-Photo Credit: Francisco Guzman-
BRC: Jeff, let’s talk
first about a guy you have been working with for quite some time, former
two time junior featherweight champion, now campaigning at the
featherweight limit of 126, Celestino “Pelenchin” Caballero. In a live HBO
co-feature which took place two weeks ago, Caballero defeated unbeaten
prospect Daud Cino Yordan by a comfortable unanimous decision. Most
observers felt that the fight should have been stopped based on the
one-sided beating Celestino was giving Yordan. This was your first fight
with Caballero, how would you rate his performance based on some of the
things you have been working on?
I think he performed very well. Of course he had a high punch count and he
landed punches from every angle. He won every single round. If I had to
rate his performance, I'd say it was total domination without knocking the
Why didn't Caballero fight for the Interim WBA featherweight belt that
night as it had been announced? There seem to have been a problem there.
Would you care to explain?
I am not really sure about that part of the business. I don’t really know
other than I was just told that was probably a new belt that they’ve
created. They wanted the sanctioning fees. I think that was part of the
problem because there was no one willing to pay the sanctioning fees. That
was the reason for it not being a title fight.
Caballero is now signed with Lou DiBella, am I correct?
Now you know that Celestino has had some inactivity in his career. Do you
think that DiBella will keep Caballero busy, so there won't be any more
layoffs in Celestino's future?
I think that DiBella is the right guy for him. He is aligned with HBO; he
is a former employee of HBO for quite some time. He can go to HBO and ask
for Celestino to be on HBO. That in itself is great for both of us.
I think more opportunities are going to come. Based on his performance
more people are going to want to see him anyway. He is getting more media
coverage and die hard boxing fans actually got to know him too.
When would you like to see Celestino back in the ring again?
Either June or mid-July.
Based on his performance would you say that he is ready to take on a guy
he’s been chasing for quite some time, Juan Manuel Lopez? Or Yuriorkis
Gamboa, or Chris John? Any of the world champions at featherweight or
would you like to see him take on one more fight before going for a world
At this point, I think he would beat anyone of those guys to be honest. I
think the only person that poses a small threat is Gamboa, because he has
hand speed, he has power but at the same time he has no chin. I know the
other side of that is that if he faces Celestino, Celestino will still be
there, he’s been in the ring with someone that punches probably harder
than Gamboa, Daniel Ponce De Leon. Don’t get me wrong, Gamboa is a
very gifted fighter but at the same time he’s been dropped multiple times
by nobodies, even at this point in his career.
On Saturday, May 1st Floyd Mayweather Jr. is facing Shane
Mosley. I know you believe that Floyd will be victorious. Do you see this
as a tough fight for Floyd to win?
Early on Shane is going to come on hard, because to be honest, Shane knows
the only chance he has it to knock Floyd out. Skill for skill its not even
a fight. I mean if you dissect both guys and you bring to the table what
they have, Floyd’s heads above Shane in the skill department.
Realistically, if it were a chess match he couldn’t out think Floyd and he
couldn’t out speed Floyd. He has a punching power advantage but at the
same time he doesn’t have a jab. If you don’t have a jab, how are you
going to find Floyd? You are not going to find Floyd with those big wild
punches that he throws. It’s a situation that once Floyd gets his timing
and gets Shane’s rhythm, I think it’s going to be a fairly easy fight. I
think Floyd is going to do a lot of pot shots. Hit and not be hit and then
stay on the outside and box him smart. It’s funny because Nazim Richardson
thinks that he can time someone into fighting the fight. He was
saying that Shane is going to step on Floyd’s tail. Floyd is going to spit
fire, this and that. That isn’t going to happen. Floyd is a pure boxer,
and he is not going to buy into what Nazim is saying because he said it on
HBO's series 24/7. Is he going to try to go in there and try to bang with
Shane? That is not what he is going to do. He is going to out smart Shane
like he has out smarted everyone else he’s fought. Every person that’s
beaten Shane is a boxer and neither one of those guys are better boxers
Do you think this is going to be Floyd’s toughest fight so far in his
I won’t say that, although it could be. The only way it could be is if
Shane lands a big shot and hurts Floyd really bad. Should that happen,
Floyd is going to be put into a situation he hasn’t faced before. If Floyd
gets his timing and if Shane fights like he always does, without that jab,
the fight's going to be fairly easy and I truly believe that the fight is
going to be easy. It’s not going to be a knockdown, drag out fight. It’s
going to be one guy out boxing his opponent. It’s going to be a lot like
the Marquez fight. Don’t get me wrong, Shane is a little more dangerous
and he's going to take more chances, which is going to make for a much
more interesting fight.
