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Joe Goossen and Alex Vaysfeld RCM Interview: Lipinets, Corrales, and Granados Part II

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

In part two of a spontaneous unrehearsed Real Combat Media international interview exclusive, world renowned boxing trainer Joe Goossen, 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. Lipinets, 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 welterweight teammates Adrian Granados and Abel Ramos.

Robert Brizel: “Hi Joe! You’ve always been one of my heroes!”

Joe Goossen: “Robert! Okay good.

Robert Brizel: “I’ve been boxing reporting for over 40 years!”

Joe Goossen: “And I don’t talk to rookies.”

Robert Brizel: “I started covering boxing with fights on CBS in 1975.”

Joe Goossen: “I was dating college cheerleaders back then.”

Robert Brizel: “You still look good! We’re both married to beautiful women so we
stay forever young.”

Joe Goossen: “We’re doing good!”

Robert Brizel: “Later we’ll discuss when your man Diego Corrales beat Castillo.”

Joe Goossen: “Ha ha ha! Thank you.” (in reference to one of the most brilliant and memorable corner man performances in boxing history by Joe Goossen).

Robert Brizel: Joe, you are working with Sergey Lipinets for the first time, and you are fighting in Lamont Peterson’s backyard (Oxen, Maryland, next to Washington, D.C., where Peterson comes from). What superior edge do you bring to the table with Lipinets, whereas he’s never worked with you before? What have you been able to find (discover about) this fighter, and what are you going to be able to bring to the table that Person’s never going to be able to deal with?”

Joe Goossen: “That’s a mouthful right there. I’m pretty good, but that was about three or four different angles you hit me with, Robert.”

Robert Brizel: “Let’s cut in down. What will we in Sergey Lipinets on Sunday (working with you) we have not seen before, with Joe Goossen as his trainer?”

Joe Goossen: “Okay. That’s a fair enough question there. I think it’s paramount with a style like Sergey’s, he’s not a backup (style fighting) guy. He doesn’t really backup much, does he?”

Robert Brizel: “No. But he has been known to counterpunch.”

Joe Goossen: “He (Sergey) has been known to counterpunch. Sergey usually ends up going after you, for the most part. Right?”

Robert Brizel: “Right.”

Joe Goossen: “So I think what I’ve done is I’ve tried to improve that aspect of his game to where the output of punches has been multiplied. His feet, we’ve worked on the speed with his feet. Sergey has a little bit faster pace on his feet.”

Robert Brizel: “Do you feel fighting Sergey in the 147 pound weight class (up from 140 pounds) will present him with any additional challenges?”

Joe Goossen: “I want to finish my point on the last thing. It was good question, Robert. Basically I think the volume of punches (is something) we’ve worked on, tightening up the defense degrees more. Also, his speed on his feet. If you want to put on pressure, you can’t follow someone around. You need to use quick feet. So, I’d say those three things: tighten up his (Sergey’s) defense; the volume of punches, quicker feet, and of course, without getting into all of my techniques and all of the things that I do where we work on more of a variety of punches, I think in combination (of my approaches) you get what I’m saying there.

Now to answer your question about the weight, Sergey is 29 (30 on March 23, Saturday). He’s solid. As I whittle him down to 149 pounds yesterday, Sergey looks so healthy and has a glow about him. We really took our time losing the weight little by little so he got adjusted to it (the weight loss) instead of crashing it (rapid weight loss to make weight). He’s got a god glow about him. He’s not sunken in. His lips are dry. We got to eat tonight. We ate breakfast this morning. The weigh-in is in a few days (Saturday) and we don’t have to lose eight or 10 pounds, we will only have to lose three or four pounds. That said, I would hate to have to say to him we have to lose seven more pounds on top of the three or four. No, for me to say to him lose 11 pounds to reach 140 pounds. No. Sergey would not look good. Sergey would not feel good. He wouldn’t be good.”

