Larry "The Legend" Donald talks about Valuev, Klitschko and his upcoming fight against Alexander Povetkin

14.06.07 - Interview by James Slater: Larry "The Legend" Donald gets an unexpected opportunity at re-emerging in the world's top-ten on June 30th. Due to Monte Barret's withdrawal, Larry now faces unbeaten Russian prospect Alexander Povetkin. This is a big fight for both men. For Donald, now aged forty, the bout offers him one last shot at the big time. While for the twenty-seven year old with the 12-0 (10) record, the fight will provide him with his biggest test to date. Larry holds a fine 42-4-3 (24) record and has faced some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division - defeating more than a few of them.

Currently in training for the fight with his coach Colin Morgan, the softly-spoken Donald very kindly took time out to speak with this writer. Here is what he had to say..

James Slater: Well, Larry, this fight with Povetkin has pretty much come out of the blue. Are you ready for it?

Larry Donald: Most definitely. A win will put me right back.

J.S: Do you think his team might have made a mistake taking on such an experienced guy as yourself?

L.D: No, I don't think so. They've done the right thing. But like I say, this fight can put me right back where I belong.

J.S: In your last fight, a close points loss to Nikolay Valuev, do you think the decision was fair?

L.D: No, I think I was robbed in Germany.

J.S: You certainly performed well in that fight and before that you scored a great win over Evander Holyfield, yet you haven't fought since. Why is that?

L.D: Well, things just weren't working out right. I had some time off because things weren't going the way I needed them to. The rest I had will probably do me some good, though. But anyway, it wasn't like I was being totally lazy, putting weight on in front of the T.V. I was always working out. I never gained a lot of weight.

J.S: Were there problems with [your promoter] Don King? I understand if you cannot speak too much on this subject.

L.D: Well, Don wasn't getting me any T.V fights. He wasn't really getting me any fights, actually. I never like it when I'm not keeping active. I'm still with King for this fight though.

J.S: You're forty years old now. Do you feel you're just as fast, just as sharp?

L.D: Most definitely. It's all about good timing, and doing what I have to do.

J.S: What do you know about Povetkin, have you watched tapes of him?

L.D: I've not seen no tapes of him. I know he's the 2004 Olympic gold medallist. He's an Olympian but I'm an Olympian too, so, hey.

J.S: Are you confident you can beat him? He's being touted as the next big thing at heavyweight.

L.D: I'm very confident. I always enter a fight thinking I'll be victorious.

J.S: Who have you been sparring with?

L.D: I've been working-out with top guys. I've had lots of top-class sparring. But I don't want to give away any of my secrets. ( Larry neglects to tell me the names of any of his sparring partners).

J.S: Although Povetkin has only had twelve fights, he is twenty-seven and, as you know, has that excellent amateur pedigree. Will you be bringing you're A-Game on June 30th?

L.D: Absolutely. I will definitely be bringing my A-Game. The only reason I'm taking this fight is because it will lead me to a title fight. You can't take anyone lightly in this game.

J.S: Talking about title fights. In your tenth round TKO loss to Vitali Klitschko, which is the only time you've ever been stopped, what happened in that fight?

L.D: It was just one of my off-nights. Everyone is entitled to an off-night. In that fight, Klitschko just caught me.

J.S: That fight was a final eliminator for the world title. If you'd won you'd have fought Lennox Lewis. What do you think would've happened there?

L.D: There's no way of knowing now. You can't really talk about something that will never happen now. I can't say.

J.S: Of all your wins - over the likes of Holyfield, Tim Witherspoon, Bert Cooper etc - which victory are you most proud of?

L.D: I'm proud of all my victories in the ring.

J.S: Have you any final prediction for the Povetkin fight?

L.D: My prediction is that I'll win. I want to get back to where I belong after this fight. I want a world title shot. You'll have to excuse me now, I have to go and get back training.

J.S: Okay, Larry. I thank you for your time.

Article posted on 15.06.2007

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