BOXING

REPORT FROM GLEASON’S GYM–Korobov On Monroe Misstep, Skill Set Of Jermall; Also, Mike Lee Update

Advisor Mike Borao stood watch as his guy Matt Korobov worked out at Gleason’s Gym on Wednesday, and mulled what ifs in his dead.

What if Korobov (pictured above) pulls an underdog special, and takes down Jermall Charlo in the middleweight main event Saturday night at Barclays Center, and on Fox free over the air…

“Matt has to fight a perfect fight, but because of his pedigree, his amateur background and pro background, I think he has the ability to fight a perfect fight,” the New Jersey resident told me. A win over Jose Uzcategui in 2014 shows how good Matt can be, he said, and “if he is firing on all cylinders he has the chance to do something special on Saturday.”

Borao and partner Jameel McCline watched the Russian born Florida resident and worked the room at Gleasons. The hitter told media that he is here to mess up the best paid plans of Charlo backers. The public thinks the 28-1 Matt is a big underdog, but Team Korobov believe in their guy.

 

Korobov has been agitating heavily for awhile now for a meaningful fight and I dig that. Now, it’s put up time..he can cease the lobbying and do what presumably he does even better than that…fight.

Korobov is 35 years old, and has had fights cancelled left and right, and has had to combat frustration the last two years. “I’m thankful to the Charlo team for accepting me,” he said at Gleason’s. He noted that yes, he’s 35, but hasn’t taken wear and tear of late. But mentally, yes, it was tough, because hello, one has to fight to get paid purses, to feed the family. Fights with Zurdo Ramirez and then David Benavidez looked like they’d come to fruition…and then didn’t coalesce.

The fighter said he learned about the Jermall fight on Dec. 15, so he has one week to ready himself mentally to ready himself from a heavy hitter at 160, not the 168 pound journeyman he’d been set to fight at Barclays. The Russian described the Monroe situation as “stupid,” and the fighter should have known what he was doing, taking a supplement which tainted his specimen. He thinks, he said, that he is a tougher out for Jermall than Monroe would be, for the record.

Now, rust could well be a factor; he had no fights in 2015 and 2017, and just one in 2018, so yes, there is no shortage of folks who think he will get stopped for the second time.

All told, Korobov thinks Jermall is good. “But he wasn’t tested yet, especially at 160…I never think really bad about the opponents, because I know how hard it is to get to this level. Am I his first real test? I hope so!”

Back to Borao..he has a solid roster he works with; light heavy Mike Lee, from Chicago, has risen the ratings ladders over the years, and Borao has helped position him for a meaningful bout, soon.

“You are going to see Lee in the first quarter,” Borao said. “We’ve gotten a few offers between 160 and 175, lucrative offers. But Mike can very easily get a title fight now, but we’re trying to get the best opportunity for Mike Lee.” That means, yes, money matters, but also a style matchup that suits his skill set.

And Lee could well fight at 168, not just 175, Borao said…so that widens out the possibility list.

More Borao clients…Alantez Fox beat Elvin Ayala in September and will be back in the first quarter. Also, big Charles Martin, last seen impressing all with immense heart against Adam Kownacki, fights Feb. 16 in LA, against foe TBA.

But first things first…should Korobov upset Charlo, expect a very, very merry Christmas in the Borao household. A coal in the stocking outing for Jermall would mean sweet options for Korobov and company.

 

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Michael Woods
About the Author:

Michael Woods. Host, TALKBOX podcast, powered by EVERLAST; 1st VP, Boxing Writers Association of America; http://NYFights.com is my site

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