, all live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546)
Hernandez, currently the only Mexican playing in the Premier League, hails from Guadalajara - the same as Vazquez.
Since arriving at the Red Devils in 2010 “Chicharito” has terrorized defences with his speed and accuracy, hitting the net 46 times. He fired home twice in Saturday’s FA Cup match against Fulham.
And Vazquez has promised to make it a Mexican treble by battering the Scotsman and taking his belt.
“When I fight Burns I will be just like Hernandez, a cold and ruthless assassin. There will be no remorse when I’m taking Burns apart,” Said Vazquez.
“Hernandez is a hero in Mexico, I saw the match on Saturday and I said that is what I have to be like to beat Burns,”
“A striker and a boxer have the same mind set, a striker has to have to the killer instinct to score, the boxer to land a knockout punch, when the opening comes against Burns that will be the end for him.”
Vazquez isn’t worried about facing Burns who destroyed rival Kevin Mitchell in four rounds last time out. Vazquez was the first man to beat hammer-hitting Breidis Prescott after the Colombian destroyed Amir Khan inside a round.
He added, “Burns is a good fighter, he is strong, he has good skills and he knocked out Kevin Mitchell which was impressive,”
“But he has never faced a fighter like me before. I’m unbeaten as a world champion at lightweight. I beat a huge puncher in Prescott and he didn’t hurt me, I don’t see how Burns can hurt me,”
“I will be Ricky Burns’ worst nightmare. I’m coming for his world title, his title is as good as mine.”
Burns v Vazquez joint-headlines a blockbuster show with WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly’s title defence against Robin Krasniqi, plus George Groves challenging for the Vacant European Super-Middleweight title, heavyweight Dereck Chisora* and Commonwealth Super-Featherweight Champion Liam Walsh, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Tickets for Rule Britannia, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 and £200 are available from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk
Rule Britannia is live and exclusive on The Home of Champions BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com
*Dereck Chisora’s appearance on the show is strictly subject to him being successful with his license application to the British Boxing Board of Control.
RICKY HATTON AND UFC STAR PAUL SASS PUT EACH OTHER THROUGH THEIR PACES
BRITISH UFC star Paul Sass believes he has some new moves to take into his next fight thanks to being put through his paces by Ricky Hatton.
The Liverpudlian holds the world record for winning the most consecutive mixed martial arts contests by submission, but was keen to learn a few punches from the Hitman.
And it was a mutually beneficial session has Hatton also got to try out some grappling techniques on the floor.
“It was really, really good and a lot of fun as well,” Sass said. “Ricky has taught me a few things I can take away and practice more.
“There’s some little things he showed me that hopefully I can put into my next fight and win by knockout. All my other wins have come from submissions except for one decision, so a knockout is what I need now.
“I got to show Ricky a couple of my moves as well. I showed him my triangle and arm bar and he picked them up really well.”
Sass, who is currently preparing to face Danny Castillo on February 16, was also impressed by the facilities at Hatton Health and Fitness in Hyde.
He said: “The facilities are great. It’s a nice boxing gym and I’ve seen downstairs there’s all the cardio equipment so it’s got everything you need.
“I’d recommend this gym to anyone, not just other UFC fights, and I know when I’m in the area again I’ll be looking to come back here and do some more training.”
Ricky Hatton said: “Paul and the rest of the UFC are welcome in the gym any time they like.
“I feel very proud of some of the people we’ve had in the gym. We’ve had Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Robert Duran plus others and having the UFC in is an honour.”
Some people in boxing have been very critical of mixed martial arts in recent years, but Hatton says the sport has won him over and feels that a lot can be learned from watching it.
“I was always a fan of Michael Bisping but I wasn’t really into the UFC before,” he explained. “From watching Michael I got more and more interested in it and I’ve become very intrigued by it. Paul Sass told me has more than 30 moves and that’s a real talent.
“I presented an award in Las Vegas at the Mixed Martial Arts Awards a few weeks ago and I saw that everything they do is five star.
“The way they put a show together is superb. They have the big screens up, they show all the knockouts beforehand, and they build it up. I think boxing promoters can learn a lot from it.”