Q & A :
Kelly "The Ghost Pavlik" and
"The Diamond Girl" Amaris Quintana
Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik and "The Diamond Girl" Amaris Quintana came on TheBoxingBar.com's Q & A last night (4/17/2016) to share his thoughts and opinions on the current middleweight kingpin Gennady "Triple G" Golovkin who retained his middleweight championship status against Dominic Wade this past Saturday night. The former WBC & WBO middleweight champion, Pavlik, also compared today's middleweight scene to his own during his reign as champion.
TheBoxingBar : When you were about twenty fights into your pro career, what was the middleweight division like in your opinion? Was it vibrant?
Kelly Pavlik : Yeah, it was. You still had Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, and guys like that. It wasn't a loaded weight class. But the few that were in it, as champions, were outstanding.
TBB : And don't forget Edison Miranda. I'm sure you felt his power punches. Also, Arthur Abraham was an undefeated middleweight at that time also and was starting to make noise here too. Do you think that division was better at that time than it is today?
KP :Well I’m not just saying it because it was in my time, but yeah. Miranda and Arthur were strong. Very strong fighters. Strum was there also. There is nobody really like those guys today. Jermain was a big guy. I feel a little for “Triple G” because he has nobody really to fight, and he would have been tested very much so in my time. Even rugged and hard punchers that could take punches like (Jose Luis) Zertuche would at least had given GGG more than these guys are today.
TBB : There are a lot of people that think Gennady Golovkin is the next huge thing in boxing, and feel he will be one of the best ever. But there are also those that know he hasn't been tested against fighters like the ones you mentioned. What's your honest opinion about him?
KP : I think he has all the tools to be a great fighter. As of now, I think he is really good. But the question comes as to how he reacts when he fights a guy that can take a good shot and comes back with a hard ones himself. Or if he fights a six-foot fighter or taller that can punch, take a shot, and throw volumes of punches every round. Those are the questions, I think, all boxing people are looking for. Now, if he goes through those type of fighters you and I mentioned with ease, then yes I guess it's safe to say he is an all-time great. But he is no spring chicken either. And age hits everyone different, so he doesn't have time to play the safe road either. I think his best bet for the fans and himself is maybe making a move to super middleweight. But with (Andre) Ward, moving will be tough.
TBB : From the description of the type of fighter that you're saying that would give him problems or beat him, you're very much describing someone like yourself. Obviously, you having a fighter's heart I'm sure you're confident you would have beat him if he was around during the time of your fights with Taylor. By watching him do you know how you would have fought someone with his arsenal? Would you have to make many adjustments or changes to your style to beat him?
KP : First of all, I could take a shot to the body or head. I believe I hit harder than him! I would have fought him with more angles of my own. Also, with Robert Garcia I'm sure he would have prepared me for his type of style and worked on my footwork. Not dancing, but the angles which wouldn't have been hard. You got to remember I was a three time national champ and a seventeen year old that made it to the Olympic trials. So boxing-wise, I had it. Just with my old trainer, he kept it in the bag. But I think the question is … how would GGG handle my length, power, and speed? He never faced that yet. How would he have dealt with a “2007” Jermain Taylor with his speed and size? Again, different times. GGG, I think, is a very good fighter but we have yet to see what he really has.
TBB : If you had switched to Robert Garcia as your trainer shortly after your fights with Taylor … like for fights against Hopkins and Sergio Martinez fights ... do you think you would have had a better chance against them or have even beat them?
KP : I would have done better for sure. But for the Sergio fight, nothing would have helped. I was so spent for that fight from making weight. Even the commentators mentioned during the fight about the stationary bike and treadmill in my room when they came to talk to me. It was just horrible. For the Hopkins fight, that wasn't me in that fight! (Laughing) Seriously, ask Robert Garcia what we had to do before the fight when he had Steven Luevano fighting so you don't think I'm lying. I didn't even spar much for that fight. But take nothing away from their wins. They were great fighters that did what they did. But Garcia would have made it easier for me. He knows the sport very well from all aspects.
TBB : Because you trained here in Oxnard with Robert, people still ask me all the time ... what is the real reason why you left the sport. They have heard rumors from legalities to boxing injuries. But let's hear it from the source directly. Why did you retire from boxing?
KP : The Andre Ward fight was realistic and when he got hurt there was no one really to fight for at least another year. To be honest, I just didn't want to be away from my kids all the time across the country at that stage of my career at thirty years old. Usually you get up and get the training you need at the beginning of your career and so on. In this sport and having kids … if your heart is not 100% into it, then that's how fighters get hurt. Especially at the top level! And it would be selfish on my part, and to my kids, to put my health at risk.
