By Dave Spencer
Photos Herby Whyne
Trainer Mark Ramsay is in for a busy time Friday night as boxing action returns to the Bell Centre in Montreal. The chief second who is best known for his work with former world champion Jean Pascal and the man behind Antonin Decarie’s recent victory on HBO will be firing on all cylinders on the undercard of the Adonis Stevenson versus Donovan George in an IBF super-middleweight elimination fight.
While Ramsay will be able to take a seat for the main event, he is working the corners for five of the six undercard fights. FightNews caught with the busy trainer and asked what to expect Friday for all his fighters and where they stand currently.
FightNews: Tell us what to expect with Kevin and his fight Friday
Ramsay: Kevin is coming back from a long period with no fights (10 months) so it is a type of tune-up fight for him. GYM has a big fight for him in December and we need a tune-up before moving onto that big fight. He needs the tune-up but this guy is undefeated, I’ve looked at him on video and we’ll have to take him very seriously. This is only a six round fight so he will have to start very fast.
FightNews: I guess a fight like this where the opponent isn’t too well known it’s best to concentrate on things you do well which for Kevin would be controlling the action and going to the body.
Ramsay: It’s pretty clear that Kevin has more ability than the other guy but on the video he looked like a pretty strong kid, I think it should be an interesting fight. The biggest adjustment will be that Kevin trains and manages to fight 12 rounds now, fighting six he won’t be able to sit back and analyze him for two or three rounds because by that time the fight will be already done.
FightNews: What can we look for with Didier and his sixth professional bout?
Ramsay: We had a change of opponent last week to Harold Sconiers, a veteran who has fought everybody in the business. He’s 36 and maybe not the biggest challenge but has a lot of experience. I think that’s what he needs right now is to get in there with some veterans so he can learn all the little tricks. Didier is another one that we expect to be stepping up with in December.
FightNews: We haven’t seen Bence with a knockout since his two bouts, can we expect this against Sconiers?
Ramsay: He’s been knocked out in the first round but two fights ago he beat Jameel McCline so it’s hard to predict. We don’t really go for knockout we go for experience and make sure we control the action and have good discipline in the ring to learn from that experience.
FightNews: Beating McCline will certainly add some credibility to his name.
Ramsay: He’s not something special but at the same time he has a lot of experience and knows all the little tricks in the business.
FightNews: Let’s move onto your other heavyweight in Oscar Rivas
Ramsay: He might be the one facing the biggest challenge. He’s fighting a former U.S. National Team alternate. He’s 7-1 but lost a split decision against an undefeated prospect. He’s a very solid guy, physically he might look like Stephane Tessier but he has a lot more ability. You can see he’s done a lot of amateur fights. He’s done over 200 amateur fights and it’s pretty clear when you look at the video.
FightNews: After 11 fights a guess this is a good step up for him.
Ramsay: He’s another one who in December we will be looking to move and fight against a name people know. Learning time is over now and it will be time for him to step up.
FightNews: I guess we can move onto one of Canada’s fastest moving prospects in Eleider Alvarez
Ramsay: He’s going to fight a guy from Hungary, a guy who has fought everybody in Europe and has a winning record. But I think Eleider is better and has a lot more ability in everything. His last fight was a big fight and step up with 12 rounds with Shawn Hawk. We want to make sure he reaches a level of a certain stability before we challenge him in December possibility with Edison Miranda so this will be a tune-up fight for him.
FightNews: I guess with some great work in two straight decisions you still want the knockout confidence there and willing to take a small step back with a big fight looming.
Ramsay: At the same time, a guy like Regi if you box well, you have a chance to knock him out. If you’re undisciplined or don’t follow the strategy, you might end up going the distance. He can create some problems by boxing well and this is what I want to see.
FightNews: This is your third fight now with David Lemieux
Ramsay: Yup, third fight, we’re starting to see a connection with the time we’ve spent in the gym. I’m very happy with the way things have been going. The opponent that we have Friday is what I need to bring David to another level. He’s a guy who first of all is going to come forward and fight. He has only one loss and he was able to avenge the loss a couple of fights after. He’s a guy who might not be great technically, but a guy who is going to challenge David Lemieux and he’s going to try for real, and this is exactly what we need.
FightNews: Are there things you’re trying to do with David. Are we going to see the fighter who is going to go in there a blast out his opponent in the first round or two?
Ramsay: I’m going to be honest, I don’t have to speak that much with him. When I go to them gym and put him in there with Jean (Pascal) or Eleider (Alvarez), and tell him he has to go twelve rounds, he’s not going to knock him out if it’s Pascal or Alvarez. He has to manage his ability round by round and make sure he can control the action. All that pattern of knocking out people, guys like Pascal can take that away. I don’t have to tell him too much. I might give him little speeches about this or that, but when every day you have to deal with those two guys, the learning experience is just fabulous.
FightNews: So I presume if you get the same result of Gaona’s only loss, being stopped in the 10th round, you’ll be very happy with that.
Ramsay: Exactly. Going for a knockout is not something important. If he boxes well and can give me twelve good rounds, I’m going to be very very happy. It’s something he’s going to have to do. We nedd somebody like Shawn Hawk was for Alvarez or guy who is very tough and can do rounds with him. I think we might have that in Alvaro Gaona, if it is a decision, it’s a decision.