Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Ola Afolabi Plans To Get More Aggressive in Fights

By Francisco Salazar

Eye on the prize. In this case, there are two things Ola Afolabi is eyeing.

He is eyeing victory over a last-minute replacement and a shot at a world title belt.

With so much on the line and having the experience of being in this situation before, Afolabi can not pass this opportunity, no matter if the going gets tough.

The cruiserweight contender faces Anthony Caputo Smith in a 10 round bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y. on Saturday night. The bout will headline the non-televised undercard of a K2 Promotions/ Gary Shaw Productions card.

Afolabi was scheduled to face unbeaten Pawel Kolodziej in an elimination bout, but Afolabi claims Kolodziej had promotional issues and believed he did not want to fight outside of his native Poland.

So Smith gets the call. While Smith began his professional career winning his first 13 bouts, he has lost three out of his last five. Despite the recent setbacks Smith has faced, Afolabi is not overlooking him and is taking the fight seriously, considering there is so much on the line.

"From what I'm hearing, we win this one, I'll become (the) mandatory anyway, even though it's not an elimination fight," Afolabi told Boxingscene.com in a recent interview. "Because everyone from number one to 10 has said no to fighting me. I don't know much about Anthony. I know he fought BJ Flores in his last fight. A lot of people were saying he won that fight and they gave the fight to BJ. So I'm not going to take him easy like that."

"I don't take anyone easy. I've seen one fight of his on YouTube. I know he comes forward, goes to the body, and throws jabs. He's 15-2 (15-3 is Smith's record). You can't sleep on him, even if he was 15-10, I wouldn't sleep on him. But he's definitely a good fighter. I expect him to be fast because he was a light heavyweight and now he's a cruiserweight. So I'm expecting speed and aggression."

Afolabi is coming off a 12 round majority decision victory over Lukasz Janik on November 2, also inside Madison Square Garden.

Throughout his career, Afolabi has scored some solid wins over reputable and worthy opposition, including Eric Fields, Enzo Maccarinelli, and Valery Brudov.

He is most known for his three fights against Marco Huck, where he has a draw and two losses against him. Many boxing reporters believe his May 2012 draw against Huck was actually a victory for the Afolabi, who resides in the Los Angeles area and is originally from London, England.

While his boxing skills are underrated and is never one to shy away from competition, Afolabi wants to be known more for fighting more consistently and having that career-defining win. It is possible, considering he is at or near the top of the cruiserweight division.

"There's been times when fighters turn it up on me and instead of turning it back up, I go into a defensive mode," said Afolabi, who is promoted by K2 Promotions. "With the fights against Huck, he's the wrong person to do that (against) because he never stops throwing. Being in there with him three times, I've learned that, I decided to fight back. If you fight a bully back, they crumble. I knew this mentally, but i didn't put it to action in the ring. When I put it into action, I'm one of the best cruiserweights in the world. I get good results. That tells me that I need to be more aggressive."

If the other guy is really aggressive, I can either make him miss and counter or I can be aggressive back. It just depends on the fighter. It's totally more exciting to go toe-to-toe with somebody, but even though I'm learning to fight that way, it's not my natural style. So basically I'm going to go in there and see whatever he brings to the table, we're going to counter. I'll be aggressive to start and see what he has and if he hangs in there, then we got a fight on our hands."

At 34 years of age, Afolabi can not afford any defeats on his path towards a world title. With his margin of error slowly decreasing, Afolabi has to be on his game.

But that does not mean he can not find self-motivation through his experiences as a fighter. Whether it was fighting in a ballroom or a sold-out crowd inside a soccer stadium in Germany, Afolabi appreciates what he has accomplished thus far.

But he still wants more and he believes he will become a world champion. A win over Smith continues him on that path.

It humbles me because i see all of it (the boxing game) and i know they're not there for me. I want them to be there for me. That's motivation in itself. When we start putting on a good fight, they (fans) get excited. It's like a drug. I get a big high and I want more of it. I know I'm not successful yet. I've done a lot of boxing when I'm coming from no amateur career, just walking into a gym and then winning belts but it's not where i want to be yet. I still don't own a house. So that's how i stay level."

"I'm not there, so I'll just keep going until i get there."

Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing 

Tags: Ola Afolabi image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by boxrec on 07-26-2014

First of all Caputo didn't win one second of one round and was almost out in the 5 th , 7 th and 8 th on June 26. (80-72) Survival mode for him after The 4th round but I couldn't…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Jordan Thompson Inks Frank Warren Deal Marco Huck vs. Mairis Briedis Finalized For April 1 Showdown Groves' Trainer Talks DeGale vs. Jack, Status of Chudinov Fight CBS to Air Garcia-Thurman; Announcement at Press Conference Patrick Nielsen, Dina Thorslund Ready For Nordic Fight Night Bouts Michael Conlan vs. Tim Ibarra Ticket Information Billy Joe Saunders Links Up With Adam Booth After Tibbs Split Manny Pacquiao's Career Could Extend Beyond 2017, Says Arum Jarrell Miller: Deontay Wilder is a Fraud; Highly Doubt He Fights Me Broner: Fighting Spence Would Be "Foolish" for Crawford's Career Daily Bread Mailbag: Golovkin-Jacobs, Canelo-Chavez, More Lawrence Okolie Inks Promotional Pact With Eddie Hearn Jamie Cox: I Would Beat Eubank Jr. and Quinlan in The Same Night! Farrell Hungry To Produce Champions, Excited for McCrory Link Up Chisora To Whyte: Forget Wilder, You Need To Face Me Again J. Mayweather No Longer Convinced That Golovkin Beats Canelo Veteran Judge: Horn Has No Real Talent, Pacquiao By KO in 3 To 4 Marco Huck vs. Mairis Briedis, WBC Title, in Play For April 1 Adam Lopez: I Have Everything it Takes To Get My Shot Marquez: Chavez Jr. Must First Defeat The Weight, Then Canelo Arum Provides Update on Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn Event Photos: Michael Conlan Hits New York City For MSG Presser Golovkin vs. Jacobs: Ryan Martin Eyed For The Undercard Nate Diaz Expected To Receive Boxing License, Heading To TMT? Loeffler: Insurance is a Non-Issue For Golovkin vs. Jacobs Miller on Luis Ortiz: I'll Beat Brakes Off That Old Motherf***er! Photos: Carl Frampton Putting in Work For Leo Santa Cruz Rematch Gervonta Davis: Pedraza Needs to Stop Making Excuses for Loss Espinoza Will Discuss Garcia-Thurman Winner With Mayweather Chocolatito, Sor Rungvisai Will Look To Steal The Show at MSG Parker's Promoter: Talks With Haymon For Wilder Bout Went Well Robbie Davies Jr: I Want To Get Past Szabo, Step Up To Next Level Michael Conlan Has Debut Opponent Confirmed For March 17 Boy Jones Jr-Craig Poxton, Southern Area 130lb Belt on Feb. 24 Rigondeaux's Trainer Wants Lomachenko Fight at Catch-Weight Lipinets Awaiting Mandatory Shot at Burns vs. Indongo Winner Lara Willing to Face Jermell Charlo Next in Unification Fight Stevenson: Andre Ward Wants To Milk His Titles Before Facing Me Sam Eggington Embraces Idea of Facing Paulie Malignaggi in NY Julius Indongo, Ricky Burns Expect Fireworks in Glasgow
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement