By Phil Doherty
Photo: Sam Cohen
Undefeated WBA #1-ranked International welterweight champion Brad “King” Solomon (16-0, 7 KOs) stepped up his sparring at the Heavyweight Factory gym yesterday with six tough rounds against Kronk gym light middleweight Domonique Dolton (10-0, 6 KOs).
Solomon’s performance earned praise from both Dolton and Hall of Fame Kronk trainer Emmanuel Steward, who commented: “I’m really impressed with Brad’s speed and moves in there. It was like watching Leonard and Hearns.” Dolton added: “Yeah, he’s pretty fast. It’s good for me to get in with guys like that for the different styles.”
Solomon and head trainer John David Jackson expect to step up the pace leading into the upcoming March 18th bout at the Seminole Hard Rock Live to be broadcast on ESPN Friday Night Fights. Solomon confirmed: “The next 2 to 3 weeks we’re going hard, working my body into condition. I’m feeling it right now.”
Solomon also added his reaction to finally claiming the top formerly “not-rated” WBA contender spot, stating: “I’m kind of excited about getting the #1 ranking. I’ve wanted to get some big shots, get some more opportunities in the sport.”
The Heavyweight Factory gym could be considered south Detroit by the number of Kronk fighters currently training there in preparation for upcoming bouts. The Kronk fighters maintain a true sense of family with each other and their trainer as they go to work together and live together during camp.
Current Kronk fighters training daily include Dolton, heavyweight Johnathon Banks (25-1-1, 17 KOs) and Irish middleweight Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs).
Steward’s superstar pupil, WBA super-welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) extended the sense of family as he was joined in the gym by his wife, Melissa and their 3 children: sons Miguel Jr. and Luis as well as daughter Alondra. Cotto performed his workout with a burning quiet intensity in preparation for his March 12th Las Vegas showdown against Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga (29-7-1, 23 KOs).
Cotto didn’t respond to the almost daily trash-talking coming from Mayorga; who trains a few hundred miles north in Ocala FL. However, the Puerto Rican Cotto may have some choice words in Spanish and English for the Nicaraguan during the upcoming open media day at the gym on Tuesday, February 22nd beginning at noon.