Sunday, September 29, 2013

Undefeated Cruiserweight Quantis Graves Speaks Out On Career, Deontay Wilder, and More

By Charles White

How are you doing today Quantis?
I’m doing just fine. How are you?

Good, thanks. Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get involved in boxing?
I started in the streets at the age of 15, fighting in the streets. This guy suggested that I start boxing at the local gym. With that being said, I started and I didn’t like it. I stopped after 5 or 6 months. I started back when my brother was killed in the streets of New Orleans. I told my mom that I’d rather pick up some gloves than pick up a gun. That was in 2002.

You were caught up in the Hurricane Katrina tragedy. Have you been to New Orleans since the storm? If so, what are your thoughts on the rebuild? Has the town made a successful recovery?
Yes…I’ll take a few trips to visit my father and a few good friends. The rebuilding of New Orleans is going to take some time. I love the city of New Orleans.

You are now 9-0 with 4 knockouts. For those who haven’t seen you fight, how would you describe your style of boxing?
I’m smooth, slick and fast. I make great adjustments in the ring, I have great movement.

What were some of your amateur achievements and what was your overall record in the unpaid ranks?
I was a 3-time State Champion of Louisiana, 2008 Olympic Alternate (Heavy weight).

Do you plan on staying at Cruiserweight or do you foresee a jump to Heavyweight at some time in the future?
I think I’ll stay at cruiserweight.

Some critics would point to your age and say that at 31, time isn’t necessarily on your side when it comes to a championship race. What would you say to that?
I love the critics. They can say what they want to. I’ll show the world what Quantis Graves is going to do.

About how long before we see you step up in competition? Do you have any sort of timeframe for when you would like to be ranked in the top 10?
It’s all about making the right moves at the right time. I trust my managers to make those moves for me.

Of the current Cruiser champions, which do you deem the most talented and which would you like to face the most?
Marco Huck. Great fighter and I would love to be in camp with him someday.

You have a fight coming up on October 5th. What do you know about your opponent and how do you plan on handling him?
I really don’t know too much about him.

You faced heavyweight knockout artist Deontay Wilder in the amateurs. What do you recall of the fight and Deontay’s power?
(Laughs) Wilder was a hard worker. Wilder would not allow you to outwork him. I don’t really recall Wilder landing right hands on me. Take in mind, Wilder was a different fighter back then. Wilder is a much better fighter now.

Do you feel as though Wilder has the heaviest hands in the division? And do you see him dethroning either Klitschko brother at some point?
WILDER WILL BE WORLD CHAMPION! Wilder is a hard worker and he respects the sport of boxing. Wilder and I are friends and I wish him all the best.
Is there anything else you would like the readers to know Quantis?
Thanks for having me. I appreciate your time. I want the world to be on the lookout for Quantis Graves.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wilder vs. Firtha on Hopkins-Murat card next month

By James Slater 

Unbeaten KO artist Deontay Wilder will face experienced big guy Nicolai Firtha in his next pro outing, on the Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat under-card at The Barclays Centre New York on October 26th.

Wilder, 29-0(29) is coming off that scary 1st-round destruction of former WBO heavyweight titlist Serhai Liakhovich and it will be interesting to see if he can keep his KO streak going against the 34-year-old who is both big and game.

Firtha, 21-10-1(8) is not a top-rated contender and his record is somewhat patchy, yet he has been in with some big names and acquitted himself well. Since being stopped (arguably prematurely) in the 5th-round by Tyson Fury in what was a sizzling slugfest while it lasted, Firtha has dropped a 12-round decision to Johnathon Banks (who went on to ruin Seth Mitchell via 2nd-round stoppage, before Banks lost the return via forgettable 12-round snoozer) and won a stay-busy six-rounder against Robert Hawkins.

Having been up close and personal with Wilder as the two helped heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko get ready to face Maruisz Wach a while back, Firtha might have picked up a few things about Wilder, and who knows, maybe a weakness or two?

