Interview: Eromosele Albert

By Raj Sharma


Interview: Eromosele Albert

Albert preparing for war with James Kirkland

Boxingtalk: A week from Saturday, you'll be facing James Kirkland in Primm, Nevada, on HBO's Boxing After Dark. What are your thoughts on the fight?

Eromosele Albert:  Right now I'm just training hard, getting prepared for the fight. I really want toprove to the world I'm the best 154 (junior middleweight) out there. On May 17th, I just want everybody to watch. I feel there's nobody else in 154 that can beat me right now.

BT: A lot of people view you as the underdog in this fight even though you've fought the better opposition and have an extensive amateur background. Do you feel people are overlooking you going into the fight?

EA: I don't think James Kirkland people overlooked me because I was supposed to fight him last year on Showtime. They turned the fight down. Right now, they think he got what it takes to beat me. To me, there's no 154 out there that can beat me.

BT: Kirkland's a southpaw with a reputation as a very strong puncher.  Do you prepare differently for this type of opponent?

EA: Actually, I fight southpaw easier than righty because my brothers they're fighters too. One of my brothers and two of my cousins are southpaws, so I've fought southpaws since I was 10 years old. I been sparring with my cousins and my brother all my life. I don't really have to spar with a southpaw to fight Kirkland because fighting a southpaw is easier. Everybody that knows me, they know. 

BT: What do you think a victory over Kirkland will do for your career?

EA: A victory over Kirkland is gonna put me on the map. None of the associations rank me in the top ten yet. Most of those guys in the top ten, I feel easily I can beat them, like Sechew Powell. Those guys don't have what it takes to beat me. I just want to prove myself. 

BT: Last year was a breakthrough year for you. You beat a former world champion in Yori Boy Campas and an ex-contender in Daniel Edouard. The win over Campas was especially impressive, considering the pace you set early in the fight. How do feel about your performance that night?

EA: Actually, against Campas, I was not training really hard for that fight. Four weeks before the fight, I was sick a little bit. I got out of the hospital, the doctor asked me to take a week off. I only trained two weeks for that fight even though I was throwing 120-130 punches. That's my style- I throw a lot of punches each time I fight. I don't throw nothing less than 100 punches per round.  That's the way I was brought up since I was 10. Against James Kirkland, I'm gonna throw the same (amount of) punches. If Kirkland's ready to keep up with the pace, I'm ready. It's gonna be a long night for him.

BT: Like you mentioned, you come from a family of boxers. Your dad was a fighter, and your brothers Onolunose and Bone also box. I understand you actually fought Onolunose in an amateur tournament before. What was that experience like?

EA: Yeah (laughing). I fought my brother in the amateurs. What happened, I was the national champion. I had been the national champion for a while so they don't let me take part in the nationals anymore. So I'm gonna wait for the winner. My brother won the nationals, so I don't have no choice but to fight him.  I fight him and I beat him. But he said he wants a rematch, so I'm waiting for him to get a rematch.

BT: Onolunose just beat Eddie Sanchez last week. That's a great win.

EA: Yeah, that's a great win for him. I told him "you know what? You can kick this guy's ass."  He's been boxing since he was 8. Bone started when he was 6.

BT: How did you get the nickname "Bad Boy"?

EA: When I get into the ring, I'm really bad. If I don't see blood, I'm not happy. I used to feel you gotta hit me for me to get mad. Most guys when they get mad, they don't do good. When I get mad, I feel really good. Most of my teammates were like 'you're always bad in the ring', so I guess that's how I got the name "Bad Boy".

BT: Orlando Cuellar is your trainer. He's become highly regarded in the past few years.  What's it like working with him?

EA: It's tough, man. I work really hard. Orlando Cuellar likes when his fighter like to train hard. Like me and Glen Johnson, we train really hard. That's why he like us. He's a really good trainer. Sometimes when you make mistake, he tell you what to do. He's like my uncle; my brother; my friend; so I listen to him. When he tell me stuff, I listen and do what he ask me to do. What you have to do is trust your trainer. If you trust your trainer and listen to him, you're gonna do good. But most fighters don't trust their trainer; they feel they know better than their trainer. That's why most fighter have problems.

BT: As an amateur and pro, you've fought all over the world. Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Chile, Canada. Is there any place you fought that you have special memories of?

EA: Yeah, my pro debut in Kazakhstan. The president of Kazakhstan was there; everybody was there. My pro debut was a light heavyweight. I fought a light heavyweight 6-1 guy that I knocked out in the first round. Everybody thought the guy was gonna beat me because I just turned pro. I just came back from the Olympics. I told them 'I'm not a light heavyweight' but they gave me a light heavyweight anyway. I still knocked him out. In the amateurs, my most memorable tournament is the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada.  I beat James Lubwama, Kassim Ouma, Joshua Clottey in the amateurs. One thing most people don't know, most of the guys from Africa know me. They know how good I am. Because of management problem, I quit boxing for almost 3 years (September 2002-March 2005). That's why I'm not on top right now. I wish I didn't quit boxing or I would have made it very far already.

BT: Is there anything you'd like to say the fans?

EA: I just wanna tell the fans May 17th I'm gonna shock the world. That's what I want them to know. There's gonna be a new star in boxing and that's gonna be me.


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