Late Breaking

Q & A with Jason “The American Boy” Litzau


Coming into 2010 Jason “The American Boy” Litzau 28-2(21) was just another fighter. However fast forward twelve months and the Minnesota resident has placed himself on the cusp of a world title shot, having beaten both Rocky Juarez & Celestino Caballero in Super Featherweight contests, both as a heavy underdog. Both fights were exciting all action fights shown on HBO where the likeable & engaging personality of Litzau shone through. It’s been rumoured that he may fight either Daniel Ponce De Leon or Adrien Broner next, though nothing has been agreed upon as yet. It’s hard not to pull for Litzau who’s paid his due’s and now looking to achieve his ultimate goal in becoming a world champion. Litzau is currently ranked WBC 5, WBA 2, IBF 5, WBO 11 & The Ring magazine number 10.

Hello Jason, welcome to 15rounds.com

Anson Wainwright – Firstly congratulations on a terrific 2010. You beat Rocky Juarez & Celestino Caballero two more known guys that you were the underdog against on HBO. What are your thoughts on your year & those two fights?

Jason Litzau – Well it was a breakout year for me. I took a year off after my loss to IBF World Champion Robert Guerrero in 2008. It gave me time to mature both physically and mentally. I’m only just 27 now. I started my comeback in 2009 and continued it in 2010. I’m a lot smarter fighter now and I knew how to beat Rocky Juarez and Celestino Caballero. I had a game plan and I executed it. Commentators say that Caballero had a bad day, no, I made him look bad.

Anson Wainwright – What are your plans for 2011? When are you looking at fighting next & against whom? Who are you targeting?

Jason Litzau – I would love to fight any of the current World Champions. I would love to come back to Britain where I fought as an amateur on the USA Boxing team. I would love to fight Ricky Burns for his WBO title. I think I still have some fans over there from my amateur days.

Anson Wainwright – Can you tell us about your team; who is your manager, trainer & promoter? Also what gym do you regularly train at?

Jason Litzau – My manager and trainer is Bob Van Syckle, who I have been with for my entire 8 year career. He has been loyal to me and I have been loyal to him. He is a smart manager and as a trainer he has a great ability to break down an opponent and come up with a game plan to beat him. For my last fight, I added a top strength and conditioning coach, Gerardo Aguirre to my team. He improved my core strength and balance. I felt like I could have gone 20 rounds in my last fight. My promoter is Square Ring Promotions, founded by Roy Jones,Jr. While in Minnesota, I train at White Bear Lake gym and when I go to training camp I train at Buddy McGirt’s gym in Vero Beach, FL.

Anson Wainwright – You were a good amateur can you tell us about those days, what titles and tournaments you won? You travelled over sea’s with the American team, can you tell us about that? Also what was your final record?

Jason Litzau – As a Junior (14-16 years old), I won all the US titles. In my first year as a Senior (at 17), I came in second at the USA Championships. Two weeks later I avenged that loss in a Box off and landed a spot on the USA Boxing team. While on the team, I fought other national teams in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and England. It was a great experience for me, meeting all the friendly people from other countries. My record was 125-10. Because of my financial situation, I could not wait for the 2004 Olympics and so I turned pro at 19.

Anson Wainwright – Your from Minnesota which isn’t know as a Boxing state, did you have to travel for sparring or do you bring guys in? Can you tell us about some of the Boxers you have sparred with?

Jason Litzau – Well, my manager was from the East Coast (New Jersey) and in the first few years I sparred with the best amateurs and pros in New York City and in the cities of Newark and Paterson, NJ. It was a great learning experience and I got a lot of complements from the East Coast fighters and trainers. After that, I actually was chief sparring partner for Rocky Juarez when he beat Zahir Raheem. I was also chief sparring partner for Arturo Gatti when he fought Floyd Mayweather. When I had my own camps in Florida, I tried to bring in the best up-and-coming fighters who would challenge me. One of them was Matt Remillard, 23-0, who is fighting on HBO on March 26.

Anson Wainwright – Who’s the best fighter you have ever fought in the amateur’s and pro’s?

Jason Litzau – The best fighter that I fought in the amateurs, and beat several times, was Mickey Bey. He made the USA Olympic team and is now 16-0 as a pro. In the pros, the best fighter I fought as the “young” Jason was Robert Guerrero. As the new and improved Jason, the best fighter I have fought is Celestino Caballero.