Firtha, when in shape, can fight and we all know Wilder’s chin has yet to be tested. Maybe Firtha can hang in there long enough to land some leather on Wilder. Still, as lethal as he’s been looking – never having been taken past the 4th-round since turning pro in 2008 – Wilder is a considerable favourite to do to Firtha what he’s done to the likes of Audley Harrison, Liakhovich and all the other fighters he’s been in with.

It will be interesting to see Wilder taken onto the later half of a fight, but is Firtha the man to extend him? Maybe not, but I have a feeling this one will be fun while it lasts!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lem's latest: Wilder 'ready' for likely berth on Hopkins-Murat card

by Lem Satterfield
Sep 23rd, 2013

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer informed recently that heavyweight knockout specialist Deontay Wilder could land on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins' IBF light heavyweight title defense againstKaro Murat on Oct. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

After speaking over the weekend to Wilder's advisor, Al Haymon, about the prospect of appearing on the Showtime card, Wilder's trainer and co-manager, Jay Deas, said the fighter is "preparing like we're on."

"I talked to Al Haymon, like, maybe the day before yesterday. So that would have been Saturday. He indicated that all systems were go. It's not 100 percent confirmed yet, but he told us that everything looks good for that date. We told him that we would be ready...Our understanding is that we're on, and that we're preparing like we're on," said Deas.

"It's looking really good. We don't have an opponent lined up as of yet, but we've accepted it as far as would we be ready by Oct. 26. We said yes, absolutely, we'd be ready. Hopefully they'll bring in somebody. A big name is what I'd like. We'll see what's available on a month or so notice. But we're getting the same notice that whoever we're fighting is getting, so it's all good."

Schaefer indicated that part of the idea of bringing Wilder to the East Coast would be to piggyback on the wave created by Maryland-based heavyweight Seth Mitchell, who is 2-1 in Atlantic City after having stoppedChazz Witherspoon there and split bouts with Johnathon Banks. Mitchell lost his last fight by first-round stoppage to Chris Arreola on Sept. 7 in California.

"I think that the people appreciate the great, young promising American heavyweight," said Schaefer. "Talk about putting people in the right slots, I do believe that putting Deontay Wilder there in a heavyweight fight will add to the attraction."

A 6-foot-7 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Wilder is coming off back-to-back first-round KOs of ex-beltholderSergei Liakhovich last month and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison in April.

"The main thing for me is that Deontay does better when he's busy, and we're on board with anything that keeps Deontay busy," said Deas, who trains the 27-year-old alongside 1984 Olympic gold medalist and professional titleholder Mark Breland.

"As far as Atlantic City goes, being up on the East Coast, that's the site of a lot of Arturo Gatti's fights, and it's the site where Mike Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks, which I was there for that fight. It's just a tremendous boxing area. It's a great opportunity for the media out of New York to see Deontay, so it's a great opportunity for exposure on all fronts."

Wilder served as a sparring partner for former heavyweight titleholder David Haye before his clash with unbeaten contender Tyson Fury was postponed after Haye suffered a cut during his final day of sparring on Friday, Sept. 19.

Deas said that Wilder "wasn't the one that cut" Haye, having left camp on Thursday, the day prior to the incident, according to Deas.

"Deontay was there over the course of about two and a half weeks. I don't know the number of rounds that they got in, but I'm going to guess that it was around 15-to-20 rounds, because you had, like, four guys there," said Deas.

"Deontay said that he had a real good experience with David Haye. He wasn't the one that cut him. Deontay said that contrary to popular belief, there weren't any knockdowns or anything like that, but they just fought real hard and had a real good camp."

Wilder celebrated his 27th birthday last Oct. 22 in Austria while spending time as the primary sparring partnerfor RING, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko as he trained for his unanimous decision victory over Mariusz Wach in November of last year.

Wilder had served in a similar capacity for Haye leading up to his unanimous decision loss to Klitschko in July of 2011.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Skyy Gym Northport to open in morning!

