"When he had those big fights, he lost, whether they were close or not. A lot of folks think I beat Danny Garcia, but you don't see me going around saying I beat Danny Garcia. I lost on the judges score, so I lost. He has given guys some tough fights, but he lost. He is gonna give me a good fight I feel, but he is gonna lose again. I'm sparring with two world champions, Ishe Smith and Floyd Mayweather, so I'm getting the best preparation that I can get. I'm going to be ready and I'm looking forward to it," stated welterweight contender Ashley Theophane, who talked about his upcoming clash with Pablo Cesar Cano on the September 14 undercard of The One: Mayweather vs. Canelo. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: You are fighting Pablo Cesar Cano on the biggest card of the year and possibly one of the biggest in the history of the sport, "The One" Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez. How do you feel?
AT: It's great! I been in Vegas since March, putting in work, and for Floyd to acknowledge my hard work that I've been putting in to want to get me a fight, and he is letting me open the pay-per-view card, shows the faith that he has in me. He's giving me an opponent that's only lost to world champions or former world champions in his 3 losses. He's only lost to Shane Mosley, who is a legend, Erik Morales, another legend, and a 2-way world champion Paulie Malignaggi. He's been in with some good boxers and it shows the faith that Floyd has in me by giving him to me as a first opponent, so I'm looking forward to it.
PC: And you are officially a part of The Money Team now.
AT: I signed my contract and I am officially signed, but I still gotta get those results in my fights because the contracts are easy and they can easily get ripped up. I'm signed to Mayweather Promotions as a boxer and I am a part of The Money Team, so I feel good.
PC: Cano fought Shane hard and a lot of people felt he beat Paulie. When you look at this kid fight, what are some of the things you see from him?
AT: He can box going forward and backwards, he is aggressive, but at the same time, if you look at his wins, I have never heard of any of the boxers he has beaten. And when he had those big fights, he lost, whether they were close or not. A lot of folks think I beat Danny Garcia, but you don't see me going around saying I beat Danny Garcia. I lost on the judges score, so I lost. He has given guys some tough fights, but he lost. He is gonna give me a good fight I feel, but he is gonna lose again. I'm sparring with two world champions, Ishe Smith and Floyd Mayweather, so I'm getting the best preparation that I can get. I'm going to be ready and I'm looking forward to it.
PC: What is it like to be on a stage where you felt you have always belonged?
AT: I've never really been promoted by a promoter. I have always been on my own and just putting in the work and grinding, so for the number one boxer in the world to say, "Yo, I'm going to give you a chance and a big opportunity" I've been a pro now for 10 years, I have had 39 fights, and it's all been gearing up. I don't want no baby fights because I am a veteran in the game, so I want a big fight. This is the biggest stage, so my whole career has been for this one moment and I'm not gonna let that go. When I was a kid and I turned professional, this is what it was all about. We all have dreams and we want to get there, but most of us never get there and I truly started at the bottom and I have had to work my way up. So to finally be here and have the number one boxer in the world to back me and tell me it's up to me now, I'm just happy and putting in work and training with the best. This time, I will get the result because I'm looking forward to this.
PC: Last time we spoke, you said you were content with going back and forth between the States and the UK. Is that still your position or do you want to move to the States now?
AT: I'm happy in Vegas. I have been here since March. If I do stay here, I am happy to stay here. There is not really a need to. I will probably take it fight by fight, but I'm more than happy to go back and forth. I love America. If it wasn't for me getting love over here, I wouldn't be where I'm at in my career. I was at Gleason's Gym for years sparring the best. Now I am in Vegas and I have always had love from the American promoters and boxers. I like it here. I really like it here; that's why I keep coming back.
PC: You have always been willing to take a fight at 147. Now that you have one of the horizon, how do you feel growing into the weight class?
AT: You know, I could still do junior welterweight. It's what I have been doing for the past 10 years. I'm pretty much like Floyd in a sense where he fights at the weight he chooses to fight at. I'm happy to fight at either weight; I just don't have to try and make welterweight. I'm just trying to fight the best out there. Like there were a couple of names thrown out there at 140, former world champs who are still ranked, but they didn't want to take the risk. And then they asked me about Cano and at that time, I had only watched the Erik Morales fight and I heard he done very well against Paulie, and the fight with Shane was pretty fresh, so I hadn't seen it yet. But at the same time, he just lost 2 fights and I don't think he's improved from what he done against Shane Mosley. If we want to be real, Shane Mosley was brought in as an opponent. He went to Mexico, this guys' home base, and he still couldn't beat him with all of the cards stacked in his favor. Shane had lost 3 out of his last 4 fights, and it was to 3 of the best in the game, but he was still on a losing streak. They were trying to get this kid a win against a former world champ and boxing legend and he still couldn't do it. I really don't see him beating me. He starts fast, but to me, he always fades, and he has heart and he supposedly has a punch, but I've never been dropped. My chin is my chin and I have never gotten dropped or anything, and I have fought some bangers that knock people out. I'm gonna get the win in my 40th fight. It's going to be on the biggest event of the year and one of the biggest ever. You can't ask for more.
PC: You have been front and center to see the work that Floyd is putting in. How do you see the fight against Canelo going?
AT: I think after the Guerrero fight, everyone wanted to see Canelo and Floyd. That's what the fans wanted and Floyd has given the fans what they wanted, and I think a lot of fans are gonna say now, "He's too young." He has 42 professional fights and he's been a champion for years now, so to me, that can't be an excuse. He is coming off of a win over Trout, and Trout is a very good boxer who had just beat Miguel Cotto. You are gonna have Floyd, Canelo, and Ishe Smith on the card; that's 3 of the best in the world at the weight class and I think Floyd is head and shoulders above everyone else. Floyd will outbox him. It can be an easy fight. If you look at the way Floyd beat Guerrero, Guerrero couldn't touch him. Floyd is smart and he knows what he's doing. I wouldn't be shocked if he won all 12 rounds. I see how hard Floyd works and some days, you come in and you just have to watch in amazement at the amount of work he puts in. Ishe also works very hard, so watching both of those guys, it helps me to add to my game and I put in my work because I'm watching these two champions work hard. I know to be a champion, you have to put in the work, so being around both of them is helping me to add to my game.
PC: I wish you the best on September 14th. I will see you out there and look forward to your fight.
AT: I want to thank the fans for all of the support and the messages that I get. I want everyone to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @ashleytheophane and check me out on my website. I do my weekly blogs there and that's at www.ashleytheophane.com.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]