By Monica Hughes
For unbeaten middleweight Cem Kilic (9-0, 5KOs), it’s a surreal experience to be doing what he loves not only in the United States but amongst some of the best that boxing has to offer.
Kilic, 23, recently entered training camp with undefeated world champions Errol Spence and Jermell Charlo. Both champions are under the tutelage of esteemed trainer Derrick James in Dallas, Texas.
Promoted by Greg Cohen’s GH3 Promotions and managed by Shane Shapiro, the adopted Sherman Oaks, California’s native is basking in his American dream.
“It’s been a crazy experience for me the last six months," Kilic recently told ATG Radio
“I’ve always been in good camps. When I was 20 years old, I started with Miguel Cotto in camp. Then I was in camp with Jean Pascal, then Glen Tapia’s camp.
“It was all just a dream for me to come to America. Then once I was in America, I’m around Mike Tyson, Freddie Roach trained me for 2 years. Now it’s my time.
“I’m in camp with active world champions in their prime Spence and Charlo. I’ve really learned a lot from them. I went back to LA to spar guys with my record and I’m knocking them out in training. I’ve learned a lot from these guys".
Starting his career out as middleweight, Kilic gave the super middleweight division are try for his last four fights. Though scoring knockouts in 3 of those 4 fights, feels a move back to 160 will be best for his career right now.
“At 160 I feel really strong. At 168 I still feel strong. I had my first five fights at 160. My goal is to start at 160 and work my way up to 168. I’m dropping a lot of weight in camp and it’s hard for me to keep the higher weight," Kilic said.
On Febrauary 22, Cem starts off his 2018 campaign to move from prospect to contender. In a stay busy fight, Kilic plans on having a very busy year en route to a crack at the middleweight championship.
“My next fight is in 2 weeks in Dallas. It’s an eight rounder. I’m fighting Taronze (Washington) from Dallas," Kilic said.
“My goal is to get to the top 10 this year and hopefully fight for the belt early next year. We have a lot of fights lined up this year. The 160 division is one of the toughest weight classes right now but this is what you do as a fighter, we’re in the game to fight. You got to face the best, if you can beat the best, then you prove yourself.
Monica Hughes is a contributor for BoxingScene.com and co-host/producer for ATG Radio. She can be reached on Twitter @ATGMonica.