|Cameron Dunkin speaks to Doghouse Boxing about his vast stable of boxers
Interview By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (Feb 6, 2009) Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank
I recently had a conversation with one of those behind the scene type of boxing people who does not need to be in the ring or photographed with every one of his fighters.
The man has about 20 fighters including 3 world champions at present time. He works with Top Rank, Golden Boy and one of the hottest promotional groups in TKO Boxing out of Nevada. He has an eye for fighters that promoters like to work with. Here is my Q&A with Cameron Dunkin.
Ken Hissner: Cameron I finally got to meet you in December at Atlantic City when one of your fighters Demitrius Hopkins fought Kendall Holt for the WBO #140 title. He had spent years with the Duva’s and then Golden Boy without that opportunity. Though he wasn’t successful, you were able to get him that shot. How did you feel about his chances going in?
Cameron Dunkin: I knew he had handled him in the gym and beat him in the amateurs and really thought he was going to win. I hope to bring him back in March and eventually get him another title fight soon after that.
KH: You have one of the most popular champions in boxing today in Kelly Pavlik 34-1 (30) who will be defending his WBC/WBO titles 2/21 in Youngstown. He fights his #1 contender Marco Antonio Rubio. How does Kelly feel about finally fighting at home?
CH: He’s a great kid who always has a smile on his face. They have already sold out the arena and are putting up a tent for another 2,500 people on a big screen.
KH: Another one of your champions Nonito Donaire 20-1 (13), the IBF Flyweight champion will be defending his IBF/IBO title in his home country of the Philippines 3/22 against tough Raul Martinez who I saw win big in Philly in his last fight. Nonito has a bright future. How do you think they match-up?
CH: This is a tough fight with Martinez. Donaire can box and punch. He speaks 3 different languages and the network people love him.
KH: Your other champion Steve Luevano 36-1 (15) will defend his WBO #126 title making his 5th title defense against hard hitting Bernarbe Concepcion of the Philippines 5/2 in Las Vegas. His trainer Freddy Roach says Concepcion has a punchers chance. What do you know about Luevano’s opponent?
CH: Tough guy who can punch. This fight will be on the undercard of Pacquiao-Hatton. I wish I had 50 guys like Luevano.
KH: You have one of the hottest light middleweights in the country in James Kirkland 24-0 (21) who you have Golden Boy promoting in his next fight against Joel Julio 3/7 in San Jose. Will this be his biggest test?
CH: Without a doubt it will be. Julio just fought for the WBO light middleweight title in Germany and lost a decision. He is a very big puncher who has been outboxed. Kirkland will not be planning to outbox him. This should be a great fight.
KH: In York, Pennsylvania I saw former National Golden Glove champ Carney “Beeper” Bowman 12-0 (5) pack them in. I understand he will be back there with Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson 23-3 (17) 3/7. I saw 3 of your other prospects there on their last show in Bastie Samir 3-0 (3) of Ghana, Terrence Crawford 5-0 (3) and James Countryman 13-1 (8). Tell us something about the 5 fighters.
CH: Carney is on a weight program and should only get better. Thompson is off this card but should be ready to fight soon. Samir is still in Ghana or would have fought in Youngstown and a great prospect. They tell me in the gym that Crawford not only can box but can hurt you. He was an Olympic alternate and I expect big things from him. Countryman is out of Detroit and we hope to have him fight away from there and really develop.
KH: On the Hopkins-Holt card I was quite impressed with one of your latest additions in Matt Korobov 3-0 (3) out of Russia. He will be on the undercard in MSG featuring Cotto and Jennings. How did you find Matt?
CH: I followed him through his amateur career and got to meet him in Chicago at the world games. No matter where he fights people are excited about him. His wife who is Ukrainian and teaches English is coming over here and will be a big asset to him.
KH: 3 of your fighters are from Oxnard, California including Rolando Reyes 30-4-2 (19), Brandon Rios 19-0-1 (13) and 21 year old Miguel “Mikey” Garcia 15-0 (12). I know Garcia fights this week-end and in his last fight beat Walter Estrada 34-6.
CH: Robert Garcia’s little brother is Mikey and will be fighting 2/6 in Maywood, California against Carlos Guevara. I have high hopes for him. I hope to get Reyes who has a win over Stevie Johnston a fight that will get him a title bout. I plan to step up the opponent for Rios and have him fighting in April.
KH: Last but not least you have Rafael Valenzuela 11-1 (6) out of Phoenix and an unbeaten bantamweight prospect named Leodegario Santa Cruz 7-0-1 (2). How do they look so far?
CH: Valenzuela just knocked out Robert DeLuz who goes the distance with everybody. He will be fighting 2/14 in an 8 round bout. He spars with Michael Carbajal in Phoenix.
Santa Cruz is the younger brother of lightweight contender Armando. I signed him with TKO Boxing and believe he will be a champ some day.
KH: Cameron, you have always made it interesting on the phone when we talk to the point I don’t want to hang up. Our latest conversation about former 1976 Olympian Chuck Walker and his cousin Scott “Pink Cat” Walker really brought back memories. I think the 2 of them would be even more successful today, don’t you?
CH: Chuck Walker would be like Kelly Pavlik, a champion. Scott beat Alexis Arguello and fought Julio Cesar Chavez. He would be much more successful and have it so much easier today finding opponents.
KH: I know we have to end this somewhere or we’ll have a book deal. In closing what is on your immediate schedule?
CH: I will be in Youngstown a week before the 2/21 fight which will be aired along with the Cotto fight out of New York and look for Kelly to retain his title.
e-mail Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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