|Stan “The Man” Martyniouk on Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, Andre Ward and Much More!
By John J. Raspanti (July 11, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
The first time I saw Stan Martyniouk was on the undercard of the Andre Ward-Mikkel Kessler fight. As Stan moved and slipped and fired combinations in a blur, I flashed on another extremely quick boxer whose biography I was then reading. His name was Billy Conn. Some called him “The Pittsburg Kid” while others preferred “Sweet William” due to his scientific and sweet boxing style. Conn came from a history of fighters as does Stan Martyniouk whose grandfather, father and uncle were all boxers. Stan ‘The Man” as he is called wowed everyone in Oakland that night, overwhelming his opponent with his speed of hand and foot. After an impressive amateur career Martyniouk is 9-0 as a pro and looking for bigger and better things. Recently I sat down with Stan and had a wide ranging discussion on how he got into boxing, his career to date, his favorite fighters and even his opinion on who wins the super fight between many Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather.
John Raspanti: What drew you to boxing?
Stan Martyniouk: What drew me to my boxing….well…my dad was a boxer…first he was a kick boxer and then he transitioned in boxing so I kinda grew up around the gym. When I was young 13…14 going into high school I wanted to try something different and give boxing a try. You know everybody was playing basketball, football, baseball…I just wanted to do something different. My dad would always take me to the gym so I decided to give it a try. I tried it out and my dad saw talent so he said…”hey let’s get you fighting now” What caught his eye was when I sparred I didn’t get scared…I always fought back.
JR: So you got a little feisty when you got hit?
SM: (smiling) Absolutely…what also got me more interested was I had my first amateur fight…and I lost my first amateur fight. But I fought a guy who already had fifteen fights and it was my first amateur fight…and after the fight I was upset because when I first fought I was a blank, I didn’t know what was going on. So after the fight…I was upset that I lost but then the next day a big article came out in the regional newspaper. It had a picture of me fighting and training…a whole article of me and I was like…wow…and that made me get back in the gym and train harder and come back my next fight and win by a KO…
JR: So you think you were destined to be fighter…your dad was a fighter and your grandfather and uncle fought right?
SM: Yeah…my grandfather and my uncle were fighters
JR: So it was like you were meant to be a boxer…it’s in your blood
SM: Yeah…yeah I think so…I think it was in my blood. I always had that something inside me that I wanted to try it for some reason…and I tried and here I am.
JR: Did you have a favorite fighter growing up?
SM: Well…funny story…the first actual boxing fight that I ever watched when I was little was Floyd Mayweather versus Angel Manfredy. That was the very first fight that I actually sat down and watched that I remember and after I watched that fight I became a big fan of Floyd Mayweather…I like how he fights…very fast…very sharp…so every time a fight of his was on…I watched…so he became my favorite fighter
JR: So it was Mayweather’s style that you really liked?
SM: Exactly…I just liked that he was very smart…he never got hit…he’s a smart fighter….he’s a thinker…and he always outclassed everybody, so I became a fan.
JR: Ok I have to ask…who’s your pick Pacquaio or Mayweather?
JR: Me too…tell me why?
SM: Because…Pacquaio likes it when fighters come at him…he doesn’t like it so well when fighters move…and Mayweather works really well with that, he knows how to bring the fighter in and pick them apart…
JR: What’s the biggest difference between fighting in the amateurs and professionally?
SM: Oh man…
JR: (smiling) Yeah I thought about that question for awhile
SM: Yeah…it’s a big difference…there’s a different nervousness that you have being a pro than an amateur…if I could go back to fighting as a amateur I’d fight differently…because you have a headgear to cover you have bigger gloves the time is shorter…and…everything is pretty much on points. As a pro everything is different because the gloves are smaller you don’t want to get hit by the gloves and you always need a strategy to breakdown your opponent because the rounds are longer so you don’t want to gas out in the first couple rounds. What you want to do is work off your jab…break the guy down and then finish him in the later rounds.
JR: So it’s almost like a different strategy from the amateurs to the professionals
JR: You’re 9-0 as a professional, who’s been your toughest fight so far?
SM: My toughest fight was actually my last fight…not because of my opponent…I had tougher opponents than him…but the reason why it was a tough fight was because…my trainer…and nothing against my trainer…at the time…I think he was trying to do the best he could for me…he was just trying to get me a fight. He took a fight at a weight class that I can’t really make…which was at 133 pounds…I was walking around about a week before t he fight at 144 pounds…so in a week span…I started to lose weight…and…I got sick. I got sick the week of the fight…pretty bad I had a cold…and everytime I was in the gym training I kept telling my trainer…I don’t feel so good…I don’t know why I just don’t feel good…I don’t know if it’s I’m losing weight or I’m feeling sick….and my trainer’s like ah it’s just you…it’s probably just losing the weight. But I knew it was more than that and then also when I went to the fight my trainer didn’t make it to the fight and he kept telling me the whole time he was going to be there and things happened. He didn’t make it and he only told me the day of the fight when I was walking to the locker room…so that played a big role mentally. I made weight…133 pounds but the night before the weigh-ins...I was 139…and so I had to drop 6 pounds till the morning. So I was running at night, I didn’t sleep …I had to wake up and go run…spit…didn’t really eat nothing…so it took a toll on my body. So when I went to fight…the first round was close…oh and I didn’t have anybody to warm me up in the dressing room. I was in the dressing room by myself…
JR: You went in cold…
SM: Yeah and I felt lonely because I didn’t feel I had a team with me to get me ready so I felt like I was going into the ring by myself…so…nobody was there…it was definitely a mental thing also and the first round was close but at the end of the round…I was throwing a 1-2 combination…as I was pulling back…the guy threw a left uppercut and it caught me off balance and my left glove touched the canvas so they scored it a knockdown. So it wasn’t that I was hurt…or he caught me with a good shot it was more I was off balance. I had to comeback from a 10-8 round to win the fight. So that was very difficult because I wasn’t really fighting with a lot of energy and skill I was mostly fighting with heart…because I had no energy from losing all that weight but I came out with the victory and that was a big learning experience…after that I changed a lot of things in my camp.