Robert Brizel: “Looking at the other side of the mirror reflection, Lamont Peterson is 5’9” to Sergey’s 5’7”, and Peterson has a 72 inch reach to Sergey’s 67 inch reach. Undoubtedly, Peterson’s camp will feel we’ve got height, we’ve got reach, maybe we can just outwork Lipinets in the same way Mikey Garcia did, and maybe we can just get the decision or steal the decision, where we can get by with the volume of [punches, and Lipinets will never manage to get inside or get close. What’s your answer to that?”

Joe Goossen: “Are you comparing our fight with Peterson to Errol Spence Jr. versus Mikey Garcia?”

Robert Brizel: “In that sense. Peterson’s got height and reach (advantage).”

Joe Goossen: “First, both Sergey and Lamont Peterson are coming up (in weight to 147 pounds) from 140. I’ve got a guy (a situation) where one guy is at equal weight par with the other guy. You agree with that? So, number one, we are not at that (weight) disadvantage like Mikey was, a guy coming up from 126 to 147 pounds. Sergey has fought bigger, taller guys his whole career. You agree with that, Robert?”

Robert: “Absolutely.”

Joe Goossen: “Yeah, and he fared quite well. The only guy he didn’t fare well with was a guy with short arms who was little (Mikey Garcia). We’ve beaten everybody else. Right?”

Robert Brizel: “Even Erick Bone (Lipinets’ last opponent) was 5’9” in height.”

Joe Goossen: “Exactly. Who was that Mexican kid that cut Sergey real bad? Walter Castillo, he was 5’10” Lipinets was able to penetrate Castillo’s tight defense. You see where I’m going with this. We’ve got a guy (Lipinets) who’s 5’9”. We can deal with that. I brought him sparring (partners) at 5’9”. Lastly, you’ve gotta have good head movement and quick feet. So…..we’re looking for a fight (from Lamont Peterson) and I think we’re gonna get one.”

Robert Brizel: “I Absolutely do (believe you are going to get a fight). Do you think the fight will carry into the championships rounds? Do you think Peterson will fight more of a survivor fight when he’s behind?”

Joe Goossen: “I’m going to presume Peterson is in the best shape of his career, and is at his best. I would assume that.”

Robert Brizel: “I wouldn’t underestimate him (Peterson).”

Joe Goossen: “It wouldn’t be professional to think otherwise. I think we (our team) is going to face the best (version of Lamont) Peterson there can possibly be Sunday night.”

Robert Brizel: “Do you think part of that is because Peterson’s back is against the wall? For Peterson this is really a do or die fight?”

Joe Goossen: “This is really a do or die fight for both of them in a big way. It really is. Peterson and Lipinets both. There is a big sweepstakes going on now in the welterweight division, (a) big sweepstakes. Right?”

Robert Brizel: “Correct.”

Joe Goossen: “And I think financially, forget competitive wise and prestige wise, but financially there’s a lot to be had now in the welterweight division. You can be matched up with one guy and the next, and put you in some good figures (big money to be made now in the 147-pound division, so I think financially it is a great incentive for Peterson (to win) and likewise (Lipinets). Ultimately, they are competitors and they (both) have a competitive desire to win, and you have to look at that first as an athlete. On the back end of that, you see the payoff.

The welterweight division is really hot right now, but also they wouldn’t train as hard as they train just because there is money involved. They don’t want to lose. They both want to win. I think the first order of the day is they are competitors, they are warriors, they both want to win, and the residual of that is there’s big payoff.”

Robert Brizel: “One more thing. Obviously we know 14 years ago, you were at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on a magical night, and on that magical night, Diego Corrales had what will be remembered as one of the most memorable rounds in boxing history, and you were an important part of it.”

Joe Goossen: “Yes.”

Robert Brizel: “Did you learn a lot of things about heart and courage from Diego Corrales that night? Do you still think of him and his performance on that night? What did that night teach you?”

Joe Goossen: “Do I still think of Diego? All the time. It’s hard to get away from the Diego Corrales and Joe Goossen connection there, because they come out now on YouTube (with) the greatest rounds of boxing, (and) the greatest comebacks in boxing history, they are always sending me the algorithms, and Diego is always in those things, and wherever I go, people remind me of it (the Corrales win over Jose Luis Castillo). It’s something I’m going to be associated with until everything (in my boxing career) is said and done, and I’m very thankful for that. I’m very thankful for Diego because he was really one of a kind. I don’t need to expound on it, I think you l know what I mean. Diego was truly one of a kind, and I miss him dearly. What did I learn from that? Something we pretty much know about the great fighters, you never give up, you never say die, and you never quit, and I think Diego really embodied that whole notion and spirit of never quitting.”


