"We had five solid weeks of sparring, and usually when week four comes, he's on all cylinders, but this camp, he's looked great from mid-way through week one. I'm very happy with his trainers Fernely Feliz and strength coach Matt Patren. I feel we're getting to the level we all expect. Freddy Hernandez is going to be a great test for Delvin to see where he is. Freddy's last two fights have been against two of the best in our division, Demetrius Andrade and Erislandy Lara. Both of those guys are younger than Delvin, and were taken the distance. We're definitely looking for an explosive performance, so the public can truly see where Delvin stacks up," stated Delvin Rodriguez's manager A.J. Galante, who spoke their upcoming clash with Freddy Hernandez on Friday Night Fights. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: Delvin Rodriguez will be back on Friday Night Fights against the tough Freddy Hernandez. How is his preparation going?
AG: I feel this has been the best training camp since I've been his manager. That's such a cliché statement, but it's the truth. You have to remember, when I started with Delvin is when he made his debut at 154 pounds and I felt that it was going to take some time for him to truly get acclimated with the weight. I felt we got their last camp and it showed against George Tahdooahnippah in February. Every camp that I've been with him, privately there were things here and there I thought could improve, and that will stay between me and my team, but this camp has been great. We've used 5 different sparring partners, a nice mix of youth and veterans, and he got many different looks. Delvin is bit of a slow starter in most fights; it's not until round 4 when he starts really getting going and it's the same for camp. We had five solid weeks of sparring, and usually when week four comes, he's on all cylinders, but this camp, he's looked great from mid-way through week one. I'm very happy with his trainers Fernely Feliz and strength coach Matt Patren. I feel we're getting to the level we all expect. Freddy Hernandez is going to be a great test for Delvin to see where he is. Freddy's last two fights have been against two of the best in our division, Demetrius Andrade and Erislandy Lara. Both of those guys are younger than Delvin, and were taken the distance. We're definitely looking for an explosive performance, so the public can truly see where Delvin stacks up.
PC: It sure would be nice to see some FightHype on him that night (laughing). I'm kidding, but this is a step in the right direction of keeping him active after only one fight last year. How important is that?
AG: First of all, you know that you guys at FightHype are family and all you have to do is send the logo! (Laughing) No, but you and I have talked before and I've said it both publically and privately that back in November of last year, I made my intentions clear that I wanted Delvin to be extremely busy this year. Joe DeGuardia and STAR BOXING have done a great job at my request. They got us ESPN in February, and now we're back in May. I see no reason why we can't fight four times this year, and it's something I'm looking to fulfill. I'm not letting other people or factors create our destiny. We will do what we want and if a big fight falls to us, then great, but I'll tell you what, we're not waiting on anybody to "Choose" us. Everybody knows the deal; offer us a fair market value purse against anybody and anybody can get the match with us. We're not greedy, we're not difficult to work with, just be fair with us and we'll fight anybody anytime. Would we like to get back to HBO or SHOWTIME, obviously, but we're not above fighting on any television platform. ESPN has been extremely good to Delvin. This will be fight 16 with them and they're a huge reason why Delvin is where he is right now.
PC: Hernandez's last five fights are against Andrade, Lara, Collazo, Berto and Anchondo, and Berto was the only one to put him away. How important is it for Delvin to look spectacular in this fight?
AG: Well, the key to it all is to win. There hasn't been a fight so far that I've been with Delvin where it's been win and look great doing it. To me, winning is everything and an ugly win is still as much of a win as a pretty one. This fight, however, like we spoke about, seeing as though Freddy Hernandez's last few fights have been against some of the best out there right now, it's very important for us to look spectacular in my opinion. People still sleep on Delvin, and everybody's entitled to their opinion, but I believe this fight, the way he's looking at camp, he's going to look sensational. That's just my opinion on it. Demetrius Andrade, in my opinion, is one of the brightest talents in boxing, let alone the junior middleweight division, and he got taken the distance with Hernandez. Trust me, the whole team knows it and we want to show people that we can finish the job a lot of the younger guys couldn't do.
PC: If all goes well on the 24th, how many more times would you like to get Delvin in this year?
AG: I don't see why we can't fight two more times. There's no guarantee we walk right through Freddy Hernandez. We have to win, first and foremost. If Delvin doesn't get hurt, I'd like him back in there by August, mid-august maybe the earliest, and then by the end of the year. I feel we'll be deserving of a big time match if we win on the 24th, but regardless, I'd like to fight two more times, but obviously there's other factors involved, so we'll take it one at a time. Out of respect to Freddy Hernandez, I don't want to think too much about it right now.
PC: We talk off the record all of the time and someone you have a great admiration for is Teddy Atlas. What is it about Teddy that makes you have so much respect and admiration for him because he's one of my favorite people as well?
AG: He's 100% real. That's really all there is to it. It has nothing to do with boxing really. It has to do in life. We're infested by phonies in this world. I myself am just like Teddy in that I am 100% real. What you see is what you get. I may not be 100% right all the time, but I say what I mean and mean what I say, period. Teddy, you can tell when he talks, it's from the heart, and he cares so much for the sport, and especially the boxers, and I like that about him. He doesn't have an agenda. He wants to see boxing fixed, and a lot of his views I agree with. I feel the same way about Paulie Malignaggi. When he speaks, it's 100, every single time. He says a lot of things people are thinking, and I just love people like that because that's who I am as a person. Trust me when I tell you, I was raised by a man, my father, who may be the realest man on this earth, and I just was taught the right way to act, very old school. I'm very different from most people in my generation. I'm cut from a different cloth, but that's okay. I am who I am. Guys like Teddy and Paulie, they're cut from the same cloth.
PC: I wish you and your fighters the best of luck in their upcoming bouts. Although I don't wear hats often, I gotta get one of those hats from you. Is there anything else you want to say in closing?
AG: (Laughing) Hey, the snapbacks are getting a lot of positive feedback right now. I just want to say as always thanks to the FightHype family for always supporting myself and my team. I know I rambled a lot today, but hey, it is what it is. It's how I'm feeling. You can follow me on twitter @eliteboxing_ajg. Check out Delvin Rodriguez @drodriguez1980 and Frank Galarza @Notorious_FG. And don't forget to check out Delvin on ESPN Friday Night Fights May 24.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]