Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 05/16/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Just about everything you need to know about Andy Gardiner -- a Winnipeg light-heavyweight who is opening eyes literally and figuratively on the Canadian boxing scene -- and his approach to his craft can be found on the tattoos displayed on his shoulders and arms.
There you will find likenesses of Arturo Gatti, Micky Ward, Jake LaMotta and Rocky Marciano -- four of the toughest hombres to ever climb into the ring. And Gardiner, who is 7-0 heading into Friday's bout in Gatineau, Que., with veteran Emiliano Cayetano (21-5 with 12 KOs), is doing his damndest to take the same approach as his sweet-science idols.
"I'm not a slick boxer by any means," said Gardiner this week from Ottawa, where he now trains. "I think I have a pretty good defence but, I'll be honest, I do get hit a little bit. I take a few shots, give a few shots.
"I move forward and I throw punches."
Or as the analysts who called his last fight on pay-per-view aptly described him, Gardiner throws punches in bunches and is "all action, all pressure, all the time."
"I think it's entertaining," Gardiner added with a chuckle. "I love when the crowd gets into it. I love when the crowd gets into a good show."
Gardiner has been doing a lot of that since turning pro last year. A two-time Canadian amateur champion, the Fort Richmond Collegiate product has banged out seven straight wins in 377 days. And those Ws have hardly come against a collection of tomato cans and ring patsies. His last fight was a unanimous decision over Konstantin (The Volga Cossack) Piternov, who was "officially" 13-2.
"A lot of guys when they first start out will take some easy fights to build their record," said Gardiner. "I told my manager I don't want to pad my record. I want to make my way to the top fighting good guys. I also find I perform a lot better against guys who are good and not guys who are just brought in for me to beat.
"The last guy, the Russian, was a real step up for me. He was good. He was tough and he was everything we expected. It was a little bit deceiving because when we first signed the contract to fight him we knew his record was 13-2. But when we looked for videos of him, we found a whole bunch of recent fights that weren't recorded because they weren't sanctioned.
"I guess in Russia they have these tough-man competitions where they just fight for 12 minutes straight. It's professional, they get paid but it's unsanctioned. He was more like 20-2. That didn't bother me."
Ditto for Friday's matchup with Cayetano, the veteran Dominican. Asked for a scouting report on his next opponent, Gardiner offered this:
"I don't know much about him. We can't really find any video on him, but that doesn't mean too much to me. I don't really care at the end of the day. I know he's got two arms, two legs and he's only human.
"My game plan is to just go in there, not let him get into a rhythm and take the fight to him right from the first bell."
Gardiner was drawn to the ring after playing hockey in St. Norbert and Fort Richmond. When he was 16 his father Brad brought him to the Crescentwood Boxing Club to work with Stuart Sutherland.
And since the very first day he slipped between the ropes, he was hooked.
"I've been in the gym nonstop since I was 16," said Gardiner. "Even after fights when I should take time off I don't know what I'm supposed to do with myself so I just go to the gym. I like to be in the gym. It's been part of my life for so long I really don't know anything else.
"I wish I could fight in Winnipeg again but there just aren't any pros there anymore. So in order for a promoter to put on a fight they've got to bring in fighters from everywhere and it's expensive.
"But I'm excited for this next fight," Gardiner added. "Right now I'm an unpromoted guy. It's a little more difficult financially, but in the long run it will be better because once I build a good record it gives me more bargaining power with better promoters.
"And what I want right now more than anything is a world title. That's what I'm chasing."
email@example.com Twitter: @WFPEdTait
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 16, 2013 D5
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
India bowls out England for 227 in 3rd ODI
Perera powers Sri Lanka to 7-wicket victory
Pakistan wins toss, elects to bat
Barao removed, Soto to fight Dillashaw at UFC 177
Sharma out of ODI series with broken finger
South Africa recovers to beat Zimbabwe by 61 runs
James O'Connor, Hunt sign with Queensland Reds
Zimbabwe spinner Utseya takes hat trick in ODI
Zimbabwe bowls 1st against South Africa
ARU announces measures to tackle discrimination
West Indies vs Bangladesh T20 rained out
ARU to allow some overseas play by Wallabies
Bangladesh wins toss, bats 1st vs WIndies in T20
McCabe confirms he has retired after neck injury
Raina century helps India beat England in 2nd ODI
Court orders Lalit Modi's passport to be restored
South Africa chases down 327 to beat Australia
England wins toss, bowls 1st against India
South Africa sends Australia in to bat
Wallabies name 30-man squad, Polota-Nau included
Coach says Pat McCabe retires after neck injury
UFC, White apologize for bumping judge in Macau
Perera steers Sri Lanka to victory over Pakistan
Sri Lanka wins toss, elects to bat in 2nd ODI
Victor Matfield fit to tour with Springboks
West Indies sweep Bangladesh 3-0 after 91-run win
West Indies wins toss, elects to bat first
England-India match abandoned because of rain
Younis Khan to miss last 2 ODIs against Sri Lanka
Australia hammers Zimbabwe by 198 runs
Zimbabwe puts Australia in to bat in ODI
SBW cleared for quick return to All Blacks
Captain Clarke out of Australia's opener
Dos Anjos stuns Henderson at UFC Fight Night 49
Roosters move up while other leaders lose in NRL
Springboks survive huge scare in Argentina
Canadians earn silver at junior grand prix