By Kurt Wolfheimer
On Friday night at the Cedar Gardens in Hamilton, New Jersey, light heavyweight sensation Omar Sheika (29-9, 20 KOs) will continue his quest for the elusive world title that has been just beyond his grasp. Sheika, The 2003 & 2004 ESPN fighter of the year will face the always dangerous Jim “Steel Chin” Strohl (27-8, 21 KOs). Fightnews had the opportunity to speak with Sheika as he prepared for his toughest fight of his comeback.
Omar, how are you?
I feel great everything and I am in great shape for the Friday night fight and I am ready to go and excited for the fight.
How has your training gone for your fight with Jim Strohl?
Everything has gone as planned and I have sparred with a lot tough fighters. Guys like Jason Escalera (8-0, 7 KOs) have really me prepared for anything.
What do you know about your opponent on Friday night, Jim “Steel Chin” Strohl?
I know that he is a big puncher who has scored a lot of knockouts.
You have looked really good on your comeback including a fourth round stoppage of heavy handed Garrett Wilson in your last bout. What is driving you on this comeback?
I want another crack at a world title. I think I should get a shot by the end of the year. I told Nedal Abuhumoud, my promoter and he is keeping me busy and that is the whole idea. I see a lot of fighters out there in the light heavyweight division that I could fight and there are a lot of good things that can happen for me.
In your last bout, you fought a big puncher in Garrett Wilson; does your strategy change as you fight a more experienced Strohl?
Not really, because I don’t know much about him except that he can punch. I am going to try and jab more and throw more combinations, which I have been working on. He is a tough guy and this is the kind of fight that you could lose if you are not prepared for anything.
For those who may be seeing you for the first time on Friday night, how would you describe your style for them?
I am basically the type of fighter that likes to get the knockout.
How has signing with Nedal helped your career?
Nedal is a very good guy. He has kept me busy. I have two fights in three months and that is the whole idea which is to get me back in the ratings. I don’t want to be the fighter that fights once a year and when the world title shot come that I won’t be sharp. I want to be ready when that shot comes and Nedal is helping me to stay sharp and ready for when that time comes.
In closing, do you have anything to say to your fans?
I just ask that they come out and support me. I am prepared and ready to give 110%. It should be a great fight so I don’t think you want to miss this one.