Pawel Wolak Interview: Prepares for the most important fight of his career
By Rob Tierney (Dec 3, 2010) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank))
Wolak (Picture Right) and Rodriguez (Pictured Left)

In the years ahead, Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak will look back on this upcoming Saturday night (Tonight) and see a crucial turning point in his life.  It will either be one of his first publicized paydays as a marquee HBO fighter or it will be remembered as one of the last nights of an impressive journey in what can already be called a stellar career.  What will determine Wolak’s fate will lie in the hands of Delvin Rodriguez and how Wolak will be able to defend against those hands while landing a few of his own.

The first time Wolak (Picture Right from yesterday's weigh-in) and Rodriguez (Pictured Left) squared off this July, fireworks and fisticuffs filled the air in what would become an instant ESPN classic.  Most viewers had no idea who was victorious at the end of twelve rounds and neither did the judges.  Thus, the bout was ruled a draw and a return bout was planned immediately.  On Saturday night in New York City, thousands of boxing fans will pack Madison Square Garden for a PPV main event featuring Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito.  However, in untraditional PPV fashion, the undercard will be loaded with impressive, bloodthirsty talent including New Jersey’s Pawel Wolak who looks to cement his own case as a future PPV headliner in years to come. 

On Monday, November 28th, I had a chance to speak to Pawel on behalf of and  about his upcoming rematch with Rodriguez and its significance in shaping the rest of his career.


RT: Good Evening Pawel.  How has preparation been coming along for this weekend’s fight?


PW: Very well!  I have had ten full weeks of prep, my training has been regimented and I’ve had great sparring.  I’ve had great rest and Tommy Brooks has taken control.  We are doing things the right way.


RT: Pawel, the first fight will most likely be remembered as the fight of the year.  Do you expect another action packed fight?


PW: Definitely!  Action Packed!  Most importantly however, I come to win.  I know Delvin will be ready and I will be too.  I expect action but my priority is the win.


RT: Last time, the fight was extremely close.  Without giving away too much strategy, what do you think you will need to do differently in order to secure the win?

PW: I’ve watched the fight many times.  This time I’ve got to come in smarter.  Delvin was definitely good at picking his spots.  Whatever I did, he was ready to counter.  This time however, I will be fighting smarter.

RT: During the first fight, you experienced significant swelling over your right eye.  It appeared that there was a hematoma that clouded your vision, especially in the later rounds.  How has the eye been since July?

PW:  It’s perfectly fine.  There haven’t been any issues or problems.  Sparring has been great.  There was never an issue. 

RT:  I know that a fighter with your professionalism would not look past an opponent.  However, have you thought about what kind of opportunities might be out there for you should you successfully get by Rodriguez as planned?  There are some big names in the sport around the Welterweight and Jr. Welterweight divisions.

PW: Yeah of course!  I know the business and I know that bigger fights are out there.  However, right now I am focused on this fight.  Right now, all I am thinking about is Delvin.  Afterwards, I will be looking for some title shots though.  Cameron Dunkin will help me with that.

RT:  When you first started Boxing, trading hands with upcoming talent in Whippany, NJ on those several of those KEA Boxing shows, did you ever think that you would make it this far?

PW: No, I never harped on it.  I just kept in shape and kept it in the back of my mind.  I just kept my focus.  I will say though that this is pretty wild right now.  This is a pretty exciting time for me.

RT: The assumption is often incorrectly made, mostly by MMA fans, that boxers don’t possess any other fighting skills.  I bring this up because I understand that you have a background in wrestling and kickboxing.  What made you decide to get into Boxing?

PW:  You can really accomplish a lot in Boxing both professionally and financially.  I actually was interested in MMA because I was good at wrestling and I also had experience as a kick boxer.  However, I felt that there were more opportunities for me as a boxer.  Once I saw those opportunities, I focused more of my attention on Boxing.

RT:  So you felt that there was more money in Boxing?

PW:  I felt like I could accomplish so much professionally and financially.  I saw so much support as I started to win and I knew that I could do well with Boxing.  So I stuck with it.

RT:  Pawal, you are a Polish American fighter.  You mentioned support.  There have been a number of Polish Heavyweights such as Andrew Golota, Tomasz Adamek and Mariusz Wach.   However, there haven’t been that many serious Polish contenders in the lower weight classes.  Are you looking to fill that void?

PW: Let me be honest.  Definitely!  I don’t know any other Polish fighters in the lower weight classes.  I am of Polish decent and I love the support of the people.  However, I fight for my family first and foremost.  I fight for my family more than anything.

RT:  The Cotto-Margarito fight is expected to bring fireworks.  The undercard fights featuring Brandon Rios and Mike Jones, in separate bouts, both promise action too.   However, many people feel that your rematch with Rodriguez could possibly steal the show.  What are your thoughts on that?

PW:  Listen!  That would be great.  However, I am focusing on the win.  This is what is most important to me.  I am fighting to win and that is why I am coming to New York on Saturday night.   However, I would have no problem if the fight stole the show.

RT:  Is there anything else that you would like to say to your family and friends? 

PW:  I have a lot of support.  My friends and my family have done a great deal for me and I want to go out there and make them proud.  I look to do that this Saturday night.

RT:  Thanks Pawel!  I am sure you will do that.

PW:  Take care Rob!

                There have been many instances throughout Boxing history when a promoter has promised an entertaining undercard to build additional confidence in a PPV event only to leave fans disappointed.  However, there is no need for anyone to question the undercard that Bob Arum has put together for this Saturday Night at Madison Square Garden.  It is not only a great headliner, it is a great night of Boxing in New York City featuring not only Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito but Brandon Rios, Mike Jones, Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak, who look to pave their paths to stardom so that they can see their names prominently placed on future ticket stubs headlining marquee PPV fights in years to come
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