Howard Grant Is Not Worried About Juanma
"There is No Pressure On My Fighter Lonchti"


By William Trillo
Photos: Chris Farina - Top Rank

This Saturday from Atlantic City New Jersey, Top Rank will put on another of it's Latin Fury PPV cards with the feature bout being for the WBO Super Bantamweight Belt as Champion Juan Manuel Lopez (25-0,23 KO's) will be facing Olivier Lonchti (18-0-2,8 KO's). The general consensus is Juanma should be too strong for Lonchti, but that plays right into the hands of Montreal's top Trainer Howard Grant. "All I keep hearing is we're going into a losing situation and we're not even supposed to last with this guy," said Grant, "this is supposed to be a no win situation for us, so we have nothing to lose."

That's no problem for Grant who has been in this situation before, "I like to go into these kind of fights as underdogs. They say we're going to get killed but you know they said the same thing when we (Librado Andrade) fought Bute and even though we lost we looked very good. Then we were supposed get killed when we (Herman Ngoudjo) fought Castillo and we were supposed to get killed when we (Walid Smichet) fought Duddy but my guys are always up to the task and they look good even in defeat"

Does that mean Grant isn't taking this seriously? Absolutely not! Howard knows exactly what the stakes are on Saturday night and he is well aware of who is man Loncthi is going up against. Grant confirmed "I personally think Juanma is the best guy and this weight class and for that reason he is the one going into the fight with all the weight on his shoulders. Look, he is a big puncher, he throws a lot of punches, when he gets hit he doesn't step back."

On paper it sounds like a difficult task but maybe not according to Grant who added, "I like to go into matches with fighters like this guy because these big punchers who like to get hit don't always have strong beards, so I am very confident."

As to the fighter Lonchti who hails from Cameroon but know lives in Montreal Grant noted, "Olivier is in good shape and in top form. He is very sharp with his punches and he is hitting very hard. I think he is going to impress a lot of people and I do believe he can pull off the upset."

Regardless of what the experts say Grant truly feels his fighter has a good chance,"This is boxing, not Tiger Woods walking onto the 18th hole with a 6 stroke lead, you know what I mean?, Grant rhetorically inquired.

As to Lonchti's mind set Grant said, "He is relaxed, this is his first fight in The United States, it's a big fight, a World Title fight and nobody in The States knows about this guy because Montreal is his home base. But you know what Bill, my kid is going to do okay and if he stay's focused and does the things we have been working on he just might pull off a big surprise!"

Bottom line, Howard has been in the underdog role many times with his pupils and he is not worried about what the so called experts are saying.

The message is clear and history speaks for itself.

Howard Grant fighters are always very well prepared for the task at hand and this Saturday should be no different for him or his young fighter from Cameroon.



Questions Or Comments? Email William Trillo