SylvanaBoxing.com had the
chance to sit down and be one on one with the late Emanuel Steward's nephew
Javan "Sugar" Hill who is keeping Manny's legacy alive by creating fighters
that sunpass any other out there. "I
train them, which alone makes them special!"
(Sugar Hill laughs) "I teach my
fighters all they need to know. I continue to pass on what Emanuel has
taught me" Don't
miss what Sugar Hill has to say, he talks all things boxing, fighters he is
currently working with, and much much more.. alot of knowledge - come back
for more as we will always be checking in on Sugar Hill's boxing.
Sugar Hill is a well-known name in the sport that we love, but for those who
haven’t had the chance to actually get to know him, I’ve asked him a few
questions about all things boxing.
“I currently work with NABF Heavyweight Champion
Jonathon Banks, Adonis Stevenson
who is currently number one at the IBF, waiting on the winner of Carl froch
vs. Mikkel Kessler so he can be the number one mandatory challenger; Dimitry
Salita, welterweight from New York who is currently working on making his
come-back; Donovan 'DA BOMB'
George out of Chicago came to train with me for his up-coming
fight on 22nd March which will be shown on ESPN; Ruslan Chagaev, whose wife
has just had another baby, moved to Michigan and is now part of the Kronk
Team, great things ahead for him, definitely keep an eye out on him!
Anthony Barnes and
Leandre White are all up and
The first thing that we wanted to talk about was his
involvement in the world of Amateur Boxing...
“To have an outstanding amateur career is very important, from the
beginning you learn everything, you work your way up - national level,
international level, and then the world! To go through the amateurs is very
important to be a world champion.
Roy Jones Jr, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, they all had an
outstanding amateur career. I’m not working with many amateurs right now
though, just because I’m not training in the Kronk
boxing gym since it closed after Manny’s passing. I train at a gym called
Bad Boys which is outside of Detroit; they kindly let me use the gym for a
place to train the fighters. The rest of the Kronk team is spread across the
city in different gyms until I get a new building sorted to open a new Kronk
Gym. Kronk Gym closed when Emanuel passed away whilst I was over in Germany.
Emanuel and I worked on getting a new place anyway but it did not open yet
as I’m looking for a brand new one. That’s how he would have wanted it”.
I’m sure boxing fans across the world often wonder what a day in the
legendary Kronk gym is like. Well, Sugar Hill describes a typical scene…
“They have their basic routines when they arrive in the gym - get dressed,
put their hand-wraps on, and then they start shadow boxing. You know, it’s
the main things such as stretching, shadow boxing etc... I look forward to
each day to see what is going to happen because every day is different. I
don’t even know what exactly is going to happen. It also depends on who is
showing up in the gym. If I have a different fighter show up I might say we
are all boxing today or it may be something in particular someone needs to
focus on. I have days where we just do some pad work, no boxing with
everybody together, just pad work and show them something to work on. The
next day they might go in and box, you never know, I might not do a lot of
pad work with these guys that day. It’s either boxing a lot, or practice a
technique. The pads are not really real boxing, you can’t try different
things on your own, and a boxer will just do what they are told to do. I try
to simulate boxing on the pads very well though, as far as imitating the
opponent they will fight. That way, you get a good idea of what they will be
placing, also in what kind of sparring will be in front of you...”
I asked if he feels that ‘old school boxing is dying’ and whether pad work
was more significant back then.
“Pad work is good, but you need to know how to handle the pads, to create
something for the fighters to learn. Back in the day there was no pad work
at all. It started in the 80’s people just had a pair of boxing gloves
on…shadow boxing. To your question regarding the old school boxing - Yes, in
a way it is because you have all the different specialties, a condition
coach, an offence coach, defense coach, nutrition coach, they create extra
things for these fighters. They say its technology and it makes them (the
fighters) better but I believe the old school is the way to do it. It’s more
successful, having worked all this time... but now they got doping guys,
they add to it. It’s almost like a football team with all these coaches. You
got a coach for everything. Next time you will have a coach for how to
breath! They create extra jobs and kind of ruin the sport with it. I believe
in conditioning, but some of the stuff they do, hasn’t anything to do with
boxing and can hurt the fighter. It’s good stuff if you use it right but
it’s over-used for fighters. I had one particular fighter who went, and the
next thing is that he is so sore from all this stuff he’s doing; leaning
back and all this weird stuff he was doing... all this stuff has nothing to
do with boxing. I think you should do the traditional things in boxing.
Lifting light weights and that’s it. Not all this extra stuff like jumping
back three stairs and then two back, jump back up four and then jump back up
three. Extra stuff to make you tired and to create something new to say ‘Oh
this is really getting you in shape’. All these conditioning people have
never boxed before so how do they know what we need?”
So what is Sugar Hill's view on the current state of boxing?
“Besides anything else it’s becoming more of a business. They all want to
fight the best, but they don’t want to take the risk. A lot of fighters
become ‘stuck in a rut’ and that’s what hurts the boxers most. It’s the
promoters fault for not letting the fighters fight. I’m looking forward for
the Brandon Rios fight though, I like him, and he will break everyone down
the line. He loves what he does, he wants to be hit... you hit him and he
knocks you down and out! I’m always looking forward to my fighters of
course, Mayweather fighting Guerrero and then there is Mayweather vs. Canelo.
He needs a couple more fights first though.”
Javan has travelled around the world and says there is
a big difference between American and European boxing “Americans
are more creative, European boxers are more predictive.”
We then started to take a look at his last fight that he was working on -
the Cornelius Bundrage fight. “Why should he win because he was in
his hometown? I don’t think he has won the fight... why? Why because you are
a fighter in your hometown? No, I don’t buy this hometown stuff”
explained Sugar Hill
Steward, Johnathon Banks, Sugar Hill
So let's see how Johnathon
Banks is doing...
“Banks is recovering, his injury is healing and he will be going to Austria
soon to work with Wladimir Klitschko for his next fight on May 4th.
I think when Banks fights Mitchell again it could be interesting this time, seeing as
Mitchell has had more time to prepare for the fight. Banks will go hard
again. We are coming to knock him out; we won’t leave it in the score cards
hands. Plus that’s entertainment, selling tickets. As far as the rumors
about Jonathon fighting one of the Klitschko Brothers... I don’t think this
will ever happen because of such a close relationship between them.”
Before we finished the interview, Sugar Hill wanted to
share something with you….
“Joseph Bonas, Anthony Barnes and Leandre White, they are up-coming
fighters. All very talented boxers! They are learning with no rush to be on
the top, happy with learning boxing skills to fight offensively to become a
World Champion. They all have powers, Joseph is a slick fighter, and they
say Bonas is the ‘white person that fights with the style more likened to a
black fighter’. You can see that he grew up watching many talented boxers!
Anthony Barnes is also picking up on it. Kronk’s own are very unique and
exciting fighters; they are learning and keep pushing it to the limit. They
are the future in boxing. Don’t miss it and keep an eye out for them.”