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Michael Seals Sits Down With Boxing Insider Radio to Discuss His Upcoming Contest Against Eleider Alvarez


Opportunities aren’t afforded to everyone, especially in the sport of boxing. There has been numerous fighters throughout the history of the sport who have gone their entire careers without being given a shot at a world title. 

For 37 year old Light Heavyweight contender Michael Seals, he has the chance to move one step closer to the goal that many aren’t given.

 

During an interview on Boxing Insider Radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and on Boxinginsider.com, Micheal Seals discussed his excitement for the biggest fight of his life against Eleider Alvarez on January 18th, along with his future plans should he come away with the win.

It’s been a long 12 year career for Seals, who originally grew up in Alabama. If you’ve been down south, you know full well just how much the sport of football reigns king. Seals was once a football player, and a good one in his own right. After realizing that his dreams of turning into a professional football player was unlikely to come true, Seals decided to switch sports. 

26 fights later, Seals will now be given the opportunity of a lifetime when he takes on former world champion Eleider Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs) at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, New York, on January 18th.

“This is a big fight, the winner of his goes on to fight for a world title,” said Seals on Boxing Insider Radio. “This would be a career defining victory. The minutes and hours are moving in slow motion is what it feels like.”

There is nothing on the resume of Seals (26-2, 18 KOs) that would indicate that he is ready for an opponent the caliber of Alvarez. That statement might ring true in terms of professional boxing resumes, however, Seals has the sort of experience both in and out of the ring that you just can’t teach.

“We prepared for everything because he is a dynamic fighter. I’m prepared for a war but I’m also prepared for a high level boxing match. Whatever he brings I’m ready for it. I don’t have a ton of amateur experience but I’ve sparred a lot of contenders and champions when I was coming up.”

Amongst an impressive list of sparring partners is former Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko. It may have been a great learning experience but Seals quickly found out why Klitschko had one of the most dominant runs in boxing history.

“He hit me with a right hand man, I felt it in my toes,” said Seals while laughing. “I toughed it out though man and I gave him some good work.”

The lessons from Klitschko may have been a painful one, but they have definitely helped him reach the stage that he is currently standing on. Still, even with the valuable experience that he has gained throughout his career, no one is expecting him to come out with the victory.

“A lot of people are counting me out. There making me a crazy underdog which I get where they are coming from but they don’t know me, I know me.”

Seals may believe everyone is crazy for counting him out against Alvarez, but if he does manage to win, his preference in his next opponent would lead many to believe that maybe he really is.

“Beterbiev, that’s who I want next.” 

If Seals can do what many think he can’t, which is actually pull off the upset victory, then a date with Beterbiev will be waiting for him next.

Boxinginsider.com Radio brings the Boxing Gym to the radio studio every week. Subscribe to BoxingInsider Radio on iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker, Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, and other platforms and listen on boxinginsider.com

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Edgar Berlanga Sits Down With Boxing Insider Radio to Discuss His Bright Future


By: Hans Themistode

Overtime usually means one thing in the working community, more money. 

In the case of a professional boxer however, whether the contest goes the distance or ends quickly, they get paid the same. 

If you had the choice to get paid the same amount to work either an eight hour shift or a five minute one, you, just like everyone else would choose the latter.  

Undefeated Middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga has grown accustomed to quick nights at the office. He sat down with Boxing Insider Radio to discuss his latest knockout win and how he plans on living up to the lofty expectations that are being placed on his career. 

Edgar Berlanga might be just 22 years of age, but with his penchant for knockouts, he has quickly gained a ton of attention. 

On December 14th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, Berlanga made it look easy against Cesar Nunez. It was the 13th contest of his career and the 13th straight first round knockout. 

As body after body hits the canvas, the name Felix Trinidad has floated around in terms of a comparison.

“It’s a blessing that everybody is comparing me to him,” said Berlanga. “It’s obviously because I’m doing something good so I’m just going to continue to do what I’m doing.” 

To help his career continue on the right track, Berlanga has cut no corners and has recently brought aboard Andre Rozier who has helped shape the careers of several world champions. His decision to bring Rozier onboard has already proved to be a wise one as he helped lead Berlanga to his victory on the 14th of December.

“It’s just about getting the experience. Andre has been there already. He’s been at that level so I know there won’t be an issue with him getting me to that level. The first week that I got with him I was flown out to California to help Sergiy Derevyancheko get ready for the Golovkin fight. That was just a blessing in disguise because I just got with the man and he is already putting me in a position to get so much experience at such a young age.”

