"I firmly believe that I am the hardest working guy in this tournament. I believe it doesn't matter who I'm going against in the first fight; I am going to win the tournament regardless. I'm very confident that I can beat the other 7 guys, so it didn't matter who they gave me. I was mentally prepared and ready and training for any of these guys. If I come up against any of them, I'm ready to take them outÂ… I will give them a good performance on Friday night and look for me to win the Boxcino Tournament," stated middleweight contender Sena Agbeko, who talked about his upcoming clash with Raymon Gatica next Friday in the first round of the Boxcino Tournament. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: Sena, you are gearing up for your fight Friday night against Raymond Gatica to start of this middleweight tournament. How has preparation been going?
SA: So far, everything has been smooth. We planned for this fight for a long time, so just putting my final finishing touches to it. I've had a very good camp, training, and I feel great. I feel ready and very strong and I'm already on point with the weight, so that's not gonna be a problem at all. I'm good to go.
PC: When some people see your record of 15 fights with 15 knockouts, they may question your stamina or durability in a tournament setting. Even though you have late knockouts, how do you respond to those concerns?
SA: I'm a firm believer in putting doubts to rest in the ring. I don't have to prove anything to anybody. The people that are close to me, my coaches and friends, know that I have the stamina to go 12 rounds if I have to. Even though I'm fighting in a tournament, I would be ready to go 12 rounds. But of course only they would know because they know that I work really hard. And because of my hard work is why I'm able to put my opponents out early. I outwork them and get them to quit early, but if I have to go 12 rounds, it's easy work. I just have to prove the doubters wrong in the ring. I don't have to prove anything outside of the ring. You can always say what you want outside of the ring, but what happens inside of the ring is most important, so come February 28th, if the fight has to go 6 rounds, we will see what happens. We will see if I'm the one with the stamina or if he is the one with the stamina to go 6 rounds.
PC: You will be facing Raymond Gatica, as I mentioned earlier. Did you have a preference once the names who were participating in the tournament surfaced or it didn't matter to you?
SA: No, no, no! Not at all. I firmly believe that I am the hardest working guy in this tournament. I believe it doesn't matter who I'm going against in the first fight; I am going to win the tournament regardless. I'm very confident that I can beat the other 7 guys, so it didn't matter who they gave me. I was mentally prepared and ready and training for any of these guys. If I come up against any of them, I'm ready to take them out.
PC: Have you watched a lot of film on Gatica or is it not a necessity for you to see footage on your opponents?
SA: I have seen him fight. When I got the list of names, I went through and looked at all of them just to take a glimpse of all of them to see their style and everything. I really haven't looked at him again. I let my coaching team do that kind of work and they tell me what to do in the ring. But I think he is okay. I don't think he is that much of a big deal. Like I said, I see more of my strengths as opposed to what he has to do or what he doesn't do well. I really don't care what he brings to the table. The most important thing for me is to stick to my game plan and fight my fight. I know in his last fight, he fought against Fernando Guerrero and that's a big name, and he might be thinking that I fought no-name fighters, but back in Africa, the no-name factor doesn't exist because all of those guys are very strong and very, very durable. They hit hard. So the guys that I have been in the ring with back in Africa are probably stronger than all of the guys in the United States here. Like I said earlier, everything is going to boil down to less words and what we are gonna see in the ring.
PC: At the stage that you are at in your career, was this tournament the perfect thing for you timing-wise?
SA: Yeah! Absolutely! Coming from Africa and having to adapt to the climate here and the style here just falls in place perfectly. I think these guys will be ready for this tournament. Looking at their records, I really think the winners and losers will be determined by who worked hard for this and who wants it really, really bad and that is what's gonna make the difference. I think winning this tournament will put you on a whole new level and will line you up for potential world championship fights. I'm really happy to be in this tournament and I plan to take full advantage of it and let it propel me to land a world title shot some time in the future.
PC: Your brother, Joseph, has had a ton of success over here in the United States. Do you put any pressure on yourself to match or top his success or do you not let his success become a burden for you?
SA: I don't let it be a burden on my back. I had to deal with that kind of pressure back home. Because of the gym I was in and because I was into boxing early on, I dealt with that kind of pressure to excel. It's just an inspiration for me to continue to work hard. I understand that everything takes time. I don't really allow anyone access to put pressure on me. I'm still very young and I have accomplished a lot for the period of time that I have been in the sport. That is very satisfying in itself. I still have a long way to go and I look at what I have achieved to this point and I'm happy with that. I understand what people expect, but there is absolutely no pressure. I take every fight, fight by fight and just work hard and think about myself and my craft. I really don't think about other boxers. That puts the wrong pressure on you and has you thinking in ways you really shouldn't be thinking in for your career. I just work on my craft and take it fight by fight and just move forward.
PC: For the fans getting their first look at you on Friday night, what can they expect?
SA: Well, I feel that I'm gonna bring a lot of...there are so many African style fighters now, but I also bring a fast American style. I guess the American public is going to be surprised at what I bring into the ring. I can fight offensive and defensive, so just expect something completely different from me.
PC: What would it mean for you to win this tournament?
SA: That would be a dream come true for me to come to the US and achieve something like that. You know, for me, it's all about winning a world championship and winning this tournament may not put me in a world title fight, but I believe it would line me up for the fight that would position me to put me in line for a world championship. That is ultimately my goal, to win a world championship. Winning this tournament would be taking a step closer to my ultimate goal of winning a world championship. Up until now, this is all dreams coming true for me just being able to come to the US and being on TV is like "Wow" to me. I am amazed by it because I used to always watch guys fight on TV and be amazed by it, and now it's me. It's something you wonder if you could ever, ever do it if one was to start boxing and I put my mind to it and for me, every single day is a dream come true and I keep working hard so that I can make all of the other dreams that I thought about come true as well. I just want to continue to learn my craft and work hard every day and earn the chance to perfect my craft.
PC: I look forward to your fight and this tournament and we will speak after your fight; best of luck to you. Is there anything you want to add?
SA: I'd like to tell people to come out and support me. I think I have a lot to bring to the table and I will give them a good performance on Friday night and look for me to win the Boxcino Tournament!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]