Big news!! Skyy Gym Northport to open at 9:30 am starting October 1st!  Skyy Boxing Gym Northport will expand its hours.  This is great news for all current and future Skyy members.  Best news yet is gym dues will stay the same!  Skyy will open at 9:30 am Monday-Friday starting October 1st.  Call Jay if you need further details at (205) 799-1696.

When Does 29-0 Deontay "KO Collector" Wilder Fight Next?


A nation of fans of heavyweight boxing still have those lonely eyes. They train them on Deontay Wiler, the Alabama-based hitter with a 29-0 mark, with 29 KOs, and ponder his potential. Could he be the one we've waited for, the Klitschko Killer, the one to break the stranglehold which subpar foes and aging haven't been able to force?
I checked in with manager Jay Deas, who helms Wilder, along with advisors Al Haymon and Shelly Finkel, to see when we will see Wilder glove up again.
"That's a great question," Deas said. "I think everything will become clear after the Mayweather-Canelo fight. I think we'll sit down with promoter Golden Boy and come up with a plan."
Deas said he thought a fight with Chris Arreola as a nice option, but Arreola is hoping that he can instead have a rematch with Bermane Stiverne, with the winner to be declared WBC interim heavyweight champion, being that champ Vitali Klitshko has been doing the politics thing in Ukraine, and hasn't committed his brain and body back to the ring. Vitali, who turned 42 in July, last gloved up Sept. 8, 2012, beating Manuel Charr (TKO4). Deas agrees with me, and thinks it would make sense for the WBC to have that belt up for grabs, with Vitali to meet the interim titlist.
If that doesn't happen, 41-year-old Tony Thompson, who scored back to back TKO wins over Brit prospect David Price before dropping a UD12 to Kubrat Pulev in his last outing, on Aug. 24, is on Deas' radar. "He's a giant killer, that would make a great fight," he said of the 38-2 southpaw. Deas also said a gauntlet run, against, say, Chauncey Welliver, Dominick Guinn and then Thompson, in October, November and December, is a viable concept. Wilder, last seen steamrolling ex titlist Sergei Liakhovich, would look to further prove his pop by trying to stop three durable cats who excel at survival. "Deontay gets through those guys, he's ready for anything," Deas said.
Deas seems in a good place, saying the Deas-Haymon-Finkel crew has jelled nicely, since coming together in June. He isn't overly worried about that Wilder arrest which kicked up a few months ago, and neither is Johnny Law, it seems, as Wilder got a visa to fly to England, where he's been sparring with David Haye. Mariusz Wach, at 6-9, and Wilder, at 6-7, and 6-8 Brit Richard Towers have been giving Haye looks to prep for 6-9 Tyson Fury (21-0) on Sept. 28 in England. HBO will show that scrap, FYI.
Deas said he heard the rumor that Wilder knocked down Haye (26-2; turns 33 on Oct. 13) in sparring, but said that Wilder didn't inform him of that. "We're all on the same page, along with Mark Breland and Russ Anber as co-trainers," Deas said. "We're a really good team, and Deontay has every opportunity to go all the way, and I think he will."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Camp Coffeeville - Wilder's Secret Weapon!

By Frank Reynolds

Deontay Wilder and Coffeeville Mayor Robert Cox

It is a town without a traffic light. It claims only 350 residents and boasts a single restaurant, convenience store, post office and grocery yet to rising heavyweight Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder, Coffeeville, Alabama is home away from home.

Wilder is currently 29-0 with 29 knockouts. He is ranked in the top 10 in the World and currently holds the WBC Continental Americas Title.

He has trained in Coffeeville in preparation for his past six bouts. It is now tradition for Team Wilder to start and finish each camp in this tiny, out of the way woodland retreat located in southwest Alabama along the Tombigbee River near the Mississippi state line.

