Hector Camacho Junior - "I'm Hungrier Than Ever Before!"

Exclusive Interview by James Slater - Hector "Macho" Camacho Junior is back in action this Saturday, when he takes on tough journeyman Sammy Sparkman. The 30-year-old son of a boxing legend is sure a win over Sparkman will be the start of some big things for him in 2009. Now refocused towards his training, Camacho jr. is especially hopeful of landing the much talked about Julio Cesar Chavez jr fight.

Though he feels Chavez is avoiding him, Camacho, 47-3-1(27) lives in hope that the fight will take place. Very kindly taking time out from training today to speak with this writer, Camacho had the following answers to my questions..

James Slater: It's great to speak with you, Hector. How's training gone for the fight against Sammy Sparkman?

Hector Camacho JR: It's been going great. I've been busting my ass for this fight!

J.S: Sammy Sparkman is a tough guy, who has been in with the best in the world such as Cotto. What do you expect from the fight on Saturday?

H.C: I expect the very best Sammy Sparkman to be honest with you. He's a good fighter, he's a good name. And he knows he's going in with a big name - and he's coming to win. You know, I learnt the hard way that there is no such thing as an easy fight, a tune-up fight. So I refuse to look past Sammy Sparkman, I really do.

J.S: What weight will the fight be at?

H.C: It will be at 154. I can make 154 comfortably. I could get down to 147, but I'm not going hurt myself getting down right now. I'm still hoping for a fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. That's one fight I will look ahead to!

J.S: You are still hopeful for that fight to take place then?

H.C: Of course. That fight is too good not to take place! There is so much history behind that fight, there is too much money for it not to happen also. His father beat my father, it's Mexico versus Puerto Rico - there is just so much to that fight.

J.S: Can you just clear up the Yori Boy Campas thing. You never signed the contract?

H.C: I never signed for the fight, and it's being handled by my lawyer right now. If they [Campas' people] say they have proof I signed for the fight let them show it, you know. It's just bogus. I'd fight him, but not with just one week's notice. They're just using my name and trying to tarnish it.

J.S: At age 30, and after over 50 pro fights, do you feel as good as ever?

H.C: I feel like I'm in my prime right now. I'm a mature man now, so much more so than in the early days. I know 30 is not old, but at the same time the clock is ticking. I want either a world title fight in 2009 - I'm knocking on the door - or I want to fight a big name at least. Most of all I want to stay busy. I train so hard now, and that's a big difference. Hector Camacho Junior at 173 (which Junior fought at at one time) was me out of shape. I expect big things this year. It's kind of funny, but just lately I've felt hungrier than ever. I'm re-dedicated right now.

J.S: How long do you intend to fight on for?

H.C: Until the desire and the hunger runs out. I've won fights just on talent in the past, but that caught up with me in the end. As long as I have the hunger to train like I am doing now, I will continue to fight.

J.S: How tough was it following in your great father's shoes?

H.C: It was tough. People were always comparing us. Wherever I went, my father's name came up. But I don't feel the pressure now. It's different now, I'm my own man. The pressure is off me now, because everyone has already written me off. Now everyone wants to fight me, because they think they can beat me. Back in the day, no-one wanted to fight me - Arturo Gatti, no-one.

J.S: Do you and your dad spar?

H.C: We do, but there's respect there now. So I don't really like to. It's not fun anymore, there's too much respect now.

J.S: After over 12 years as a pro, who is the toughest guy you have faced?

H.C: (long pause, followed by a sigh) I can't really answer that, to be fair. I was my own worst enemy in a way. I can't name one toughest opponent.

J.S: getting back to the Chavez JR fight. Do you think he will risk a loss against you?

H.C: I think he's doing everything he can to avoid me. He don't wanna fight me, man. The fight should happen though. I mean, even if he lost at least he'd be losing to a name. He has almost lost twice already, and the way he's going he's going to lose, maybe to just a top-15 fighter. If he did lose to me, we could meet again for a second fight. Boxing needs big fights like this though. MMA is taking over. Sure, boxing will never die out, with fighters like Hatton and Pacquiao, but we always need big fights. This fight [junior Vs. Junior] is too big and too good not to happen!

J.S: I know you don't want to look ahead. But if you do win, and quickly, on Saturday - how soon will you get back in the ring?

H.C: I'm looking at late February. I want to stay sharp , and like I say, some big things are ahead of me this year.

J.S: Thanks very much for your time, Hector. Best wishes for the rest of your career.

H.C: You have a blessed day.

Article posted on 13.01.2009

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