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“I like chaos, I like to be on fire” – Eimantas Stanionis wants a “Mexican” fight against Gabriel Maestre

The wait is almost over for Eimantas Stanionis.

Having not fought since April 2022, the Lithuanian returns to one of the biggest cards of the year today (May 4) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the main event fans will watch in awe and wonder if Tijuana hurricane Jaime Munguia can end the reign of Guadalajara super-middleweight king Canelo Alvarez this Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Little by little Stanionis, 14-0 (9 KOs), faces Colombia-based Venezuelan Gabriel Maestre who, despite being 37 years old, has fought only seven times since his debut five years ago. His record, 6-0-1 (5 KOs), reads very well but was not without controversy such as his lucky win against Mykal Fox in August 2021. Stanionis, however, enters tonight with an advantage over Maestre as he defeated him. nine years ago in Qatar at the AIBA Championships.

It doesn't matter to Stanionis who is facing this evening. Having endured such a difficult time since beating Radzhab Butaev, the 29-year-old is simply relieved to be boxing again.

“I won't lie anyway [the] the most difficult time in my life,” he said Debate News.

“I love boxing. Boxing gave me everything again [made me] who am i I was following the athlete's protocol [of] staying ready, training, believing in good things.”

Before facing Butaev the former MMA fighter and kickboxer agreed to step down to allow Yordenis Ugas to face Errol Spence Jr in a welterweight unification fight. That night at AT&T Stadium Ugas lost and Stanionis won.

He then made a name for himself by fighting other competitors but in January 2023 he underwent an emergency appendectomy. This postponed the highly anticipated duel against Vergil Ortiz Jr in March 2023 which was then rescheduled for April 29. Then it was Ortiz's turn to fall ill which forced the fight to be canceled a second time. A new date of July 8 was penciled in but Ortiz's health failed him again.

Former welterweight champion Keith Thurman was supposed to face Stanionis on Dec. 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but the Showtime pay-per-view was allowed to go in favor of a non-ppv card that marked the end of the broadcaster's relationship with boxing.

Stanionis reflected on his long absence sharing his frustrations from a time when his career was about to be changed for better or worse.

“There are no specific dates, so they told me that you may fight this month or that month, this day, that day.

“I signed a contract for fighting, and it happened. I was crazy. i was thinking when do i fight what's going on, and if I will fight again. In Lithuania every day they ask me, when are you going to fight, what is going on. Everyone is waiting there. I have a lot of fans out there. I'm tired of all the questions though, it's not that easy sometimes.”

Last summer the welterweight division belonged to one man – Terence Crawford. His impressive performance against Errol Spence Jr left everyone unaware that he was not only the best “Bud” at 147lbs – winning all four titles in the process – but also the best boxer in the world.

Crawford's break from the sport has left the titles vacant but now that the Nebraskan has decided to move north to 154lbs other opportunities should present themselves in the next batch of top contenders in the welterweight division. Stanionis currently holds the WBA “Regular” belt and beating Maestre could lead to something big in the summer but after playing the waiting game is the fire still burning?

“Of course, I already have that fire in my belly. I haven't fought in two years so I have a lot of fire. I am waiting for my fight, God willing, I will win and we can move forward.”

And about tonight's opponent, Maestre, he says, “He's strong. He is there [a] a good fighter. I like his style because he doesn't run too much, so we'll meet in the ring Cinco De Mayo Mexican style and go from there.”

Fighting “Mexican” style and participating in toe-to-toe battles is what Stanionis wants. A fan of Arturo Gatti, Micky Ward and Marvin Hagler has watched these heroes make special and unforgettable fights that give them a special place in the hearts of fans around the world.

Why are these fighters attractive to him?

“I don't know, it makes me happy,” said Stanionis.

“It's strange,” he continued. “Your life is not good, I know that. But I know as a fight fan [if] great chaos, war, I'm so happy, butterflies in my stomach, it's crazy. I was like a child. When the battle gets tough, I get excited… let's go, let's go.”

Is it his dream to get involved in fighting “Mexican” style?

“I like chaos,” he replied. “I feel comfortable there, I like to be in the fire.”

Stanionis was thrown into the fire when he left his days as an MMA fighter and kickboxer.

“When I went to boxing, I was beaten in the gym,” he recalled.

“I think that's what I like. I decided that [after] I was beaten. But after a month I did very well against the boys who beat me. After a few months I was beating them. Being the Lithuanian champion was huge [because] no one knew.”

As the welterweight division goes through a period of change new faces and new challenges are presenting themselves. Stanionis, Jaron Ennis, Shakhram Giyasov, Giovanni Santillan, Cody Crowley and Mario Barrios are among the names in the running to take over from Crawford and Spence Jr. There could be a super-lightweight bout if Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney decide to explore pastures. new again.

“140 boys coming or 147 [guys] I would be the one to inform them,” warned Stanionis.

“You can always bet on me because I will show up, I don't do stupid things, I will be there. I will be there for sure, and I will fight anyone.”

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