Jeff Mayweather Talks About Klitschko/Ibragimov and Hatton/Mayweather

ibragimov klitschko#30.11.07 - Interview by John Martinez, : On February 23,2008 the heavyweight division will take a major step towards determining who the true boss of the heavyweight division is when WBO champion, Sultan Ibragimov (22,0,1,17 KOís) puts his title on the line against IBF champion, Wladimir Klitschko (49,3,0, 4KOís) in the famed Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. The fight will be air on HBO. I spoke with Sultanís trainer, Jeff Mayweather and discussed his fighterís game plan leading into this fight as well as his nephewís chances on December 8th against the hitter from Madchester, Ricky Hatton.

JM: Jeff, when will you have Sultan report to training camp for his upcoming heavyweight unification fight with IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko?

JEFF: Well we are going to report to camp right after the holidays. So we will be in camp close to maybe nine weeks for this fight..

JM: What advantages do you see Sultan having going into this fight with Klitschko?

JEFF: Well number one, heís undefeated so thatís always a real good thing to have on your side. Number two, Sultanís much faster than Klitschko is and also he punches just as hard has Klitschko does.

Overall, heís a more complete fighter than Klitschko is heís just a much smaller fighter than him. I think that since heís been with me, heís a smarter fighter thatís taking less punishment than he used to take and heís winning rounds decisively. Heís throwing more combinations and using more head movement.

We know his chin is suspect. Weíre going to test his chin. I mean, all of a sudden despite being knocked out cold, heís a world-beater. Thatís not the case. One thing about boxing is that you can change some things in a fighter, but you canít all of a sudden tell a guy how to take a punch. Thatís are advantage.

JM: What ideal weight would like to see Ibragimov come in at come fight night?

JEFF: You know, Iím thinking about 222 pounds and below. We donít want to balloon up because all that will do is take away our speed advantage and we donít want that.

JM: I would like to ask you if it is a fair assessment that when it relates to Wladimirís weaknesses, most people believe he tends to be very basic with his punching combinations, leans too much over his lead foot, and doesnít utilize head movement as much as a fighter should. Do you agree with this assessment?

JEFF: I think that is a very fair assessment because that is what I see as well. The thing that presents a problem is his jab and he is very tall and he has punching power. However, weíve got hand speed and just as much punching power as he does.

When we get inside through smart aggression i.e. head movement working off angles, we are going to have to land big shots and break him down and I canít see no way possible us not doing that.

JM: Do you feel a victory over Wladimir will solidify your charge as the true heavyweight champion of the world and in that sense define his career and if so, how do you think he will deal with that pressure?

JEFF: Well Sultan is a real calm person. Heís got a great amateur background and one thing we always talk about is pressure is self-inflicted. No one can apply pressure to you but your self.

I mean, Sultan is undefeated. He (Wlad) is not undefeated. He lost to lesser fighters than Sultan. He got knocked out by Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. Thatís one advantage that I think we have mentally over him. Plus, Klitschko, heís looking at it from his situation and thinking Sultan got a draw against Ray Austin. But the other side of that equation is me. I was with Austin for that fight and that made the difference in that fight and I will make the difference in this fight as well.

JM: Any thoughts on your nephewís (Floyd Mayweather Jr.) fight December 8th?

JEFF: To me, this is a situation where Ricky Hatton is a good fighter, but Ricky Hatton is not in Floydís ring. Hatton doesnít belong in the same ring. Donít get me wrong but to be honest with you, I think that even the most loyal Hatton fan honestly in their heart canít believe that Ricky is a better fighter than Floyd is and will beat Floyd.

This is the same guy that after fighting at 147, he rushed back down as fast as he could to get to 140. The reality is this; Floyd had no problems at 147 or 154. He fought a great fighter in Oscar de la Hoya, beat him, and even proved that he was stronger than Oscar because he was backing Oscar up. He wonít have any problems with backing Hatton up. Heís stronger than Ricky, faster in hand speed, has better defensive skills than Ricky. He wonít have a problem.

Ricky has a punchers chance because he has two hands, but when talking about bringing their ďAĒ game, Rickyís is an ďAĒ is a ďCĒ to Floydís any day. I look for the fight to maybe be stopped in the ninth or tenth and possibly even go all twelve only because Ricky is an extremely tough fighter mentally and physically. Ricky is the type that will go out on his shield, but Iím looking for Floyd to come out and put a performance on like he did against Corrales. Thatís what I see in this fight.


Article posted on 01.12.2007

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