One of the big hopes of the Toronto boxing revival being lead by promoter Lee Baxter is "The Monster Croatian," heavyweight Mladen Miljas, who lives in nearby Mississauga, Ontario. Miljas is 3-0 with 3 KOs and is preparing to face Mexican import Abraham Pascual, listed at 9-3 with 8 KOs [although there may be two repeated bouts on his record] on Baxter's April 20th Toronto show. Boxingtalk's Ivan Montiel sat down with the 24 year-old Croatian to talk about his career and working with trainer Billy Martin.
IM: Mladen Miljas, April 20th is around the corner and you will be fighting Abraham Pasciual that evening. Not only have Sandy Tsagouris and Billy Martin spoken highly of you but also many boxing fans in Toronto are already buzzing about you. You are 3-0 with 3 knockouts so far in your pro caerer. Your pro debut was at The Danforth Music Hall here in downtown Toronto and here you are back at the same venue. Toronto is excited to have you and the fans would love to see you win by knockout.
MM: Well thatís what the heavyweight division is all about, knockouts.
IM: Letís talk about your opponent Abraham Pascual and what you know about him.
MM: Well, Pascual has a [listed] record of 9 wins with 3 losses. He fought in Toronto last year on a show in which I was hoping to fight at the time. Things didnít work out therefore Pascual went on to fight undefeated heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko from Chernivtsi, Ukraine whom is now based out of Toronto.
IM: In that case, does this fight sparks more interest in you since you did not have the opportunity to fight Pascual last year?
MM: Pascual has fought outside of Mexico and is coming back to Toronto. I know this guy is game. He is coming to fight thatís for sure.
IM: Pascual is Mexican and we both know in boxing Mexicans always fight hard, win or lose. Plus heís coming back to Toronto which indicates he will be trying his best. On the other hand, you have tremendous height and reach advantage.
MM: I donít rely on my physical abilities, height or reach but yes it most definitely helps.
IM: Yes and letís not forget for a heavyweight you have phenomenal abs which not too many heavyweights have.
MM: Well itís a shame especially here in Canada that some fighters donít take the sport of boxing seriously.
IM: Exactly both myself and Lee Baxter spoke about how you along with some other fighters out there are serious about your career. You guys are full time fighters unlike some who are part time fighters. You guys are gym rats always training 100% and thatís something we need to see more of in boxing.
MM: Yes for sure I most definitely agree. Especially for those who cut weight and gain too much weight between fights. I am always in the gym. I never miss days whether I am fighting or not, I am always training. I am always ready! I can get a phone call for a fight within one week and I am good to go.
IM: I love that fighter's mindset.
MM: Thatís what being a professional boxer is all about. Itís a career to be taken seriously and not a hobby nor is it part time job.
IM: Yes and not only that boxing is a dangerous sport.
MM: Exactly! Another thing about Abraham Pascual is that I have not really thought of him that much. Instead, I always focus on making myself the best I can be and I do everything I can whenever I am training. I train hard and I never under estimate anybody even if some say I will knock out my opponent in the first round.
IM: Exactly. You can never under estimate anybody in boxing. We have seen many upsets in this sport.
MM: Yes in boxing we always see upsets. One punch can win a fight and also we never know if someone shows up in better shape than the other or is willing to fight more. Only a fighter knows once he or she steps in the ring.
IM: Now tell us about your trainer Billy Martin and what itís like to work with him. This guy seems serious always pushing you and Sandy Tsagouris.
MM: Ha ha, yes Billy is great! I like how Billy and I have the same mindset. We keep it professional in the gym. Billy is always there for me. A lot of trainers in boxing to be honest are on you but some let their fighters get away with anything. The harder I work with Billy the easier it gets working with Billy. I must say I moved to California for some time before turning professional and once I returned to Toronto, Billy Martin was the only guy I had in mind for training. Billy Martin trained former IBF featherweight champion Steve Molitor, welterweight Sammy Vargas and WIBA super featherweight champion Sandy Tsagouris.
IM: You are right, there are some trainers out there who take things too easy on their fighters.
MM: There are part time trainers just like some part time fighters. Billy Martin is a coach that cares I trust Billy 110% in my corner which I believe itís important to have a team trust.
IM: Having a great trainer is what makes great fighters even greater. We both have seen, for example Mike Tyson when he was in his prime and had Cus Dí Amato and Kevin Rooney in corner. When Tyson had a great team, he was invincible.
MM: Yes for sure!
IM: Now letís talk about your training camp howís it gone so far?
MM: Training is going good. We are working lots of rounds even though this fight will be a four rounder. We are working on six rounds then moved on to eight rounds and now we are working on ten rounds. We make sure we put our work ahead of time therefore the fight can be much easier. There are different sparring partners rotating every round. I am sparring different partners this evening and I am looking forward to it.
IM: Well thanks for your time I sure am looking forward till April 20th wishing you all the best.
MM: Thanks Ivan. I promise you and everyone watching another knockout. Thatís what you guys come to see plus I donít get paid overtime!
IM: Haha, that way you get to go home early!
MM: Yes go home early to eat!
IM: Thanks again for your time I will see you on April 20th.
MM: Thanks Ivan I appreciate it.
Note: Boxing fans can follow heavyweight prospect on Instagram: @monster_mladen; Also be sure to follow me on Instagram: @latinoporvida