By Ben Jacobs
In what is currently a stacked middleweight division, Minnesota native Caleb Truax is confident that 2014 will see his name heavily involved in the mix of things.
Truax has had an impressive year which saw him claim a quality stoppage over Donavan George as well as victories against local rivals Matt Vanda and Cerresso Fort.
The 30-year-old will open 2014 on 3 January at the Target Center, home to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he will meet experienced Ghanaian Ossie Duran following the withdrawal of initial opponent Derek Ennis.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything else, the season opener of Friday Night Fights,” Truax told BoxingScene.
“It’s going to be a big stage for me in my backyard which is a big arena where the local basketball team play, so it’s gonna be a great night. The atmosphere will be crazy and 2014 should be a good year for me.
“It’s another outlet for guys like me to get on TV so I can’t complain. It’s another avenue for me to go out and make some money and let people see me fight.”
Last time out Truax stopped the aforementioned Fort in what was a big regional attraction. The fight ended in the fourth round following a serious of bludgeoning right hands landed to the head of Fort.
“We were planning on using things that I did in camp but it went quicker than I thought. It’s always satisfying to knock somebody out, especially that early and get out of there without a mark on my face, nothing wrong with that.”
Given his recent run of victories, Caleb is closely monitoring the activity in his division. By way of logic, he may not be far off a title shot given that Jarrod Fletcher will be fighting for the WBA regular title against Martin Murray in February. Fletcher was stopped in two rounds by Murray’s fellow Brit, Billy Joe Saunders.
“I think it’s basically a set up fight for him versus [Gennady] Golovkin,” he opined.
“They’re on the same card together, but it shouldn’t be for a world title, it’s just a regular fight to me. But right now the middleweight division is stacked.
“There’s a ton of guys from the UK that are quality. It was tough to see [Darren] Barker lose like that [against Felix Sturm], hopefully he can continue his career. You’ve got him, Murray, [Andy] Lee and a bunch of guys from Germany. It’s hot in the United States right now with GGG over here, Peter Quillin, Danny Jacobs, and I consider myself in the picture also. There’s a lot of talent there, I know the networks are clashing with each other so a lot of the fights can’t get made, but maybe they can get together and do a middleweight Super Six.”
Truax carries high rankings with the WBO and the IBF which may allow the possibility of a world title shot should he continue his upward trajectory, perhaps by the end of next year.
“First I have to get past Ossie Duran on 3 January then hopefully get a fight with a top contender, and then be in the position for an eliminator. Hopefully by the end of 2014 I’ll get a shot at one of the titles. IBF, WBO, WBA, anything, I’m willing to fight whoever. Hopefully two or three fights and I’ll be right there with a shot at the title.
“It’s a shame that Ennis pulled out cause he’s a decent fighter with a decent record and I was looking forward to getting in the ring with him. It’s tough to find a guy on short notice; a lot of guys don’t want to give up their holiday meals! Ossie Duran stepped up and he’s tough, he’s been in there with some good guys. He’s shown to be good a few times against Brandon Gonzales and Matt Vanda but he got knocked out in his last fight and it kind of sucks that his record isn’t going to look that great on mine, but I have to beat who’s in front of me. I’ll just go out there to try and put on a show, impress the audience tuning in on ESPN2.”
Boxers have to sacrifice at the best of times; nevertheless, competing in early January adds an added stress given that the fighters will have to avoid the temptations that the holiday season can bring. Truax will therefore have to control his desire for the traditional Christmas feast.
“I’m used to it but I do miss my girlfriend’s cooking. There’s good food around Christmas but I have to cut out the cookies and all that stuff, but I’m a professional and don’t want to miss weight.
“I wouldn’t say I make the weight easily, it’s not like I walk around at 165lbs and have to lose 5lbs. I usually walk around at 180lbs but I don’t have any problems. I’m not killing myself to make it; it’s just if I go up to super middleweight...I like being at the bigger end of the spectrum at 160lbs!”Tags: Caleb Truax