By Ray O. Campbelll Jr.
Last Friday night Roy Jones, Jr.’s Square Ring Inc. promoted a six-bout fight card at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio featuring Vonda “All American Girl” Ward, amateur standouts Cortez & Mickey Bey and 2000 Olympic silver dedalist Ricardo Williams Jr.. The main event featured two-time welterweight title challenger Raul Frank, 27-4 (13 KOs) against awkward “Fearless” Fernando Hernandez. Frank defeated Hernandez via sixth-round disqualification to pick up the second regional title of his career. Boxingtalk recently spoke to the Guyanese born Frank, who now lives and train out of Brooklyn, NY, to get his thoughts on his recent victory. RC: Raul, first off, congrats on your victory this past Friday night against Fernando Hernandez to pick up a vacant [regional 154-pound] title
RF: Thanks I worked hard for that man, I got back in top shape and I really really worked hard for it.RC: You won via disqualification in the 6th round, why don’t you tell us how everything played out in that fight?
RF: What happened was, in the first couple of rounds I was measuring him because he is a lefty, and he is also an unorthodox fighter. He throws wild punches, he uses his head, and I was just being cautious. Then Bob (Jackson) my trainer said to go after him, so I started stepping up the pace and I had him hurt. The fight was about five or ten seconds away from being stopped when he decided to hit me low. Actually he hit me a couple of times low, and the referee kept warning him. He hit me low and the referee said “Look man I am going to disqualify you” then when I went in to finish him off, he just bent down low and hit me again in the groin. And I feel I was cheated of knocking him out, but life goes on, I won the belt.
The commissioner is the person that stopped the fight. He talked to the fighter, actually the referee took the fighter over to the commissioner, and they talked and he said “Disqualify me” because he didn’t want to get knocked out. I think they should put some type of sanction against him because that is like bold face cheating. RC: Do you guys plan on pursuing anything like that?
RF: Well I won the title, and we are just going to move on from there. Roy was happy with my performance; I dominated and controlled the fight from the first round on. RC: What did Roy Jones Jr. have to say to you about your performance after the fight?
RF: He said that I am in good shape, he liked the way that I looked, he likes my ability, and we are going to take it from there. Actually they are going to have a discussion, him and my manager, they are having a little meeting about what plans they have for me.RC: Did you feel any extra added pressure going in there fighting for the first time in front of your new promoter Roy Jones, who is one of the greatest in our era?
RF: No because I know when I work hard like I did, I was just at a point where I was just ready to perform and show my true ability. I had great respect for my opponent going in, but I know I had to perform and show that I am a true world ranked fighter and I need to be where I am going, and that is at the top of the division and fighting for a championshipRC: You mentioned, Roy and your manager are meeting this evening to discuss your future, and the USBA title should get you ranked somewhere in the top ten in the IBF, if you had a choice what would you like to do next?
RF: Travis Simms, actually I want to fight the best, I keep mentioning his name all of the time and I want him to know that he is the best fighter in division and I want a shot at him. I want to prove to everyone and prove to myself that I am one of the best fighters at 154lbs. RC: You feel that Travis Simms is better than Kassim Ouma?
RF: Yes I think so, that is why I want him.RC: Coming off this win against Fernando Hernandez 18-8-2(8), if you had the opportunity to fight Travis Simms next, would you?
RF: It doesn’t matter to me, I am in the gym, I am training and I m working hard. Whatever my promoter and manager work out, that is where I go, I am ready to fight.RC: Do you have any idea if your next fight is going to be against world class opposition or televised, and when can we expect to see you back?
RF: As I say, it is up to the promoter. Whether he can make a match on T.V, or get me a world class fighter,. I am wiling to fight anyone and anytime. RC: At age 36, how much time do you feel you have left in the game to accomplish your goals of becoming world champ?
RF: Bernard Hopkins is one of my idles, and was older than I am, when he knocked out Trinidad. I am in great shape and I live clean, and I am following in his footsteps. Glenn Johnson the real light heavyweight champion is actually 36 or 37, and both of those guys keep in shape and they stay healthy. Some people are just late bloomers and I think I am a late bloomer because I feel more comfortable and confident as a fighter now than I did five or ten years ago.RC: What do you attribute that to, pretty much experience?
RF: Well it comes from hard training and experience. I could fight a hard and tough 12 round fight now, better than I did five years ago. RC: By years end, where would Raul Frank like to be sitting in the Jr. Middleweight division?
RF: On top of the world man, with all of the titles and me being the man. I am looking at myself in the next year or so to become the undisputed champion of the divisionRC: Is there anything else you would like to add in closing?
RF: Well I just want to thank Roy, Roy Jones for stepping forward and resurrecting my career. I went to other promoters and a lot of doors were closed in my face, but Roy left the door open, and I am very happy that I am working with Square Ring promotions. And I would also like to thank my trainer Bob Jackson for getting my in top shape for this fight.