A professional fighter’s first loss can usually do one of two things, it can get the best of a fighter and ruin his career by crushing his confidence, for others; the chance to rebuild makes the affected fighter not only stronger, but smarter inside the ring. Tony Luis (16-1 7KO’s) is looking to not only continue winning with another comeback bout this Saturday, he’s looking to erase the stigma of having lost against the tough and durable Jose Hernandez this past January on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
Coming back from the stoppage loss, Luis seems to be extremely motivated and almost possessed as he intends to get back on track by taking out Raphael Luna (4-5-2 1KO) in a six rounder at the Whitehall Athletic Club in upstate New York. With his team still intact, with his father at the helm of his son’s career since he introduced him to the game as a child; the impression made by notching another victory will carry him to a more successful 2014. However growing up and living so close to one the biggest boxing scenes in North America, Montreal; Luis is among a long list of other fighters in his weight class that live in his area looking to be a breakout star. The question will be not only how he recovers in the ring, but if he can take his natural athleticism, fast hands, and explosive power; to a whole new level as he tries to burst on the world scene once again…we believe his chances are very high.
With his confidence shining and camp coming to an end, the always ready Luis took a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us here at Tha Boxing Voice, and for you; the fans.
TBV: First give us a background on yourself, where did you grow up? When and how did you start boxing?
TL: “I was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. My dad was a black belt and sensei when he got me into karate at the age of 7. I competed in karate tournaments for 5 years and attained a blue belt and that’s how i got my start in fighting. My father got an opportunity to teach boxing at a fitness gym when I was 10 or 11 and I wanted to follow him. That’s when I found out my dad boxed himself as a youngster and I found old tapes of some of his fights and his massive collection of classic fights. I was already training myself at home every night in front of the TV mimicking my favorite fighters. He finally let me join and i gave up karate and the rest is history.”
TBV: You started your career roughly five years ago as a pro but have not been as active as other rising prospects, why is that?
TL: “The first 3 years were perfect, i was gradually moving up and staying busy however money issues arose with my promoter at that time and a lot of fighters including myself began fighting less and less due to budget problems. That’s where some of the inactivity began.”
TBV: Well you were able to get a spot on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights this past January in a bout against Jose Hernandez, you ended up losing when your corner threw in the towel, tell us what happened in that fight?
TL: “Jose Hernandez is a tough gritty fighter and I got sucked into fighting his fight and got away from my boxing ability and turned an easy fight into a hard one and he exploited some fundamental mistakes that I had been getting away with for a long time.”
TBV: With your corner throwing in the towel were there any changes to the people around you?
TL: “There were no changes; my team is the same now as it was then. That fight became what it was because I stopped listening to my corner and let my emotions get the best of me. As per throwing in the towel, I don’t hold it against my father; he was being a responsible trainer. But I’ll always believe I should’ve kept going and my head was clear as to what was happening in the moment in spite of things. He was getting tired and I was wearing him down until I got caught. When you hurt your opponent, you get a sudden second wind and find energy you didn’t know you had and that’s what happened with Hernandez. Had I been able to get out of the round I believe Hernandez would’ve simmered down and his will would’ve been broken and I would’ve came on strong the last 2 rounds. However, I understand that had I fought smarter and followed the game plan I wouldn’t have been put in that situation to begin with.”
TBV: Not to dwell so much on the loss but what have you taken away from that experience?
TL: “The loss brought me back to the science of the game and to get back to the basics and refine the bad habits I had been getting away with for some time.”
TBV: You came back in May back home in Canada winning a Unanimous decision, what were your thoughts going into that fight against Gojko?
TL: “Against Gojko I was physically all there but mentally i was still in a different place. I fought southpaw the whole fight which I’ve never done. I didn’t want to face my reality and was angry at the fighter I became and figured going southpaw I’d create a whole new fighter. It was the right opponent to try it with and I won a dominant decision but I would’ve liked the KO and that would have happened in my natural stance. It was a good performance but not the right opponent nor strategy to say ‘Im back’.”
TBV: You’re now facing Raphael Luna this Saturday, he’s rather soft opposition, so what are the plans for this bout, what impression are you trying to make?
TL: “I don’t look at no one as soft opposition anymore. He has nothing to lose and I will make a statement and take care of business.”
TBV: If you emerge victorious what’s next for Tony Luis? Will 2014 be a breakout year and will we see you on TV again soon?
TL: “There is an ESPN date penciled in tentatively for late January assuming this fight goes well. My main focus is on Rafael Luna, before looking at future options.”
TBV: Your compatriot Dierry Jean is set to face Lamont Peterson, do you know Jean personally? Also what can you tell us about him and would a fight against the winner something you’d be interested in sometime in the future?
TL: “I know Dierry Jean well, we’ve sparred multiple times and I’m happy things are finally shaping up for his career. He’s waited and worked hard for a long time. He is a fast dynamic fighter and poses a huge risk to anyone in the world. I will be campaigning as a lightweight as that is my natural weight class, I just don’t carry my weight high enough to campaign at 140 so I don’t see me ever running into DIerry jean or Peterson in the near future.”
TBV: What would you like to say to your supporters and fans?
TL: “To my fans, Im back.”
TBV: Where can we reach you on social media?
TL: “You can reach me on facebook at (make link: https://www.facebook.com/tony.luis.14).”