One on One with Miguel Espino

By Brad Cooney


One on One with Miguel Espino

Former Contender series star Miguel Espino is quietly climbing up the Middleweight ranks, and looks to continue his rise by defeating his next opponent on June 30th, 2007.  Miguel will face Arturo Ortega  and the venue will be the National Guard Armory, in Sylmar, California.  This tough brawler has put together a 6 fight win streak since coming up short against Peter Manfredo Jr back in August, 2004. 

BC - Talk about your next fight on June 30th.

ME - June 30th  at the National Guard, It's a small venue but it keeps me busy.  I want hands on training, and it's a good stepping stone as I continue my march towards a big television fight.

BC - You looked very impressive with your last effort against Sergey Stepkin.  With that win you grabbed the WBC CABOFE Middleweight title, talk about that fight.

ME - I would give myself a B+ with that performance.  It's a little belt, but more than anything it lets me creep closer and closer to the top 10, and that's what my goal is.  Of course you always want to be better, but I am happy with my performance.

BC - One step at a time Miguel, you're quietly climbing up the ranks.

ME - Yea, remember that movie Rocky 3?  Clubber Lang was the local guy making noise, getting the small articles at the bottom of the page.  And then you got the big name guys on the front page, well right now I am just creating the buzz locally, and soon I'll be on the front page.

BC - I noticed you're back to 10 round fights as well, in previous interviews that we have done, that was definitely another goal of yours.

ME - Brad, in the previous conversations that we had I was talking about that.  Right before the Contender, I had a 10 rounder.  Seems I went backwards for awhile there, now I am back to 10 round fights.  I have nothing but wins since going back to 10 rounders, my motor doesn't get running until the 4th round so 10 rounders are important for me, with my style of fighting.

BC - Your Contender brethren, Manfredo Jr had his big fight, and Mora turned down Jermain Taylor, and Alfonso Gomez will fight Arturo Gatti, when can we see you get your chance?

ME - I think Sergio turning down that fight against Jermain Taylor was the dumbest mistake in the history of boxing.  To turn down a seven figure purse, and the only reason he can come up with was because the fight was too close to Jermain Taylors backyard?  If I got the call to fight Jermain Taylor, I would literally fight him in his back yard.  I don't know why he turned the fight down, maybe he had weight issue and didn't think he could make the weight, but even with that, you don't turn down seven figures, come on.

BC - So you get back in there on June 30th, it's not a television fight so when can we see you back on television, maybe ESPN?

ME - I have a good relationship with ESPN, and Showtime.  Like I said earlier, I just want to stay busy, and work on my craft.  I want to keep racking up the W's and the knockouts as they come.

BC - Out of the big names in the Middleweight division, who do you think you match-up with best?

ME - Honestly? Anybody because all of them will come right at me.  They are going to be surprised because my knockout ratio isn't too big, but I have deceiving power.  I think they will underestimate my power.  I have a huge head, my friends say I have a lemon head (laughs), I have a good set of whiskers.  I saw Pavlik get tired when he fought Miranda, and in the fight he had before that against Zertuche, I heard him tell his corner that he couldn't feel his legs.  When I heard him say that a light bulb went off in my head, I was thinking that this guy doesn't like body shots (laughs).  I have deceiving power, and my body shots have hurt people before.

BC - I heard that there might be another Contender series, have you heard anything about that?

ME - I heard rumors about that, hopefully there is.  The Contender hasn't been anything but good for boxing, it put boxing back in the mainstream.  It gives the fans an idea of what we go through behind the scenes.  The ability of the fighters in the second season wasn't as good as the fighters in the first series, but it's good for the boxing fan.  As far as getting respect? Well if you listen to what Jim Lampley, and Larry Merchant have to say about Contender fighters, it's clear there is no respect.  I think if Manfredo Jr would have fought a brilliant fight against Calzaghe they probably would have given some respect.

BC - In Manfredo's defense, before he got on the plane to fly over there, the end result of that fight was already decided.  That was ridiculous how fast that referee stopped that fight. 

ME - You know how it is,  35,000 people in his hometown (laughs).

BC - Exactly.

BC - Maybe you will give Lampley and Merchant a reason to say nice things about the Contender series?

ME - Larry Merchant needs to retire, the guy disagrees with everyone, Lennox Lewis, Emanuel Steward, Max Kellerman, Lampley..the list goes on (laughs).

BC - Do you have some closing thoughts for your fans?

ME - Thanks to all of my fans for supporting me.  Right now I am flying under the radar, but shortly I will be on a big 747 lighting up the radar!

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