The relationship between Berlanga and Rozier might be going smoothly, but he soon found out that Rozier is a no nonsense sort of trainer. 

“He was telling me to throw a jab the whole fight and I did not throw a single jab so he told me hey you didn’t throw any jabs, get down and gimme 20 push ups right now.” 

Instead of complaining about having to do 20 push ups even after a spectacular win, Berlanga simply got down and did what he was told. His huge six feet one inch frame might be imposing on the outside, but on the inside, he is simply a student of the game and wants to continue to get better. 

The sport of boxing has a tendency of attacking people like Berlanga. With his highlight reel knockouts and popularity soaring, the game has a way of chewing you up and spitting you out. 

To help avoid any distractions he could face on his way to championship gold, not only has Berlanga signed with manager Keith Connolly, but he is also guided by one of the biggest names in the entire world. 

“I signed with one of the best advisors/managers in the game right now. He’s going to take me to another level financially. Now I can focus on training and winning a fight instead of worrying about the business side. Not only is it great having Connolly but also Fat Joe. He is apart of my family now. It’s crazy that I can just get him on the phone now if I need him. He tells me to stay in a straight line and don’t get sidetracked by the women, jewelry, money, cars and just to stay focused. I try not to fall in love with that stuff because it’s here today and gone tomorrow.”

At this point, Berlanga is still in the infancy stages of his career, yet something seems tells me he is someone to keep an eye on.

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Josue Vargas Sits Down With Boxing Insider Radio to Discuss His Future Plans After His Recent Title Win


Fresh off his first world title, Josue Vargas sat down with Boxing Insider radio which airs every Tuesday and is available on iTunes, Spotify and Boxinginsider.com, to discuss what it felt like to bring home the IBF North American title and his future plans.

When you’ve been given the nickname “The Prodigy” you immediately deal with pressure from the boxing public. Such is the case for Josue Vargas. 

At 21 years of age, Vargas is still in the infancy stages of his career. Yet this past Saturday night on December 14th, at Madison Square Garden, Vargas took a huge step forward in his career by defeating Noel Murphy and taking home the vacant IBF North American Super Lightweight world title. 

The punches that Vargas swarmed Murphy with on the night were nothing in comparison to the swarming fans who congratulated him after his victory. 

“It feels great, I feel excited,” said Vargas on Boxing Insider Radio. “It’s just the beginning. This is my first title as a professional fighter so it means a lot to me and my family.”

The IBF North American title is viewed as a smaller trinket in the world of boxing. A stepping stone, if you will. No big name fighter values this belt, but no other fighter who has worked their way to the top of their respective division has gone on to become a legitimate world champion without it either. 

It’s a process. Unless your name is Vasiliy Lomachenko, who won his first world title in his third professional contest, just about every fighter goes through these steps. 

Before Vargas nabbed his first world title, he was considered nothing more than a prospect. A fighter with promise and one that many of us had to keep an eye on. From there, it was up to him to grab our attention even more. Through 17 professional contests he has won 16 of them, but truthfully, he won every single fight of his career. 

In the 7th contest of his career, Vargas was dominating against Samuel Santana. He was clearly on his way to victory, until he was called for an illegal blow during the break and was subsequently given the loss via disqualification because of it. 

If you want to call that a loss, then fine. Technically, you would be right. But anyone who has seen the contest knows that he should have a spotless record. Nevertheless, Vargas hasn’t lost a fight since, and can now call himself a world champion. By no means was it easy, but it was certainly worth it.

“I have a lot of respect for Murphy. He came ready to fight and in shape but as you can see in the later rounds he just couldn’t hang with me anymore. I was just too much for him. The more rounds it goes the stronger I get.”

Up until this point in his career, everything had come easy for him. Whenever Vargas is seen outside of the ring, he always flashes a bright smile from ear to ear. Whether you seen him after a boxing match or simply on his way to the store, he always looked the same. The reason behind that is his opponents could seldom ever touch him in the ring. He was simply too slick. In his contest against Murphy however, that just wasn’t the case.

“In the beginning of the rounds it was a bit of a chess match. But in the 4th round my dad started yelling at me so that’s when I decided I’m just going to bring it to him because he had nothing left in the tank. I said to myself that I’m going to walk him down and not respect him. If I would’ve started the way that I did in the second half of the fight, it would’ve been a stoppage in the sixth or seventh round.” 

Vargas might be sporting a black eye now, but he also sports a championship belt around his waist as well. 

