Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

From Malawi To Las Vegas - Meet Isaac Chilemba

By Ryan Maquiñana

Light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba loves a good challenge.

Whether it was leaving his home of Malawi for South Africa six years ago to jumpstart his pro career, or taking on seven straight fighters with a combined record of 117-6, Chilemba (18-1-1, 9 KOs) has annexed both the IBO and WBC International belts to become a player in the 175-pound picture.

This week, Chilemba arrives at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas on short notice to face two-time world title challenger Edison Miranda (41-6, 35 KOs) in a ten-rounder that will serve as the main event on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.

BoxingScene.com caught up with the light heavyweight slugger who piqued onlookers’ attention in Atlantic City with an explosive second-round knockout of Jameson Bostic last October on the Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker undercard.

BoxingScene.com: Tell us about your beginnings in the sport, and how things have changed since you started in South Africa.  This is your fifth fight in America.

Isaac Chilemba: I did my amateur career in Malawi, where I grew up, and six years ago, I went to South Africa to start my professional boxing career.  Yes, I’ve been fighting in America now, and the promotion and atmosphere is really big here. It’s really different than in South Africa, about three steps ahead.  It’s quite an experience here.

BoxingScene.com: The last seven fighters you’ve faced have a combined record of 117-6, and that includes four unbeaten fighters.  In fact, all of them are wins with the exception of a draw with Thomas Oosthuizen.

Isaac Chilemba: You try to get the best fighters you can to fight you, and so I ended up happening fighting four guys in a row who had never lost before.  I’d say the Oosthuizen fight was definitely my biggest fight up to this point.

BoxingScene.com: In your last fight with Jameson Bostic, you seemed to really load up on your punches after you noticed he was hurt, and you finished him.  For the fans who haven’t been able to watch you fight, how would you describe your style?

Isaac Chilemba: I have power and quick movement.  That’s what I bring to the fight, and that’s what I plan to bring to the fans next Friday.

BoxingScene.com: Now you face a veteran slugger Edison Miranda, which is a step up from Bostic.  How have you and new trainer Dan Birmingham approached this fight strategically?

Isaac Chilemba: I try to do better than I did in the previous fight.  I try to add something different and grow.  From then to now, I’ve been getting good workouts with my new trainer [Dan Birmingham].  Miranda’s been around for a while.  He fought all the great boxers you can name, so he knows how to handle this game.  I’ve never fought such an experienced fighter.  He’s a puncher, and we plan on outworking him.  It’s my time to show him I can outwork him and knock him out.

BoxingScene.com: You’re replacing Yordanis Despaigne on what would have been a rematch. Coming in on such short notice, how ready do you feel for this opportunity?

Isaac Chilemba: I’m always ready.  I always try to live my life right.  I’m always in the gym, and I’ve been working out since December.  When my manager [Damian Ramirez] said we were offered the fight, we looked at his style, and went over the gameplan. It’s not so much time, but we’re working on it, and we’ll be ready for Miranda.

BoxingScene.com: You’re ranked in the top 15 of all four major sanctioning bodies, with the highest being sixth in the WBC. If you win this fight, you will surely rise up the rankings and get closer to a world title shot. Do you have an immediate plan of what you’d like to do next if you should beat Miranda?

Isaac Chilemba: I want to fight the greatest fighters out there.  We haven’t discussed with my team yet what we would do after this Miranda fight.  We’re focusing on this fight, and then either a world title or something that would help me move closer to that.  [Chad] Dawson, [Bernard] Hopkins, [Jean] Pascal, [Tavoris] Cloud—it all depends on how well I do in this fight.

Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly column for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (CSNBayArea.com). He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by TNTSUGAR on 01-31-2012

The record is wrong: Miranda is 35-6 with 30 KO in 41 fights

Comment by TX_BOXNG on 01-31-2012

Hes gona beat edison

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Centeno: Charlo Should've Knocked Out Injured Heiland Sooner Mares: Gervonta Should Beat Cuellar Easily, But He Tends to Tire Broner: When I'm Done, I'll Be One of The Best To Wear Gloves Amir Khan: I Feel Better Now Than I Did at 28, You Will See Frampton: I Expect a Big Performance Against Nonito Donaire Josue Vargas Looks To Build Road To a World Title in New York Khan: I Can Beat Errol Spence, I'm 100% Against Southpaws! WBC Prez Cautions That Vanes Could Derail GGG-Canelo Rematch Frank Warren: Forget Khan-Lo Greco - Watch Frampton-Donaire! Will Gervonta Davis Be The Next Mayweather or Broner? Golovkin Promoter on Derevyanchenko: GGG Needs Proper Pay Michael Dasmarinas Blasts Out Karim Guerfi For IBO Strap Eleider Alvarez, Trainer Confident They Will Shock Sergey Kovalev Showtime's Espinoza: Broner Really Can't Afford Another Loss Tete Dares Burnett To Fight, Eyes Inoue vs. McDonnell Winner Pacquiao's Adviser: If Both Win, Lomachenko is The Fall Target Golovkin vs. Martirosyan Undercard Coming Together Ishe Smith vs. Tony Harrison Finalized - PBC on Bounce, May 11 Tevin Farmer vs. Billy Dib Ordered For Vacant IBF World Title Photos: Ramon Alvarez, Jorge Paez on Weight For Showdown Photos: Gervonta Davis, Jesus Cuellar - Ready For WBA Title Fight Photos: Jermall Charlo, Hugo Centeno - Ready For Title Fight Photos: Adrien Broner, Jessie Vargas - Ready For War Frampton Admits a Loss To Donaire Could Mean End of Career Broner Weighs In Heavier Than Vargas for Their 144-Pound Fight Photos: Otto Wallin, Adrian Granat - Ready For a Viking War Gervonta Davis Makes Weight on First Try - First Time in 3 Fights WBC Reveal Huge List of Boxers Not Drug Testing With CBP/VADA LIVE Stream: Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas - Official Weigh-In Gary Russell vs. Joseph Diaz Finalized For May 19 at MGM Harbor Khan: I Want To End Career With a Big Bang, I'm Still in My Prime Max Ornelas, Tony Lopez Fight For Bragging Rights on beIN Pacquiao: I Still Have a Couple of More Fights Before I Retire Povetkin's Promoter Claims $4.3 Million Court Win Over Wilder Photos: Frampton, Donaire Prepare For Fireworks in Belfast Photos: Amir Khan, Phil Lo Greco - Ready For War in Liverpool Hugo Centeno Reflects on Stoppage Loss To Maciej Sulecki Jesus Cuellar: Gervonta Davis is Overrated; He's No Mayweather! Broner on Vargas: He Ain't Win His Fights When He Stepped Up Hearn: We Won't Let You Play With Our Balls To Overpay Wilder!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement