2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada
finally gets shot at Alexander Povetkin
April 4 in Dusseldorf, Germany
PROVIDENCE (February 27, 2009) – The long awaited showdown between America’s leading young heavyweight prospect, 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada, and Alexander Povetkin, 2004 Olympic gold medalist and the IBF’s No. 1 contender, will finally happen April 4 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Estrada (15-1, 3 KOs) and Povetkin (16-0, 12 KOs) should have fought in the amateurs at the 2003 World Championships or a scheduled USA-Russia dual meet later that year. Estrada, however, as the No. 1 USA super heavyweight, had to fight in the Pan-American Games, where he captured gold in his Olympic qualifier. Meanwhile, at the same time, Povetkin won a gold medal at The World Championships. Team Russia pulled out of the aforementioned dual meet and a foot injury hampered Estrada’s training for the 2004 Olympics. He was eliminated prior to the medal rounds as Povetkin rolled to gold.
Povetkin has a mandated title shot this fall against IBF heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, if he gets past the lightning quick Estrada. “The fight’s on April 4 but Povetkin’s the April Fool,” Estrada said during a break from training at his Big Six Academy in Providence. “I really see this guy as just a big-name opponent. He has his gold medal but he’s been babied his entire career. They just put guys in front of him to fight. He’s making a big mistake taking this fight. I’m not dwelling on the past. The old stuff doesn’t matter to me; I’m focusing on the present. It doesn’t upset me that people are calling this a tune-up for him. If the shoe was on the other foot, I wouldn’t take him lightly, but they’re making a huge mistake if they’re taking me lightly.
“I think it will be easier fighting him today than in the amateurs because he had to box a little more back then. You don’t see him boxing now. He’s a sitting duck. This (pro boxing) is a whole different game, something I learned in my first fight and I’ve progressed from there. He’s got the same stuff. Our fight didn’t happen in the amateurs, so I’m focused on beating him as a pro. I can’t see how he took this fight. His people must be telling him I’m just fast, like (Eddie) Chambers or (Chris) Byrd, but I’m more aggressive and they weren’t. I’m not worried about going over there because, if I smash him and lose, everybody will see that. No way I’m going to lose; I’m either going to stop him, or I’ll deserve a win by decision. He can’t prepare for what I’m bringing.”
Estrada’s promoter, Jimmy Burchfield (Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc.), worked tirelessly for several months to get Povetkin for Estrada. “I’ve never worked so hard to make a fight happen,” Burchfield explained. “I know how badly Jason wanted it. I have to compliment Povetkin’s people for taking it. The Estrada Unit doesn’t back-off from any opponent. They’ve talked about this fight for a long, long time. In 2008, Jason went from a youngster to a man, doing everything asked of him. For everything he’s done since he signed with CES, especially in 2008, this fight is a reward for all of his hard work. I believe Jason Estrada is a future world champion.”
Providence-native Estrada was one of the most highly decorated American amateur boxers ever, compiling an amazing 261-14 record in U.S. competition. He was the first boxer to win both the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Challenge three years (2001-2003) in a row.
Estrada’s father/head trainer, Dr. Roland Estrada, believes the risk of fighting No. 1 ranked Povetkin is worth the reward for Jason. “It’s an opportunity we couldn’t turn down,” he remarked. “If we did it would take us 1 ½-2 years to fight somebody as highly ranked as Povetkin. Back in the amateurs, Povetkin was No. 1 in the East, and Jason was No. 1 in the West. It’s a fight that almost happened three times but didn’t. We’ve had this fight in the back of our minds ever since. He’s still a straight forward, combination puncher without exceptional speed or technique. As a pro, he’s probably become better because he faced adversity, down a few rounds against Eddie Chambers with his eye swelled up, but overcoming it to win. Other than that, though, he’s pretty much the same guy he was as an amateur.”
Full Court Press