There is often times a chain reaction whenever a fighter captures championship gold, he wants more and more. He’ll get exactly that and a full schedule of fights in 2020.

“It’s going to be a busy, busy, busy 2020. They are going to have me fighting March 14th, again at MSG defending the title and adding another title on top of that so they’ll be two titles on the line.”

Becoming overzealous is something that trainers and promoters would like to stop their fighters from becoming. Vargas is clearly on the fast track to stardom, but don’t tell him that he is moving too quickly. 

The 140 pound division is lined up with killers from top to bottom, but Vargas views himself in the same vein as the other top dogs in the division. The picture of Vargas can be viewed if you ever looked up the word confident in the dictionary, because according to him he’s ready for whomever is placed in front of him, including the elite at 140.

“Styles make fights and everybody has a different style and fights different. I’ve been in the ring with Jose Ramirez. We’ve sparred over 40 rounds because I was his sparring partner in Cali. So I know how that would be. He’s undefeated and the WBC and WBO champion for a reason, he’s been doing a great job so I give him a lot of respect. I think that would be a great fight. I’ve been in the ring with all of these world champions like Floyd Mayweather, Gervonta Davis, Mikey Garcia so none of these guys put fear in my heart. I feel like I can give them a great fight and even take the title from them. I think I will fight for a world title in early 2021.”

A title shot could very well be in the future of Vargas, but not immediately. For now, he plans on continuing his winning ways in 2020. 

It almost doesn’t make any sense that a fighter who has only just recently been given the green light to drink alcohol, to possess such sublime boxing skills. His work ethic and natural talent should has always been apparent, but if it was not for his trainer Jose Guzman, none of this would be possible.

“I call him my brother. I watched him growing up and training and going to his professional fights, to him now working my corner and being in my corner and doing the mitts with me. Giving me instructions and guiding me the right way. Every time before the weigh ins, he makes sure I don’t eat any candy or drink any soda,” said Vargas while chuckling. “You got to have somebody like that on your team who will watch you 24/7 because he knows boxing and he’s been there and done that so you got to have people like that on your team.”

Adding to his already impressive team is one of the very best trainers in the world in Andre Rozier. His work with world champions should give an indication of the career trajectory of Vargas.

“It means everything,” said Vargas of Rozier joining his corner. “He had Danny Jacobs and on that night he had Richard Commey so he’s another guy who has a lot of experience training world champions. For him to be in my corner and giving me the right instructions as well it just means everything to me. And of course, you have my father who is always hyping me up and making sure that I step on the gas and take my opponents out of there.”

All of the pieces are in place for Vargas, but he does have a few questions surrounding him and his ability to compete at an elite level. The skills are there, but he has more to prove going forward. 

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Dennis Hogan Tells Boxing Insider Radio His Fight Predictions For Ruiz vs Joshua and His Own Upcoming Bout


With his championship title challenge just a few days away, Dennis Hogan sat down with Boxing Insider Radio to discuss how he sees his fight against Jermall Charlo playing out, who he expects to win the Joshua vs Ruiz rematch and who he believes is the greatest fighter ever out of Ireland. His answer might just surprise you.

Following one of the most controversial decisions in boxing this year, Jr Middleweight contender Dennis Hogan is ready to move on.

Hogan was last seen in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico as he took on then WBO Jr Middleweight belt holder Jamie Munguia. Hogan has never been viewed as a true title contender, but that perception has quickly changed following his performance.

In front of a crowd that was completely against him, Hogan seemingly out boxed Munguia and won his first world titles. It was a major upset and one that placed Hogan on the boxing map.

Well, at least, that was supposed to be the headline. Hogan lost via majority decision to Munguia in a contest in which many believed he did more than enough to win. With such a devastating defeat the belief in one’s self could understandably wane, but what could he do?

Two choices emerged from the smoke that emanated from the controversial decision. Either continue to sit and complain about it or get back to work and prove that you deserve to be a world champion. Dennis Hogan chose the latter.

“Going to Mexico and out boxing the champion was something that I knew I could do,” said Hogan. “My confidence has been lifted since then. We went out there on six weeks notice and I was able to do that. I know that I can do a whole lot better and that will show on Saturday. That loss did not drop my confidence, it only lifted it.”

Before Hogan received an offer to face off against WBC Middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs), he initially wanted an immediate rematch with Munguia. Once it had become painfully clear that it would not happen, Hogan turned his attention to a new challenge. One that might prove to be even more difficult than his last.

