Jason Estrada - "I Take My Hat Off To Povetkin For Taking This Fight"

Exclusive Interview by James Slater - There is a very strong chance that unbeaten Alexander Povetkin of Russia will risk his high ranking, and potentially, his guaranteed shot at IBF and WBO heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko in his very next fight. The word is fellow 2004 Olympian Jason "Big-Six" Estrada, 15-1(3) will be Povetkin's next opponent - with an April 4th date in Germany all but signed..

Very kindly taking time out to speak with this writer about the big opportunity he has been waiting for, the 28-year-old gave the following answers to my questions.

James Slater: We hear the Alexander Povetkin fight is about 90% done, is that what you hear?

Jason Estrada: Yes, that's what we hear too. But in boxing you never know for sure until the contract is signed and in your hand. I'm really hoping this fight does happen. I'm very happy. This is the chance I've been waiting for ever since I turned pro, the chance to get my foot in the door. He's a great prospect and so am I.

J.S: Many people expected to see you two fight at the 2004 Olympic games, do you feel it was destiny that you two meet?

J.E: Yes, it's been a long time overdue. You know, things happen for a reason, and it's much better that we fight now and both make some serious money, as opposed to merely boxing as amateurs. I'm sure it will make for a great and entertaining fight.

J.S: You have no problems in going over to Germany?

J.E: No, I have no problems travelling whatsoever. I've fought abroad before many times as an amateur in various international tournaments. You know, no-one can help him in the ring, so it doesn't matter where the fight is.

J.S: What do you think of Povetkin the pro?

J.E: I think he's pretty good as a pro. I mean, I don't see him posing too many problems for me. I don't look at him as a real big threat. I know he has some power, but who doesn't have some power at heavyweight? Anybody over 200-pounds can hurt you if they catch you right. I know Povetkin's smart and busy, but so am I. He's determined, but so am I. As I say, I'm really happy to be getting this fight. I've wanted this type of fight ever since I turned pro. But obviously you have to be patient and take your time. You can't just rush into big fights too early.

J.S: To me, Povetkin is taking a big risk fighting you. Do you think he's crazy, risking his guaranteed shot at Wladmir Klitschko?

J.E: I don't know. To me, it looks like it's his warrior mentality. Maybe it's just something from the way he was in his amateur days. He has a warrior's mentality, I guess, and I have it too. I take my hat off to him for taking this fight. It's good - there are too many so-called prospects who are ducking people and choosing who they fight. This fight is a big risk for him, but it's a great opportunity for me.

J.S: In going to Germany, are you at all concerned about whether or not you will get a fair shake from the judges if the fight goes the distance?

J.E: It's always in the back of your mind. But I'm a real fighter, and that's how it can go sometimes [losing "hometown" decisions]. But I'm not too worried about that happening, really. I think it's pretty fair over in Germany. If you give your all they will give you the win you deserve. I tell you this, it won't be like the Eddie Chambers fight. Eddie Chambers, a great boxer, was winning that fight - but then for some reason he stopped throwing punches. I won't stop. No way. I would never let a guy come at me with four or five shots and not do anything back. I'm way more aggressive than Eddie Chambers.

J.S: You last fought in November, whereas Povetkin has been out since last July. Do you feel that will make you the sharper fighter come April 4th?

J.E: I don't really go by that. You never know. I mean, look at Shane Mosley. I watched his fight on Saturday, I was hoping he'd win, but Margarito's just a beast. So that shows you, you never know what's going to happen. You can't go by how a guy looked in his last fight; if he struggled or anything like that. It's so unpredictable, that's why I love the boxing game so much.

J.S: Not looking too far ahead, but if you beat Povetkin, it could be you next for Klitschko! You must be excited about that? Is the sky the limit for you right now?

J.E: Exactly. I've always said, the better the quality of my opponent the better I fight. I need to face a guy that I know can potentially beat me. I've felt so healthy in my last six or seven fights. My weight has been coming down and I feel ready for this opportunity so much. I think it will be about another year before I'm at my absolute peak, but this is the big chance I've always wanted. I just hope the fight comes off.

J.S: Well, it's been great speaking with you, Jason. We all hope you get this fight.

J.E: Okay, thank you. Bye.

Article posted on 27.01.2009

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