By Matt Thompson
Undefeated Schenectady, New York lightweight Michael “Baby Face” Faragon (10-0, 4 KOs) will have his first fight for his new promoters, The Empire Sports and Entertainment, on their debut show, Capitale Punishment this Friday (May 21) at Capitale in Manhattan. Faragon will fight his first eight rounder as one of the main supporting bouts to former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs main event against Dominique Alexander.
22-year-old Faragon had a strong amateur career and is now considered a leading professional prospect by many. He is managed by Stan Hoffman, manager of over 31 world champions including former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.
Faragon says that since his fight will be a rematch against Francisco Palacios, whom he defeated by decision in 2008, he’ll be using his performance to gauge his progress, thus far, as a professional.
Michael, how are you feeling going into your fight this Friday?
I feel really good. I had a very good camp. I’ve been sparring up to 14 or 15 rounds with people rotating to get ready and now I’m just anxious to fight for my new promoter and put on a good show.
Why are you fighting a rematch against Palacios?
We had someone else fall through and Francisco is a tough guy who will fight anybody. His record doesn’t show how tough he is. He’s only been stopped once. I beat him in a six-round decision last time, so this fight is a measuring stick of how much progress I’ve made.
What are some things you’ve been working on in the gym?
A lot of movement and using my jab to set up combinations. I’ve been working on being relaxed in the ring and not exerting extra energy; more composure.
What can the fans expect to see from you this Friday?
I like to think of myself as a boxer puncher. I can do a lot of things and adjust to a lot of situations. I’ve been trained that way to adjust to certain fighters. You can expect me to be on someone’s chest fighting. Not stupidly. I should have a pretty good showing.
How did you team up with Stan Hoffman for your manager?
I knew him from the amateurs from when I was 15. I went up to his camp a couple times and sparred a couple of his pros. I grew up around him and he always gave me advice coming up. He’s like a grandfather to me. He’s had world champions and he sees something in me and he says he thinks if I do the right things I could be a world champion one day. I’m ready to prove him right.