To reign in Spain: Jon Miguez interview
Boxing Monthly's Luca Rosi met welterweight Jon Miguez, who is unbeaten in nine fights, a stablemate of European welterweight champion, Kerman Lejarraga and one of Spain’s top prospects...
The 22-year-old from Getxo Vizcaya will be fighting on 2 February on the ‘Winter on Fire IV’ bill at the Bizkaia Frontoia in Bilbao over 10 rounds with the WBC Youth world championship belt on the line.
BM: How’s your preparation been going? Are you ready to rumble?
JM: Yes, very much so. We’ve worked really hard in camp and I’m feeling great. All I’m thinking about is putting on a great show in front of my fans on 2 February.
BM: What do you know about your Ukrainian opponent, Vasyl Kurasov?
JM: He’s a great fighter who comes from a country that has produced elite level fighters in recent years. He’s also unbeaten, hungry and young [Kurasov will have turned 21 by the time of the fight] and he knows the importance of this title. It’s the biggest test of my career so far.
BM: It’s your tenth fight. Another important stepping stone to showcase your talent?
JM: I think that boxing is a long term career so you have to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. For me, quite aside from the title, I need to demonstrate that I am ready to climb the rankings gradually.
BM: You fought on the Lejarraga-Gavin undercard on 17 November. Describe your emotions.
JM: The atmosphere for all of Kerman’s fights is amazing. He’s the example that we’re all trying to follow. We don’t know how far he can go but he’s blazing the trail for all of us fighters who are part of the MGZ Promotions team. He always tells us that hard work produces results, so we all strive to match his high standards.
BM: How do you think you fared against Morocco’s Abdessamad Nechchad?
JM: It was a hard night’s work. He proved to be an excellent boxer. However, I managed to get the better of him over the eight rounds on points. The win has enabled me to now fight for my first title.
BM: How much have you improved under the tutelage of your trainer, Txutxi del Valle?
JM: A lot. Txutxi knows that each fighter is different and tries to make us more complete but without forgetting that we all have our particular strengths. Hard graft is non-negotiable. Together with the work that I’m doing with Gaby Ortega [in the Okinawa gym, Castro Urdiales], I’m making steady progress.
BM: What are your objectives for 2019? You’re mandatory challenger for the Spanish title…
JM: I want to show that I’m ready for these fights, nothing more. To become Spanish champion [Aitor Nieto holds the title] is the first step and then to consolidate at domestic level. Europe? That’s the preserve of Kerman and other fighters, like Josh Kelly, who are on the verge of big things.
BM: Your promoters have told us that you’re the new Kerman.
JM: It’s a fantastic compliment and I’m honoured to be mentioned in that bracket. But it would be foolish for me to think that I’m anywhere near that. Kerman is European champion and one of the best in the world – I’m just starting on my journey.
BM: Being around Kerman must be inspirational. You’re both welterweights of course…
JM: Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something from Kerman. He’s always the first to arrive at the gym and the last to leave. He has the enthusiasm of a novice and he confronts every fight with the same attitude. That and the fact that he dedicates time to give advice to the rest of the fighters, makes him truly the best possible stablemate.
BM: Your boxing style is also reminiscent of Kerman…
JM: There’s only one Kerman. He’s turning into a very complete boxer. Those that think his only asset is his brute strength are sorely mistaken. My only focus is to work hard, be dedicated and that I can match his professionalism and consistency.
BM: You’re known as ‘The Good Boy’…
JM: Yes, I only intend on showing my aggressive nature in the ring, not outside of it. I am just a welterweight looking to fight on the big stage. Hopefully 2019 will see me reign in Spain and if that means that I have to shed my good boy image, I won’t have a problem doing so!
(In case you’re wondering, Jon and Kerman would never fight professionally in a ring!)
Boxing Monthly would like to thank Iñigo Herbosa of MGZ Promotions.