Before Ladarius Miller steps in the ring on Saturday night against last-minute opponent Carlos Padilla, the Memphis native shares his story of struggling to find fights in his city before a family member led him Floyd Mayweather.
[Authors Note: At the time of interview, Miller was unaware of who his opponent would be]
BSO: The fight is roughly a week away now, how have you kept your mind occupied as the date gets closer?
LM: I was just on a run when you called me, trying to get a little exercise in.
BSO: To pass the time or because there’s still a few pounds to lose?
LM: My weight is good, I’m already on weight, I’m just ready to fight now.
BSO: Your last fight was against Jamel Herring, an arguably more known fighter among fans, and now you step into the unknown after Argenis Mendez was forced to pull out with an injury. Before we talk about that, let’s go back a little further. How does a young man from Memphis land on the radar of Floyd Mayweather?
LM: I was just blessed to have a family member that was already out in Las Vegas that was hearing about my situation at home. I was trying to get fights, the city stopped approving funds for my boxing gym, I couldn’t really go to tournaments, plus I was trying to finish school and stay focused in the gym. Memphis is a tough city and it’s hard to stay out of trouble and on the right path. But I was fortunate enough to have family who looked out for me and brought my situation to Floyd. After that, I took the bus out here and never looked back.
BSO: Looking forward to Saturday, as of now you still don’t know exactly who your opponent will be. Does that change your mental approach to the fight at all?
LM: Mentally, with any fighter, this fight was a big fight for me. Of course, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect me as far as I had my hopes up fighting a former world champion and taking the next step up the ladder. Mentally it’s a bit of let down because I wanted to test myself against a former world champion. Someone who’s done what I’m trying to do in the sport and get that much closer to a title shot. But at the same time, I have to remain focused and go in there and win no matter who I fight. I’m still prepared as if I’m fighting Argenis Mendez.