Sullivan Barrera Interview: “With respect to every fighter, Fonfara had him out”


Sullivan Barrera Interview: “With respect to every fighter, Fonfara had him out”
By: Matthew N. Becher

Sullivan Barrera (19-1 14KO) is a Cuban Light Heavyweight, who defected from his native country and now resides in Miami, Florida. He is 35 years old and comes from the famous “Cuban School” of boxing, sporting an impressive amateur career and late start to the Professional ranks. Barrera has wins over Jeff Lacy, Karo Murat, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and his lone loss came to the hands of one of the best fighters in the world, Andre Ward.

Sullivam Barrera vs Karo Murat          (Rd 5) 12 Rds Light Heavyweights IBF Title Eliminator  referee: Wayne Hedgpeth In an IBF light heavyweight eliminator, undefeated Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs) scored a fifth round TKO over Karo Murat (27-3-1, 17 KOs) on Saturday night at the Glendale Civic Auditorium in Glendale, California. Barrera dropped Murat at the end of round four, and got the TKO in round five with a barrage of punches. Time was :25. Murat complained to referee Wayne Hedgpeth about a quick stoppage. Barrera is now mandatory IBF challenger for Main Events stablemate Sergey Kovalev, who was at ringside watching. Photo credit: WILL HART
Photo Credit: HBO BOxing

On July 15th at the Famous Forum in Inglewood, California, Barrera will headline a big time fight, live on HBO against the extremely strong and risky Joe Smith Jr. We were able to speak with Sullivan yesterday during his training camp.

Boxing Insider: How have you been preparing to fight someone with the style of Joe Smith Jr.?

Sullivan Barrera: I am preparing in the gym very hard. I am studying a lot of tape and seeing a lot of the mistakes that he makes and so far everything is running smooth.

Boxing Insider: What did you think of Smiths last two fight against Fonfara and Hopkins?

Sullivan Barrera: I have reviewed the fight with Fonfara several times, and even though it was a short fight, Fonfara had Smith really hurt. With respect to every fighter, Fonfara had him out, but he wasn’t prepared for what Smith did. That is why you have to respect a guy like Smith, he is a guy that you have to be on your toes with. I respect Hopkins greatly, he was a great fighter. At the end of the day, Joe Smith just did what he had to do and I respect Joe Smith.

Boxing Insider: At 35, is this a make or break fight for you?

Sullivan Barrera: Yes of course I realize this is a make or break fight for me. I realize everything that is against me. I will give 100% to win this fight.

Boxing Insider: What did you learn in your lone loss to Andre Ward?

Sullivan Barrera: One of the most important things that I learned, fighting the best fighter in the world, is that every time I get in the ring is that I have to have fun. The experience I got from the Ward fight, was being on the big stage, in front of all the fans. It was an intimidating thing for me. I look at it now, that when I get into the ring, I have to have fun and enjoy myself and do what I know how to do best.

Boxing Insider: What should the fans expect on July 15th?

Sullivan Barrera: Like always I am going to give it my all. I am going to give the fans a real good show, very entertaining. This fight will define a lot for the remainder of my career. I am going to give everyone a great show and I will come out with the victory.

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