“Charlo is a great fighter. I know that he is a two time world champion and he obviously deserves all of the accolades but this is my time now. I fully believe it and I am ready to go.”

The move to a brand new division is always a difficult one, but meeting a fighter the caliber of Jermall Charlo is certainly an arduous task.

Luckily for Hogan, he does have a bit of experience fighting at the Middleweight division, although he hasn’t done so in over five years. To help him prepare for a war against Charlo, he has received the help of several contenders but also former champions as well.

“I was able to get some really good sparring partners. Luis Arias is a guy that gave me some good rounds and so has Jeff Horn. There has been a number of high quality guys in camp that has given me some great rounds.”

No matter the preparation, Hogan won’t be ready for what is coming his way this Saturday night. At least according to Charlo.

“You hear fighters say that they’re not going for the knockout, but I am,” said Charlo on an interview a few months ago. “If I hit Hogan with something flush, he’s going to sleep.”

Charlo has always gotten under the skin of his opponents. His demeanor gives off a certain aura. One of extreme confidence and also maybe borderline delusion as well. For what it’s worth, Charlo has backed up his words time and time again. He hasn’t lost a single fight and he hasn’t exactly been in a close one either. The WBC titlist doesn’t believe that this contest will be close either. Predicting a third round knockout.

The comments of Charlo does nothing to enrage Hogan. In fact, he hopes it continues as it will lead to the detriment of his opponent.

“It doesn’t phase me in the slightest. It’s just words. I don’t know why he thinks that he can just do that but he is putting a lot of pressure on himself. Munguia said he’ll stop me in the fourth round but after the fourth round went by I was still good and gaining momentum and that brings people to a very bad place in their minds. To call a third round knockout, I think is doing me a great service so I’m glad he did that and I’ll be ready to put the pressure on as the rounds go by.”

Both Charlo and Hogan possess two completely different fighting styles. While Charlo enjoys ending his nights early, Hogan on the other hand is more known for his ability to out box his opponents. He has not scored a knockout win since stopping David Galvin back in 2014.

Be that as it may, that hasn’t stopped the Ireland born fighter in believing that if given the chance, he will put an end to the contest before the judges get involved.

“If I get a chance I will be going in to try and finish him. If I get a sniff of that I’ll be moving in. I can go for as long as I need and I can go high intensity for a longer time. Remember for the Munguia fight I only had 6 weeks to prepare. This time around I had a full 12 so I will be fully ready.”

Scoring a knockout victory, although unlikely, would certainly be in the best interest of Hogan. The last time he left his fate in the hands of the judges, he was given a raw deal.

“I need to get the judges eye early and let them know that I am in there. One thing that will be in my favor is that we will have the Irish and the Austrians there and they make a lot of noise. That always plays a factor because when the judges see me land a punch the fans will make noise every single time. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. I know that I can out box Charlo and hopefully they will give me the decision.”

Hogan not only possesses the skill and will to make this a very interesting contest, but he has seen his fellow countrymen and women prosper as of late.

“Unbelievable,” said Hogan when describing boxing star Michael Conlan. “I’ve seen him box and win national Irish titles and win world championships in the amateurs. He’s been making massive waves. I wish him all the best and he will be a world champion, there is no doubt in my mind.”

With fighters such as Conlan, Hogan and of course, UFC star Conor McGregor. It would be a difficult decision to make in terms of who is the best fighter amongst them. But not for Hogan. Not only was it an easy choice, but it was a name that was not mentioned amongst that group.

“Katie Taylor is Ireland’s greatest fighter ever. I’ve had training sessions with her and she is unbelievable. She is a brilliant person both in and out of the ring.”

Dennis Hogan vs Jermall Charlo is certainly a big fight but there is another contest that is taking place on the same night that, with all due respect to Charlo, Hogan and everyone else fighting on this card in Brooklyn New York, dwarfs it considerably.

That would be the mega showdown between unified Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua, taking place in Saudi Arabia.

Hogan’s full attention might be on Charlo, but he will certainly have his eyes on the massive event that will be taking place halfway across the world.

“I’m going with Joshua. I think he had some anxiety before the first fight. I’ve never seen a fighter unhappy walking into the ring and happy when the fight is over. Something just wasn’t right in his mindset but if he has gotten that right then I believe he will win.”

As for his predictions for his own contest, he made sure he did not mince his words.

“My hand will get raised in victory and the green belt around my waist. This is something that I truly want and believe. You guys just sit back, relax and enjoy.”

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