Q&A: Jimmy Colas

Photo: Olivier Monserrat
Photo: Olivier Monserrat

by Robert Coster

Not too many European boxers come over to the American continent nowadays to pursue their career. But French/Haitian junior middleweight Jimmy “Pitbull”Colas (28-6, 12 KOs) has decided to do just that. Colas, a two-times European Union champion and three-times French champion, won yet another belt last Friday in Haiti (his birthplace) with a two round blowout of Dominican Junior Ramos, adding the WBC Latino interim title to his collection. The stocky 29 year-old Jimmy, signed up by Haitian promoter Jacques Deschamps, dreams of big fights in Las Vegas, the Madison Square Garden and Montreal while promoter Deschamps predicts that Colas will become a favorite of US television stations because of his non-stop action style. Fightnews caught up with Jimmy Colas, proudly harboring his newest belt with the purpose of knowing more about him and to discuss his plans for the future.

Jimmy, tell us briefly about your career in France and Europe. Introduce yourself.

I was twice the European union champion, and three times French champion as well as runner-up for fighter of the year in France two years ago. My record is 28-6…on paper. I’ll explain what that means.

So, the next logical question: what motivates you to start a career in this part of the world.

America remains the Mecca of boxing. I believe that in order to get a world title fight, I had to make the move from Europe. Mind you, I want to fight not only in the United States but Canada, Panama, Haiti-my birthplace.

Your promoter Jacques Deschamps also feels that you will do even better in this part of the world because of your style. Do you agree with that?

Definitely. I don’t fit the mold of the stand-up European style and I didn’t have a promoter backing me up. I could not find, up to now, a promoter that didn’t want to use me. I was my own man. For that reason, I was victimized in Europe. You know, boxing politics.

How so?

Of my six losses, four are totally bogus. When it came to judges, I was the black sheep. I really think that I have only two legitimate losses. My record should really be 32-2.

What do you think you bring as a fighter?

You need a fighter’s heart–I have that. You need a great chin–I have that. I’m not a knockout puncher but I will wear you down. That is why they called me “Pitbull”.

You have signed with Jacques Deschamps. Do you feel it is a move that will help you in this new start?

Definitely. Jacques knows boxing. He is the kind of man who has the boxer’s interest at heart. He is involved in boxing only because he loves the game. I think we make a good team.

Jimmy, you were born in Haiti, raised in France. When you fought in Haiti last Friday, you went into the ring with the flags of both nations. Does this reflect how you feel?

Yes. I have two nations, two mothers–one biological, one adoptive. I am proud of being French. I’m proud of being Haitian. By the way, I plan to go back and also fight in France–maybe defend the WBC Latino title there.

What do you think of those Haitian origin boxers who have won titles these past years-Joachim Alcine, Jean Pascal, Andre Berto?

They reflect the immigrant experience which is also my experience. It proves you can overcome the odds against you. Jacques Deschamps is finding local talent in Haiti itself and I would love to help. You know, I would like eventually to open a gym there. Give kids something to look forward to, get them off the streets.

You are in Joachim Alcine’s class. Would you fight him?

Of course, I would fight him. This is a business.

Anybody in particular you would like to fight in the United States?

I would fight anybody in the top ten and any champion. In Europe or anywhere else, I would like a rematch with WBO champion Sergei Dzinziruk of Ukraine. He beat me-fair and square–in a European title fight. He’s very talented but I was not in the best of shape.

Do you have a time table?

Next year, I want to go up the rankings and aim for a title shot. I’m 29 and I can’t waste time.

To finish the interview: do you have a motto?

Don’t be afraid to take chances. And that is what I’m doing with my career.

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