Junior middleweight Andy Kolle recently answered a few questions for the Fistic Mystic.
Fistic Mystic: You’re coming off of a second consecutive first-round TKO win, with both of them coming on the undercards of ShoBox events. I reported from that event that your opponent, Francisco Osorio, hit you with some good shots and forced you to walk through his power to put him away. Please give the readers your take on how that fight unfolded.
Andy Kolle: In the fight with Osorio, I came out and tried to establish my jab and make this fight more about boxing rather than going right after him. The jab made him move into my power hand and I dropped him with a left hand that kinda hit him in the back of the head (completely unintentional, but he turned his head as I threw the punch and it was too late). When he got up I think he was a little pissed because he came at me swinging. During this time he got me up on the ropes but I was able to slip and block most of his shots. A few got through but I got off the ropes asap. When I got back to the center of the ring he came right at me again, however; I wasn’t gonna let him get me out of my game and I just picked and countered his shots and landed a big left hook right on the chin and that was it!
Fistic Mystic: Have you or your team gotten any feedback from network people or boxing industry people following those consecutive one-round wins?
Andy Kolle: Yeah, the phone has been ringing off the hook but all the fights are at 160 and I am committed to staying at 154 as long as I can. The showtime people seemed interested but at the same time they don’t make the fights. But I am confident that something will come together early next year.
Fistic Mystic: It must have been special fighting so close to to your home town of Fergus Falls for the first time in several years.
Andy Kolle: It was great! The timing of the event was not the best considering it was opening deer hunting in Minnesota. That might not matter in other states, but in Minnesota that is a big weekend! The fans in that area have always been so gracious to me and it is a great feeling.
Fistic Mystic: You told me nearly three years ago that you were open to fighting in the junior middleweight class. Now you’ve officially made the move down from 160 pounds to 154. That doesn’t seem to bode well for you to get matched with Caleb Truax [middleweight Truax, from Osseo, is 16-0-1 with 10 kayos]. Do you have any desire or intent to defend your Minnesota middleweight title again? If you didn’t plan to defend it would you announce that you’re vacating it?
Andy Kolle: Honestly winning that title was huge for me because of how I earned it. Titles are titles and they are a great thing to have, but they are not the only thing in boxing. I think the best thing for me and my career is to stay at 154 pounds and keep trying to push out onto the national scene. I don’t think that any MN vs MN fight is gonna further my career in the national direction.
Fistic Mystic: There have been rumors that you’ve turned down offers to fight some name guys at middleweight. If true, those rumors seem to show that you’re serious about your new weight class. Are the rumors true?
Andy Kolle: The rumors are very true, but like I said, we have made a decision to campaign at 154 and plan to stick with it.
Fistic Mystic: Do you still see any circumstance where you could end up fighting Truax or any other middleweight?
Andy Kolle: Anything is possible in this sport. Caleb has his own thing going and it seems to be working for him. In-state rivals are great but there is a bigger picture to this boxing world, and my ultimate goal is beyond Minnesota.
Fistic Mystic: Looking around your home state of Minnesota, there are a bunch of good, young junior middleweights coming up. I’m talking about guys like Dave Peterson (12-0), Cerresso Fort (10-0), Jon Schmidt (10-1), Javontae Starks (4-0), and Corey Rodriguez (5-1-2). It’s beginning to look like Minnesota’s most loaded weight class. What do you know about these guys; have you worked out or sparred with any of them?
Andy Kolle: I have seen most of those guys fight, and I would be willing to fight anybody my team puts in front of me. The only one I have been in the ring with is Cerresso, and that was as an amateur when we fought twice.
Fistic Mystic: On a completely different subject, we’ve never talked about your experience sparring Antonio Margarito a few years ago, before the controversy with his hand-wraps and his subsequent losses to Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. When you were in Margarito’s camp, did you ever see or hear (or feel) anything that made you think twice about whether Margo and his team were bending the rules of boxing?
Andy Kolle: Naw man, Antonio and his team was great to us, and I still stay in contact with all those guys. I don’t know about what they were doing in fights but when we were sparring his power never bothered me at all. It was his relentless pressure that made him a tough guy to work with. It was a great experience and it helped make me the fighter I am today, and I thank the whole team for bringing me in to help!
Fistic Mystic: I understand that Horton’s Gym is presenting an evening of boxing on January 8th in Duluth. Is it possible that you’ll fight on that card?
Andy Kolle: Like I said before, anything is possible and if we can’t get something planned before that, then that is a possibility I would be open to in order stay active.
Fistic Mystic: Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I’ve always appreciated that you’re one of the most available and friendly guys in boxing in the Upper Midwest. I think it will only help you more and more if you continue to take that approach as your career progresses.
Andy Kolle: No problem! A big thank you to you and all the other boxing writers that keep the fans informed!