by David P. Greisman
It was the biggest win of his career, and now Caleb Truax wants to capitalize on it.
Truax, a 29-year-old from Minnesota, is coming off a sixth-round technical knockout of Donovan George on the undercard to the June 21 episode of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.”
The win brought his record to 22-1-1 with 13 knockouts. The lone loss came against Jermain Taylor in April 2012, a unanimous decision defeat that saw Truax put Taylor on the canvas in the ninth round.
He spoke to BoxingScene.com four days afterward, saying that he feels he’s getting closer to a shot at a middleweight world title, and hoping that promoters such as Top Rank and Golden Boy took notice and will give him a bout against one of the middleweights in their stable.
BoxingScene.com: I had envisioned a two-way battle between you and Donovan George instead of the one-sided win you got. I know you obviously prefer the way it went, but how did you think the fight would go?
Truax: “I absolutely envisioned the same thing you did, man. I thought it was going to be probably my toughest fight to date. I figured Jermain Taylor was the more talented fighter, but I figured Donovan George would be younger, hungrier and more dangerous at the time. So I was ready for a 10-round war, man. I definitely didn’t see it going like that.”
BoxingScene.com: Why do you think you ended up winning it so dominantly?
Truax: “I know for a fact that I hurt him pretty bad in the first round. He threw a wide right hand and I kind of caught him in-between with a straight, shorter right hand. That hurt him, and I don’t think he ever recovered after that.”
BoxingScene.com: Donovan George said on Twitter afterward that making weight left him with nothing and that he would be going back up to super middleweight. What do you think of those remarks?
Truax: “I think it’s a cop-out, man. I have to struggle to get down to 162 as well, just like he did. I don’t know if you could tell during the fight, but I thought I was the physically bigger guy just as far as frame goes, and I was taller than him. It’s not easy for me to get down to 160, 162. And if he or his team didn’t do it properly, that’s their problem.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you normally walk around at between fights?
Truax: “Right now, I’m about 180. I usually weigh about 185. I weighed in at 162, and I rehydrated to at least 175, probably 176, 177.”
BoxingScene.com: I’m just curious: How do you gain that much weight in such a short time and not be sluggish?
Truax: “I think it’s just all about rehydration, man. I cut weight, cut a lot of water out to get down to 162, and I think a lot of guys get sluggish when they eat too much to try to put the weight back on. I know at the weigh-in, he was going around boasting that he was going to weigh 185 on the night of the fight. I was like, ‘Go ahead, man, if you want to eat all that food to gain that much weight, because you’re going to be slow and sluggish.’ I just rehydrate and do it the right way, and I usually gain about anywhere from 10 to 12 pounds.”
BoxingScene.com: It was about a year ago that you knocked Jermain Taylor down but ended up losing a decision. At the time, where did you think that defeat left you in terms of the state of your career?
Truax: “To be honest, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know how it would affect me as far as how it affected my position in the landscape. But as far as how I felt, I was even more confident after that fight, even though I lost, than I was before. I knew that going in that I was a talented fighter. But after that, I kind of knew that I belonged with the main guys in the division.
“I started late in boxing. I didn’t have a lot of an amateur career. I don’t want to say there were doubts in my mind that I belonged, but I just didn’t know where I fit in, just where I was as far as talent and experience and all of that. I think that’s kind of solidified for me, made something click in my head, like this is for real now, man. I belong with the best. I can be with the best. I just have to make a couple changes and improve.”
BoxingScene.com: Are you a full-time fighter now, or do you have a full-time job as well?
Truax: “I still work part-time. But it’s nice because when I have a training camp starting up, my job’s pretty flexible. I take off whenever I want. I’m able to go to training camps out of town once in a while, do some sparring in Big Bear and Las Vegas. It’s a part-time job that pretty much lets me be a full-time fighter.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you think this win over George did for your career?
Truax: “I think it puts me right in the mix to get in line for, if not a title shot, then a title eliminator at least. I feel like I’m one of the most talented guys in the division. I can hang with anybody, for sure. I’m confident I can beat anybody in my weight division. I just want my chance to prove it.”
BoxingScene.com: Speaking of your division, you were a super middleweight earlier in your career, but in many of your recent fights you’ve been at or closer to the middleweight limit? Which division do you want to fight in?
Truax: “160. I definitely am a middleweight. Those guys are big up at 168, man. I’m a pretty big middleweight. I’d be a good size for a super middleweight, too, but I can make 160, and it’s not too big of a problem for me. I’ll definitely campaign at 160 for a bigger fight. Most of my fights have been at 162, 163, and that’s just usually because it’s not for a title or anything, and I don’t feel like dropping the extra three pounds.”
BoxingScene.com: Who do you want for your next fight?
Truax: “I don’t know, man. I don’t really have a certain guy I want to fight. I just want to fight somebody that’s going to put me in position to be back on TV and get more exposure. I want to fight whoever can keep me moving in the right direction towards a big money fight and a title shot eventually.”
BoxingScene.com: What do you think it will take for you to get on Showtime or HBO, and to get in with a top-name fighter?
Truax: “I don’t know. My promoter, Tony Grygelko from Seconds Out Promotions, has been on the phone pretty much nonstop since that George win. I know he’s gotten a call from Top Rank and Golden Boy already trying to put some things together for this fall. So, just hopefully the larger promoters will take notice and give me a shot at one of their boys. And hopefully I can take advantage of that.”
BoxingScene.com: Any final thoughts?
Truax: “Just look out for me in the future. I don’t plan on going anywhere. I just want a shot to prove to everybody that I belong with the best of them. If I get that shot, if I get that opportunity, I will impress people like I did against George. I got more from where that came from.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]