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Andy Zak and Joe Goossen RCM Interview: Sergey Lipinets and More! Part I.

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

In a spontaneous unrehearsed Real Combat Media international interview exclusive, world-renowned boxing trainer Joe Goossen. Joe is currently training former International Boxing Federation World Super Lightweight champion Sergey Lipinets for his 12 round USA Fox Sports 1 welterweight main event bout against Lamont Peterson this Sunday, March 24, 2019, and Lipinets team co-managers Andy Zak and Alex Vaysfeld, talked with Real Combat Media sportswriter Robert Brizel about this weekend’s critical crossroads bout at MGM Harbor, in Oxen Hill, Maryland. Lipinetz, 14-1 with 12 knockouts, Beverly Hills, California, is currently being trained by Goossen at the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys, California. Also discussed were team welterweight Adrian Granados and team super welterweight prospect Vernon Brown.

On the USA Fox Sports FS1 card, the opening televised bout will feature a prospect managed by the Andy Zak-Alex Vaysfeld and Alex Mezhirovski team, 10-0-1 Chicago, Illinois southpaw Vernon Brown, who will face another southpaw prospect, 13-1 Jamontay Clark on Cincinnati, Ohio, in a 10 round critical prospects crossroads bout.

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “He (Sergey) was previously trained by Buddy McGirt. We made a better move. Sergey is a totally different fighter (now that he is being trained by) with Joe Goossen. He’s going to be on the attack right away. We are going to try to take away Lamont Peterson’s heart right away in the first round.”

Robert Brizel: “everybody’s is talking about Joe Goossen, the trainer king of kings, maybe only second to Freddie Roach out there now. Why do you think Joe Goosen finds it rewarding to work with Sergey Lipinets? Why do you think they are a good team?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “I think Joe Goossen is a perfect fit for Sergey, being that it’s a perfect style (of boxing) he teaches. Joe is right up Sergey’s alley. Sergey has never felt more comfortable with anybody (like he does training with Joe). Since he’s been with Joe, I think it is the best situation possible. We will (all) see come Sunday night how special this relationship is, because I really think it is going to shine.”

Robert Brizel: “You also represent Adrian Granados, who we all saw beat Amir Imam, get robbed against Adrien Broner (WBC Silver title loss in 12) and Javier Fortuna (who mysteriously fell out of the ring in the fourth round No-Contest). He’s been in with Shawn Porter. It does seem like Granados has been on the ‘B’ side of a lot of fights. What is Granados doing differently for his upcoming fight in May with Danny Garcia than he has done before?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “Granados has the same team, but he is training for the Garcia bout for the first time in the state of California, instead of his native Chicago. We first signed him when he got robbed by Top Rank when he fought Brad Solomon. Solomon went to the hospital after that fight. Granados was ready to retire. I said no, you are not ready to retire, we’re gonna do this. I put him back on the road, he fought all over the place. Granados fought in Arizona, he fought in California, he got five wins in a row, and we were lucky enough to do a deal with Don King, and we went in and upset Amir Imam. We had our opportunity with (Adrian) Broner. We got robbed (10 round split decision loss). We’ve had some tough fights, some tough calls. When you mentioned that last fight when the kid (Javier Fortuna) dove out of the ring. It was unfortunate because we were winning that fight from round one on.”

Robert Brizel: Boxing is a ring of opportunities. Broner just lost to Pacquiao and is back in trouble with the law. Fortuna just decisioned Bogiere. Brad Solomon’s career went nowhere (inactive for about a year). Do you think Granados will have his moment with Danny Garcia?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “Garcia has fought all the greats at 140 (pounds), but I think he is not as legitimate a fighter at 147 as Granados is.

The following excerpt represents the Joe Goossen portion of the Brizel interview.

I think Danny Garcia is a perfect match for Adrian. I think it is going to be a great fight! If Granados is peaking like he did with Amir Imam, he can win this fight through attrition. We are going to break Danny Garcia down. Granados is training in Buddy McGirt’s gym in the San Fernando Valley.”

Robert Brizel: “Who are some of the other fighters you are working with?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “We have the (televised) opener on Sunday night, somebody nobody’s ever heard of, 10-0-1 super welterweight prospect Vernon Brown, who’s fighting 13-1 Jamontay Clark, a prospect who just got beat by Jeison Rosario, who knocked Clark out of the ring in Minneapolis. This is going to be an interesting fight! We’re looking at both kids who are southpaws. Vernon Brown is our kid form Chicago. This kid’s got power in both hands, so watch out! It could be an explosive first fight.”

