We got in a couple of questions with up-and-coming Cuban/Dutch boxer Niko Valdes. With a couple KO’s under his belt, lots of ambition, and a big appetite… we’re sure we’ll be seeing much more of Niko in the coming years. Read on to see what he had to say.
Walk us through how you started boxing and where the the passion and inspiration sprouted from and continues to flow from. Take us to where it all began.
I started boxing because during my high school years I was bullied and I wanted to be able to defend myself. At 18 years old I walked into 5th Street Gym and told Dino Spencer & Lazar Stojadinovic that I wanted to be a fighter. They started training me that very same day and although I got beat up, I fell in love with the sport. My passion and inspiration steams from people who used to tell me and continue to tell me, that I won’t be able to make it. Aside from proving people wrong, I am not the average boxer that comes from humble beginnings. My family is well off and I don’t box for the money, I box for the love of the sport.
When you’re not training, how are you enjoying your free time?
A lot of your posts on Instagram are accompanied by inspirational quotes. Which comes to mind as being a top favorite amongst the rest? Why does it speak to you so powerfully?
I love the Quote “what the mind believes the body will achieve” because fighting is such a mental game and those who are mentally weak fall.
With two highly publicized fights already behind us this year, what are some of your thoughts on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight and Canelo vs. GGG?
Mayweather vs McGregor was a good show but everyone knew what the outcome was going to be. But Canelo vs GGG was a great fight I thought both fighters did great and I can’t wait to see the rematch.
When in the gym putting in the work, what music do you have playing in the background?
I like to listen to R&B a lot when I train.
When cheat day comes around and you’re gonna down whatever plate or dessert you want, what are you having and where?
I always start my cheat days with Pancakes on South Beach at Olivers Bistro and if I can at night I’ll go to a steak house. My favorite is Prime 112 on southbeach.
Talk to us a little about your most memorable moment or experience you’ve had so far as a boxer. What made it so special?
Getting signed by GoldenBoy was one of my most memorable moments because from the day I started boxing I said I wanted to be signed by them and no one said I could do it.
You’ve demonstrated a few non-traditional training methods including using resistance bands in different ways along with other techniques. What would you say is one of the most aggressive training techniques you incorporate into routines?
I just started doing Strength and Conditioning with a well known trainer Phil Daru at American Top Team. I believe this will take me to the next level.
You took what looks like was a pretty phenomenal trip to Japan not that long ago… What was it like to experience a new culture? What was one of the most notable experiences from the trip?
Traveling and eating are two of my favorite things to do, so visiting Japan was quite the exciting experience. I enjoyed seeing how different cultures live and eat, it allows me to constantly learn new things and connect with others in new ways.
What’s your favorite boxing bag in the gym?
The Heavy Bag
What is one of your least favorite exercises or training techniques that you don’t look forward to yet must be a part of your training regime?
Long distance running.
Outside of the boxing world what are some of your goals and ambitions? Any in particular that you’re working on currently?
One of my main goals is to start an Anti-Bullying Foundation in order to help and assist children in building confidence.
Closing things out, what’s up-and-coming from Team Niko Valdes, what should we be looking forward to as we close out 2017 and move into 2018?
Actually, I am currently in the process of moving to California and in 2018 you can expect me to be a lot more active in my professional career.