|Francisco Figueroa; “I want to fight Dmitriy Salita!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr (Aug 26, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
Colorful confidence, an entertaining personality along with punishing power, that is how I define the hard hitting rising star Francisco ‘El Gato’ Figueroa, 17-2 (13), the rough and tough twenty-nine year old Bronx boxer who is setting out to solidify his stance on the 140-pound division, Frankie is looking for a fight, and he has a name in his sight, Dmitriy Salita.
The Spanish/Harlem born Bronx raised boxer who now resides out of Miami has banged out a respectable record defeating
Hector Alejandro Jr. (TKO 6), Joey Rios (MD 10) and in his last outing knocked out longtime contender Ubaldo Hernandez in an exciting twelve round war that earned Figueroa the NABF light welterweight title.
Now Figueroa would like a throw down against the undefeated Dmitriy Salita in what Frankie defines as entertaining battle that will surely appease the fight fans. Will he get wish? Stay tuned, but for now read on to see what ‘El Gato’ had to say on his fight career, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off Frankie I would like to thank you for taking the time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing, what’s been cracking these days for yourself?
Francisco Figueroa: After the Hernandez fight I went into isolation mode. People kept text messaging me about who I am fighting next, I did not even answer the question, I was like you know I am going to take some family time out. My manager did not even call me, he told me to take some time off and enjoy it and when I come back, well which is now because I am training, he said we would start doing everything that we set out to do, and that is what we are doing.
BH: I would like to congratulate you on your last victory that came last July over Ubaldo Hernandez, a very tough hombre, give the readers your thoughts on that bout and the win itself.
FF: I just want to give my honorable congratulations to Ubaldo Hernandez, because he came to win. He reminded me of Superman and Clark Kent and I will tell you why. In his casual clothing he looks like a school teacher, he looked like he was not a fighter, he looked like a guy they just picked up him up off the streets to get me a good win and call it a day. But when he put his uniform on the day of the fight, he looked like a true warrior who was ready to fight. He trained hard and came with everything he had and did not stop punching. When we got into the ring he came with it, the fight was good round one to the end in round twelve, everybody was standing up, when the twelfth came I knew it was close so I went hard and I ended up knocking him out. It was a tough, good battle and the crowd got their money’s worth.
BH: Where would you rank this win over Hernandez amongst the others?
FF: Hernandez was very tough, there are two fighters I give a lot of credit to before I fought Ubaldo, one was Francisco Rincon, the time I fought him he was one of the strongest fighters I have fought to this date, very strong. I lost to him but I learned a lot from that fight. The other guy is Joey Rios, he was a great technician, you look up technician in boxing you will see his picture.
BH: Are there any plans just yet to get back in the ring?
FF: We are trying to get a fight with Dmitriy Salita, he is calling out others guys and if they do not go through I would like to fight him, I would like to fight him in January if that is possible. I want to fight some of the best in the world and Salita is among one of the top fighters in New York, if I want to be the best I have to fight everybody. Salita is on my radar, he has called fighters out and if you are going to call people out you have to prepare to be called out.
BH: Well, what would you say to Dmitriy Salita to get him in the ring, I guess send him a message.
FF: Let’s give the fight world and New York a good fight, we can fight on TV, we are friends but when it comes to fighting it is business.
BH: What do you feel the fight between you and Salita would do for the division and the fight world?
FF: I like that fight for two reasons, one I can be aggressive, or I can be passive in a sense of boxing. Salita is a boxer but he can press the issue if he needs to, and that fight could go either way. I am loyal to the fans, they pay for the tickets and we can give them a fight. We are the last of the Mohicans in New York, you have other guys yes, but they are on a different level.
BH: What are your thoughts on the 140-pound division?
FF: I think it is opening up, you have a lot of fighters that are up and comers that are very good.
BH: Everybody has their opinions on certain fighters with their greatest strengths and qualities etc, but looking in the mirror what do you see as your greatest accolades?
FF: I think my greatest accolades is being able to want it, I want to win, I have that want to win. I am not coming back to the hood with a loss. My physical attributes are like that of an old school fighter, I am not afraid to fight. I will come to you if need be I will put my life on the line, none of this I had a bad day, I will give my all.
BH: My next question was what separates you from the other competitors in your division, but I guess you pretty much answered that one.
FF: When the bell rings forget technique, forget style, throw the punches, if it is the last round and you are losing, it is called balls to the wall. Go and drive forward, like we used to say in the army, drive on.
BH: Is there any message you would like to send out to the fight world, to the division?
FF: I want to say to the general population of the 140-pound division, let’s give the boxing fans a good fight, I do not care who you match up against, this give the boxing world what they want, entertainment.
BH: Is there anything in closing that you like to say or add to this interview?
FF: To learn more about me you can check out my website www.gatofigueroa.com and you can find me at www.myspace.com/gatofigueroa I am very fan friendly; you want to ask a question I will answer it, fan or critic.
I would like to thank Bob Trieger for setting up this interview, and a thanks goes out to Frankie for his time and thoughts.
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