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Training Camp Check-In: Sulem Urbina

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On October 30th live on DAZN, Golden Boy Promotions is hosting a card headlined by middleweight contender Jaime Munguia (35-0) going up against Tureano Johnson (21-2-1). This card has some intriguing fights, which include a women’s WBC flyweight title eliminator.

Sulem Urbina (12-0) will be putting her undefeated record on the line against Marlen Esparza (7-1). This matchup is compelling and the winner would be lined up for a shot at WBC Flyweight Champion Ibeth Zamora Silva (30-6).

Faithful readers may recall NYF has spoken to Urbina before. Click here to refresh yourself, with this NYF Prospect Watch article.

I checked in with the 30 year old fighter as she prepares to face her toughest opponent yet.

AG: Sulem, thank you for taking the time to do the interview, as I know you are closing in on fight week. In your last fight back in February, I saw an uptick in aggressiveness. Did you feel like you needed to do that especially since you were fighting on a bigger platform like DAZN?

SU: I feel like I’ve improved a lot since turning pro. It has taken some time but I feel as though I’ve improved with every fight. Prior to competing internationally, I had an aggressive style but then I fell back on boxing a little too much. These are the pros and the hurt game. You can’t just piddy pat and move. You have to be aggressive. I am at a level where I have to win more decisively and by knockout if possible. That is what I was trying to do in the Noemi fight as she has fought everyone and anyone. That night, I wanted to really show that I am one of the best.

AG: Shortly after, we were hit with the pandemic and mandatory quarantine. I remember that in our last interview, you jokingly mentioned having a love/hate relationship with your husband, who is also your trainer. What was it like having both husband and trainer during quarantine?

SU: (Laughs) I’m already used to it as we have been together for over 10 years. We understand each other without having to say anything. Of course like every couple, it can get tough at times, especially with training because he is like my boss and tells me what I have to do.

A unique combination of Trainer/Fighter and Husband/Wife.

We don’t really fight or argue and I am appreciative of him. If I’m tired from training, he will offer to cook and things like that. There are times that we get annoyed at each other so he will be in the living room while I am in the bedroom watching a chick flick or cartoons. We give each other that little bit of space but overall, we are one of those couples that don’t mind being together all of the time.

AG: During the quarantine period and even after, I saw you take a more active role in social media whether speaking on current topics or live fights.  Did you feel as though you needed to do that in order to push your profile even more or was it something that occurred organically?

SU: I guess you can say I’m a social person when it comes to being on social media. It is something that I believe comes fairly easy to me. I just feel that social media is a good way to promote myself. At the end of the day, it not just about what happens in the gym and boxing. You have to put yourself out there. No one is going to care that you’re the best if no one knows you. It is something that comes with the territory and a lot of boxers fail to do it. I’ve used social media to promote positive things.

Sulem knows the importance of driving social media traffic

AG: On Oct 30th you are fighting Marlen Esparza. Do you guys have a history?

SU: When I started boxing in 2007, a year later, I was ringside to one of her fights at a tournament in Kansas City. I lost the day before and then she fought in the finals. When I saw her fight, I thought “wow, she’s amazing.” At that moment, I actually became a little bit of a fan of hers. I remained a little fan through the amateurs until I saw the person she really was. She beat me in the amateurs during international competition and it’s something I didn’t forget. We have done a few interviews together and she tries to play it cool like she doesn’t remember who I am. There is a bit of tension between us as she is one person in front of the cameras and another behind it. She talks a lot but come Oct 30th there is no talking involved!

AG: How were you approached about this fight? Were there other options or was this something that you sought out?

SU: It’s funny you should mention that because Marlen says everyone wants to fight her and that she is the one everyone is after. That’s not the case at all as I’m the one ranked #4 by the WBC and not her. This opportunity with the WBC was mine before it was hers. Robert Diaz, the Golden Boy matchmaker, wanted me to fight before the end of the year. The pandemic happened and with the DAZN issues, there weren’t many dates available.

Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Roberto Diaz with the microphone

Marlen had this Oct 30th date set to fight my last opponent. Robert wanted to make the best fight possible so he called me and said, “I promised you a fight before the end of the year. If you want a fight, you can fight Marlen Esparza.” I said “yes” right away without even asking about any of the particulars. Then GBP called Marlen and it took her a little while to agree as she was going back and forth on whether to take the fight. We both have some pretty good names in boxing and I’m happy she agreed to fight.

AG: Both of you have a more advanced boxing style than some of the other women because of your amateur backgrounds. How do you see this fight going?

SU: I took this fight because I am in it to win it. I’m almost positive she is going to try to run all night. I’m strong, fast and know how to cut the ring. I don’t think she is ready mentally. She is coming off of a tough loss against Seniesa Estrada and I don’t think she should have taken this fight with me. I’m expecting the best Marlen Esparza.

AG: For fans that will be tuning into DAZN and seeing you for the first time, what should they expect to see? Also, where can fans follow you?

SU:  To the fans that haven’t seen me, I have a lot of tools in my pouch. I can box, bang, counter and move. Expect something exciting, as I like to please the fans. I’m looking to really hurt Marlen Esparza and it’s going to be an exciting show. You don’t want to miss it on DAZN. Fans can follow me on Twitter & Instagram @sulemurbina .

My Three Cents: This matchup between Sulem Urbina and Marlen Esparza is going to feature two pure boxers with a lot on the line. Will Sulem use her boxing skills to overcome the decorated amateur? Will Marlen’s experience be too much for Sulem to handle?

Tune into DAZN on Friday, October 30th and make sure you don’t miss this WBC title eliminator.

You can follow me on twitter @abeg718 and follow @nyfights on Instagram.

Born & raised in the Bronx (NYC), Abe grew up with a family who were & still are, die hard boxing fans! Abe started contributing to boxing articles in 2017 and has now started a series of club show pieces which allows fans to see who is next on the horizon. Abe appreciates all styles of boxing and has been a big supporter of women in boxing. Abe can be found on twitter @abeg718.

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