Remillard Faces Lora In Rematch
By Derek Bonnett: Unbeaten featherweight Matt Remillard returns to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA this Friday, January 29 to defend his NABF title against Rafael Lora. Remillard, 20-0 (11), stopped Lora in four rounds in September of last year to capture the title, but the ending was marred by some minor controversy as Lora turned away from his opponent and was twice struck in the back of the head after the referee waved them on.
This time, Team Remillard is hoping for a less controversial finish. However, Remillard’s trainer, Paul Cichon, expects a much more formidable Lora to show up.
"I didn’t see Matt hit Lora in the back of the head the first time around. I saw two body shots land and the referee told them to work, but then he was in my way when the final punches landed," Cichon recalled. "If I had to say anything, I thought Lora was quitting. Don’t get me wrong. Lora came out fast, but Matt was counter punching him all night. With that said, I think Lora took us lightly and now that he knows what he’s up against, he’s going to train a lot harder. I know he’s switched trainers since then."
So why the rematch?
"Well, it’s not that the team went for this fight, it was the management, TKO Promotions, who tells me who we are fighting. I just train Matt," Cichon explained. "If I had to venture a guess, I would say the NABF wanted to clear things up so that there was no doubt or second guessing. I have no doubt Matt will clear things up come Friday night. Lora is a very good fighter with a good record, but Matt’s just better."
At 23 years old, the Manchester, CT native still has some time to improve and with the assistance of experienced ring veterans like John Scully and Buddy McGirt in the corner, Cichon knows his fighter is in good hands.
"Matt has been down in Florida for the past two weeks training with Buddy, so I have complete faith his training is rounding out excellently," Cichon stated. "Before he left, I was working with Matt to go after the body more, not to just land one or two shots, but to really attack it. I honestly think it’s going to be a tougher fight this time. Lora is training hard, so I want to get Matt working the body from the onset. It won’t be as easy as some people think."
With the NABF belt around his waist, Remillard now sports a No.12 ranking by the WBC. A world ranking often accelerates the progress of a fighter even if they are not yet familiar with big fight exposure. One has to wonder how long it will be before Remillard, known as "The Sharp Shooter", lands that first world championship bout.
"Matt trains like he’s fighting Pacquiao(Manny), he trains that intense," Cichon commented. "I think he’s where he should be right now, but I’d really like to see him take on Rocky Juarez before he gets a title fight. Matt’s capable of fighting anyone in the top twelve, but I’d rather his first big test wasn’t in a huge title fight. Rocky would be like a title fight because of his experience, but the stage wouldn’t be as big. Rocky’s a great fighter, but I think Matt outboxes. If he trades with him it’d be a different story, but Matt’s too smart for that.
A veteran like Juarez would be an excellent test for Remillard and a huge step up in opposition. There isn’t a top featherweight with better experience and anyone who gets past Juarez deserves that title shot.
That’s for the future though. Right now, Remillard has Lora to worry about and Paul Cichon has his fighter focused on only him.
Also in action at the Mohegan Sun on the same card are New England favorites Peter Manfredo Jr., Joey "Chip" Perez, and Edwin Rodriguez.
January 27, 2010