26-year-old Canadian featherweight prospect Tyler Asselstine (12-0, 7 KO) will make his ESPN Friday Night Fights debut this week against Baha Laham. He discusses that fight and his future plans with The Fight Network's Corey Erdman.
Corey Erdman, The Fight Network: "Things didn't kick off too well for Canadians on Friday Night Fights this year, but this man is looking to change that: Tyler Asselstine. Tyler, this has been something you've been waiting for for quite a long time, getting on U.S. TV. You have to be happy that it finally came, at the beginning of the year, too."
Tyler Asselstine: "Absolutely. We've had opportunities where we thought we were gonna be on ESPN in the past four months or so, and that didn't happen. Now that it's a for sure thing, we're really excited, and we're working hard, and ready to show U.S. and Canada what we're made of."
Erdman: "Fighting at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, it's somewhere that you've been quite a bit, and now you're kind of coming back as a more seasoned fighter. Do you kind of hope to make that your home base, given that you spend a lot of time in Ottawa, hoping that you can kind of cash in on that Montreal market?"
Asselstine: "Absolutely, I love fighting in Montreal. It's like a second home to me. It's gonna be my seventh or eighth pro fight there, I'm not sure. I love the fans, the fans love me. I just love fighting there."
Erdman: "Perhaps more exciting now for the fans, you look at your last two fights, and you have two stoppages in a row. Has there been a change in your approach? Is it that you're sitting down on your punches more, or is it just growing as a fighter?"
Asselstine: "It is sitting down on our punches a little more, but we're also more patient. We're using our jab a lot better and a lot more efficiently, breaking them down with the jab. That's why these knockouts are coming. We're throwing to the body a lot more, too, now."
Erdman: "I know it's tough to look ahead beyond the biggest fight of your career on ESPN, but are there goals for 2013, or things beyond this that you want to get done before the end of the year?"
Asselstine: "Definitely. After this fight, we're looking for an NABA or NABF title shot in April. As long as everything goes well with this fight, that should be the plan."
Follow Corey Erdman and Tyler Asselstine on Twitter. For more on Friday Night Fights, watch Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas' preview of the Bizier-Campbell main event.