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Friday, February 23, 2024

Josh Feldman's All In

"Even if I don't have a fight, I can't stop training," Josh Feldman told SA Boxing Talk ahead of his March 8 bout against Sibusiso Muteleni at Box Camp Booysens in Johannesburg, South Africa. "Right now, I feel I'm in the best shape."

The Cape Town native said he is all-in. "I'm taking this so seriously. I just care about training, watching film, and sleeping. I believe I'm going to be the best in the country soon."

Because of his commitment to training, Feldman has had no problem making the junior middleweight limit. "I don't have to cut a lot of weight. I feel strong. I definitely think I'll stay at this weight for maybe the next couple years." He told The Jewish Boxing Blog, "When I'm not in camp, I walk around at about 76 kg [about 167 pounds]." Two weeks from his third pro fight, he said he's now 162 lbs.

Feldman began his camp at home in Cape Town where he trains at Blood, Sweat, and Tears Boxing Gym. "My coaches in Cape Town at Blood, Sweat, and Tears worked me so hard," he told SA Boxing Talk's Hayden Jones. To The JBB, he added, "In Cape Town, I got some good sparring with a fighter named Dylan Prosser." A 24 year old, Prosser is a 3-0 pro.

Feldman's camp then shifted to Johannesburg where he trains at Colin Nathan's Hot Box Gym. "In Johannesburg, I'm sparring with a variety of people." He named a tough, young road warrior named Simnikiwe Bongco (4-4) and undefeated four-year pro Cayden Truter (7-0) as fighters who have given him good work. His usual main sparring partner, Almighty Creed Moyo, is missing this camp due to an injury.

The 19-year old is ready for his next opponent, Sibusiso Muteleni. "Actually, I saw a short video of his first fight," he told Jones. "He looks pretty basic, but looks like he might have a bit of fundamentals. But nothing I can't deal with. So, I'm really excited. I hope he shows up with his 'A' game. I'm ready for a hard fight."

For this camp, Feldman has been working on fine-tuning his skills and sitting down on his punches to generate more power. "I feel like I'm very fit, so I just want to properly hone my skills. I've learned to sit down on my punches more. It's really different than the amateurs."

His coaches helped him realize after his first fight last October that he need a change in style now that he's a prizefighter. "You're not just trying to outpoint the guy and land more punches, but you're trying to do damage. So when I'm working the bag, hitting the pads, sparring, I'm trying to properly sit down and pick my shots rather than throw more shots and not do any damage."

Feldman is anxious to stay active. "I would fight every week if I could," he joked. "I'd like to fight four or five times [this year] realistically." That activity will lead to longer fights, something Feldman craves.

"I feel like I'm starting to get very comfortable in the ring. I'm excited for the fights when they start getting six, eight rounds. I feel like I'm going to do better, because later into the fight I'm going to start adjusting, getting more comfortable, and that's when I fight the best," he said in the SA Boxing Talk interview.

"I'm a very skilled fighter, technical, so late into the fight, once I've found my range and I've gotten used to where punches are coming from from the opponent, I'm going to start then using my skills and picking him off, and eventually get a stoppage late."

Feldman exudes a quiet confidence. When asked about stablemate Sive Nontshinga, who just regained the IBF light flyweight world title last Friday, Josh's eyes lit up. He said of Nontshinga's inspirational win, "It's amazing to see, because he just trains so hard. You see how skillful he is in sparring and training. I knew he would do it, but it's great to see it actually happen."

Feldman has the mindset to reach his goals one day. "I'm not getting worn out by the sport. I'm just getting hungrier."

When asked about opponents down the road, Feldman responded, "Roark Knapp is the main guy. In the next couple years, I'd definitely love to fight him if he's still active. He's an inspiration to someone like me to see him climb the ladder."

He has a message, not just for Knapp, but for all potential opponents, "Catch me now, because I'm just getting better."

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