By: Matthew N. Becher
Randy “El Matador” Caballero (22-0 13KO) is the current IBF World Bantamweight champion. He is an undefeated fighter who had to go across the Atlantic to get his title shots and will now defend his championship belt for the first time on the November 21st Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez undercard. Randy was nice enough to take some time away from his training to speak with us about his upcoming fight.
Boxing Insider: You’ve gotten your title by fighting on foreign soil. First against Kohei Oba in Japan for the title eliminator and then in Monte Carlo against Stuart Hall for the actual belt. How does it feel to be defending for the first time in Vegas?
Randy Caballero: I’m excited. Having not fought in the U.S. for so long, fighting in front of my family, friends, fans, it’s tough to do. I didn’t have this title handed to me, I had to travel the world and that’s what makes this world title that much better, mean so much more to me, knowing that I had to travel so far, fight in their hometowns to win a title was an amazing feeling. To be on a big card like this, I’m excited to defend my title for the first time in the U.S. I’m ready to shine on November 21st, and show people who I am that night.
Boxing Insider: What do you know about your opponent Lee Haskins?
Randy Caballero: I know he’s a tough guy, he’s going to come and give it his all. I beat a guy from the U.K. to win the world title, so I know they are coming strong to try and bring that title back to the U.K. I trained hard for this fight. I’m not letting this title go. I hadn’t had a chance to defend it. I’m gonna make sure this title doesn’t go anywhere, I’m planning on keeping this thing around, and win some other titles. I know he’s gonna come tough, but we trained specifically for this guy and we’re ready for whatever he brings to the table.
Boxing Insider: Your last fight was October 25th, 2014, over a year ago. What was with the long layoff?
Randy Caballero: I had surgery on my foot. Wasn’t able to get back on my feet right away. It was very tough, not able to do anything, not being able to go to the gym. I was living in an apartment at the time, and I was living upstairs. So you can imagine, I had no way to go downstairs on one foot. So I was just stuck at home, watching fights on T.V. Finally the doctors said it was ok for me to walk around and move around on one foot, so finally I told my wife to go and get a wheelchair, because I needed to get out of that house. I would get out of the house, go to the gym, sitting in a wheelchair hitting the heavy bag.
We took the time right. My foot is now 100% healed. And we’re ready to come back strong on this big card.
Boxing Insider: This was the longest layoff of your career. Do you expect a lot of ring rust with such a long time away from the ring?
Randy Caballero: I don’t think I’ll have any ring rust whatsoever. My mind is set, my mind knows that my foot is 110% back to normal, if not even better. I’m ready to go. We know this fight right here opens a lot of doors for my career after this. We’re ready to shine that night and put on an impressive win.
Boxing Insider: You are fighting on one of the biggest boxing cards of the year. Who do you like in the main event, Cotto or Canelo?
Randy Caballero: It’s going to be an amazing fight, something that everyone wants to see. Given its Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry. You got a young fighter who wants to be back on top, who’s hungry. Then you got Cotto, the veteran of the sport. Depending on what Cotto shows up, you never know which guy you are going to get. But I think Cotto is welled prepared and hungry for this fight. It is make it or break it for Cotto, I honestly think Canelo wants it more and has what is needed to win it. Given what he did in his last fight against Kirkland, with an impressive knockout, he looks strong. And I know he’s gonna come and get that victory that night.