Floyd has gone on record as saying that he is the greatest of all time,
greater than Ali and Robinson. How do you rate your nephew Floyd amongst
the greatest fighters?
I think that it was taken out of context. Basically what he said makes
complete sense. He said, “how can I say that there is anybody better than
me when I have been doing this for 30 years and why I am going to say that
anybody is better than me"? That’s not like discrediting anyone, that’s
just believing in yourself. There are fighters that believe that and there
is a lot of people that say they feel Floyd is the best fighter that ever
put on a pair of gloves. There is going to be other guys that come along
and …. just like basketball, you have one face of basketball and that’s
Michael Jordan, it’s never going to change. Kobe Bryant is never going to
be the face of basketball; Labron James is never going to be the face of
basketball; Kevin Durant is never going to be the face of basketball. It’s
always going to be Michael Jordan. The same thing with boxing, no matter
how good somebody is that comes along, they're never going to be able to
say “that person is better than Sugar Ray Robinson or that person is
better than Ali." Realistically, the person could be. The media has jumped
right on that because it’s like it’s taboo to say that you are better than
Robinson or it’s taboo to say that you’re better than Muhammad Ali. They
fought just like you, they were human just like you. Why can’t you say
you're the best? Why can't you believe that you’re the best? There is
someone that is going to come along and they will say that they are way
better than Floyd too. I am not saying that my nephew is the best fighter
ever, but I don’t think that there is anything wrong with him feeling that
way, because Robinson and Ali were human just like him. Until
somebody can shut him up or stop all the trash talking, whatever it is
that they don’t like about him they are going to have to accept it.
You don’t have to accept that he says
he is better than this person or that person; that’s up to the fans' opinions. At the end of your career, that's when your
work is going to
be assessed. One thing about sports, sometimes you have icons that
transcend the sport and that are always going to be the face of the sport,
no matter what. Like I said when Jordan is dead and gone they are still
going to have the image of Jordan at the NBA. You can’t say that Kobe
Bryant isn’t better than him; you can’t say Labron James isn’t better than
him. Kobe has won 5 championships, Jordan won 6. So if he wins 2 more does
that make Kobe better than Jordan or does that make him almost as good?
What do you have to do to be able to surpass the icon, to be able to get
the credit that you deserve or to be able to open you mouth and say yeah,
I am the best? You can’t, it’s simply not acceptable...
Floyd is making a statement by taking random drug tests along with Shane.
Now under those circumstance if Floyd defeats Shane, do you ever see the
Pacquiao fight ever being made?
The only way I could see that fight being made is if it’s Pacquiao's last
fight and it doesn’t matter whether he wins or loses, is not going to do
anything to his legacy and the fact of him cashing out. Why would you not
take a test, that’s all it is? To be honest, I think that at the moment,
If you look at Floyd’s attitude and the way he carries himself, there are
a lot of people that don’t appreciate him now. But who’s to say that ten
years from now they might appreciate him. Not just because of his boxing
ability but because he did something to change the sport for the better.
That might be a bigger part of his legacy than anything else he has
How do you see the fight playing out this Saturday?
I think that Shane is going to come out hard, very hard and think Floyd is
going to get a feel for him. Once Floyd starts making him miss, I think
it’s going to be fairly easy. Floyd is going to start pop-shoting him; he
is going to be hitting him with lead right hands. At the same time, Shane
is dangerous, this is not a walk in the park. Shane is a dangerous fighter
too. If you’re the kind of person who likes to bet on fights it wouldn’t
be bad to bet on Shane because he is a live underdog.
Jeff, I want to thank you for your time. It is always great speaking to
you. Any closing statements before we go here?
I want people to follow myself and Celestino Caballero and see where we
go; we have a journey as well. I hope people jump on the bus and
ride along all the way to the end.
BRC: Thanks again and you
have our best wishes. We'll be following yours and Celestino's journey and
will be talking again soon.
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