Anson Wainwright – You fought for the IBF Featherweight title in 2008 but lost to Robert Guerrero. Looking back on that fight what are your thoughts and feelings on it now?

Jason Litzau – I was only 24 years old at the time and I was pretty tight throughout the fight. I think the nerves got the best of me. I would love to get him in the ring again. I am a much more complete fighter now.

Anson Wainwright – What do you like to do away from Boxing? What other sports, hobbies and Interests do you have?

Jason Litzau – Being from a big hockey state, I love playing hockey. When I was a kid, I scored 73 goals in one season. Lately, I have backed off playing because I don’t want to take a chance getting injured. I had to give up riding my “crotch rocket” for the same reason. Its just another example of “wild and crazy” Jay growing up. Now, I like to play golf and racquetball and softball. And I love playing with my 3 daughters, ages 1, 5, and 7.

Anson Wainwright – You were a 13-1 underdog against Caballero, how did this help to motivate you? Do you like fighting with your back against the wall? What was it like for you when you returned home after the win?

Jason Litzau – Honestly, I knew I was the underdog, but I did not know I was a 13-1 dog until after the fight. If I had known that, I probably would have bet my purse and I could retire (just kidding about the retiring, not about the betting). I really did not think my back was against the wall. I was confident that I could beat Caballero. When I returned home, a lot more strangers said Hi and congratulated me. I felt great, like I had “shocked the world!”

Anson Wainwright – What fighters did you like when you were growing up? What about today who do you admire?

Jason Litzau – Arturo Gatti was a big hero of mine as a kid. He fought with such great heart. I would be watching on TV and be screaming at the TV set. It was a thrill to become friends with him and fight on a couple of his undercards. I also admired Oscar De La Hoya, the way he handled himself in the ring and outside the ring. Today, I admire Manny Pacquiao for his no-fear, non-stop punching style. He is not afraid to fight anybody, no matter how big they are. He came back from 2 knockout losses early in his career and look at where he is now.

Anson Wainwright – What do you think of the current champions at 130 WBC Takahiro Aoh, WBA Takashi Uchiyama IBF Mzonke Fana & WBO Ricky Burns?

Jason Litzau – I think I can beat all of them and become the Unified Champion. I just hope one of them is man enough to fight “The American Boy” Jason Litzau.

Anson Wainwright – Finally do you have a message for your fans?

Jason Litzau – I just want to thank all the fans who have come to my fights, watched them on TV, those who said Hi, those who reached out to me on Facebook, and those who I have yet to meet. I know that you pay your hard-earned money to watch me fight, so, I always give it my best in the ring. I don’t want to disappoint my fans and I don’t want to disappoint Arturo Gatti, who is watching from above. I invite anyone who wants to reach out to me to “become a friend” of mine on Facebook. Just search for “American Boy” or “Jason Litzau”.

Thanks for your time Jason, good luck in 2011.

Anson Wainwright

15rounds.com

Midweek Musings – Word from Britain is that James Degale may challenge Dmitri Sartison for the WBA Super Middleweight title on 19 March at the O2 Arena in London…After the apparent collapse of the All British showdown between Matthew Macklin & Darren Barker. It got me thinking of other domestic fights I’d like to see. In Britain though both of these need time to marinate David Price-Tyson Fury & James Degale-George Groves both have the potential to be huge by this time next year. How about a shoot out between new European Light Heavyweight champion Danny MacIntosh & Tony Bellew. At Welterweight Kell Brook-Matthew Hatton. British Light Welterweight champion Lenny Daws against former amateur star Frankie Gavin. A fight that has been mentioned many times is Kevin Mitchell & John Murray at Lightweight, both are 26, in there prime and a fight that we hope wont go the way of Ricky Hatton-Junior Witter. A rematch between Stephen Smith & John Simpson at 126. Though both lost there last fights and are friends it would be interesting to see Rendell Munroe fight Jason Booth at 122. Following his tremendous performance on Saturday Jamie McDonnell against Stuart Hall at Bantamweight.

If there are any fighters you would like to hear from you can contact me on elraincoat@live.co.uk