When Sergio Espinoza (16-6-1, 5 KOs) meets Raynota Whitfield (23-1, 11 KOs)this Saturday for the NABO WBO flyweight title he will enter the ring as the underdog without a doubt. Espinoza however prefers the odds against him as it seems to bring out the best in him. In 2007 Espinoza was brought in as the opponent to fight then (25-1) Juan Alberto Rosas who was the promising prospect at the time. Espinoza beat the odds and decisively defeated Rosas by unanimous decision. Espinoza now finds himself with a major opportunity in front of him in the Whitfield fight. He knows with a victory it’s likely a world ranking will be waiting in the wings for him and keeps his dream alive for a world title fight. Espinoza spoke with Fightnews prior to his departure from San Diego to the site of the fight in Augusta, Georgia.
Have you seen Whitfield fight before?
Oddly enough I’ve watched him fight on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights in the past and I recorded it just in case we ever met and now we are.
He has the height and reach advantage on you. Are you looking to keep the fight on the inside?
I’ve studied him well and he has strengths and weaknesses like all fighters, but it’s my job to exploit those weaknesses. I prefer fighting taller fighters rather than shorter fighters or fighters my own size. I definitely want to work his body.
Fighting in his hometown are you feeling pressured to stop him inside the distance to assure yourself of a win?
I’ve fought in other fighters backyards before and I enjoy it. There is nothing like taking the crowd out of the fight and then actually having them cheering for you. A lot of fans respect a visiting underdog like myself who comes in and takes care of business. My goal is to have an overall dominate performance to secure the victory.
How big of a fight is this for you at this stage of your career?
Honestly it’s now or never for me. I fight for the love of boxing and not for the money. I’m fortunate enough to have a good job where I’m able to take care of my wife and two daughters. At this stage of my career I want the opportunity to win the world title. Whitfield has already had that opportunity and by defeating him I will set myself up to get my chance at a world title fight.
Advance tickets for the Whitfield/Espinoza title bout and a terrific undercard are priced from $27 to $102 (including a $2.00 facility fee) and on sale through the Augusta Entertainment Complex Box Office, (www.georgialinatix.com, by phone at 1-877-4AUGTIX or in person at the Augusta Entertainment Complex Box Office, 601 Seventh Street ).
A $5.00 in person box office discount for all military, police and fire personnel along with college students with proper ID is available in all price ranges until February 26th. The Bell Auditorium is located at 712 Telfair Street in Augusta, Georgia; doors on the evening of the event will open at 6:30pm with the first bell at 7:30pm.