Interview With ďTremendousĒ Travis Simms - ď I Want To Be The Best In The World, Pound-4-Pound!Ē

travis simms03.07.07 - By James Slater: Travis Simms, the reigning WBA light-middleweight champion of the world, is really up for his upcoming July 7th fight with the likewise unbeaten Joachim Alcine. Both men let the insults fly at their press conference last week, and now ďTremendousĒ says he wants to punish Alcine for disrespecting him.

After taking care of the tough Canadian, Travis, now aged thirty-six and engaging in only his second fight following a near two-and-a-half year enforced layoff, says he wants to become not only the undisputed champion at 154 pounds, but the best on the planet, pound-4-pound. Firstly, though, the southpaw WBA king must defeat the confident sounding Alcine. Someoneís O must go, as they say, and on Saturday, as both men will be bringing unblemished records into the ring with them, unless the draw occurs this will indeed be the case.

Travis very kindly took time out late last weekend to speak with this writer. Here is what the 25-0(19) champ had to say.

James Slater: Firstly, Travis, how has training gone?

Travis Simms: Trainingís been wonderful. We had a great camp. We put a lot of hard work in and Iím very prepared for July 7th and my mandatory defence.

J.S: Have you been sparring with anyone in particular?

T.S: No-one in particular. Iíve had great sparring. Iíve been working with guys Iíve worked with before, who we brought in to emulate Alcineís style for me.

J.S: What do you know about Joachim Alcine. Have you watched tapes of him?

T.S: Iíve watched him before, yes. To me, heís a decent amateur at best. Heís never faced anyone like me before and come July 7th I will be looking forward to sending him back to Montreal, Canada with a loss on his record.

J.S: Without being overly disrespectful, do you think heís out of his league going in with you?

T.S: I do, yes. I think he is out of his league. Heís never fought anyone in my class before. Whenever you have a guy whoís record is padded and they have been brought along very, very carefully itís a clear indication that something is wrong. You know, if you are a great fighter you will be put in with the top-ten guys. Alcineís never fought a top-ten fighter his entire
career. And Iím looking to expose him on Saturday.

travis simmsJ.S: He may be out of his league, but heís still unbeaten. But are you kind of looking past this fight towards bigger and better things - bigger and better things that you have achieved before, of course. Are you looking past Alcine at all?

T.S: No, not at all. Iím not looking past him. Thatís one thing that has been the same throughout my career. I never look past or underestimate opponents. Right now, all my focus and dedication is on Alcine.

J.S: I know the press conference got a bit nasty. Do you think he disrespected you?

T.S: He did disrespect me. I could hear people in the background telling him what to say and putting him up to it. Basically, heís fighting for my world title, against a great fighter in Travis Simms, and he said I wasnít a great fighter. He said he was gonna do this and he was gonna do that, he disrespected me. I tried to keep things diplomatic and professional, but he opened the door [with his insults] and I gave him a load back. Heís going to realize on July 7th that he came around at the wrong time to try and become a world champion. Iím gonna let him know that. Heís motivated me even more with what heís done. Iím really looking forward to putting on a show now.

J.S: He has quite a reach advantage over you, five inches I believe. Any concerns there?

T.S: Oh, not at all. Iíve sparred with guys like Paul Williams in the past, Iíve fought guys like Bronco McKart. Reach is not a factor unless you know how to use it. But not so much that, I plan to be all over this guy in the early rounds. Iím not going to let him do anything. Ií m going to dissect him.

J.S: Speaking of Bronco McKart. I know he took you twelve rounds, was he your toughest opponent?

T.S: He went twelve rounds with me, yes. I take my hat off to Bronco McKart. Heís an ex world champion and heís very cagey very experienced. When I fought him I kind of took my foot off the gas as they [the officials] were considering stopping the fight at one point. That fight was my very first world title defence ad I didnít want to take too big of a risk. I just wanted to go in clean and come out clean. But, yes, at the time Bronco was one of the best light-middleweights out there. Heíd only lost three times to Winky Wright and once to Verno Phillips. We thought it would be an interesting fight before me taking on Winky Wright in a unification. I was Wrightís super championship mandatory at the time. But Winky decided not to face me, to run. So unfortunately it didnít happen.

J.S: Just talking about that inactive period that came next in your career ( as a result of all the legal and political problems Travis was embroiled in after stepping aside and letting Wright face Shane Mosley, for which he was promised a fight with the winner and step aside money - neither of which he received). How frustrating was it?

T.S: Well, I did the decent thing and stepped aside. I was Shane Mosleyís super championship mandatory at the time also. I let Winky and Shane fight. But I wasnít compensated at all. Then, the winner was supposed to fight me within sixty days. But that didnít happen. The WBA didnít do their part to enforce it. And then they [Mosely and Wright] went ahead and a had a rematch, which is against WBA rules regarding super championship fights -there was no rematch clause there. I just felt it was poor handling and organization from everyone involved.

J.S: Who were you most mad at, at the time?

T.S: I didnít lose respect for Winky as a world champion. At the end of the day it was a business decision. I was most upset because I wasnít given the opportunity to fulfill my dreams of becoming an undisputed champion. It was very distasteful, what happened, and that was what lead me into litigation with the WBA. But weíve moved on, Iím not bitter, and now Iím looking ahead to becoming undisputed champion in the future.

J.S: Yes, well, in your last fight, against Jose Antonio Rivera, which followed the layoff, you looked possibly better than ever. You must have been very pleased?

T.S: I was very pleased with my performance. That was classic Travis Simms in the ring that night. I always rise to the occasion. By me being out for nearly two-and-a-half years people missed me and they were led to believe I couldnít fight at that level anymore. But my natural abilities came to the top against Rivera. Iím looking to do the same thing against Alcine on July 7th.

J.S: Assuming you do win on Saturday, and I know youíre extremely confident, want would you like to do after. Is it unification youíre really after?

T.S: Absolutely. Itís every world championís dream to unify the titles. I want to take on all the other belt holders at 154. But if that doesnít happen, if theyíre not interested, Iíll explore the possibilities of moving up to 160 and facing Jermain Taylor.

J.S: You really think you could do it at middleweight too?

T.S: Absolutely, Going up to 160 is nothing Travis Simms canít handle. Iím a young thirty-six. Iíve never taken any real punishment. And like [rap star] Jay Z says, thirty is the new twenty. I feel like a twenty-one year old. I want to become the best fighter in the world, pound-4-pound. Thatís what Iím looking forward to accomplishing in the next two years.

J.S: Well, I wish you all the best for the fight on Saturday, Thanks for your time, Travis.

T.S: Oh, thank you. Also, I just want to say, seven is my lucky number. And Iím fighting Alcine on the seventh day of the seventh month in year 07. Of course Iím going to win! (laughs).

Article posted on 04.07.2007

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