State Of The Game: Pete Brodsky

By Jeff Young


State Of The Game: Pete Brodsky

Edouard Trainer Sounds Off!

On Saturday night, in chief support to the Bernard Hopkins-Howard Eastman fight, fans will be treated in what could be the first real test of the career of Jermain Taylor when he stands across the ring from Daniel Edouard. Edouard, who is the underdog coming in, is used to the roll of opponent, but as many have found out he is more than that. For the first time in Taylor's career, Dibella is taking a huge risk by placing his fighter in with an opponent that is a natural 160 guy, undefeated, not afraid, and not at the end of his career. Edouard is a dangerous fighter and can easily shock Team Taylor come Saturday, because not only is Daniel Edouard a hungry contender, he is also not afraid to step in there and prove he can compete on the same level as Jermain. Boxingtalk recently caught up with Edouard's trainer, Peter Brodsky, who broke down the fight, Daniel's preparation, the opportunity he has been given, and sets the record straight on the injury to Edouard that ensued after an altercation with Team Judah.

SOG:  First of all I want to congratulate you and Daniel on getting the fight with Jermain Taylor. Can you tell us what you know about Jermain?

PB: Thank you. I mean, Jermain Taylor we know because Danny has boxed him about 20 times over the last two years. He used to hire Danny as a sparring partner. Danny was up and coming at that time. You know we were going to go to Germany to fight Arthur Abraham, and this came up plus Abraham had already pulled out before and we did not want chance it again. This is the fight that Danny really wanted, this is the guy he really wants to fight.

SOG: How did the sparring sessions with Jermain go?

PB: Well, I will tell you like this. The first couple of times, Danny went down thinking he had to just be a sparring partner and Taylor was a little ahead of him at that time, because Danny had not boxed competitively since the 1999 Nationals in which he lost to Jeff Lacy in the finals. The first one or two times he went down, he was tentative then after that if they boxed 10 times they were probably 5-5 and it was a very competitive, fierce session and they would only want to go four or five rounds. They never wanted box more than that.

SOG: I had always wondered if they had sparred together since Jermain does train in Miami, and even the first time I saw Daniel fight, I thought that a fight between Jermain and Daniel was a good match-up.

PB: Yeah, the way I looked at it is was that it was good money for Danny and good experience, and then about a year ago when they called I said no because I told Danny we do not need to keep going down there working, we are going to eventually fight this guy. I told him we have got to win either the NABF or the USBA title, and once you win that you will fight him and you do not need to go down there any more and that was it. When this opportunity presented itself it was, for lack of a better word, it was Danny's dream of fighting this guy.

SOG: Now I know there were other names on the table, and I know they were really pushing for Troy Rowland.

PB:  Yes they did.

SOG: Do you think those sparring sessions with Daniel were in the back of their minds and they wanted to try to stay away from him if possible.

PB:  You know the way it is Jeff, it was the same thing with Holyfield and Tyson. It is the same thing here. Holyfield was never afraid of Tyson and that was why he always wanted to fight him. It is the same way with Danny. When he gets in the ring with Taylor he just sees a guy. He does not care what the press says, what HBO says. He looks at Jermain Taylor as a good athlete, a good guy, and a good fighter that's it. There is no reverence or anything. It could be Willie Gibbs or Jermain Taylor, his attitude is the same. When this presented itself he jumped on it. The only thing I am disappointed about is that originally I thought it was 12 rounds at 160, then they said Taylor only wants to fight 10 rounds at 163, so Danny said I don't care just take the fight. Then two days ago, they call me and said HBO wants it to be 12 rounds at 160 and Danny said great lets do it, but they then said Taylor turned that down. Danny is prepared, he is going to make 160 anyway, regardless, but we wanted the 12 round because HBO was saying the winner would fight for the vacant title, either the IBF or WBC which ever one Hopkins gives up.

SOG: I know that speaking with other people, they want to push the 160 limit on Jermain because he always comes in heavy.

PB: Do you know Jermain, I mean do you know him personally?

SOG: We have met several times.

PB: He is a pretty big guy. I mean he probably walks around at 175 or 180, but Danny has been training since November, because we thought we were going to Germany twice so I have had to back off his training at times, but he has been training for a high level fight since then, so making 160 for Danny is not a problem. He will probably come in like Hagler did in his fights, around 158 or so. He makes 160 easily.

SOG: I knew he was suppose go to Germany at one time, and I knew on this occasion the Taylor fight came up, but I knew Abraham had pulled the time before.

PB: Yes he did, so we did not trust him, because these guys in Germany kept changing the dates, changing this, changing that, but make no mistake we would have went if the Taylor fight would not have come up. We were going to do what we had to do, but since the Taylor fight came up, we felt more comfortable. It is in this country and we are assured of all the facts and figures being straight, and this is the guy Danny wants to fight. Everyone has that guy they want to fight. This is the one for Danny.

SOG: Now did it ever cross your mind after the incident with the Judah camp that the opportunity was disappearing?

PB: No, because the thing with the Judah camp was just a situation. An isolated incident. Danny did not get punched. When it was getting broken up, he was poked in the eye when somebody grabbed him to pull him back. I am fairly up on my sports medicine, so I knew that there was a slight hematoma in his eye and I knew it would go down within a week and it did. I had Danny wear this single bar mask in training, so he did not get hit in the face directly when he was sparring.

