Brooklyn has recently seen a rebirth in boxing and with the Barclay Center now open the hot ticket isn’t just the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, but the various Golden Boy boxing events that pack in the arena with real fight fans. In the past Brooklyn was notorious for a high crime rate, drugs, and gangsters; and for the grittiest fighters on the planet. “Notorious” Frank Galarza has lived through it all and has emerged as a one of the brightest prospects in a packed junior middleweight division.
The undefeated fighter, who sports an 8-0-1 (4 KO) record, looks to start a busy year making his Barclay Center debut in his hometown on the undercard of Hopkins-Cloud March 9th. With “Notorious” moving his camp up to the quiet suburb of Danbury, CT, he seems completely focused on the task ahead and turning 2013 in to a monumental year in his young career. Teaming up with Bare Knuckle Fitness very own Cheyne Zeller; we take a trip up to Connecticut to ask about Galarza’s upcoming match, his scientific approach to training, and the bright future that lies ahead.
Tha’ Boxing Voice: We’re here in Danbury, CT about an hour or so north of your hometown of Brooklyn, how have preparations gone for your upcoming fight?
Frank Galarza: “Preparations are going very well I got my strength coach and I’ve been working with Fernely Feliz who Delvin Rodriguez trains with. We’ve gotten sharper, gotten better and stronger, faster…everything.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: Being inside of The Studio for Extraordinary Training, which is a fitness gym, what kind of exercises have you done to enhance your abilities? And what would you say to the purists that believe a boxer shouldn’t lift weights?
Frank Galarza: “According to my strength coach we definitely lift weights, we do squats to strengthen up my legs, and we do a lot of stuff…according to him it’s how you lift the weights but ask him he’s the coach…”
Cheyne Zeller: “It’s all about how you lift the weight, it’s not just about working your chest every Monday like a body builder, you’re using the weight to work on your speed, a lot of times people lifting weights they let the weights dictate how fast they move but we dictate how fast the weights move.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: And food? Is there anything different that you’re doing to improve your diet?
Frank Galarza: “We’ve been working with Juice Press, it’s a company with six locations and they’re opening a seventh location in Williamsburg…they’re spreading out fast, everything is all natural, nothing processed, no meats. Occasionally we add meat for extra protein but mainly it’s all Juice Press they make juice and food…it’s great.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: Being you’re in Danbury training for your fight on March 9th at the Barclay Center, have you had any time to train with local star Delvin Rodriguez?
Frank Galarza: “Yea I’ve done some sparring, I originally came out here to be a sparring partner to help him for his fight on February 15th…and then from there I just continued to stay here and kept my training camp going.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: What did his last win do for you in terms of motivation, seeing that he headlined an ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast?
Frank Galarza: “It pushed me to want to go harder honestly. Watching him, seeing where he’s been and where he’s at now definitely pushed me to go harder and increase my hunger to strive to be the best.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: With the focus back on your opponent, who are you fighting? What can you tell us about his record, his style, and anything you need to be aware of?
Frank Galarza: “To be honest when it comes to opponents, we don’t have an opponent right now for March 9th but I’m the type of person that really doesn’t care for records, records don’t mean a thing. I’m here to fight the best and in order to be the best you need to fight the best, which is what I’m looking to do. But as far as opponents you can put whoever in there and I’m going to do what I have to do, I have a job.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: Fighting for your third time in your hometown of Brooklyn and the first time at the new Barclay Center on the undercard of a fight headlined by Hopkins-Cloud; what are your goals for this fight?
Frank Galarza: “To really look sharp, show the people who’ve watched me fight and grow that I’m getting better and stronger; and you know put on a show for the Brooklyn crowd, Brooklyn to me…you know it’s strong it’s a tough name…just really put on a show for Brooklyn.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: For those who follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, we all know how proud you are to be from Brooklyn, what have you done to give back to where you grew up?
Frank Galarza: “I’m actually trying to establish a non-profit organization called Fighting Forward dealing with neglected youth and underprivileged kids, those that are looking for a place to come and talk if they have issues. There’s also an event with the whole Sandy Hurricane thing and we went to Red Hook and did a whole Thanksgiving dinner, we fed about 300 people and on top of that during the holidays we went to an orphanage and we did a toy drive and also gave out about 200 toys. We just have that part of our routine to every year just give back as much as we can.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: “Touching back to boxing for a minute, the only blemish you have on your record is a draw with Alantez Fox; for those who witnessed the fight, it was a real brawl. Does it bother you that Fox has been getting more attention recently in the media even though you were able to come up with a draw against a man who has a heavyweight’s height and reach?”
Frank Galarza: “You know what? Nah, I’m not even mad about it, the kid he has a gift, his height (laughs)…he’s 6’5”, at 154lbs he has an advantage over a lot of people so I’m not even mad at it. He’s looking at being one of the top prospects and he’s a tough kid, anyone looking to face him is going to have problems. But coming off the draw made me realize my mistakes and I know what I have to do but I’m fighting at the Barclay Center so at the end of the day he can get all the attention he wants but it’s all about what you do with it and I’m trying to do what I can for me to take it as far as I can.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: Is a rematch something you would like somewhere down the road?
Frank Galarza: “Definitely. I would definitely like to have a rematch somewhere down the road and I’m coming to fight again so I’m pretty sure the same thing is going to happen with him he’s coming to fight. You know we’re probably both looking at a rematch but it’s to put on a show for the people.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: If you’re successful after this fight, where do you go from here? What weight class do you plan on fighting in and what would be a goal that you would like to reach by the end of this year?
Frank Galarza: “By the end of this year hopefully we can reach 14-0, and we’re looking to see if we make 147, it’s still up in the air right now…as we continue to progress with the strength and conditioning and the boxing, We’re definitely trying to drop down in weight…it’s not just seeing if we can make that weight but fighting at that weight so that’s where the concern is at.”
Tha’ Boxing Voice: Wrapping things up what would you like to say to the fans and supporters who are coming to see your upcoming fight?
Frank Galarza: “I just want to thank my supporters, I want to thank my family, my friends, constantly showing love to me and I also want to thank Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to fight at the Barclay Center, Felipe Gomez from New Legends Boxing, World Boxing for believing in me and signing me and just there’s still a lot more to come, it’s just begun, we’re just starting…”
And with that we’re left with the promise of a sharper, stronger and faster “Notorious” Frank Galarza; looking to put on a show for the fans on the undercard of Golden Boy’s Hopkins-Cloud event, in his hometown of Brooklyn.