When Caleb Truax entered the ring, nearly everybody at the St. Paul Armory stood up. Behind chants of “Caleb” and “Truax” almost every round, the Osseo, Minn., native won the fight and now looks to move to bigger fights.
After winning the World Boxing Federation international middleweight championship by unanimous decision over Kerry Hope on Friday, Truax said the belt was a stepping stone and hopefully the first of many titles.
Truax’s promoter Tony Grygelko said he is hoping for a Target Center fight for the University of Minnesota alumnus on Jan. 31, 2010.
Should current Minnesota middleweight champion Andy Kolle agree to the fight, it would be Truax’s second fight in the Target Center . However, the Truax-Kolle bout would be the feature as opposed to his April 2007 match which was second on an eight-match card.
The hopeful January match is currently in the works, but Grygelko said Kolle’s representation had previously said Truax wasn’t a worthwhile competitor. With a belt and a 14-0 record, Grygelko is hopeful that Kolle will agree.
Kolle’s promoter is asking for about 40 percent more than Truax would stand to make —something Grygelko said is completely unreasonable. If both sides come to terms, it would be the first ever WBF world-title match between two Minnesota fighters.
While Grygelko acknowledged Kolle’s abilities, he was quick to look toward Truax’s future.
“We’re not looking past Andy Kolle at all, but … he’s just a speed bump. He’s probably our last obstacle in Minnesota,” he said.
Grygelko said Truax has had offers for fights in California and New York, but after the way the crowd reacted to Truax in St. Paul, it’s clear that he has an advantage in Minnesota.
“We kind of have a little franchise here with Caleb. There’s no reason for us to go anywhere,” Grygelko said.
Truax, who said the “Team Truax” crowd is behind him in Minnesota, said he does want to move on to bigger venues, including possibly the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion or Mariucci Arena. With the amount of focus he puts in the sport, Grygelko said there is no need to rush him into fights outside his comfort zone.
“If we had a kid that was out partying his tail off, and we knew that he was wasting years and burning daylight, we’d be pushing him harder,” he said. “He’s so focused. The kid’s the hardest working guy in Minnesota.”
With the future in mind and a belt to call his own, Truax knows exactly what he wants to keep doing.
“Just keep this going as long as I can. I want to be a big name here in Minnesota and around the country,” Truax said.
Sitting ringside Saturday was boxing legend Scott LeDoux , who has seen all of Truax’s fights. LeDoux’s boxing career in the 1970s and 1980s included matches against George Foreman , Ken Norton and an exhibition match with Muhammad Ali . After watching the 10-round victory, LeDoux said Truax can go far in the boxing world.
“He can go all the way. He’s got a lot of heart,” LeDoux said.
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