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WILLIE MONROE JR. HAS NO CONCERNS HEADING INTO GENNADY GOLOVKIN SHOWDOWN: "HE LOOKS A LITTLE CONCERNED"

By Percy Crawford | April 14, 2015
WILLIE MONROE JR. HAS NO CONCERNS HEADING INTO GENNADY GOLOVKIN SHOWDOWN:

"I'm a strong individual. If you listen to my interviews and how people talk about how much of an underdog I've been, you can tell that I've been the underdog since I was conceived in my mother's womb...if you watch the staredown between me and Triple G, look at his eyes, man. He looks a little concerned. It's not like the staredown he did with Curtis Stevens and Matthew Macklin. Even the staredown he did against Gabe Rosado, and Rosado towers over him by a good 2 1/2 inches. His staredown with me, if you look in his eyes, he looks a little bit concerned. He looks like he think he's bit off a little bit more than he can chew," stated middleweight contender Willie Monroe Jr., who talked about his upcoming May 16 showdown with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Check it out!

PC: We are getting into the thick of things. How are things going?

WM: Physically and mentally, I feel great, man. People don't realize that this is a fight I've had in my foresight since Boxcino times when they started saying that the winner would be a top 10 contender and I looked at Triple G and said, "That's who I want to fight." So camp is looking good due to the fact that he has been in my foresight for a long time.

PC: How does it feel to be the first guy off of Boxcino to fight for a world title in a fight of this magnitude?

WM: Oh, it's an awesome feeling. I'm gonna start the party off right. I always say whether I'm last, in the middle, or first, if I'm first, I'm gonna set a tone that everybody gotta follow and if I'm last, I'm going to end the show with a bang; it really don't matter. I'm happy for the opportunity and I'm happy where I'm at. At the end of the day, this is what I wanted and I have to thank ESPN, Artie Pelullo, and Banner Promotions just for making Willie Monroe a relative name in boxing through Boxcino all the way up to my current event with Bryan Vera.

PC: Do you remember when you were initially approached about Boxcino and was it a situation where you thought about turning it down or not participating?

WM: Yeah, at first, because of the tournament format of the Super Six...when it was first brought to me, I was like, "I don't wanna do nothing that takes that long." Then when they told me that we would be fighting 3 times over the course of 4 months and they would all be televised, the first thing I thought was, "Hmmm, maybe I can keep winning the way that I'm winning and in the backdrop and then try to be on the B side and take out whatever middleweight wins it. Come in on the B side and take them out. Or I could just go ahead and walk through the tournament." I think I was the first guy to sign up for Boxcino not knowing what other 7 guys was going to be in it. I was like, it's a chance, it's an opportunity, I ain't scared of nobody, and my worst fear has already happened to me when I lost my grandfather. I train like an animal, so I knew it was time to turn over and start showing these cats who the man is. I went in with that confidence and I'm here now.

PC: Your trainer, Tony Morgan, had a mishap recently. How did you let that not become a distraction to you in the middle of your training camp?

WM: I'm a strong individual. If you listen to my interviews and how people talk about how much of an underdog I've been, you can tell that I've been the underdog since I was conceived in my mother's womb. I'm not saying that as a figure of speech; I've literally been the underdog. The pressure of that and the pressure of what's going on in my personal life, it doesn't bother me. It's almost normal to me now to go through some type of trial by fire or mishap or letdown before the big accomplishment.

PC: I do this for motivation sometimes, but when you are the underdog and you know what's being said about you fighting Golovkin, do you go and read the comments to see what people are saying about you to get a little spark?

ES: I do sometimes and sometimes I don't. I guess you can say yes I do, but I try to stay away from it because I just don't want that negativity to feed into my spirit. People go above and beyond with the negativity. With social media and the different internet outlets, people have...so many people that shouldn't have a voice have a voice. You don't want that to sway your thoughts. I've had some people...and thank you for not being this person and thank you FightHype for always keeping it real with me, but I have had people interview me just to antagonize me. They interview me so they can tell me how great they think Triple G is. In my mind, it's like, for you people that don't like me or don't know me or feel like I don't deserve a shot or feel like I have no chance in the world, if you feel like that, why even bother to talk to me or reach out? You should feel like this is another easy win for Triple G with a smile on your face. So many people are taking it overboard that I feel like maybe they are not as confident in Triple G as they try to pretend to be. It's almost like they are trying to sway my thoughts. I'm like, "You guys don't have to tell me anything about Triple G. I know who he is. I'm not stupid." It's almost like they are trying to influence me that I can't beat him. If you're trying to do that, you're barking up the wrong tree. That's not gonna influence anything over here. I'm a strong-minded person, and like I said, thank you Percy for always keeping it positive and keeping it real with me. Between Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, everyone has a voice and it could be a good thing and a bad thing depending on how uses it. The people that come at me negative, and they always cursing and stuff, I just block their page. I'm just not one for that. I'm a cool dude, I'm a laid back dude, and I'm not one that's out here getting at anybody crazy or giving anybody stuff to talk about. You don't see me cursing and getting all loud and acting all rambunctious in interviews and stuff because I really don't need that persona. I need to win a fight.

