By: Eric Lunger
This coming Thursday night, October 5, the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT, will host a night of live boxing in its popular Rising Stars Boxing Series. Headlining the Main Events show is a ten-round middleweight clash between hard-hitting Vaughn “the Animal” Alexander (10-0, 7 KO’s) and seasoned professional Elvin Ayala (29-9-1, 13 KOs).
Photo Credit: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Vaughn took a moment earlier today to speak to Boxinsider.com in an exclusive interview. Ebullient but thoughtful, the St. Louis native was confident as he looked forward to Thursday.
Boxinginsider: Your last five fights have all been at middleweight – is that a natural weight for you? Is making weight an issue for you?
I don’t have trouble making weight. Yeah, I mean I can move pretty easily between 160 and 168. I am ready to fight in either division, I am a professional and I am ready.
BI: How would you characterize your style? Pressure fighter? Counter puncher? front foot, back foot?
Well, I try to use all those styles, depending who I am fighting. I like to have all those tools in my arsenal, and use them depending on who my opponent is.
BI: Vaughn – you’re fighting this coming Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Casino (Rising Stars Boxing Series) against Elvin Ayala – who is from Connecticut. But you have fought twice at Mohegan Sun. Who is the home fighter? Does it matter to you or are you just focusing on being your best?
You know, where I am now, that doesn’t matter to me: I am there to fight and I am focused on what I am doing. At this point in my career, that stuff just doesn’t matter.
BI: You went the full ten rounds in your fight against Andres Rey in April of 2017 – did you learn anything about yourself in that experience? About your conditioning?
I really wanted to go the distance in that fight, and find out what kind of shape I was in. I do a lot of work on my conditioning, and it was important to find out where I was. I felt really good at that distance, over those ten rounds.
BI: Your last fight was a TKO win over Fabiano Pena on the Ward vs. Kovalev undercard in Vegas. What was that like? Fighting on a big stage?
I’m used to that kind of atmosphere; I’ve fought at Mandalay Bay several times. I knew what I needed to do. I knew I could get him [Pena] out of there. I was working to the body, putting in rounds that would pay off later.
BI: Vaughn, how much do you game-plan for a given opponent? Or do you just focus on where you are and what you want to achieve?
I really focus on my game, what I’m doing about 90%, and only 10% on what my opponent might do. I work on what I can control. We do look at film, but I really focus on working on my game.
BI: Can you comment on your relationship with your brother, Devon? Will be he in your corner on Thursday?
We talk almost every day, but he is in camp in Florida and I am working on my fight in my camp here. We are close, but we are focused on what we are doing right know, you know?
BI: What drives you? What motivates you to go to the gym and live the tough life of a professional boxer?
First, I have to say God, because he has brought me to where I am today after being in some real difficulty. And also, you have to motivate yourself in this game, in this hurt business, you know what I mean? If you need someone telling you what to do, when to work out, and so on – man, you are in the wrong business.
BI: Thanks for speaking with me, Vaughn.
The action unfolds this Thursday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. As Kathy Duva, Main Events CEO said in a recent press release, “the winner will be right in the mix at middleweight, so this crossroads bout is meaningful to the division, as well as a local attraction.” Tickets start at $40.00 and are on sale now at ticketmaster.com and at the Mohegan Sun box office.