Joe Schilling recently ended his workout at Church Street Boxing Gym in lower Manhattan. He was there to promote his Glory 12 main event match up versus Wayne Barrett that will take place later this evening (Sat., Nov. 23, 2013) at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
The Muay Thai fighter stands out among his cohorts as he postures in front of the gigantic Joe Louis mural that adorns the wall, his tank top reveals the Gorilla tattoo on his right arm in addition to several others. His expression is matter-of-fact.
Church Street gym he has just finished working out in, is an old school type of gym. It's gritty, grimy and the smell takes a little too long to get used to. Schilling once trained in and old prison, hence the name of his gym being "The Yard," and it's probably the reason he seems so comfortable during his workout.
It was less than two months ago that the No.2-ranked Glory middleweight won the Glory 10 middleweight tournament, defeating both Kengo Shimizu and Artem Levin in the same night. The quick turnaround is not something that he is accustomed to from his experiences prior to fighting for Glory.
"I'm not used to it at all, but I'm embracing it," Schilling told MMAmania as he was still wiping the sweat off his face. "It's been a long time since I've been able to fight back-to-back. The biggest problem I've had in my career is inactivity. It's hard to stay busy here in the United States. I had a really long training camp for the last camp and the fights all went well. I had bronchitis, the last three weeks before the fight. It really showed in the Levin fight. My cardio just wasn't the same after the first fight. "
Schilling won the overtime round to defeat Levin and become $150,000 richer, but there was a bit of controversy because of a knockdown in the round that some felt was more a slip.
"The people that are saying that, are the same people that would've said it was controversy if I would've knocked him out cold," Schilling explained. "There would've been ‘he has loaded gloves,' there would've been ‘Artem had the flu' there would've been something.
"We had a rules meeting last night explaining knockdowns. By there explanation of knockdowns, it was absolutely fair. Artem knows that. It's very political in Russia. He has to say what he has to say."
Schilling said he would "'welcome the rematch" against Levin. "If Glory wants to set that up, I'm all for it. I respect Levin. It is what it is."
Prior to his in-ring session, Schilling could be seen watching his Glory 12 opponent, undefeated (3-0) prospect Wayne Barrett. He didn't appear to be impressed, and was asked what he took from watching the up-and-comer.
"He makes some pretty good mistakes," Schilling said with a smile. "I'm not really going to say, but they are really obvious to me and my coach. His pad work is pretty choreographed with his boxing coach. He looks good on the mitts, but it will be different when I'm hitting him."
Spike TV is promoting this main event as a "coastline collision," but in reality, it's a fight between a savvy veteran and a young fighter who maybe taking a step up in competition that he isn't quite ready for yet.
"Yeah that's obvious," Schilling said. "He has three pro fights. I have 20. I have seven professional titles, three world titles and he has three fights. On paper it's definitely a mismatch, but he is a big strong athletic kid so I am training really hard for this fight and I'm very focused. I plan on taking care of business."
One has to wonder the reason a young fighter who could be brought along slowly to become a star, would be matched up against someone with world-class experience like Schilling this early in his career.
"I think Spike TV actually asked Glory for that match up," he said. "I think Glory knows better than to destroy the up and coming guy right away. I get a fight with a guy that has only three pro fights and I get Madison Square Garden. It's great for me. It's unfortunate for Wayne Barrett. It's going to be a great experience for him. After this fight, I don't think anybody will be able to say he needs more experience. He's going to get a lot of experience in this fight -- it's really good for him."
After that statement, it appeared as though Schilling counted this fight as a victory as soon as he signed the contract.
"Yeah," he said, as if it were a foregone conclusion. "It's already happened. It's just a matter of people seeing it. I just hope fans turn it on," he continued. "If anybody turns on Spike TV on Saturday night, they are going to fall in love with Glory."