By Danny Alvarez
Outspoken manager-promoter-trainer Ahmet Oner, who’s handled a number of star Cuban fighters over the years, recently resurfaced on the scene with a new star prospect, Turkish super middleweight Avni “Mr. Robot” Yildirim (14-0, 9 KOs).
With Yildirim in his stable, Oner has himself a tough prospect who’s earning rave reviews at the 5th St. Gym in Miami Beach.
“He’s one of the top prospects I’ve seen in recent years,” former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver said. “He’s a monster and he only knows one way and that’s forward.”
Oner is known for a number of wild incidents in recent years, including crashing one Vitali Klitschko press conference and famously disciplining heavyweight Odlanier Solis in the ring after the Olympic gold medalist failed to show up to a fight in shape.
Oner recently named Yildirim as “The Dentist” who performed pugilistic surgery on IBF champ James DeGale's teeth in a vicious sparring session leading up to the Brit’s latest fight.
Yildirim is currently ranked No. 3 in the WBC rankings, with a mandatory shot vs. the winner of the fight between No. 1 and 2 contenders, Callum Smith vs. Anthony Dirrell, looming on the horizon.
But there’s one name in and around the super middleweight division whose teeth he wants more than any other: unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Here’s what the colorful promoter had to say in an explosive Q&A:
“That’s the fight of the decade, the fight of the century. Golovkin comes straight ahead, my guy comes straight ahead. But Golovkin’s been fighting bums and smaller fighters. What happens when he faces a real guy who’s not going to get hurt, let alone fall down? And one who’s going to hurt him back?
“Just look at what Kell Brook did to him. He hurt him, lifted him off the ground, like a rocketship going to Mars. Imagine if that was a guy his size? Imagine if that was Avni? My guy’s not only going to crush him, he’s going to rob him of his teeth, just like he did to DeGale, and bring that pretty smile back to Turkey. Let’s see how many Apple commercials GGG gets looking like Roger Mayweather because that’s what’s going to happen.”
Doing business with Don King…
"I like Don King. But Don learned quickly not to **** with me. He brought me to Miami, wanted to give me an apartment, a nice car to drive. He gave me all his cars to drive, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Ghost Mercedes 600’s — Don had around 40 cars. He wanted my fighters, to meet my fighters and deal with my fighters. I said, 'No. They’re my fighters, you deal with me.' You don’t teach a b**** to ****, rule number one. He tried to do a deal behind my back with [Cuban heavyweight title challenger] Juan Carlos Gomez. I ended up with the last laugh. And really, who is Don King? Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Muhammad Ali were already big. They didn’t need Don King."
On Cuban fighters…
"They’re the best schooled fighters in the world. They’re probably more skilled than Avni. But it’s not just about skill. It’s the whole package; skill, stamina, mentality, how hard you train. When these Cubans come to America, they get lazy. Too much money, too much food, too much p****.
"The best one is Rigondeaux. No one will beat him, including [Vasyl] Lomachenko. He beats Lomachenko easily. Easily. No contest. He stays in shape, always ready. That's why no one wants to fight him. They say Golovkin is the most avoided? It's bulls***. It's Rigo."