DailySport catches up with Duane Sinclair and Yisan Rodriguez ahead of the their clash on the 30th November at Queensbury Boxing League


Duane Sinclair


PZ:          How did you first get into boxing?


DS:         I was actually a kickboxer initially, but I had to stop due to an injury which hindered my kicking ability. Whilst I was kickboxing, a few boxing coaches approached me to get into boxing. I then had a period of about two years of inactivity, during which time I reflected on the opportunity to box and decided to give it a go!


PZ:          Tell me about your amateur career.


DS:         I had about 50 fights over five years. I won the South East division championships and won the London championships a couple of times, but unfortunately never got the chance to win the nationals.


One of my issues was my fluctuation of weight divisions. I started off as a super heavyweight and then over the years progressed down to light heavy at 81KG, which is my natural fighting weight. Although I thought I was a natural super heavyweight, the journey of fighting at the lower weights allowed me to see where I was most effective, which is around 81 KG, and which is also my most effective division for output.


I realise I’m fighting at light cruiser for this fight (with a cap of 83KG for this particular bout), but I intend to come in as near to light heavy as possible.


PZ:          I believe this is your first fight for QBL. What made you want to fight in the league?


DS:         Being 31 I realise there’s not a great deal of longevity left in the amateurs. My initial thoughts were that I have a day job and am not sure whether I’m totally on board pursuing a career as a professional. Whilst in this thoughtful phase, I was actually approached to turn pro, but then the same person also mentioned about QBL, and how similar it is to pro boxing, but the main difference being that a little bit less is expected of you regarding ticket sales.


I liked the sound of the league overall and what it had to offer and decided to go for trials. I was still not 100% sure though as I would have to cut ties with the amateurs. However, things changed when Ross Minter gave me the opportunity to fight for the light cruiserweight British title and I thought ‘game on!’


PZ:          What do you know about ‘The Cuban Missile’ Yisan Rodriguez?


DS:         I’ve heard he’s a bit of a banger, but also likes to showboat a bit. He’s supposed to be very confident, and a switch hitter, but I’m not sure if he’s orthodox or southpaw. Apart from that, not a great deal.


The biggest thing for me to focus on is that he’s a big hitter, and to have a strategy to deal with that.


PZ:          Any messages for him if he’s reading?



DS:         Not really. I read in his Queensbury interview that nothing is going to get in his way. My advice to him – ‘bring your A game, and let’s make this a good fight for the fans.’  I’m not stepping into that ring to lose.


PZ:          How’s the training camp been going?


DS:         It’s going well. I can’t complain – I haven’t had any injuries (touchwood!). I’ve been working heavily on accuracy.


PZ:          Tell me about the team around you.


DS:         It’s a mixture of old and new. Due to not being able to have my amateur coaches in my corner for QBL, I’m training with the guys I used to kick box with, but also Will Gardner and the Juggernaut team. I’ve known these guys for many years whilst developing as an amateur, so they know my strengths and weaknesses.


PZ:          Tell me one thing about yourself not many people know.


DS:         I‘m a school teacher! I teach maths and ICT teacher.


PZ:          If you could spar three rounds with any past boxing legend, who would it be?


DS:         It would have to be Roy Jones Jr.



Yisan Rodriguez


PZ:         How did you first get into boxing?


YR:          I got into boxing via seeing somebody I met in the street who was a boxer, and asked him if I could also attend. The same guy is now a good friend.


PZ:         Tell me about your amateur career.


YR:          I had about four fights as a junior. I then got into a bit of trouble as a teenager, but then I returned as a senior and fought in the novice championships and won that! I had a few other bouts, and had a couple of dodgy decisions against me, but that’s about it in terms of my amateur background.


PZ:         This is Duane’s first fight I believe. How much do you know about him, and does it faze you that this is his debut?


YR:          I don’t know much about him. I heard he did well in the ABA’s and that he’s a quick mover in the ring with counter punching ability.  The main thing I need to know about him is that he stands in the way of the QBL British title – that’s the most important thing I need to know about him!


PZ:         What’s your strategy going into this fight?


YR:          To break his heart from the start. I’m not there to test how fast he is, I want to test his heart.


PZ:         Any messages for him if he’s reading?


YR:          (Yisan laughs!). I’ve never met him before, so I have no message for him. Just looking forward to meeting him in the ring.


PZ:         How’s the training camp been going?


YR:          It’s going good. I’m always fit, and in great condition, because I never break from my fitness and boxing regime. However, I’m never fully satisfied with how fit and strong I am because I’m, always striving to get to the next level.


In fact, as we speak, I’m biking home from training for an extra bit of exercise! I’ve obviously stopped for this call though!


PZ:         Tell me about the team around you.


YR:          I train at the IKL in Ipswich.  The guys I train with are friends/trainers and help push me to the limits.


PZ:         Usually I ask the boxer I’m interviewing to tell me one thing about themselves that not many people know, but I’m going to jump the gun and ask you to tell the readers about your outstanding artistic ability which I’ve seen on your Twitter pages.


YR:          I have quite a few more than those on display on Twitter.


I’ve been drawing since I was about six years old. It was my grandmother who encouraged me to continue! It kind of progressed from there really! It’s certainly something I want to develop and pursue.

PZ:         If you could spar three rounds with any past boxing legend, who would it be?


YR:          Mike Tyson without a doubt! At his best he was unstoppable.

Follow Yisan on Twitter                 @Cuban_Missile1

Follow Duane on Twitter              @HotShotSinclair




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