TBB :Who is your pick to win between “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan for the WBC Middleweight title on May 7th?
KP : Man, that's a hard one, Canelo is a solid fighter and so is Khan. The only thing is Khan’s chin has been very questionable against smaller guys, let alone a bigger guy who can pop a little. But Khan is very fast and skilled. I may have to lean a little towards Canelo. I hope it's a great fight no matter what for boxing.
TBB : You seemed to be accepted with open arms when you trained with Robert Garcia here in Oxnard. The Mexican fans here even renamed you to "El Fantasma" (“The Ghost” in Spanish). How did you feel living here in town for that while? And for the "Ghost"-hunters (your fans here), are you planning to make an appearance in Oxnard any time soon?
KP : You know what? I love them guys and the people from Oxnard.It was a great honor to have been trained by Robert and having the people there from Dr. Anderson, Marco, “Pelos”, and Brandon “The Clown” (Rios) (Laughing) It was fun and an experience. Yes, I will be out there this year and to stop by the gym and say “Hi”. Living there was nice. Nothing is the same as home mainly because of family. But out there, everyone kept it comfortable. Hell, the weather, and the people, I even got the Mexican accent down! (Laughing) It was very nice being out in Oxnard!
TBB : Thank you for your time and honesty Kelly. And we'll all be waiting for the friendly "Ghost" appearance here in Oxnard hopefully sometime soon. Thanks again amigo!
KP : No problem. Thank you bro. I appreciate it, and I will let you know when I'm heading out that way.
This Saturday (4/23/2016) the big double-header featuring Gennady Golovkin and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will take place at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. The undercard will include two terrific women match-ups. “The Diamond Girl” Amaris Quintana (9-2-2) of San Diego will be taking on Tijuana’s Kenia Enriquez (15-1) in a flyweight fight. “The Diamond Girl” had this to say about this upcoming fight …
TheBoxingBar :First of all … Congrats for this big opportunity of getting to fight on the undercard this weekend of the big fight card featuring two of the best pound for pound fighters Roman "Chocolatito " Gonzalez and Gennady "Triple G" Golovkin who will be in separate matches of this double header. How did you feel when you got this terrific news?
Amaris Quintana :Thank you so much! I was amazed that they offered us an opportunity to be on the undercard of those two great fighters. I felt honored and thought that finally my hard work is paying off. It’s unusual for women to be on big cards like that. I was so happy when my manager told me, as was he. We took it right away and started working hard since we got the news.
TBB :Does that factor of this being close to home, near the San Diego area, make you feel more comfortable? Or does it make you a bit nervous about this fight because of the added pressure?
AQ :It doesn’t matter where I fight. I feel comfortable fighting anywhere because I know I’m always ready, and train hard for each and every one of my fights to give the best that I have and more. I am a bit anxious. This is one of the biggest events I’ve ever been in.
TBB :Your opponent, Kenia Enriquez, is a tough competitor coming in with a record of 15-1. Her only loss was to a tough fighter you have both fought, “Mighty” Melissa McMorrow, which you drew with twice. What do you know about Kenia's style?
AQ :She’s a tough chick. She is very technical with her style and technique. We've worked together already a couple of times.
TBB :The 2012 Olympics was the first time women boxers were able to compete. Unlike the men, they were the only ones that brought back any medals. Since then, do you think women's boxing has got more attention in your opinion? Or has it stayed about the same as before then?
AQ :To me it has got a bit more of attention. Not what it needs to get. But hopefully soon it will since it did for women’s MMA, it should also for women’s boxing. I hope with having two women bouts on this undercard, it can also open up more doors for us women boxers and open the eyes of the world that women can do the same as the men. And should get the equal attention and pay as they do! Also more respect for us in the sport of boxing.
TBB :How do you feel just days away physically and mentally for this fight?
AQ :I feel good. We are on weight already and finished camp strong on Friday. I feel mentally and physically ready.
TBB :You're known to be someone that is willing to mixed it up when you have to in the ring. Can we expect to see that against Enriquez on Saturday?
AQ :You will see that and much more!
TBB :For anybody thinking or debating about buying a ticket for this event, what would you tell them?
AQ :I would tell them buy it ASAP! It will be a great night of action and fun. You won’t regret it.
TBB :I hope you guys give the people a great show to prove that women fighters are just as worthy to perform at the highest levels as the men are in this sport. Best to you this coming Saturday night! Amaris, thank you very much for your time.
AQ :Thank you so much. Yes, all four of us women that will compete Saturday night will give our all to show that each one of us has talent and skills also.
TBB :Thanks again Amiga!