Robert Brizel: “And Diego’s soul and spirit are still a part of you to this day.”

Joe Goossen: “Without a doubt. It’s very odd for me to think he’s still here. When I look at the films (of Diego), you can’t get away from it truthfully. Every time I look at it I go man, I’ve got kids older than Diego, he was so young (age 29 when he died, two years to the day of his win over Corrales). He was 29. He shared a lot of time in my house with my family, I can tell you that.”

Robert Brizel: “Joe, you’ve been wonderful. I want to wish you and Sergey the best of success from me and Real Combat Media. My preview of your bout is already out on Real Combat Media, and essentially what I write is I don’t’ expect Peterson to make it out (reach the final bell. I think Sergey will stop Peterson because Sergey has too many advanced skills coming into this fight with you in his corner for Peterson to overcome BUT if Peterson were to win, I would presume he would try to go the distance and try to steal it (the decision on the scorecards) but I don’t believe that’s gonna happen.”

Joe Goossen: “You have been around a long time. Just by the conversation with you, I can tell that, and look, and believe me, I’d be very grateful if the first scenario you gave me plays out! That’s what every intention I have is coming in here (to Maryland with Lipinets to fight Peterson) to play (the end result) out like that.”

Robert Brizel: “I think Sergey is a very talented fighter, and I think if Sergey listens to his corner, you’ve got another world champion on your hands. All the best.”

Joe Goossen: “I appreciate that Robert.”

Robert Brizel: “Co-manager Alex Vaysfeld, I don’t want to leave you out of all of this. How do you feel coming into this fight (with your fighter Sergey Lipinets) with Joe Goossen in your corner?”

Co-Manager Alex Vaysfeld: “Absolutely. Me and Joe go way back. We’ve known each other for a long time. He’s turned it on for Sergey. They know each other very well.”

Robert Brizel: “How have you found this ride with Sergey? It doesn’t bother you fighting in Lamont Peterson’s backyard?”

Co-manager Alex Vaysfeld: “We’ve fought on the road before. It doesn’t really matter. Who cares?”

Robert Brizel: “How do you feel about your welterweight Adrian Granados fighting Danny Garcia in May? Do you think that’s a winnable fight?”

Alex Vaysfeld: “Absolutely! If you’ve seen Granados fight, he will never make it easy for anybody.”


Robert Brizel: “How has Granados found training in California for the first time? Do you think that was a good (training location) move for him?”

Alex Vaysfeld: “He’s been here before. Right now, we’ve set Granados up here (in California) for a year. He’s got great sparring partners, one’s who will keep him sharp. The weather is just fine. Remember his fight is in California as well (against Danny Garcia in Carson on May 20) so we want Granados to stay here and acclimate.”

Robert Brizel: “Your stable actually has three outstanding fighters in the welterweight division. We should acknowledge all three of them.”

Co-Manager Alex Vaysfeld: “We’ve got Sergey Lipinets, Adrian Granados, and Abel Ramos, who defeated Francisco Santana in Carson California on March 9.”

Robert Brizel: Do you see all three of these fighters challenging against Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, Terence Crawford, the heart of the division?”

Co-manager Alex Vaysfeld: “Yeah, all of the above. Those guys are tough, always ready to go, and like I said, give us the opportunity. It’s all about the (training) camp. When you are ready for something. It’s all good. More or less, it’s the same level of the guys (our fighters).”


Robert Brizel: “With Joe Goossen in your corner, I think Sergei has a great chance, and I do not predict Peterson will make it out (go the distance). I (do) think Peterson will show up Sunday in the best shape of his career (for this bout). I wish you, Sergey Lipinets, Joe Goossen, Andy Zak, Alex Mezhirovski and your team best for a successful outcome. I hope to speak with you again after your win on the road to success before the Granados fight.”

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