Brooklyn-born contender Frank "Notorious" Galarza has been the embodiment of a redemption story his whole life and he will look to keep that theme going when he returns from his first pro loss to take on former world champion Ishe "Sugar Shay" Smith in the main event from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on September 16.
Televised coverage begins on Bounce TV at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features a super welterweight showdown betweenDomonique Dolton (17-0-1, 9 KOs)and Justin DeLoach (15-1, 8 KOs).
After being defeated by unbeaten Jarret Hurd in November 2015, Galarza is determined to reclaim his spot as a contender in the 154-pound division. Training out of the Flatbush Cops and Kids Boxing Gym in Brooklyn with longtime trainer Nirmal Lorick, Galarza has his sights set on the top of the super welterweight division.
Here is what Galarza had to say about training camp, his main event showdown, the 154-pound division and more:
What kind of problems does Ishe Smith propose and what does a victory over him do for you?
FG: "I don’t anticipate having any problems with Ishe. I spar the best guys in the world and with guys who have a lot more experience than I do. I’m going to go in, do my job and make adjustments as needed.
"Beating Ishe puts me exactly where I need to be. I took my first loss in Las Vegas and I wasn’t on my A-game. Fighting Ishe puts me right back after the loss. I constantly put myself to the test with top guys. Ishe is someone in my path who at this point, is in my way."
What’s your mentality following the loss in your last fight?
FG: "I have lost so much in my life, so I see this loss as just a number. Boxing has everyone fooled that we need to be undefeated to be a top contender or to be great. Some of the greatest fighters have suffered losses. I am looking to be legendary and continue to fight great guys. I’m going to put my record on the line and challenge myself.
"I don’t have a deep boxing background, so I’m learning on the job. I am able to overcome every obstacle. This fight isn’t about the money, this fight and my career is for me. I want to challenge myself."
Who do you see as the top fighters in the 154-pound division?
FG: "The Charlo Brothers, Demetrius Andrade, Julian Williams and Erislandy Lara are the top of the division in my mind. There are a lot of good fighters in this division. At this point now, the other guys need to go, and that’s where I come into play. Someone like Ishe is an older guy and he needs to give it up and get out of the way for hungry guys like me and the rest of us. People want to see guys like us."
Who would you like to matchup with, if you can defeat Ishe Smith?
FG: "I’ll face anybody. I’m not trying to fluff my record. I come off a tough loss and I’m looking to beat a former world champion. Give me the best fight and the top guys. Give me one of the Charlo brothers and I’ll fight for one of their titles. Put me in with any of these guys and I will put them to the test, if not beat them.
"It’s a drive I have in me, especially lately, where I feel like I’ve been overlooked. It upsets me to be underestimated. I never turn down a fight. I have to be fearless in order to make it where I need to go. I am not a mediocre fighter. There’s a reason they call me the ’Brooklyn Rocky.’ I’ve been through adversity and Ishe is in for a rude awakening. The boxing industry has me completely underestimated and at the end of the day, may the best man win."
Talk about your work outside of the ring and how you strive to inspire kids who grew up in similar situations to yourself:
FG: "I have a non-profit called Youth Fighting Forward. I teach them that no matter what you go through, you can be whoever you want to be I came from nothing and I lost my parents at a young age. I don’t use that as an excuse. I refuse to be a statistic. I want to give the kids back that inspiration.
"Whatever it is you love to do; you are more than capable of doing it. It is in your hands to be a success story. You are not where you came from. We have the ability to change lives. My focus is to help kids growing up who are surrounded by negativity to see a positive. I put my body to the limits and when I don’t want to work out, I push through that. I want to show the kids that they have to have discipline to get through it and one day, I will be a world champion."
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September 6 2016