Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |



Brian Ceballo: ‘I still need a lot of experience’

Former amateur standout Brian Ceballo (center) is flanked by promoter Tom Loeffler and co-manager Tim VanNewhouse. Photo by Tom Hogan-HoganPhotos / 360 Promotions
Fighters Network

He went 206-13 as an amateur so you might think, bang, he acclimates right away to the pro style, put him on the fast track to a title shot. The Vasiliy Lomachenko Effect in play…

Welterweight Brian Ceballo (10-0, 5 knockouts) fights in support of the Gennadiy Golovkin-Sergey Derevyanchenko main event at Madison Square Garden – the big room – on Saturday and he admits he’s still a work in progress. He’s clearly not thinking title shot countdown.

The Brooklyn resident is well-spoken and humble as he talks about how the main event is certain to be a fan-friendly rumble, when I ask if he’s looking to steal the show. He will batttle Ramal Amanov (16-0, 5 KOs), a lefty from Azerbijian. In his second-to-last effort, also supporting “GGG,” Ceballo met another pugilist with a glittering record. On June 8, he got the unanimous decision over Bakhtiyar Eyubov, then 14-0-1.

Ceballo, promoted by Tom Loeffler, said that if you saw him at MSG, you saw a fighter who has “improved overall in the last year or so. I’m always improving, thanks to my coach (Colin Morgan). We did what we had to do for that particular fight and I think that’s what has marked me in the transition from the amateurs to the pros.” When I asked what the main difference between amateurs to pros is, he explained, “The pacing of the fight, that’s the biggest thing. It’s a lot different, not a full sprint.”

Of Amanaov, Ceballo knows he’s a southpaw, “I know he comes to fight; that’s what we want. I don’t want someone that’s gonna quit in two rounds, especially in this big event.”

Brian Ceballo. Photo credit: Wojtek Urbanek

Brian Ceballo. Photo credit: Wojtek Urbanek

Ceballo cites his relationship with trainer Morgan, who trained ex-cruiserweight champ Wayne Braithwaite, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin and Elio Rojas, who won a crown at featherweight.

“We click. He’s a really good person aside from training; that really matters too. Of course, he’s a really great coach and good people go well together.”

Tim VanNewhouse of David McWater’s Split-T Management firm, weighed in on Ceballo. “To most fighters, it’s a dream to fight at the Garden. But for Brian, it’s becoming his second home. He’s won two of his five Golden Gloves titles at MSG and this is second time appearing as a pro. It’s a massive opportunity but much deserved to a wonderful team. This is a compliment to Brian and trainer Colin Morgan to all of the hard work they do in the gym. We expect him to shine under the big lights on Saturday night.”

Loeffler also offered his take on his prospect, “He had a good amateur career, made a nice transition in the pros,” Loeffler said. “He stole the show on the undercard June 8, fought a really strong guy, Eyubov, a big puncher. They were really confident they’d beat Brian. Some guys, they shine on the smaller shows but under the bright lights, they freeze. Brian is the the opposite and he knew to get on the show at MSG he’d have to fight a tough opponent. He shined, put on the best performance of a 10-fight career. This foe is more experienced, not as big a puncher as Eyubov.” Ceballo is a step up for Amanov, who has beaten fighters with records of 0-1 and 0-1-1 and a debutant in his last three outings.

Ceballo isn’t in a rush. He is humble and knows he needs more seasoning. “What’s down the line for me? There’s a lot of guys at 147 but I don’t know if they will still be there or not. Hopefully in the next year, we get to 10 rounds. There are a lot of guys who fight 10-rounders, big names. I still need a lot of experience. The good thing about us, we adapt to whatever style. We take what you got. We do what we need to do.”

No surprise, Ceballo isn’t a brash talker. That came out when I asked for a prediction for his Saturday clash, which will stream on DAZN. “I will show my prediction in the ring,” he said. “Will I steal the show? My goal is to always fight and look the best that I can. GGG versus Derevyanchenko are gonna put on a helluva show but I’m gonna go in there and fight my butt off!”



You can follow Michael Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069.




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