EXCLUSIVE: Ashley Theophane discusses Floyd Mayweather sparring
Briton Ashley Theophane’s perseverance has finally paid off as the nomad fighter realises his dream of fighting on a massive pay-per-view event in the United States at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The 33-year-old, fresh from inking his three-year deal with Mayweather Promotions, is thrown in with a world-level operator in Pablo Cesar Cano this weekend and hopes to prove his mentor’s judgment right by taking the first step to a potential shot at the world 147lb title.
“I’m just focused. All the hard work is done. It’s just another fight in my mind. I have been victorious 33 times before, and this will be number 34,” Theophane stated to World Boxing News.
Before Theophane signed his deal, the former British title holder had fought worldwide in his quest to reach the top and is now in a prime position to hit his personal goals after months of working with and impressing the best fighter on the planet.
Theophane’s ability to hold his own in the gym, even with Mayweather himself, prompted the five-weight world champion to draft the Londoner into his ‘Money Team’ and has been invaluable preparation for the welterweight contender in the run-up to his debut on Saturday.
“Training has gone perfect. I’ve sparred two world champions in Floyd Mayweather and Ishe Smith and the highly regarded prospect Daquan Arnett, who has also been a sparring partner for Keith Thurman and Andre Berto.
“Cortez Bey has given me quality work, and undefeated Don Moore has helped me with sparring as well. I was one of Floyd’s team of sparring partners as well, so I did some sparring with him, which was always a great experience.”
Opponent Cano, although just 23, has twice fought for a world title and shared the ring with some of the top operators in the division, and despite coming up short each time, remains a big danger to Theophane’s future aspirations. A win for either would put them into a great position for at least an eliminator for a world title chance in 2014, and Theophane knows he has to be on his game against the Mexican to come out victorious.
“I believe Cano is a good fighter, and that is why he is facing me in the PPV opener,” said Theophane. “He always gives his best and has fought two legends in Morales and Mosley. He also fought a two-weight world champion in Malignaggi, and they are three of the best, so I will be fully focused.”