MANCHESTER, Conn – New Jersey-based trainer Mike “Red” Skownowski reports that training unbeaten NABF and NABO featherweight champion Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard for his March 26 showdown against unbeaten IBF No. 1 contender “Mikey” Garcia, despite being together a little more than month, seems like they’ve been working together for a year.
Remillard-Garcia is the 12-round co-feature on Top Rank’s “Featherweight Fury,” airing live on HBO After Dark from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The 24-year-old Remillard (23-0, 14 KOs) has been at training camp with his new trainer, “Mike Red,” Skownowski, in Passaic, New Jersey. The WBA #3, WBO #4 and WBC #5 rated Remillard puts his NABF and NABO title belts on the line against USBA titlist Garcia (24-0, 20 KOs).
The newly Top Ranked-signed boxer is in the fight of his young life, one that offers title implications for the Remillard-Garcia winner against IBF Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, or his challenger Jorge Solis if he registers an upset in the 12-round main event “Featherweight Fury.”
“Everybody in the gym immediately liked Matt,” Skownowski said. “We have a lot of young kids who have gravitated towards him. Right now, four of them are sitting around between workouts talking boxing with Matt. It seems like we’ve been working together for a year, not 4-5 weeks. In 3 ½ weeks he had already sparred 84 rounds, working double sessions, and he’s a real gym rat. He came to me in shape but not in good boxing shape. Every day he was sparring 10 rounds. I don’t want to leave it in the gym, so the other day I gave him light stuff. He got upset because he’s use to going 100 miles an hour.”
Skownowski also works with former world champion Kendall Holt, as well as prospects such as Glen Tapia, Jorge Diaz, Victor Valenzuela, Jeremy Byrant, Jose Perrault, and Wanzell Ellison. In the past he worked with the late Arturo Gatti and Tomas Adamek.
“Matt has a very tough fight against Garcia but I think he’s going to shock a lot of people,” ‘Mike Red’ noted. “I didn’t think Matt was a big a puncher as he is. His strength and power are much better. I thought he was more of a finesse fighter but he can bang, too. We’ve worked hard on his footwork and his jab has improved.”
Remillard has developed into a dangerous body puncher, stopping several opponents with an attack similar to that of another New Englander, “Irish” Micky Ward, who has often talked to Matt about his left hook to the liver. “Yeah,” Skownowski added, “when I tell Matt I want a Micky Ward, he knows what I mean – tap to the head and then drill the left hook to the body.”