Carlos Carlson (22-1, 13 KOs) wrapped up his last workout over the weekend before challenging long serving WBC Bantamweight Champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (26-0-2, 18 KOs) next Thursday, March 2, in Yamanaka’s home country of Japan.
The 12-round championship fight is promoted by Teiken Promotions, in association with Thompson Boxing Promotions and originates from Ryogoku Sumo Arena in Tokyo.
Carlson, who already is in country, is listed as the No. 6 challenger in the WBC rankings and is the former WBC Latino and NABF Bantamweight champion.
Thompson Boxing sat down with the world ranked challenger and got his take on his upcoming fight against Yamanaka.
More than a few contenders passed on the chance to face Shinsuke Yamanaka. What made you decide fighting him, especially in Japan?
“I feel I am ready to take the next step in my career and that is to become a world champion. Opportunities like these don’t come around very often so I had to take the risk of fighting him in Japan. It’s not ideal, but it’s what I have to do to make a name for myself. I see it as another challenge that I need to overcome.”
What is the most impressive thing about Yamanaka?
“His experience and all of those title defenses (11 straight). He’s been in a lot of high-profile fights and has flourished in that environment.”
For boxing fans that have not seen your fights, what’s your strong point(s) as a fighter?
“I can do a little bit of everything. I can box and I can brawl. I have excellent height for the division so I’m able to control the action with my jab. I have excellent power in either hand. I’m not afraid to mix it up inside either.”
You’ve won the NABF and WBC Latino Championships, do you feel you have made the progress that you and your team would like?
“We always try to get better after every fight. We take training camp very seriously. We always say fights are always won in the gym, in training. The titles that I’ve won reflect what I’m capable of. I’m just starting to enter my prime so I feel like I’m ready to fight anyone in this division.”
You’re fighting in Yamanaka’s hometown. Do you have any concern regarding the scoring and decision?
“I can’t let that aspect of this situation bother me. The only thing I can control is how I perform inside the ring. I have to be the better fighter in every round. That doesn’t mean I have to win every round. It means I have to stick with the game plan, stay focused, and adjust when necessary.”
What is your strategy for this fight (as much as you can share)?
“I have to fight smart. Yamanaka is an excellent fighter that takes advantage of your mistakes. I can’t get sucked into what he wants me to do. I have to control the fight with my pressure.”
Are you going for the knockout win?
“A knockout win would be wonderful, but I never approach a fight thinking knockout. It has to present itself organically, and if it does, I’ll go for it.”