The team, which includes Wilder, Coach/Manager Jay Deas, former World Champ and Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Breland, Canada's Russ Anber and camp coordinator Cuz Hill claim this area where animals outnumber people at least 100 to 1.  For Wilder, Coffeeville is a perfect place to be.

“I can get away in total isolation and focus on the job at hand. There are no distractions. You can barely get a cell phone signal so it’s all about what we need to do to win. We start and finish camp there as a way to focus,” said Wilder.

Longtime Coach Jay Deas has ties to the area, which affords Wilder housing and a large compound on which to train. The town is remote, yet not too far from Wilder’s home in Tuscaloosa. Should he need to tend to his family (he has a daughter with Spina Bifida) it’s only a two hour drive.

“We used to come to hunt and fish,” said Deas. “We’d find a place to work out in front of the Town Hall. Slowly but surely the idea came to put a training camp in Coffeeville.”

Visionary Mayor Robert Cox saw the potential right away. The town was seen by many as down for the count, having closed its high school two years prior. The school had been the heartbeat of the community.

The town set about to purchase the educational building and once that was accomplished recruited Deas to open a gym as the first new occupants of the former school. The agreement called for the facility to be used not only by Team Wilder, but also to benefit the youth of the area. Wilder and company quickly jumped in giving frequent free clinics. Suddenly, the town was on its feet again and swinging back.

“We’re small, but we’re proud,” said Mayor Cox. “When the school closed a lot of kids here had nothing to do and that leads to trouble ten times out of ten. This gym gives them hope. They’re excited. It’s a big deal and something they’ve never had before.”

When Deas, Breland and Anber first saw the gym, neglect had taken its toll.

“It was pretty bad. Filled with dead bugs, dust and rust. Mark and Russ were the first to see through all that and say this could be great, something no one else has. Original hardwood floors from the 1950’s and tons of space. They said they wanted to do it,” said Deas.

The youth of the town spent days cleaning it up. Anber, who owns Rival Boxing, donated six premium heavy bags to the cause and flew in from his home base of Montreal, Canada to hang them.

“Jay needed my help and explained his vision to me. Once I saw it I thought it was a tremendous idea and I wanted Rival Boxing to be on board,” said Anber. “We’re making a difference. It’s a beautiful gym that needed to be used. With the space, original flooring and top of the line bags it is easily one of the top 50 boxing facilities in America. Easily.”

For Mark Breland, it is a return to his past, having spent part of his storied amateur career on Muhammad Ali’s boxing team.

“Coffeeville is a throwback to what Ali had at Deer Lake. I ran those hills in Coffeeville and my legs hurt for two days. It was like 1984 all over again. I loved it,” said Breland.

One thing Breland learned the hard way was the need to be on constant alert.

“Oh, you’ll see some animals! They’ve got deer, wild pigs, alligators, coyotes, all kinds of stuff,” said Breland. “I had to learn what was what so I could be on the lookout when I ran. I saw a pig and said, man, there’s a hippopotamus! They all fell out laughing at me.”

Former World title challenger Ray Austin has sparred at Camp Coffeeville and feels the area is of benefit to Wilder.

“Deontay can be great. I already call him Champ. For him to have his own isolated training base can only make him better. I’m on board with it anytime he needs me to spar. I think a lot of fighters are going to want to set up their camps in Coffeeville,” said Austin.

“I like the area and the people. We’re glad to have the gym up and running for the kids there. They’re hungry to be somebody and that motivates me. I always look forward to the start of camp,” said Wilder.

“Deontay has been good for Coffeeville and Coffeeville has been good for Deontay,” said Mayor Cox. “Since he started training here he’s won the Continental title, got ranked in the top ten and won his first Showtime main event. We feel like we’re a part of that. When he wins the World Title, how many towns our size can say they had a World Champ training?”

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Huge Gator caught near Deontay's training camp!

Deontay has no problem knocking people out, but can he wrestle this gator?  I think not.  Good thing he doesn't slack on his roadwork!