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July 05, 2013

By Benny Henderson, Jr.

Trainer Jack Loew is best known for his work with former world middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, but there is more to Loew's career than that. Last weekend, on an HBO fight in Connecticut, the Loew-trained Willie Nelson (21-1-1) won a close decision over Luciano Cuello. Loew spoke with Boxingtalk's Benny Henderson, Jr. about why the fight was closer than than it needed to be. Loew also answered questions about his career so far. Enjoy.

Benny Henderson, Jr.: Congratulations on your fighter, Willie Nelson, earning himself a hard-fought victory last Saturday night. Looking back on the fight, what grade would you give your fighter?

Jack Loew: I would give Willie a C on that fight. I think he did enough to win the fight, there was no question about that. But, I think he made it a whole lot tougher than it should have been.

BH: I have to ask this... I know throughout some of the fight you were very vocal as well as seemingly aggravated with Willie for not using his size and reach. Not with just Willie, but how aggravating does it get when you give a fighter a solid game plan to win, and they go out and do their own thing?

JL: It is real frustrating, because [as a trainer] you cannot get in there [the ring] and do anything about it. It comes back on us. You saw [HBO commentator] Max Kellerman come in our corner and ask is this what we prepared for? Hell no. We prepared to use that double jab and throw that right hand. When Willie listened to me and threw the double jabs and right hand, he hit him every time. I did get frustrated. There was not really anything else to do but that. He could have made it an easy night. It does get frustrating.

BH: What are the three things you feel a fighter needs to be successful in the professional side of boxing?

JL: He definitely has to have a chin. He needs to have decent pop to get the respect from his opponent. And he has to have discipline.

BH: You have trained over a handful of damn good fighters... right off the bat former world middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik comes to mind. So my question is, as a pro, what does it take to be a Jack Loew fighter?

JL: I have learned a lot since I started, especially in the pro side of this. To be one of my fighters, you have to listen. You have to be disciplined and you have to be willing to sacrifice. And I do not mean just in the gym. You have to sacrifice things inside and outside of the gym. I think that is the key.

BH: You have had a solid successful career thus far as a trainer, but, we know everybody has bad nights in this boxing business. If you can go back to a fight where any of your fighters have lost, and give a different fight plan, or different advice to the fighter and make the outcome a victorious one, what fight would that be?

JL: Even going back with Kelly, the two fights we lost were to Sergio Martinez and Bernard Hopkins. I think the only thing that I would do over again is I would not of let the Hopkins fight happen. I just think the things that led up to that fight, with Kelly being sick. He had fever and bronchitis. The way the camp went, I would have definitely of canceled the fight, not change anything, just cancel the fight at that time.

BH: Who wins in September, Floyd Mayweather, or Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, and why?

JL: Mayweather is too fast and too accurate. I just think he is going to frustrate Canelo.

BH: The highest point of your career, as well as the lowest?

JL: Winning the middleweight championship of the world [Pavlik stopping Jermain Taylor], and obviously losing it to Martinez.

BH: In closing, when a reader reads this interview, and skims through the simple questions that I asked, along with your candid answers, what do you want them to get out of this, regarding, Jack Loew?

JL: That I am not a one hit wonder, I did not just train Kelly Pavlik. We worked very hard from when he laced up his very first glove, up to where he won the championship. I have a kid named Willie Nelson who is ranked three in the world. I am training some good fighters. I feel great hooking up with these guys, I would like to be thought of as a good coach. I think that I have done a good job with what I had to work with in this small town [Youngstown, Ohio]. Also, not to take too long, but I am a straightforward guy, and I have worked my ass off with what Iíve got. I want people to know that I am an honest straightforward guy.

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