|Troy Harden: Nice Guys Finish First
INTERVIEW By Jason Petock (June 1, 2006)
Charming, humble and a real people person, Super Featherweight Troy Harden (4 0 / 3 KOs) is an up-and-coming prospect (who went 42 4 as an amateur) with as big of a heart as anyone out there and the boxing skills to match. His demeanor is actually so kind and friendly that it is almost like Troy turns on a light switch when he enters the ring to channel a highly aggressive and pugilistic state. Most that have seen or met Troy before cannot believe that this likable 21 year old kid from Melbourne, Florida is a professional prizefighter because his demeanor outside of the ring would suggest otherwise. But once he steps through those ropes it’s all business and don’t let his nature fool you because if you are on the other side of the ring with Troy Harden you’re in for a fight. In his spare time, Troy has a fascination with working on cars and is quite the mechanic with an astute technical ability and a deep interest in cars that only parallels his boxing aspirations in comparison. I would like to thank Cindy Pugilese his manager for her friendship from afar and for contacting me and helping expose the rest of the boxing world to a genuine fighter that has a bright future ahead of him. I would also like to thank Troy Harden for returning boxing to its roots with his honest style and even more honest personality. It’s rare that you meet a fighter who you genuinely like
as a person outside of the ring, a boxer whose character transcends what he does in the ring. Troy Harden is one of these fighters and I had the exceptional chance to interview him in recent times and here is what he had to articulate to me.
JP: How did you first get introduced to boxing?
TH: I would walk past the gym all the time and then one day I walked in.
JP: Who were some of your favorite fighters growing up?
TH: My favorite fighters are Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Muhammad Ali.
JP: Can you describe your style in the ring and what you feel is your biggest asset?
TH: I’m usually aggressive but patient and smart at the same time.
JP: What is it like to be working with someone as renowned and legendary as Buddy McGirt?
TH: A blessing, another blessing after working with former Heavyweight Champ Pinklon Thomas, it’s another blessing.
JP: Did you fight as an amateur and can you describe that experience?
TH: Yes, I learned a lot; went through a lot and that made me somewhat what I am today. It was a great experience.
JP: It seems like Florida is a real hot spot for boxing right now. Being a Florida native, what’s that been like for you?
TH: I got the chance to look up to fighters like Jeff Lacy, Roy Jones, Stevie Johnston and James McGirt. James and I went through the amateurs together and I feel like we took a step together. I mostly admire Stevie Johnston.
JP: Your manager, Cindy Pugilese, has nothing but good things to say about you. How is that working with her and how did you too meet?
TH: The relationship between Cindy and I is going very well and we both feel that it is growing after each fight. We met at the gym one night and then she started coming to my amateur fights.
JP: What would you like to accomplish in your division and where do you see yourself in the landscape of professional boxing in the next couple of years?
TH: Every fighter would like to win a Championship and have the chance to defend it several times. I would like to see myself in the lime light in several years.
JP: Cindy mentioned that you love working on cars in your spare time and are a skilled mechanic. What would your dream car be?
TH: My dream car would be a Buick Grand National.
JP: You just won a stunning upset over Roberto Astacio in Pompano Beach on your birthday April 22. Could you have asked for a better birthday present?
TH: No! I didn’t realize what I did until after the fight. I just thought it was another fight.
JP: If someone came up to you out of the blue and said, “Hey Troy, you could fight anyone in the world you want,” who would it be and why?
TH: Mayweather, because of the popularity that he carries, and to break his undefeated record. He is one of the fighters that I look up to in the Light Welterweight division.
JP: Cindy made it a point to tell me how personable you are. Can you tell me where your laid back and nice personality comes from?
TH: I try to show respect to get respect.
JP: How do you prepare for a fight and is it difficult for you to switch from a likable guy to an aggressive fighter at the drop of a hat?
TH: To prepare I always train hard. I don’t find it difficult now, but at first I was too laid back in the ring and now after the fast jabs and hard body shots I picked it up.
JP: What motivates you in the ring and why do you fight?
TH: My motivation comes from knowing that I can be the best and I fight for all the amateurs that didn’t make it.
JP: That’s all the questions I have for you in this interview Troy. Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you want to say, or let the readers or your fans out there know about you that we haven’t talked about? This is your chance to let the boxing community hear your voice.
TH: I would just like to say to keep your eyes open to hopefully see me on HBO or Showtime soon.
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