Robert Brizel: “You are going with your fighter Sergey Lipinets into the MGM National Harbor in Maryland in Lamont Person’s backyard (Washington, D.C.). DO you think there is a chance Peterson might just try to survive the fight (for 12 rounds) and try to steal it? (the decision). How do you feel about fighting in Peterson’s back yard?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “I really don’t have a problem with it. I’ve been fighting in peoples’ backyards (our fighters) all day long. I think Sergey is so strong, it’s not going to make a difference where we fight. Certainly there are some cases when we don’t want to fight in someone’s backyard, because we’re gonna get robbed. I think fighting in this guy’s backyard, as you (Robert) predicted (in your preview), we are gonna knock Peterson out.”

Robert Brizel: “In the 147 pound, does Lipinets really want to take a shot at a Terence Crawford, or an Errol Spence Jr., or a Manny Pacquiao? Keith Thurman? Where do you want to go with this?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “I tell you, Robert, we would really like to fight Shawn Porter Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford could be down the road, it’s a little quick for that yet. I think Shawn Porter definitely, or any of the other prospects out there in the top ten. Pacquiao is right there, but Pacquiao is a longshot. We would love to fight him, but he’s eyeing a fight with either Errol Spence Jr. or Floyd Mayweather Jr. again.”

Robert Brizel: “Would you fight Adrian Broner?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “Absolutely. Another kid I represent, who just beat Francisco Santana on Fox television two weeks ago, could also fight Broner, Abel Ramos. He’s a great kid. Ramos also has a nephew, Jesus Alejandro Ramos, who an 8-0 prospect who we (also) represent.”

Robert Brizel: “Fine looking fighter! The welterweight division is talent rich, from Sadam Ali to Humberto Soto. Does Sergey Lipinets believe he can fight his way all the way to the top of the division and become the welterweight world champion? What is his mind set?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “Sergey Lipinets wants to dominate at 147 pounds. He is done fighting at 140. His mind is to stay in the 147 pound class and eventually dominate the division. Sergey’s not scared of anybody, and we’ll take (fight) anybody as long as it makes sense.”

Robert Brizel: “I have to ask you this question You represent two welterweight division stars, both Adrian Granados and Sergey Lipinets at 147 pounds, in major fights. Would you put them in against each other?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “It would be highly unlikely to put them in with each other. I don’t see that happening, but obviously, if the fight was so rich, and both fighters were willing to take it, I wouldn’t stand in their way.”

Robert Brizel: “On the other hand, if Granados and Lipinets win their major fights, suppose you could get a double deck fight, something like Lipinets versus Porter, and Pacquiao versus Granados, something like that at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “I think Granados wants to revive his career. I think everyone knows Broner lost to Granados (won a controversial split decision), so a Granados versus Broner II (bout) would be appetizing (Marketable). It would be difficult to bring Crawford to the table, as we both work with Top Rank. Maybe that could happen, but I definitely see the Spence Porter Pacquiao Thurman, I definitely see those names at the table.”

Robert Brizel: “Who would Granados like to fight? (if he beats Danny Garcia).”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “Granados, again, is another kid who is not afraid to fight anybody. Obviously, we are focused on Danny Garcia. This is by far his (Granados) biggest fight, and his biggest audience. He is going to be fighting in the Fox televised main event in Carson, California, in May. It is the biggest opportunity (bout) of his life. For Granados, it (the Danny Garcia fight) is a must win fight.”

Robert Brizel: “Very recently, boxing has taken a major swing in the DAZN streaming forum, where streaming is starting to overtake pay-per-view events. How does your managerial team feel about DAZN? Is the direction that DAZN is going, signing fighters onto its streaming service. Do managers like you want to be onboard with DAZN? Is DAZN a lucrative new direction for boxing?”

Co-Manager Andy Zak: “I think it is phenomenal for boxing! It opens up new doors and opportunities for fighters. I think it depends on the individual. Canelo (Alvarez) got a huge contract. Certainly it would be a great opportunity if it were given to an individual fighter of ours. Obviously, we would love the opportunity (to work with DAZN) if it were given, but look at Al Haymon. He’s still king of the hill, and he’s got Fox. Showtime, Fox Sports, ESPN Plus with Bob Arum. Boxing is on the way up again, there are so many opportunities out there. DAZN wants to put on fights (fight cards) twice a week out there in New York, I don’t know if it’s true. That’s gonna a lot of talent to keep that up once or twice a week.”

Robert Brizel: “Are you interested in MMA and boxing? Will the two ever combine?”

Co-manager Andy Zak: “I’m a straight up boxing guy. But, anything can happen in the boxing world.”

Tomorrow: Part II. of the Real Combat Media exclusive interview, featuring Joe Goossen.

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Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert is the Head Boxing Correspondent for Real Combat Media Boxing since 2013. Robert is also a photographer and ringside reporter for the RCM Tri State region which includes NJ, NY and PA. Robert conducts exclusive interviews, provides historical boxing articles and provides editorial ringside coverage of major boxing events. You can contact or follow Robert on Facebook and by email at robertbrizel@realcombatmedia.com.