INTRODUCING 2008 OLYMPIAN SHAWN ESTRADA
Estrada makes pro debut vs. TBA next week
Press Release: The following is a question and answer session with 2008 Olympian Shawn Estrada covering his participation in the Olympics in China and now preparing for his first professional bout on November 29, 2008 in Ontario, Calfornia.
ON THE 2008 OLYMPICS
Question: Other than you and your team, did anyone associated with amateur boxing or the media think that you would make it to the Olympics?
Answer: Besides my team and familia, no one else thought or believed that I would make the Olympic team.
Question: Whom did you have to beat to earn a spot on the Olympic team?
Answer: My first bout in the U.S. Olympic Trials was a third round stoppage of Zacchaeus Hardrick, from Fort Carson, Colorado. My second bout, I beat Fernando Guerrero of Salisbury, Md., 20-12 who is now an undefeated pro. My third bout I beat Daniel Jacobs, from Brooklyn, N.Y., who was the favorite to represent the U.S., 13-13 (33-23) going into the winners bracket. The fourth bout I beat Daniel Jacobs again 24-14 to make the U.S. Olympic team. Jacobs is also an undefeated pro.
I then had to qualify my weight and country to the Olympics in Guatemala City, Guatemala in the Second AIBA American Olympic Qualifying Tournament. My first bout there I beat Andrew Fermin from Trinidad 11-3. My second bout, I beat Alexander Brand from Colombia 12-6 and in my third bout, I beat Yamaguchi Florentino from Brazil 18-6. My fourth and final bout, was against Ezequiel Maderna from Argentina, who I beat 12-7 and finally officially qualifying my trip to the Olympic games.
Question: What was going through your mind arriving in China and preparing for your first bout?
Answer: It felt like a dream came true! I was excited, prepared ready to fight!
Question: How did you handle the pressures of fighting for your country and the unfortunate health of your father back in Los Angeles? Answer: It was an honor and a pleasure to represent my country in the Beijing Olympics. I wanted to win a Gold medal for my country and especially for my father making him happy. But it did not work out that way. I know my Dad is happy our dream came true and the saga continues.
Question: How would you grade your performance in the decision loss to the eventual Gold medalist Great Britainís James Degale?
Answer: I would grade my performance a "C" just because he was awkward to fight and I couldnít get my punches off. I would love to see him in the pros. I would beat him up!
Question: Many thoughts had to be going through your mind on the long trip home. Did you keep to yourself or were you with your teammates?
Answer: I flew back with my family and knowing my father had past away the only thoughts were getting back as soon as possible to see my father.
ON TURNING PROFESSIONAL
Question: When did you decide to turn pro, before or after the Olympics?
Answer: I decided before the Olympics.
Question: What was the process obtaining your management team and promoter?
Answer: On my management team, (Arnulfo) Bravo had co-trained me and also helped me financially three years prior to the Olympics. I did not have to look too far for a management team. Bravo Management, the name of the company, includes Bravo, Don Morrandini and Eric Scholnick, has always been there for me from day one. My management team spoke to a handful of promoters and made the decision to sign with Goossen Tutor Promotions.
Question: Once you signed with Bravo Management and Goossen Tutor Promotions, what was it like to know you were going to turn pro?
Answer: I was excited and anxious to start in my new goal becoming a world champion. By beating both Jacobs and Guerrero to qualify for the Olympics, they got the head start on me in the professional ranks and Iím anxious to catch up real quick.
Question: How did it feel stepping into the gym as a professional fighter and not as an amateur?
Answer: Different because it is the pros now. I wanted to start training and adapting to the pro style once I got home.
Question: Do you think you will feel different from the way you did when you stepped into the ring at the Olympics when you step in the ring on Nov. 29?
Answer: I do not know how Iíll feel for my first pro fight but the feeling I felt in the Olympics are words I cannot describe.
Question: Is there a difference in the preparation for your training?
Answer: Yes, amateur boxing is throwing lots of punches for points. And the pros are taking your time, throwing more body shots, smaller gloves, no headgear, and no shirt. So the training is totally different compared to the amateurs.
Question: With all the worldwide attention you received from articles and television interviews about you and the circumstances of fighting in the Olympics while your father was gravely ill, what was the one question you wish one of those reporters would have asked you and what would have the answer been?
Answer: I really donít know because all the reporters asked me hundreds and thousands of questions. But something I can say is my Father Juan Estrada will always be in my corner in my professional career. Rest in peace Papa.