After a few consecutive hot weekends of fights, boxing returns on a Thursday as Triller puts on a showcase card billed as “Night of the Heavyweights.” The card will be held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC and streamed live on FITE Tv and the TrillerFightClub.com. There will be a Verzuz held after the fight in the more recent Triller fashion but in a different location between Hip-Hop legends Bone Thugs & Harmony and Three-Six Mafia.
The headline will feature Heavyweight contender Michael Hunter (20-1-1) going up against Jerry Forrest (26-4-1). Although there is plenty of interest in that fight, this article focuses on the co-featured heavyweight, thirty-four-year-old Cassius Chaney (21-0). The undefeated fighter promoted by Main Events has quietly flown under the radar but looks to have his name included in bigger fights come next year.
I checked in with Cassius days before his big fight on Triller to discuss everything surrounding his camp, the change of trainers, and what the future holds.
This year hasn't been a very active year for Cassius, as his fight in August was the first of 2021. After earning a unanimous decision victory against Shawndell Winters (13-5), Chaney was looking to return to the ring sooner than later, and that's when he received the call for his upcoming fight against the undefeated George Arias (16-0).
This wasn't the first time the two have been linked together for a fight, as they have tried three other times, but each attempt led to a cancellation. This time it looks like they will meet in the middle of the ring and attempt to erase each other's “O.”
In Cassius' corner will be a trainer who is well known throughout the boxing world for his sharp eye and boxing knowledge, and that is Stephen “Breadman” Edwards. The pairing of the two hasn't been long as it started earlier this year. Cassius was brought in for a “test run,” which led to a fight five weeks later.
Going from Herman Caicedo to now Stephen Edwards had to be a challenging transition, so I asked Cassius about that and training with Breadman. He told NYFIGHTS, “I'm not going to lie, it's been hard. He is a tough trainer and teacher but is understanding. The last camp to this camp has been totally different as I know what to expect.” Chaney continued, “I came in with a different preparation mindset than I did for the last camp. I came in for a trial run at the last camp, and then I was told to fight. This camp, I understand him more, and we understand each other.”
What were some of the things discussed between the two that may need to change for Cassius as a fighter? “He wants me to be nastier and use my physical abilities more while also being more relaxed. In the last camp, I was very uptight. He said to me that ‘It's ok to be who you are.' I'm a cool dude, but I can be nasty too, so he was like, ‘be that way'. He has been challenging me with things and has made me come out of my shell a little bit.”
The change of trainers is something that Chaney felt was needed to take him to the next level as he's shared the sparring ring with guys like Otto Wallin, Luis Ortiz, and Unified Champion Tyson Fury. When asked about those experiences, he told NYFIGHTS, “With (Tyson)Fury, he used to tell me that I had a really good style and that I should stick with it. I was with him when he was getting ready for (Wladimir) Klitschko, and they kept me out there the second month as they liked how I copied Klitschko and my physical style. Fury is a real teacher as he shows you how to set traps and things like that.”
Chaney continued, “Otto (Wallin) is a super relaxed fighter. All three of those guys are different, but they showed me various things when I came through.”
It looks like Cassius has all of the experience he needs to make noise in the division but just needs the right person whispering in his ear to bring him up a notch.
As we discussed his current training camp, he mentioned that it started in Connecticut, where he resides, and later moved to Schuler's in Philly, where he joined Breadman. After wrapping up his camp, I asked him what his thoughts were on his opponent Thursday night. “I know a pretty good amount about George (Arias), and I've seen him fight a few times. He is small but tough. Sometimes he wants to come in, and other times he wants to move and box. He seems to be athletic, but he's going to have to take a lot of chances against me. He's going to have to be creative as I have really good defense. I can either make it exciting or pick him apart the whole fight. My mindset is to win first, but if I hurt him, I'm going in for the kill. ”
What should fans expect when they tune in on Thursday? Cassius answered, “A focused and in shape Cassius. Someone that is going to be physical if I have to be, use my jab, stay tall and if I can get him out of there, to do that but be smart about it.”
It sounds like Cassius is zeroed in on this fight and knows what's at stake. I asked him if he feels any pressure to speed his career up because of his age. Cassius quickly told NYF, “Even though I'm 34, I have less damage than any other fighter in the heavyweight division. I haven't been in any wars, and I don't smoke or drink. I also get my sleep!”
Chaney continued, “You look at the heavyweight division, everyone is around the same age. I'm in a fortunate situation as I haven't been in any wars, and I stay to myself. The only difference is that I haven't made any money yet. The heavyweight division has changed so much. It's all about staying healthy and taking care of yourself.”
My Three Cents
When Cassius Chaney was coming up the club circuit, he was famously known for the nice afro and some highlight-reel knockouts. Cassius has since cut the afro and wanted his identity to be related more so to the work he does in the ring, which hopefully sees him in a big payday fight at some point soon.
Can Cassius Chaney finish the year with an eye-catching performance that gets him that big fight in 2022? We will see, so make sure you tune into this Triller card on Thursday as you will get your pound of flesh on this “Night of the Heavyweights.”