JR: That was going to be my next question…were you shocked when you were knocked down? It must have happened so fast.
SM: (nodding) Yeah it happened very fast you know it was like boom…I didn’t actually fall…my glove touched the ground and I came right back up and the referee scored it a knockdown…I was like man…because when people look they say Martyniouk was down in the first one…or they think oh…he probably caught with a good punch or he doesn’t have a chin...or something like that…but that’s not the case
SM: But that’s not the case…so the next fight I have to show 'em it was just a fluke.
JR: That’s right everybody’s a critic…
SM: Exactly everybody’s a critic.
JR: OK, I saw you last November in Oakland and you probably weren’t aware…but you were wowing the crowd and the media row with your quickness…is that quickness like a God given talent?
SM: I think so…you know I think that’s my biggest strength…that I have…is my speed. I think I surprise a lot of people with my hand speed when I fight, spar or when I’m in the ring it’s definitely one of the greatest talents that I have right now is my speed. A lot of people look at my knockout ratio and see I only have one knockout…so they look at me at 9-0 with one knockout and they think I don’t have any punching power but what they don’t know is that…the way that I was trained to fight by my old trainer was to work mostly on speed and moving around with my footwork to hit and not be hit…but it’s not that I don’t have power…I’ve never really worked at sitting down on my punches…lately I’ve been sitting down. That’s why I went to LA… I’ve been working on sitting down on my shots…I have the power…it’s just I never had anybody work with me.
JR: You’ve been training in LA for awhile now; you must be itching to fight.
SM: Yes…actually when I went out to LA I got some great sparring, great training out there…I’ve never had that kind of sparring here so I went up to LA. I got some great sparring every single week and that brought my confidence up…I sparred some great prospects out there and I was ready to go…now hopefully we will have this fight at the end of the month (July)…and I just can’t wait to get back in the ring cause I just want to show that I’m a different fighter now and that I’m one of the top prospects out there.
JR: OK, so July 23 is probably your next fight you’re fighting like 6 rounder’s so you really don’t know anything about your opponent right? Other than his name and his record…
SM: Right, exactly…
JR: Does anybody give you any information on your opponent…like you know he does this…he’s a slugger…he’s a boxer
SM: Um…you know some people that know the opponent I’m fighting might try to tell me a little bit but I’ve never watched any tape of my opponents because we never really know…I’ve never had a manager or promoter. I never know who I’m fighting until the week of the fight so we train for any styles so whoever they put in front of me…that’s the way I’m going to go…so in the first couple of rounds I do try and figure out my opponent…see what he has and then I go from there and try and break him down.
JR: So in the future you would like to be able to study some tapes?
SM: Oh yeah…absolutely…that’s always a positive if you can watch a tape of your opponent…you know you can really plan when you have an idea of what he likes to do.
JR: That’s what Andre Ward does but you know Floyd Mayweather never watches any tape…he just figures out what needs to be done in the ring
SM: (nodding) yeah…you know everybody’s different…if you look at Mayweather if you look at Andre Ward both are smart fighters…
SM: Both are hard to hit but they have different training methods so…I’m a fan of both…I’ve been watching Andre Ward since the amateur’s and since he turned pro and…I’m a big fan.
JR: Is there anything about training you don’t like?
SM: Yeah…training… (laughing) no…training is always hard but training has to be hard…I just like the payoff after the fight I like having my hand raised and being called the winner…I don’t really have a problem with training…I want to be the best out there I want to prove I’m one the best lightweights out there and whatever I got to do I do.
JR: Are there any fighters out there you’re zeroing in on?
SM: I don’t have my eye on one fighter just yet…right now my main goal is get with a promoter…sign with a promoter and build my record and get my name out there. Once I’m in the contender status then I’ll have my eye set on somebody, and I’ll beat whoever’s in front of me to get to the top.
JR: As we said…everybody is a critic…you have one knockout victory so far…could there have been more?
SM: Yes…I dropped four of my opponents…half of my opponents I’ve pretty much dropped them…but I dropped them at the end of the rounds…towards the end of the fight and it was four to six round fight…we just started working on sitting down on my shots…I have one knockout but I do hit harder than that…I have good power…people don’t know it yet. But they will see it in my next several fights…my knockout ratio will go up.
JR: Explain what sitting down on your punches is
SM: Again it’s the transition from the amateur to the pros…in the amateurs it’s speed…in the pros I’m slowing things down…concentrating on turning over my shots…punching with my whole body…and it’s good…I have the power but now I’m being shown how to use it and punch correctly…my speed is still there…but my punches got harder…and we’ve been working on being more relaxed.
JR: Last question…what are your goals as a professional fighter?
SM: My ultimate goal is to become a world champion in my weight division. Once I accomplish that goal than automatically I will want to be considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. I can't wait to reach the world class level but first I have to climb up the latter and take it one fight at a time. So make sure to keep an eye on me I'm coming! Oh and also I want to establish my name in the boxing world, once I become a world champion my eye will be set on not only becoming the best pound for pound fighter but also the business aspect as well. Such as looking to start my own promotional company and starting my own brand. I always think outside the box and have great ideas so once I get to that level many things will happen not just in the ring but outside the ring as well. This is a dream but I believe anything is possible when you put in the hard work.
JR: Great…thanks Stan and good luck.
SM: Thanks John…anytime.
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