Exclusive Interview with Lance "Mount" Whitaker - "I Have A Lot Left To Offer"
by James Slater - 37-year-old Lance "Mount" Whitaker, 33-5-1(27) launched a successful comeback last month, as he returned to the ring after a 15 month absence to pound out a ten-round unanimous decision win over Danny Batchelder. Set to fight again on the 21st of this month, the fighter once known, bizarrely, as "Goofi," has his sights set on challenging for a world title after he's fully ridded himself of ring-rust.
Article posted on 05.08.2009
At a huge and imposing 6'8," Whitaker feels he has what it takes to beat either of the two Klitschko brothers who are currently atop the heavyweight ladder.
Very kindly taking time out to speak to me over the phone yesterday afternoon, Lance had the following answers to my questions..
James Slater: Thanks for taking time to speak with me, Lance. First of all, have you an opponent lined up for your next fight?
Lance Whitaker: Yes, I'm fighting a guy named Ellis, last name Ellis, on August 21st.
J.S: Matthew Ellis, the British fighter?
L.W: Yes. I don't know too much about him. I'll take care of business on the 21st.
J.S: With this latest comeback you are on, the main goal is to fight for a world title obviously?
L.W: Yes. I had a bad injury in my last fight, when I lost on points to Jason Estrada. I tore my left bicep in the first round. I tried to fight on and get the win, but I was fighting for almost ten-rounds with just one arm. But I'm back now, I'm strong and healthy, and I feel good. I've been working my jab, which is something new for me, and I feel 27, not 37.
J.S: Who promotes you now?
L.W: I'm promoted by John Ellis now. I have a good corner around me, my trainer Vernon is a great trainer. Yeah, I feel good.
J.S: After all you've already achieved - what with good wins over guys like Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett and Oleg Maskaev - you feel you still have a lot left in the tank? You have a lot left to offer?
L.W: I have a lot left. A lot left. I've had time off, I've never taken much punishment. I'm big, I'm strong and I've been working my jab and on combinations. I'm older now and I'm smarter. I'm more mature and wiser.
J.S: Is it the Klitschkos you really want?
L.W: Yes. I know I can beat them and I hope I get the shot at them. I want to get the momentum going with a couple of wins - I'd like to fight a top-ten guy in a couple of months - and then fight either Klitschko. My fitness is good and I have the height and the size to beat them.
J.S: Are they as good as people say? You obviously think the Klitschkos are beatable and that with your height of 6'8" you can do it?
L.W: That's right. They're beatable, it's just that nobody has fought them and showed that. But they haven't fought anybody like me before. Someone who will fight them, who won't be scared and stand off. I'm big and strong and I'm a fighter and I'll fight them. I'd use my jab and my combinations.
J.S: Would you be interested in a fight with Nikolai Valuev, if a fight with a Klitschko doesn't come off?
L.W: Yes, for sure. That would definitely be a good opportunity. As a matter of fact, we spoke about that fight around a month ago. I've sparred with guys that are 6'11," so the height is nothing new to me.
J.S: In your comeback fight last month, you won a UD over ten-rounds against Danny Batchelder. How would you rate your performance in that fight?
L.W: I felt good. I got rid of a lot of rust. I broke one of his ribs in the fifth round, and he told me later I was the toughest fighters he'd ever fought. On a rating I'd give myself a C-plus. I'll get a lot better.
J.S: Would you like to get a KO next time out?
L.W: I just want to get the work. As long as I get the victory. I've scored a lot of KO's in the past, I don't got looking for them, they just come.
J.S: Have you been sparring with anyone of note recently?
L.W: I've been getting good work with guys like Joe Hanks and some other big guys. I'll be working with Chris Arreola next week.
J.S: Well, it's been great speaking with you, Lance. You plan to get past Matthew Ellis, get a top-ten name opponent and then get back in the title picture. Do you have any timeframe in mind?
L.W: My manager has a plan. You know how the game works - beat a rated guy first, then get a title shot. I'd like to get a title shot some time late next year.
J.S: Best wishes with your comeback, and good luck for August 21st.
L.W: Thank you.
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