Photos and story by Jesse Kelley
“The American Boy” Jason Litzau (27-2, 21 KOs) promises fans will see him at his best for Saturday nights HBO triple header bout against 34 year old former world champion Celestino Caballero 34-2, 23 KOs). Litzau, 27, of Saint Paul, MN will be a live underdog going into the bout, having won four consecutive fights including a technical decision over Rocky Juarez since being stopped by Robert Guerrero in 2008.
Litzau believes Caballero is the best opponent he will have faced and says a continued focus on ring intelligence combined with a training camp that included strength, conditioning, and reaction time training will be key to pulling off the upset victory. Litzau spoke with Fightnews following the most intense training camp of his career shortly before leaving for Las Vegas this past Tuesday afternoon. Litzau discussed the work he put in during training camp and his thoughts on Celestino “Pelenchin” Caballero.
I understand that you have added a very intense strength and conditioning program to your training camp for this fight. The program is run by an old highschool friend of yours. You say it has brought you to another level.
Gerardo Aguirre is his name. He is unbelievable. G-Force Fitness in Stillwater, MN. I have never been pushed like this for a fight. And now I see that I have never trained properly until now. You can’t really be ready for a fight like this unless you have gone through the kind of stuff that I have with Gerardo. Every day is a different thing. You work different muscles. You guys will see this Saturday night that this is the best Jason Litzau there has ever been. And you know what? There is no better time then now because this is the best guy I have ever fought. Everything is perfect right now. I never knew this level of being ready until now, period. We have worked on so much more then just strength. The focus was also on reaction, quickness and intelligence in the ring.
In the past we talked about trouble finding sparring partners here in Minnesota to prepare for the different types of opponents you face at this level. But I understand you teamed up with recent amateur standout and now pro welterweight Jamal James to prepare for Caballero. James is a tall and wiry puncher much like Caballero. Talk about the work you and James put in for this fight.
Both Jamal James and Oscar Soto, I can’t thank them enough for the work they put in. Unbelievable work. They are both big, strong guys. I guarantee they are bigger and stronger then the guy I am fighting. They are both great guys and great fighters. I have their back until the end of my life.
Let’s talk about Caballero. In my opinion, this is a pound for pound list fight. He is moving up in weight but I see it as two top jr. lightweights squaring off. Discuss your opponent Celestino Caballero.
Caballero throws a lot of punches, he is a super champ. I want to thank him as well as HBO for giving me this opportunity. All I can do is show up and prove myself on Saturday night. My goal is to get right back on HBO after this fight. Obviously I need to win to do that so that is what I am going to do.
Do you see any weaknesses in Caballero that you will look to capitalize on?
We saw some weaknesses and you will see on the 27th what they are. We have all kinds of ways to deal with what he will bring. We have a great game plan but if I told everybody what I was going to do to beat this guy there would be no reason to tune in (laughing)!
Will your NABF title be on the line?
No. I am vacating that title. This isn’t about titles, it’s about pound for pound recognition like you said and it’s about giving a great performance on HBO in front of the world.
What would you like to add in closing?
I want to thank all my fans and of course the troops. I can’t be in better shape or more prepared for the 27th and I look forward to showing the world the best performance of my career.