Braidwood's ready

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

Don't let the spelling fool you: Mein rhymes with pain.

And pain is what Adam Braidwood intends to dish out when the Edmonton Eskimos defensive lineman makes his second foray into pro boxing with a four-round heavyweight bout against Lethbridge MMA veteran Lee Mein on the April 9 Blunt Force Trauma card at the Shaw Conference Centre.

The six-foot-four, 270-pound Braidwood made a big splash in his pro debut two months ago, taking all of 43 seconds to demolish Devon Garnon with a brutal three-punch combination that nearly decapitated the Calgarian.

"I've got the best trainer in Canada in Milan Lubovac, and he's been pushing me in the gym like I've never been pushed before," Braidwood said yesterday.

"In addition to working on all my strength stuff for football, I'm sparring every day with smaller, faster guys to improve my speed and footwork.

"As Milan puts it, that's the best way to melt off all my baby fat."

Braidwood, 24, said he's having an easier time mentally preparing for this bout - even though Mein represents a huge step up in terms of experience.

"Milan's the mastermind. He yells at me all the time, which really keeps me motivated. I know I was more tense preparing for my first fight because I didn't really know what to expect.

"The toughest thing this time was not knowing who I was going to fight. We went through four or five guys who either dropped out or weren't interested, but now that I know it's going to be Mein, I'm more relaxed in there and I can just concentrate on taking care of business."

While he stops short of predicting another quick KO, Braidwood said he'll take full advantage of the first opening to throw his vaunted right hand.

"I know Mein quite well through the MMA scene and I know he'll be in great shape because he's constantly training for MMA and Muay Thai. He's got a wealth of experience, so I'm going to have to rely on my athletic ability.

"I'm going in with the utmost respect for Lee because I know that if I get lazy or try to showboat, he's strong enough and experienced enough that anything can happen.

"That said, I'll be looking to finish him as quickly as I can."

Braidwood's strategy suits Mein just fine.

"It won't go to the judges, I'll guarantee that," the 41-year-old said from his MMA training academy in Lethbridge.

"This will be my debut in boxing, but I've had eight MMA bouts and nine pro Muay Thai matches, so I think that experience will help.

"I've been focusing exclusively on my ground game for the past couple of months, so making the adjustment to punching has been an interesting experience. I'm six-foot-one and about 235, so Adam will have a size advantage. But I think if I can pressure him, get him moving, it could give him some trouble."

As for his own fight plan, Mein isn't tipping his hand.

"Adam's a smart guy and a great athlete, so I know he can adjust. Let's just say that any time you've got two big guys swinging, somebody's going to sleep.

"Hopefully I can take what he's got and dish it back. I'm looking forward to it. I think it'll be fun."

MURRAY.GREIG@SUNMEDIA.CA


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