PC: We just touched on the negative, but obviously you have a huge support team. What has the positive reception been like for you?

WM: It's been great, man. I have to extend and send a huge shout out to my Cuban fan base. Everybody knows that I'm part Cuban. They hit me up in the inbox and let me know they don't care what they are saying about me and that they are behind me and I'm one of them. That's been a big pick me up. And also my hometown fans, my fans back home in Rochester, New York. It's so many people flying out to the fight and they have put together prayer teams and rallies and are throwing big parties and stuff. That just makes me feel good and makes me feel like what I'm doing is really working. That counters the negative feedback that I get also, so it's a blessing.

PC: We both know that no man is unbeatable. Facing someone like Golovkin, who many perceive as an unstoppable force, do you feel you have to train yourself more mentally or physically to deal with him?

WM: What happens when the unstoppable force meets the unmovable object? I have to prepare myself all around, physically and mentally. Like I said, with everything that's going on for this one, I think I have to really prepare myself to be head strong first and spiritually because like I said in one of the interviews after the press conference, after Triple G put it out there that I was the guy he was fighting, about an hour after that, my church retreat started and we couldn't have our phone for 2 days. And it ended up being the best thing because the negative stuff and the stuff that was happening on Twitter and what people was saying, I didn't get to see a lot of it. I was having people tell me about it because my phone was off for 2 days because I was at a retreat with my church. I just know spiritually, I have to be prepared because if I'm prepared spiritually, the mental and physical side all falls up under that. I'm a tremendous athlete, I work tremendously hard, so the physical side is going to be there. And like I said, for what I've been through in life, the mental side is going to be there; spiritual side is going to couple it all together. It's the glue that keeps everything together in the middle so I don't fall apart and fall out of character of who I am with all of the negativity that's going around. That's a creed of who Willie Monroe is outside of boxing that I have to stick to and it's a good creed. I walk with morals and I walk with value. And a lot of people, much less athletes, don't have any type of moral or value and that's why they are able to attack me under certain circumstances because they have no moral or values. They don't care whether they get on Twitter and say, "F this, you suck, I hope you don't die." They can get on Twitter and say that because they have no morals. And if I didn't have any morals, I would let that stuff get into my spirit and say it back, but because I walk with moral value, spiritually I know I'm being attacked, so I know that none of that stuff can have any type of influence on what I do but not giving it back in that form.

PC: You had the chance to size Gennady up. What did you think? Bigger than you thought, smaller than you thought, or what you expected?

WM: Surprisingly, I was a little bit bigger than him. I found that to be kind of funny because we were contemplating going back down to 54 after Boxcino was over if we didn't get Triple G. And I'm like, man, I would have been a big 54-pounder. But I gotta give props to my strength and conditioning coach, Lee Davis, out of Rochester. After Boxcino, we didn't know what we were going to do. We didn't know whether we were going down to 154 or staying at 60. And then we got the offer to fight Bryan Vera and he said, "Look, you 28 years old, your body is starting to fill out, let's put a little bit more muscle on and just go ahead and start banging with the big boys and when the junior middleweight's come up, they gonna have to adjust to you." I can eat like I want, I don't have to do any crazy dieting, we put on a little more muscle, and surprisingly, man, when I did the face off with him, we are about the same height, but I'm a little bit more broad in the shoulders and in the back. My arms are a lot longer than his, so I have some physical advantages. But if you watch the staredown between me and Triple G, look at his eyes, man. He looks a little concerned. It's not like the staredown he did with Curtis Stevens and Matthew Macklin. Even the staredown he did against Gabe Rosado, and Rosado towers over him by a good 2 1/2 inches. His staredown with me, if you look in his eyes, he looks a little bit concerned. He looks like he think he's bit off a little bit more than he can chew.

PC: I can't wait to see it play out. I wish you the best of luck in training, and keep me posted on how camp is going. Is there anything else you want to add?

WM: Thank you Percy and thank you for always keeping it real and keeping Willie Monroe's name real relevant in boxing. I just want to thank the fans and look forward to, as Triple G would say, a big drama show on May 16th!



[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]

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