By Phil Doherty
Fresh starts are usually hard to come by. Literally. They usually force themselves upon us due to difficult and unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. Such is the case with the two men at the head of next Saturday’s “The Homecoming” boxing card at Casino Miami Jai Alai. Longtime boxing matchmaker and trainer Al Bonanni re-established his former promotional company Tiburon Promotions last December after being successively fired by boxer Tavoris Cloud and promoter Don King. His first acquisition, twenty-nine year old cruiserweight Azea “The Haitian Hitman” Augustama (13-1, 8 KOs) also found a need to change direction due to managerial changes and inactivity.
Augustama, the 2008 National Golden Gloves winner and Haitian Olympian, took some time out from training for his scheduled ten-round main event against David Lee McNemar to speak with Fightnews.
Azea, you’re headlining Tiburon Promotion’s card at the Casino Miami Jai Alai almost a year to the day since your last fight. How have you trained to overcome any ring rust?
As far as ring rust: I’m always in the gym training. It’s something I enjoy even when I’m not scheduled to fight. I’m sure there’s a few cobwebs I may have to shake off in the beginning, but once the first punch is thrown I’ll be fine.
You’re the first, and so far only, signee to Tiburon–Al Bonanni’s promotional group. How have Al and team treated you?
Al Bonanni treats me good. He supervises me in the gym and treats me good thus far. I used to spar with his last fighter Tavoris Cloud and I know Al expects the best of his guys.
You’re in against David Lee McNemar for ten rounds in this show. That’s the most since your eight round majority decision loss against Russian prospect Denis Grachev in 2011. How do you plan to deal with the extra rounds?
As far as the extra rounds, I’m not concerned. I work very hard in training and will be ready for the full ten rounds.
That was a tough first loss for you and it was at light heavyweight. Since then you’ve found your way back to cruiserweight. How important is the weight for you Azea?
The weight is not a major issue; even as an amateur I’ve fought different weight classes. Eventually I will return to light heavy.
At 29, some would say this fight represents a crossroads for you. Where do you want your career to go from here?
I see this fight as a new beginning, I want to get back on track, be more active and show the world that I’m a world class fighter.
What do you do when you’re not training?
When I’m not training I work at a boxing gym in Miami called Fight Club. The staff there is great and I will have the full support of my students come April 6th.
What would you like to tell the folks coming down to watch you on April 6th?
Come April 6th you will see a display of speed and power as a future world champ shows he will be the best one day.
Tickets for “The Homecoming” are still available online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Casino Miami Jai-Alai at 305-633-6400. Doors open at 7:30. First bell at 8:00 PM