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December 05, 2012

By Doveed Linder

Junior middleweight Keandre Leatherwood (11-1-1, 8 KOs) discusses his background in boxing and his upcoming fight with Marcos Primera (20-26-2, 13 KOs), which will take place at Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, NC on Saturday night.

DL: When did you first put on the gloves?  How old were you and what were the circumstances?
Keandre Leatherwood: I was eleven years old.  I used to get into a lot of street fights, so my stepfather took me to the gym.  I was boxing out of a gym in Cincinnati.  I came out of the same gym as Rauíshee Warren, Adrien Broner, and Ricardo Williams, Jr.  Thatís when Ricardo Williams was going to the Olympics [2000].  When he came out of the Olympics [as a silver medal winner], his career started out great, so it was a dream watching him train.  I took my fair share of hard days with them guys, but I think thatís what drove me.  I sparred with Adrien Broner and Rauíshee Warren. They were already national champions, so it kind of drove me.  It was hard, but I wasnít going to quit.  When I was down in Alabama, I saw Deontay Wilder when he was first starting out. This was when he was trying to make the Olympics.  I sparred with him and I showed him a few different things.  He was pretty strong back then and heís gotten a lot bigger.  When I was in Georgia, when I was younger and also recently, I worked with Brad Solomon.  We used to live together and train together.  Iíve always been blessed to be around talent.  Starting out, boxing was just something I wanted to try.  I really wanted to play football, but when I started boxing, it was something I fell in love with.  It gave me those types of dreams, seeing Ricardo Williams, Jr. go to the Olympics and turn pro.  He was already on HBO.  We used to get tickets and watch him fight.  It was a dream then.  It was something I wanted to pursue further than an amateur level.  I saw the type of life boxing could give you.  Being on TV, driving around in nice carsÖ  It showed me what it could be and what it should be.  I wanted that for myself.
DL: Since turning pro, you have compiled a record of 11-1-1 with 8 KOs.  What is your assessment of your career thus far?
KL: Iíve hit a few bumps in the road, but Iíve been blessed to get in a good stable promotion-wise.  I signed with [promoter] Mario Yagobi at Boxing 360 and we have some great plans.  There are a lot of things about to happen with my career and I canít wait.  Before I got signed with Boxing 360, I took a [youth] title fight and came out on the bad end of that [a loss to John Jackson in December 2011].  I couldnít get a fight, so I took fights I shouldnít have taken.  I went from four-round fights and jumped right into a ten-rounder in a big event.  But I took a lot from that.  It showed me where I was, so I got right back in the gym.  I took maybe a week or two to heal up and then got right back at it.  Itís been going real good since then and itís only gonna get better.
DL: Saturday night, you face Marcos Primera (20-26-2, 13 KOs).  What do you know about him and what kind of results do you expect to produce?
KL: I donít know too much about him.  Heís a tough veteran.  He knocked out Curtis Stevens some years back.  Heís just known for being a rugged veteran.  Iíve been training hard and Iím ready.  Iím gonna get this guy out the way and hopefully keep on pushing forward.  I was told that Iíll be back in the ring February, so Iím not taking any time off.  Iíll get right back in the gym.  Business as usual.

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