August 14, 2001 – By Paul Upham: IBF No.4 featherweight Robbie Peden is extremely confident going into his clash with IBF No.3 Augie Sanchez in the main support bout to David Tua-Chris Byrd at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas on Saturday night. It does not seem to worry the former Olympian that many people see him as an outsider going into this fight. “I don’t mind going in as the underdog. Let people talk what they want to talk. There are only two people in that ring that matter,” said Peden.
“Come Saturday night I will have the USBA belt along with my NABF belt and I will be the new IBF No.1 contender. What anyone else says doesn’t matter. I know what I can do and I know what I’m capable of doing. My time will come,” he continued.
“I can’t blame them because he has had a lot of high profile fights. Sanchez has fought a lot of former world champions, but a lot of them have been 118 and 122lb champions.
“People seem to forget that I have fought up to 140lbs and beaten undefeated fighters at 140lbs. His strength is not my concern. I’m as strong as him, if not stronger. I know I can punch harder, I have got better boxing skills and I have got a better chin. When you add that all up, in the long run I think I come out in front.”
The Aussie “Bomber” says he has had a tremendous nine-week preparation for the fight and is raring to go. “Like always, I feel terrific. No injuries, everything is working fine,” said Peden, 19-1 (10).
“My last training camp was the first time that everything went fine. This camp is the same, except there has been a little more intensity. I’ve had two lots of 12 round sparring sessions, two 10 round and four eight round sessions so I have had plenty of work.”
Peden is expecting to win impressively on Saturday and shock a few people in the process. “When I knock him out on Saturday night, people will stand up and realise that I have been the sleeper in the division,” he said.
“I’ve worked with all the top guys over here. Zab Judah, Vernon Forrest, Arturo Gatti you name it, I’ve worked with 147lbs world champions like Pernell Whitaker. What Augie Sanchez brings to the table does not worry me at all.”
Peden will travel to Las Vegas from his Big Bear, California, training camp on Wednesday night in time for Thursday’s press conference. “I train up to the fight. I just like to do a couple of rounds on the pads, shadow boxing and the bag just to stay sharp. Keep my intensity level and keep the weight down.”
Although he has watched tapes of Sanchez once, Peden doesn’t find it necessary to go over them endlessly. “I watch the tapes once. Whatever tapes they send me I’ll watch them once, just to get a feel for what I’m up against. I’ve seen Augie fight before. I watch the tapes to see what his flaws are and then I give it to the coach and he does his job,” said Peden.
While many people are looking forward to seeing a classic boxer vs slugger battle in Byrd’s match with Tua in the evening’s main event, Peden is predicting plenty of fireworks in his bout with Sanchez, 28-2 (25).
“I think ours is going to better then the heavyweight fight. There is going to be a lot of fury,” said Peden. “If he comes walking in and thinks he is going to bully me around, he is going to get lit up for sure. It is going to be a real good fight.”