Exciting light welterweight contender Adrian "El Tigre" Granados has heard it all before.
"Fight smart. Stay out of the trenches. Don't go to war if you don't have to," are all familiar bits of advice he's been given many times. But a leopard can't change its spots and, despite all his best-laid pre-fight plans to use his excellent boxing skills, when Granados gets in the ring, the proud Mexican American can't seem to resist a good slugfest.
Granados (10-1-2, 6 KOs) of Cicero, Illinois, via Mexico, will face durable, seasoned veteran Carlos Winston "El Guerrero" Velasquez (21-17-1, 11 KOs) from Managua, Nicaragua, in one of the main supporting bouts of "World Championship Boxing: Wlodarczyk vs. Fragomeni 3" on Friday, December 6, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
In the night's 12-round main event, WBC Cruiserweight Champion Krzysztof "Diablo" Wlodarczyk (48-2-1, 34 KOs) of Warsaw, Poland, will attempt to make the sixth defense of his title and complete an epic trilogy of fights with Milan, Italy's former WBC Cruiserweight Champion Giacobbe "Gabibbo" Fragomeni (31-3-2, 12 KOs). And in the very special featured bout, IBF #1 Light Heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara (25-2, 14 KOs) has agreed to a very dangerous test against La Habra, California, via Colombia KO artist Samuel Miller (26-7, 23 KOs).
Tickets for "World Championship Boxing: Wlodarczyk vs. Fragomeni 3" are priced at VIP $201, VIP Ringside $151, Ringside $101, Box Mezzanine $76, Reserved Mezzanine $51, and General Admission $31 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000), the 8 Count Productions Offices: 312-226-5800 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office: 312-413-5740.
"I get drawn into fighting everybody else's fight," explained Granados of his tendency to go to war in every fight. "I need to go in there and do my job, my way. I know Carlos Winston Velasquez has a lot of experience and 40 fights. He's very durable. I know I have to fight a smart fight and, most importantly, fight my fight."
All of which sounds good. 24-year-old Granados is in with an eight-year pro in Valasquez, who has pulled off a number of upsets over fighters with good records in his career. Granados would be well served to stay out of danger and use his fast, educated hands to cruise to a safe decision... but that's not Adrian Granados.
"I'm a Mexican American, so we have a smart chess match or a Mexican gun fight. Whatever he wants, I say let's go for it!"
Always well-prepared, Granados split his training time working with trainer George Hernandez and in camp with WBA Welterweight Champion, Adrien Broner.
"I did my thing and he did his thing and it was a great camp for both of us," continued Granados. "I wish him nothing but the best in his fight on December 14. He's a great guy, good fighter, strong, fast. He's smart. There's a reason why he's champion."
Granados' last fight was a war for the ages last August against then-undefeated Mark Salser on the historic ESPN Friday Night Fights broadcast from U.S. Cellular Field. Down hard in rounds two and five, Granados stormed back to drop and stop Salser in round six.
"I learned a lot in that fight, Salser came to win and he could crack. I've never been dropped like that. It was a great fight and a historic victory for me in a historic fight. I was very happy to get the win. I've never been one to get crazy after a fight, but I was very happy I got that victory."
Not as pleased that night was ESPN's legendary color man Teddy Atlas who was critical of Granados fan-friendly habit of making fights harder than perhaps they should be.
"Teddy is a legend himself. I'm reading his book right now. I know he called me an idiot, and I was being an idiot. He's right. I need to be smarter in these fights, but I'm an exciting fighter. I know I am. I make good fights. What can I say?"