“If I want to think about a rematch with Adonis [Stevenson],
I must beat guys like Ngumbu.”– Andrzej Fonfara
TUESDAY’S MEDIA DAY WORKOUT QUOTES
FROM PONCE DE LEON BOXING GYM
IN MONTEBELLO, CALIF.
Popular ‘Polish Prince’ Will Face Doudou Ngumbu
In Main Event of a SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition
Saturday, Nov. 1, at UIC Pavilion in Chicago
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME®
MONTEBELLO, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2014) – Crowd-pleasing Windy City fan favorite Andrzej “Chicago’s Polish Prince” Fonfara (25-3, 1 NC, 15 KOs), who’s been training in Big Bear, Calif., participated in an open media workout Tuesday in preparation for his “Homecoming” fight against Congo’s Doudou Ngumbu (33-5, 12 KOs) in the main event of a SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition on Saturday, Nov. 1, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In the co-feature of a tripleheader, WBO World Bantamweight Champion Tomoki “El Mexicanito” Kameda (30-0, 19 KOs) will make his third title defense when he meets interim WBO Bantamweight Champion Alejandro “Payasito” Hernandez (28-10-2, 15 KOs). Opening the telecast, former interim WBA World Featherweight Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (25-0-1, 18 KOs) will face Abner “Pin” Cotto (18-2, 8 KOs) in a super featherweight 10-round bout.
Fonfara, who turns 27 on Nov. 4, worked out for 90 minutes Tuesday without an extended break. Fonfara will be returning to the ring after a valiant effort in a 12-round decision defeat to WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson on May 24 on SHOWTIME. After winning the final five rounds against Stevenson, Fonfara proved his worth against the world champion and did more to enhance his reputation than all 13 of his previous wins combined.
Here’s what the world-ranked Fonfara, and his trainer, Sam Colonna, said during Tuesday’s workout:
ANDRZEJ FONFARA, Light Heavyweight
Question: This is your third time holding training camp in Big Bear, what made you go to Big Bear the first time?
Answer: “Every good boxer prepares there. If I want to be the best I must train where the best fighters in the world train. Big Bear has great altitude, good weather for runs and a very good gym. It’s a great base for camp.
Do you feel the difference in the altitude when you’re up there?
“Yes, absolutely. I felt much different training for this camp than I did the first time I went up there. It was much harder running for the first camp. I would run two, three miles and I couldn’t breathe. But when I would come back to Chicago, I would feel much better and stronger.”
What’s it like for you to fight in Chicago?
“Chicago is a very special city for me because I moved there eight years ago. I started my professional career there. I had just one professional fight before I moved to Chicago. Sam [Colonna, Fonfara’s trainer] and I have been together since I came to Chicago.
“When I first started to fight in Chicago I had 30, 50 people at my fights. Now when I fight there I have a few thousand people. It’s not only Polish people who come to watch me fight, but all fight fans.
“Fans like to see me fight because I am entertaining and put my heart into the ring.”
Your opponent on Nov. 1 [Doudou Ngumbu] goes the distance in most of his fights, how are you preparing for him?
“He’s not a bad fighter. He’s very tough and wants to win each time he steps into the ring. He doesn’t come just to collect a check, he wants to beat me and get a chance on SHOWTIME to show what he is made of.
“It’s good for me, it’s more pressure. It makes me work harder, but I know that I’m ready for this fight.
“I’m not the underdog in this fight like I have been in the past. But this is boxing and you must go in the ring and think and box, you never know what is going to happen.
“If I want to think about a rematch with Adonis [Stevenson], I must beat guys like Ngumbu. There’s much at stake on Nov. 1”
Do you need to beat Ngumbu impressively?
“It doesn’t matter if I knock him out or win the fight on a decision. The important thing is that I get the victory. We have a plan and I must execute. If I follow my plan, I will knock him out in the second round.”
You had a big opportunity in your last fight against Adonis [Stevenson], when you look back at that fight what comes to your mind?
“I showed good heart, strength and my condition in that fight. Even when I was knocked down I wanted to stand back up and fight.
“I know that now I must punch more and keep better defense. Adonis is a different kind of fighter, he’s sneaky and a hard puncher.
“I know that if he doesn’t knock me down in the first round then maybe the fight goes a different way.
“That loss made me want to train longer and harder so that I can get a rematch with him.”
So you would like a rematch with Adonis [Stevenson]?
“Yes, that’s the plan. I need to win like two, three fights and then get the rematch. I know that I can beat him.
“I gave him the best fight of his professional career in our first fight.”
SAM COLONNA, Fonfara’s Trainer and former trainer of Andrew Golota, Tomasz Adamek, David Diaz and others
“I’ve been with Andrzej since after he had his first professional fight, when he came to Chicago from Poland. We’ve been together for eight, nine years. What I really like about him is his work ethic, he’s wonderful to work with and easy to train.
“When he first came, there were maybe eight Polish fighters that came over together, and I liked Andrzej the most. He was the least experienced of all the fighters; I called him the runt of the group. He was the smallest, youngest and only weighed 139 pounds when he first came over. What stood out to me was his work ethic and the fact that he constantly wanted to learn. The other guys thought they knew it all and now all those guys are out of the picture and he’s still going.
“The way he’s learning and progressing, you’re looking at the next future champion of the world.
“We’re fighting a very difficult guy [Ngumbu]. He’s not really crafty, he’s very awkward and the way he moves is very different. He’s a runner and won’t let you stand in front of him and let you hit him. We’re going to have to work really hard to get to him. It’s a fight that Andrzej can’t really look good unless he knocks him out early.
“We want to win of course, but it’s hard to be impressive with this guy. He has gone the distance with a lot of good fighters. I looked at his record and I can see that this guy comes to fight till the end. He’s gone 12 rounds a lot of times so I know it’s going to be a fight that we’re really going to work hard for.
“If we win this fight there will be a lot of opportunities for us. There are many good up-and-coming fighters at 175 pounds; it’s a very hot division.
“He had his chance [against Adonis Stevenson] and he let it slide by him. The experience he got in that fight, you can’t buy. He knows he had the guy hurt and he should’ve jumped on him and taken care of business; he let him off the ropes.”