By Ryan Burton
Last month Willie Monroe Jr. (18-1) captured the Boxcino middleweight title by defeating Brandon Adams in the ESPN televised tournament finale.
Monroe wasn't on the radar of most boxing fans prior to the fight and said that he is very thankful for the experience. Monroe went 3-0 in the single elimination tournament.
"It was a great experience. I am very grateful and happy that I won it. Thanks to Banner Promotions and all of the guys in the tournament. It was very exciting and to me it was a throwback tournament with the way it was set up to stay busy and to stay fighting. I'm really happy to be apart of it and that I won," sad Monroe.
Monroe's first fight in the tournament took place on February 28th and the championship was less than 60 days later on May 23rd. The first round fights were 6 rounders, followed by 8 round fights in the semi finals and 10 rounders in the finals. Monroe felt that he improved with the high activity level.
"A fighter like me, the more active I am the more sharper I feel. I think that goes with anybody, the more you practice your craft, the better you get," Monroe explained.
The 27-year-old Monroe is a former sparring partner of Miguel Cotto who made history last Saturday by becoming the first Puerto Rican to capture world titles in 4 weight classes. He said that many people called him biased for predicting that Cotto would pull off the upset against Martinez. He sad that Cotto looks reborn under the tutelage of legendary trainer Freddie Roach.
"It was a great performance. I said he would win and there were a lot of people who were saying I was being biased because Cotto is one of my favorite fighters and because I actually got a chance to spar with him when he got ready for Austin Trout. As a matter of fact I was his only sparring partner for that fight.
"I like Martinez. His style is similar to mine in that he moves and boxes but I knew he wouldn't have his legs that night after a year and a half lay off and fighting a guy as (physically) strong and as mentally strong as Cotto who looks refreshed with a new trainer. I think he looks hungry again. It looked like the Cotto we saw at 140 and his first fights at 147," Monroe told BoxingScene.com.
Monroe hopes to return the ring towards the end of Summer.
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