Interview With Oliver McCall - "Let Me and Vitali Klitschko Fight!"

oliver mccall18.06.07 - By James Slater: Fresh off his fine win over Sinan Samil Sam at the weekend, Oliver "The Atomic Bull" McCall is feeling great. Not only is he the new WBC International heavyweight champ, but the forty-two year old is now in line to get a shot at the real thing in the coming months. A chance at what Oliver calls total redemption and a second term as WBC boss is now the motivation for the hard-headed warrior. Speaking to me over the phone earlier this evening, Oliver was keen to speak about possible fights with Vitali Klitschko and the winner of the Sam Peter and Oleg Maskaev match. A return, too, with Sam was not something McCall ruled out.

Here is what the jubilant "Atomic Bull" had to say..

James Slater: Firstly, Oliver, congratulations on the win on Saturday. Was it a tough fight?

Oliver McCall: Thank you. It wasn't really a tough fight because Sam's punches were not that hard. He couldn't hurt me, he has no real leverage on his punches. He had some quite amateurish moves too.

J.S: Were you at all worried about the fight going to the score cards, being in his backyard so to speak?

O.M: No, I wasn't worried because we had open scoring in the fight. After every four rounds the scores were put on display. So I was happy about that. Also, the damage I was doing to him was so obvious to the judges and everyone watching that it was clear how badly I was beating him. I was doing physical damage to him in the fight.

J.S: As you never KO'd him, did you not get paid then, what with the pre-fight bet and all?

O.M: Yes, I got paid. The bet was that if I KO'd him I'd get double my purse. If he KO'd me I wouldn't get paid. But if no-one scored a KO we'd both get paid as normal. So I got my full purse.

J.S: Do you think the win was your best for some years?

O.M: Yes, definitely. It was my best win since knocking out Przemyslaw Saleta [in four rounds] in Chicago. Before that, a few years earlier, I also KO'd Henry Akinwande. So the Sam win was my best since those fights, yes.

J.S: There has been talk of a rematch with Sam, are you keen to fight him again?

O.M: I'm willing to fight him again if he wants. But they've got to pay me real well for that. I would be giving up my title shot to face him again, so they'd have to pay me really well.

J.S: Is it a title shot you really want then, did Jose Suliaman promise you one?

O.M: Yes. Yes, he promised me a title fight. Vitali Klitschko is the guy I really want to fight. Everyone says he's the best and I want to prove I can beat him. He was desperate for a rematch with Lennox Lewis, just like I was. But now I want to prove that I'm the best. I think a fight between me and Vitali would be great and exciting for boxing.

J.S: What about the winner of Maskaev-Peter?

O.M: Well, there are two ways I can go. I can fight Vitali in October if he wants, then the winner of that fight can fight the winner of Maskaev- Peter. Or I can go ahead and fight the winner of September's fight. I think Peter will edge Maskaev, he's the better puncher and he's younger.

J.S: So you'd face Vitali even before he wins the title back, if he can win it back?

O.M: Yes, definitely. Everyone says he's so bad. I mean, he was a good champion and all, but I'd love to fight him next. So let's me and him fight.

J.S: And you'd fancy your chances with Peter as well?

O.M: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. It doesn't really matter who I fight. I'm going to redeem myself. I feel blessed. Everyone told me I was finished after the second Lennox Lewis fight but I'm going to be the WBC number one contender as soon as Peter fights Maskaev. I've just won the WBC International title and now I'm looking ahead to challenging for the world title. Even at forty-two I can be champion again.

J.S: Do you feel better than ever right now then?

O.M: I really do, I really do. I want to redeem myself so much. Even at forty-two I'm looking forward to new challenges. I'm following in the paths of George Foreman and Larry Holmes, who boxed well when in their forties. If you remember, I was ranked number two right before my rematch with Lennox Lewis, but I'm going to be ranked number one soon. That's why I feel so blessed.

J.S: Well, forty-two isn't that old for a heavyweight these days, Oliver. I wish you all the best in your title shot. You say you want to redeem yourself, I think you already have in that you've proven your career is not at all finished. Good luck and thanks for your time.

O.M: Okay, thank you. You have a blessed day.

Article posted on 19.06.2007

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