RingTV.com: Has your perspective changed on who you want to fight next, considering your exemplery performance against Ibragimov?
I’m in this business to fight the best, but I’m still a fighter who needs to grow a little bit more and to have the fights that will get me ready for those fights. Those are fights that can happen at the earliest, late, late 2012, but I would say the first quarter of 2013.
RingTV.com: What type of fight are you looking for next?
SM: I want to fight somebody in the top 10, top 15. Definitely a name fighter. I want to sit down with my team this week or next week and map out the next fight.
Definitely somebody who is a household name, or who has been a household name, or someone who is known.
This year, I’m looking for big names, and I’m looking for each of my fights to get bigger and bigger.
RingTV.com: What names?
I’m pretty sure that my next fight will be against someone who is known. I’m definitely looking to get back into the ring in March, most likely, on the West Coast somewhere. We haven’t talked about it, but we probably will in the next few weeks.
RingTV.com: Have you gone back and looked at the left hook that set up your series of right hands for the finish?
SM: I’ve watched a few times. I thought that it was a good shot, but I wasn’t completely set on it. It was just a reaction punch. I bent down on my left knee and just came back and up with it. If you really watch it, I wasn’t really set on it, but I had enough on it to get him and he never really recovered.
Once I got him with the hook, I just threw a barrage of right hands and attacked the body. He kind of attacked, but it also seemed like he was timid and scared of my power. So even when he attacked, and was throwing his right hand, he really wasn’t putting a lot into it.
He was punching and retreating at the same time, trying not to get caught with my power. That’s one thing, I can fight backing up and going forward, but people hadn’t really seen that. In this fight, from the first two minutes of the round, I kind of was the aggressor and kept him on his heels.
But the last part of the round, he started to come forward and get into a rhythm. I felt that I adapted well and that I was too much for him on the inside. I was too powerful for him and I was pushing him around. It turned out to be an easy night for me after I caught him with the left hook.
RingTV.com: Were you surprised that you ended it that early?
SM: I go into every fight prepared to go the full 12 rounds and to go hard. I didn’t expect to stop him as early as I did. I thought that it would be a more comrpetitive fight and that I could maybe get him out of there in the seventh or eighth round.
But the way it ended, you know, it looked good on television. I’m just trying to get better. This was definitely a big fight for me. I still have some things that I have to work on from the fight. But I’m just getting back into the gym after this little vacation. I’m getting ready and I’m excited for the future.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org