By James Slater
Mexican puncher Julio “Pollito” Ceja knows he will not get much fan support when he rumbles with local hero Jamie McDonnell in Doncaster tomorrow night, yet the soft-spoken 20-year-old appeared in no way intimidated by the task at hand at this week’s press conference.
Smiling, even grinning on occasion as he sat at the podium and later answered questions from the media, Ceja, 24-0(22) seemed to be enjoying the whole experience. Respectful of McDonnell, 20-2-1(9), there were no boastful pre-fight knockout predictions from the visiting fighter – only the self belief that victory will be his after what could be a tough fight.
Fightnews.com managed to speak with Julio during the “Making History” presser:
There isn’t too much known about you over here in the U.K. Firstly, what was your amateur record, Julio?
“I had 50 amateur fights, I lost seven of them.”
And how long have you been working with the legendary Nacho Beristain?
“I have been working with him for around one year now. Already he has taught me a lot.”
Promoter Dennis Hobson said that he believes the UK is one of the fairest places in the world in sport when it comes to getting a just decision. Still, are you worried about what may happen if this fight does go to the cards?
“No, I’m not concerned at all. I’m very well prepared and I have total confidence in my training and in my conditioning.”
You have fought ten rounds just once, any concerns at all about going 12 potentially fast, tough rounds?
“I have only fought ten rounds one time yes, but I know that I’m well prepared and I am more than able to go 12 hard rounds if necessary. I can go more than 12 rounds if I have to (smiles)”
Obviously you are a big puncher with 22 KOs from your 24 wins. Will you come out fast and aggressive from bell-one on Saturday?
“Of course I will be aggressive, but I’m going to start out boxing him, and see what he’s got, and then after a few rounds I’ll go get him, for sure.”
Has anyone hurt you in a fight and who has given you your toughest pro fight so far?
“No [no-one has hurt me]. My toughest fight so far was the guy who took me ten rounds, Genaro Garcia (Ceja WU10 in Sept. 2012). He lasted against me, he was tough.”
You come from a great fighting country, with so many great Mexican warriors. Who are your boxing heroes/influences?
“My idol has always been Salvador Sanchez. Right now, my hero and favourite fighter is Juan Manuel Marquez. Sanchez is the reason I became a fighter.”
Do you have a final prediction? Are you expecting a KO win?
“I never rely on the KO. I will win in whatever way I have to to get the victory.”