By: Matthew N. Becher
Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez is an undefeated (23-0-1 16KO) fighter in the featherweight division. He is a very good up and coming boxer out of the Golden Boy stable. He will be taking on Ronny Rios this November 21st on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto v. Canelo Alvarez pay per view event. Jayson was nice enough to take some time and speak with us about his upcoming fight.
Boxing Insider: Your opponent, Ronny Rios, is a fiery young fighter with a good amateur background and wins over former world champs. What will you need to do to defeat him?
Jayson Velez: To beat Ronny I need to just be me, the best me. I’ve been training harder, being smarter. Ronny is a great fighter, throws many punches. He always opens his face, and I will take advantage of that. I am ready, I am already at my weight, and I am ready.
Boxing Insider: You are only 27 years old and already ranked in the top ten of all four major sanctioning bodies in the Featherweight division. Is this fight your showcase to a title shot next year?
Jayson Velez: I hope so. I think that is what has to be next for me, a world title. But I am just a fighter, my job right now is to fight Ronny Rios, to look good in the win, and my promoter will get me my title chance too.
Boxing Insider: Last year you fought, then champion, Evgeny Gradovich in your first title shot. You came away with a controversial draw. What are your thoughts on that fight, and what did you learn from it?
Jayson Velez: You know, that was my first title fight and I was ready like never before. I left everything in that ring. I fought against the champion. I thought the fight was pretty close. I won 6 rounds clearly. He won 4 round clearly, and the other two round were very close. But I learned I have to be more patient, not get desperate and move more, not always get into a war. I have to be smarter, the smartest guys in this sport go far. And I have been working on that.
Boxing Insider: The featherweight division is extremely populated with very talented fighters at the moment. Any dream match ups you would like, maybe in the next year or two?
Jayson Velez: I’m ok. I’m a fighter that wants to fight anyone. If someone is in my way, I will take the challenge.
Boxing Insider: Who do you like in the main event between Cotto and Canelo?
Jayson Velez: It is very hard to pick one of them. Because Canelo is a tall guy, and he has the talent to be at the top level. But Miguel Cotto has the experience and he is getting better every day. I think Cotto will win by close decision, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Canelo wins. Both are such great fighters.