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February 15, 2017

By G. Leon

GL: How is everything going in training camp? What can we expect to see from you against Potapov on March 10? Everything is going good. We're on schedule and everything is lining up the way it's supposed to. I feel good right now, the weight is coming off easy. One thing you can expect is I'm coming to fight. My last Shobox appearance wasn't the best, but this time around it's going to be a lot different.

GL: What do you know about Nikolay Potapov? What are your thoughts of him as a fighter?

Antonio Nieves: "I know he likes to come forward and put a lot of pressure. One thing I see is that he's very stiff. He's throws a lot of punches when you're in front of him, but if you take that range away he's has difficulty moving his feet. The game plan coming in is boxing. We're going to make him move his feet and we're not going to stand directly in front of him for him to have that workrate that he likes to have."

GL: Do you think the winner of this fight should be fighting for a world title in the very near future?

AN: "I believe so, we're two undefeated fighters that are knocking on the door for a world title and I believe the winner of this fight should get a shot."

GL: Do you consider Potapov the most difficult test of your career?

AN: "He'll be one of them. He's has a draw with the same guy I have a draw with, that being Stephon Young, so it's going to be a good fight. We're both trying to get to the next level and I believe we're both going to leave it all in there. I believe I have more skills than him, being that he's a little bit more flat footed and I could a lot more in the ring than I showed last time out."

GL: What weaknesses do you see in Potapov that you feel you'll be able to exploit on fight night?

AN: "A lot of the fights that I've seen from him, he's comes forward and he likes to attack. Being able to box and not letting him get set to fire, and getting on the side of him and pushing him back is something that's going to help us out a lot. I've also noticed that he gets hit with a lot of right hands. Once he starts getting hit flush, he starts to slow down a little bit. A lot of people don't hit him the body either, we're going to work on that also. We're going to stay on his side and work that body to push him back. We're going to find out how much he can take."

GL: Do you feel an extra pressure fighting under the bright lights of Shobox?

AN: "I don't. Once I'm in the ring I forget about everything else, I just focus on what I'm supposed to be doing. The last outing wasn't me, I wasn't there. I'm not making any excuses, but I was sick the week before and I thought I was still good enough and it obviously backfired on me. All of the distractions of we're fighting, then we're not fighting, then you're fighting this opponent, then he falls out. I'm coming out to show out in this fight and show everybody what I have in store moving forward."

GL: Other than victory do you have a prediction?

AN: "We're going to box are way to landing big shots, we're going to confuse him, make him uncomfortable and we're going to do what needs to be done in order to win. If it's a knockout in the last couple of rounds or a unanimous decision, I'll take the victory."

GL: What does a victory on March 10 mean to you?

AN: "It means a lot. It means another step closer to the goal of fighting for a world title."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

AN: "Like I said, everybody that saw my last fight on Showtime that gave a lot of fighters confidence that they can beat me, but come March 10 you're going to see a totally different fighter. People will see what I'm made of on March 10."

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