Interview: Roberto Benitez

By James Alden


Interview: Roberto Benitez

BT: Can you tell us a little bit about your Olympic experience Roberto?  

RB: I made it all the way through the Olympic trials and through the qualifiers. They have a whole different set of rules now before you can make the Olympic team where you have to go through the qualifiers to get to the games. My experience was a little bit of a downfall; politically, I had a bad decision that cost me a chance to go to the Olympic games. I had an opportunity to go to the games but not compete, but I could not deal with just watching that. After that I pretty much concentrated on my professional career. I am no longer an amateur, and I know longer train at the Olympic facility [in Northern Michigan]. I took some time off to get my self situated before I made my debut as a pro. Everything is picking up gradually, with the new year coming, hopefully I will be recognized as one of the hottest prospects out there at 122 pounds.

                                                                                                                               BT: Tell us the difference that you seen from going from the amateurs compared to the pros?

RB: Mentally and physically there is more training involved. When you have so many years in the sport of boxing you tend to know your body more. In the pros I been learning different tactics and strategies, I have been doing a lot of things in the pros that I did not have to worry about in the amateurs. Making my punches very accurate is the biggest transition so far, I have been making sure that my punches are very accurate. From my experience in the amateurs I learned how to adapt to any style. That is where my amateur experience comes into play in the pros.

BT: The junior featherweight division [122 pounds] does not get looked at a lot. Are you trying to be that new fresh face in the division?

RB: Definitely! I feel that there is a lot of improvement that can be done in a lot of the weight divisions. I feel that I can be a great candidate in the 122 pound division to bring a new face and new blood to the industry. I have a lot of high goals for my self and I am going to continue to work very hard to achieve those goals. I do not only want to prove to the public, I do not want to go that route, I want to prove my self that I can do this. 

BT: You have a fight coming up on Thursday night. Can you tell us a little bit how training has been for the fight? [editor's note: it looks like that card has been cancelled]

RB: Training has been great for the fight, I feel great and I have a lot of energy and can not wait to get in the ring and fight on Thursday night. I am calm and relax but also excited, it is a good way to end the year out with victory. I am going to be fighting in my hometown for the first time in 8 years, so I am very excited about that, and again I feel really great about the fight. 

BT: How often will you be fighting in 2006?

RB: I look forward to building up my record and hopefully fighting on a monthly basis. If I train properly and there are no injuries I should be ok to fight once a month. I always try to keep my self in shape and I like to portray myself as the little Bernard Hopkins. Outside of boxing I take care of myself, I do not drink, I do not smoke, and I just like to hang out with my family. In the ring I try to do everything right, dieting right, and my mentality is tough like a Bernard Hopkins. 

BT: Bernard is going to be fighting Roy. Can I have your thoughts on that fight?

RB: Oh wow, I thought that was a rumor. You know when you hear something like that the first thing that comes to mind is money. There at the end of their careers and if they can make a lot of money for this fight than why not? I do not know who to pick for the fight and styles make fights so it will be a tough fight to pick. There both well-polished fighters and I am sure it will be a great fight.

BT: Is there anything that you would like to say in closing to your fans out there on Boxingtalk?

RB: I definitely want to thank all the fans for being patient, and for keeping me in there minds. I am making sure to end 2005 with a victory and looking forward to 2006 with more victories and bigger accomplishments. Go check out my website


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