I recently had a chance to speak with rising light middleweight contender James De La Rosa during the 220th edition of “On The Ropes” boxing radio. James touched on his recently upset win over Alfredo Angulo and discussed the later rounds in the fight in which he battled through adversity. De La Rosa also talked about potential fights he would like next, and how he thinks he would do against those fighters. Additionally James talked about a possible Mayweather-Pacquiao bout. Here is what James De La Rosa had to say.
Jenna J: I think we should start things with your impressive upset win over Alfredo Angulo that was on the under card of Mayweather-Maidana 2. How you feeling now that you’ve had a few days to reflect on it?
James De La Rosa: I felt real good and like I told my dad my trainer, this is the spotlight that I dreamt for, for all my life as a kid when I started boxing. This is what I wanted, to be on a big show like this and make an impression for myself, and that’s what I did.
Jenna J: Well James, you started things off with a bang and in the 2nd round you actually dropped Alfredo Angulo, what were you feeling at that moment?
De La Rosa: What was running through my head was, “Man I’m only the second person that’s knocked this guy.” The only other person was James Kirkland that dropped him, and I was just like “Wow!” For everybody who thinks that, “Oh James De La Rosa don’t have punching power,” it showed that night. Whether he was off balance or not, it was knockdown. I shocked myself with that too.
Jenna J: Being in the ring with Angulo, what did you think of him as a fighter?
De La Rosa: All these fights themselves tell it how it is. He’s a tough fighter, I respected him, I respected him for everything that he’s done. He’s done stuff that I dream of doing and now that I got the opportunity and I got to get a fight with him and pull of a win, but otherwise as a fighter, he’s a good fighter. There’s things he’s got to work on as well as every other fighter, but he was tough.
Jenna J: Did you think he was a bit little slower than you would have expected?
De La Rosa: No, his hand speed and stuff like that was everything I expected. I didn’t expect him to be fast at all — no movement at all, just sit there and try to cover up and block the shots. I expected everything that he came in with on Saturday night, September 13th. Everything he came with, I expected.
Jenna J: Later in the fight Angulo started to catch you a little bit and appeared to stun you late, how hurt were you?
De La Rosa: It was in the ninth round. I was fatigued — I wasn’t tired or anything, it was just fatigue that had set in already. He did catch me with a good shot that wobbled me, but my feet go back under me and that’s why I didn’t fall or anything. I didn’t take a knee, I didn’t feel like I needed to take a knee just to catch myself. He caught me, rocked me and in just a couple of seconds, I was able to catch myself and get back into the fight.
Jenna J: In the final round I’m sure your corner told you that you were way ahead and that you just needed to stay on your feet. How did you approach that round?
De La Rosa: Same thing as the ninth round, I got caught again. My corner, they told me, “You’re up, just go ahead and coast it,” but in my head I was like, “Man I got put on a show still for the fans, they paid their money to come see us so I can’t just move around and have them be disappointed.” I wanted people to be like, “I want to see ‘King’ James fight again.” So I had to go out there and fight still.
Jenna J: With the win you know you set yourself up for some big fights out there and people actually brought up the name of Miguel Cotto. Cotto’s looking to return early in 2015, somewhere around January or February. Would you be interested in that fight?
De La Rosa: I’m interested in any fight. My manager does the talking, and I’m just the fighter and I’m here to fight. Whoever he tells me I’m fighting, I’m fighting, that’s it. There’s is nothing else to it.
Jenna J: How do you think you would do against the style of someone like Miguel Cotto?
De La Rosa: To be honest I couldn’t even tell you. What I have always in my head is that I’m coming out with the win, no matter what. I don’t know how I match up with his style but I’d go in there and possibly shock a lot of people again.
Jenna J: Well you were apart of the under card of Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 and I’m curious, what did you think of the main event?
De La Rosa: It was exactly what I expected, Floyd was gonna make it look a little easier. I know in couple of rounds he did get caught with shots, which is understandable. To me personally, I thought like how when he re-matched Castillo, the first time they said it was close and the second time he blew him out. I basically saw the same thing for this one coming out.
Jenna J: After the fight they were talking about possibly making Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Do you as a boxing fan want to see that fight?
De La Rosa: Oh I’ve always wanted to see it, since they first started talking about it. But as time passes on, I guess now you look at Pacquiao’s career and you’re like, “Oh well he got knocked out by Marquez, lost to Tim Bradley and know he’s fighting this guy.” I think Mayweather is giving him the run around too much. If he wants to fight him, he should have just fought him when the time was and stop beating around the bush.
I was reading some articles that said Floyd wants to fight him, but it’s kind of late now. I mean if he does fight now, I’m pretty sure people will pay to watch because people love the sport but I mean, he should have fought him years back when they first started talking about it.
Jenna J: What do you honestly think would happen if they did fight now?
De La Rosa: Floyd, he’s gonna out box him, maybe he’ll walk him into a shot like he did Ricky Hatton, and drop him and knock him out late, possibly. You never really see knockouts with Floyd, but he does tend to get people to get over anxious and walks them into a shot.
Jenna J: Now James let’s turn things back to yourself. The fight between you and Angulo took place 160lbs but you fought for majority of your career at 154lbs. Can you see yourself going back to that weight division to challenge for a title?
De La Rosa: Yes that’s what I plan on doing. I plan on coming back down to 154 too, that is actually my normal weight. The reason I fought this fight at this weight was because I saw it as an opportunity for myself, it was a thing that I couldn’t pass up.
Jenna J: So you’ll be looking more to fight a champion at that weight class rather than at 160?
De La Rosa: Yeah, I would be more interested at 154, and maybe possibly work my way back up to 160 after. Everything depends on how everything works out for a fight, and who it is, and everything like that. Me personally, I’ll fight anybody but everything’s got to make sense, like my manager says. I just go to fight, so whoever they say I’m going to fight, I’ll let my team worry about that stuff.
Jenna J: If you had to pick one guy at 154lbs that you could just step into the ring with, who would you choose?
De La Rosa: Canelo! I mean, he’s the man. I would love to get my shot at him. There was talk years back of possibly me fighting him and it never came through. Like I said, everything has got to work out, but I would love to fight Canelo.
Jenna J: How do you think Canelo will do against Joshua Clottey in December?
De La Rosa: I think he should beat him. Clottey stays in the pocked too long and takes shots, unnecessary shots, which builds up points for the other fighter. But who knows, all it takes in one shot for a knockout so who knows, but I do see Canelo winning.
Jenna J: Well you mentioned that you would like to face Canelo. How do you think that fight goes between you and him?
De La Rosa: Twelve rounds and I would pull off the decision, an impressive decision.
Jenna J: How soon do you see yourself getting back in the ring?
De La Rosa: Well they’re possibly talking about on the December 6th card, on the Canelo under card. We’ll sit down and see and talk with my manager and my team to see how everything goes, and possibly and hopefully December 6th it will be.
Jenna J: Finally, to all your fans out there, the new fans you gained after beating Alfredo Angulo, any messages you want to pass a long to them?
De La Rosa: Just keep watching, ‘King’ James is on the rise and I’ll be at the top and I’m going to be there for a while. I am only 26 years old so I still got a lot more to go.