Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little Ivan Confident of a Big Win

Ivan Calderon will be on the big stage this weekend in the Big Apple.

WBO light flyweight titlist Ivan Calderon, all 108 pounds of him, is confident of victory and believes he'll be successful in making the fourth defense of his belt on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Calderon's bout is the chief support to the Miguel Cotto vs. Joshua Clottey WBO welterweight title fight and his opponent is Rodel Mayol from the Philippines. Most aren't giving Mayol much of a shot of upsetting the undefeated Calderon who has a record of 32-0, 6 knockouts and is beginning to find his way onto several of boxing's pound-for-pound lists.

“I barely know a thing about Mayol,” the 34-year old Calderon said this week. “All I really know about him is that he's a righty, he's four inches taller than me and I've heard that he has a very good left handed punch.”

The 27-year old Mayol is a five-time Philippine amateur champion who began his career with 22 straight wins before losing in his first shot at a title against Eagle Kyowa in 2006. He also lost in a title bid to Ulises Solis in 2007. But what is interesting about Mayol is that although he lost both championship fights, most who know him say that he is a much better fighter than given credit for and that his losses can be blamed on bad management.

Prior to his fight against Kyowa he didn't sleep the night before the fight due to travel issues and just prior to the fight against Solis he was abandoned by his then Japanese manager. Mayol held his own against Solis despite the fact in the days and weeks before the fight he had little sparring, and only had enough money to eat once a day.

Mayol, who has a pro record of 25-3, 19 knockouts, hasn't fought since last August. But his managerial contract was recently purchased by Manny Pacquiao which helped to get him the shot against Calderon who, like Pacquiao, is promoted by Bob Arum. Also good for Mayol is that he trained for this fight at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym and by all accounts he is in excellent shape. Pacquiao even sent one of his camp members, Buboy Fernandez to watch over Mayol's preparations.

Calderon is a slick southpaw who has held some version of a world title since 2003 but he has little power.

“I'm just going to do what I always do,” said Calderon, a consummate pro who has been on weight at 108-pounds for well over a week. “I'm not going to change anything now. We'll see what he does and what he can do and then I'll go from there.”

June 2009

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