SOG: The reason I bring this up is because I know that California can be strict on their medical requirements.

PB: Well, Danny's eye is completely clear. He went to an optomologist and his vision is 100 percent. His medical is 100 percent, his neurological is 100 percent and he is already on his weight. we brought in a great sparring partner to work with him the last couple of weeks and in my mind it really put the final touches on his training.

SOG: One thing that I see is that for this fight card, you will have most of the Middleweight contenders will be on the stage at one time.

PB:  You're right. you will have Danny, Jermain, Hopkins, Eastman, and Ikeke. It is going to be a good night for Middleweights, and to be realistic, I know Danny is coming in the underdog, but I will tell you straight up I evaluate all of Danny's fights. The two Beaupierre fights, he did not train well, he had outside social problems, so I knew he was not going to fight well. The Gibbs fight he was prepared, and this fight he is better prepared and he has benefited from learning the intricticies of boxing and having faced Taylor many times he knows his moves, his motions, what his good points are and what his bad points are and I am sure that goes the other way too except Danny is going to fight this fight a little differently than Jermain ever saw of him in the gym.

SOG: I have always waited for someone to go to Jermain's body, because I have heard that he does not like body shots.

PB:  Well, Danny is a very good body puncher. For the last six weeks he has concentrated on not just punching the body when he gets close, but also slipping the punches and going to the body so I think we will find out. I want to make this statement. If Danny Edouard loses this fight, there will be no excuses. He has trained very hard, his hands are not bothering him, he is not injured. He is 100 percent, if he loses he loses to a better man, that's it.

SOG: Now with being on HBO, and it is a bigger stage then ESPN or other things Danny has been on, do you think that is added pressure on him to perform?

PB: I will be honest with you Jeff, no! The way Danny looks at it is the same way he looks at the Gibbs fight or other fights. They are bringing him in as a live opponent, and you have to show them that you are in a win, win situation. He will do that by letting Taylor know that he is in a fight. He knows the bottom line, there is no pressure on him. It started when he turned pro, no one knew he was. Nobody knew who he was until about his 15th fight into his career. He was going to everyone's hometown, he was in tough fights. Every man is nervous, if you are not nervous, you should not fight. Does the magnitude of the even phase him? No! Does Jermain Taylor phase him? No! Other than he has respect for him as a man, as an Olympic representative, and as an athlete but other than that he is just another man with two arms and two legs.

SOG: Every fight that I have seen Danny has fought in he has been very aggressive, do you think that will play a part in this fight because no one has ever came out and jumped on Jermain?

PB: It will play into it. If you watch Jermain fight, he fights in a circle. If you push him out he immediately throws a couple of jabs and gets back in that circle. Danny is able to push him out of that circle plus a thing that a lot of people do not know about Danny is that he has real quick hands, he is just as fast if not faster than Taylor. Taylor probably has a longer reach, but not much longer than Danny, because even though Danny is only 5'10", he as an extremely long reach and he is very quick. So, I think he will push Taylor out of the circle, and I think when Taylor pushes him he is going to find that Danny is not one of these guys that is going to let him throw one or two punches and go back. Danny will step around him.

SOG: I know Danny is not going to be one of these guys that lets Jermain has his way.

PB: You have to remember too Jeff that Danny is a Middleweight, he is not a 54 pounder like Bunema, Marquez, Grady Brewer, or any of these guys. In the amateurs he fought up at 165, 178 and he makes 160 easily. He has good strength.

SOG: If it is a losing effort and he is exciting in the loss, do you  think he will get another shot at HBO?

PB:  I would be stretching it if I said I did not understand how things work. Sure I understand that, but I want to assure you without arrogance or over confidence like Taylor, Dibella, and those other guys are. Danny is coming to win and he thinks he can win the fight and that is very important. I have been training fighters for over 30 years and the guys I have had, I have had four guys fight for the title, that get to that level they think they can win. Do not get me wrong, they do not always win, but it is always a real good fight. Danny has no thoughts in his mind that he is going to lose the fight, and if he does I guarantee you that he will walk across that ring shake his hand and tell him he is the better man and that is the end of it. He is a good sport and a nice kid. He goes to college and his whole family is in the ministry. They have good ethics and family values. If he has a bad night, or a bad day in the gym he always shakes the guys hand and tells him best of luck and he hopes everything works out. There is not any outside distractions.

SOG: Is there anything else that you would like people to know?

PB: No, that about covers it. When we started out nobody knew him and I told him, Danny look you are a part of a large group of young guys that are trying to make their mark. You do not have the backing of an Olympian, you do not have money behind you, but if you stand up I will get you a contract with a promoter, which I did. I said you are going to fight tough Danny, and his attitude was a good one. He said you know I am going to college and I am going to be a success in life regardless, so put me in there with the tough fights, if I can't stand up then it is not for me, but do not be afraid to put me in with anybody because I am up for the task. It has been easy to get him fights, because he is willing to fight anyone. He is like a Glenn Johnson. He is a no thrills, he is quiet and just like Glenn said, He is willing to fight the best and so is Danny and what ever happen happens.

SOG: Peter, I want to wish you and Danny the best of luck on Saturday.

PB: Thank you, and who knows, by the grace of God and good luck they will raise Danny's hand at the end of the fight.