Exclusive Interview With Oliver McCall - "I Truly Believe I Have What It Takes To Whip The Klitschkos"
by James Slater - Former WBC heavyweight champion Oliver McCall may be 44 years old, but "The Atomic Bull" is as hungry as ever. Still intent on becoming a world champion for a second time, McCall, 54-9(37) fights again on the 16th of this month. Having won his last three fights, the last win being over the huge Lance Whitaker, McCall is on something of a roll.
Article posted on 03.02.2010
Training now for his upcoming fight, Oliver, who dreams of a showdown with one of the two Klitschko brothers, very kindly took time out to speak with me after today's workout. Here are the rock-chinned warrior's answers to my questions:
James Slater: It's great to speak with you as always, Champ. Have you had a good training session today?
Oliver McCall: Yes, it was good. I especially enjoyed watching my son train today - I was very impressed with him. Yes, another day done, I feel blessed as always.
J.S: The fans want to see you fight again: when and where will your next fight be, Oliver, and who will it be against?
O.M: I'll be fighting again in two weeks - I'm fighting Zuri Lawrence on February 16th at The Hard Rock (in Hollywood, Florida)..
J.S: Lawrence is a well known fighter, who is pretty durable and has been in with some big names - he holds a win over the current European champion, Albert Sosnowski. Do you expect a quick win, or do you feel you'll get some rounds in?
O.M: I expect a couple of rounds; unless I catch him with a good shot early. Because of his boxing ability he will maybe last a bit; but because I know he has been KO'd before, that gives me the mentality to know I'm capable of stopping him - I'll take it to him and put the pressure on.
J.S: We know you want a big fight, Oliver. Is it Evander Holyfield you'd really like?
O.M: Well, Holyfield is a worthy opponent, and I want to fight any worthy opponents; who have a chance to win. I understand Holyfield did very well against [Nikolai] Valuev when he fought him for the (WBA) title. I know a lot of people felt he won that fight. He's still very durable and he still has a lot to give. I think it would be a great fight, him and I - we're both old-school champions. But my real goal, my ultimate fight, is to fight one of the Klitschko brothers. I truly believe I have what it takes to whip those guys.
J.S: With your rock chin, it would sure be interesting to see you against either Wladimir or Vitali. The problem is, they both seem to be busy with scheduled fights right now. Wladimir, certainly, is busy, facing Eddie Chambers in March. How long would you be willing to wait for them?
O.M: I'd wait a couple of years if need be. Let them get their business taken care of in the next six months, while I stay busy myself. I plan to have three or four fights this year - I plan, God willing, to fight again straight away, in April and then June. And me winning those three or four fights will be a strong statement for myself; that should put me back in the top-ten, where I belong.
J.S: You know, Oliver, you are putting these young guys to shame with your activity! Most heavyweights fight once or twice a year today, yet you plan on fighting three or four times this year. You clearly have not lost any of your enthusiasm or passion for the sport.
O.M: I thank God for boxing, I love to box. This is something I've been blessed with. But another thing for me is, I look at how my son's skills have really developed recently, and this motivates me also - for us both to be appearing on the same cards together. I want for us both to be either in the top-ten together or to be both fighting for world titles together.
J.S: Will Elijah be on the February 16th card with you?
O.M: He will, yes. The plan is for Elijah to have 8 to 10 fights this year, and that should put him inside the top-ten.
J.S: Do you feel, Oliver, that you are struggling to get the fights you want? Are fighters avoiding you because you are too dangerous a risk for them?
O.M: I believe so, yes. Because I have power and I can also take a great shot. But once I get back in the top-ten, these guys won't avoid me, because they will be looking to get a win that will put them in a position to challenge for a world title themselves. I have to be a little more careful which fights I take now. I'll never duck a challenge, but I have to bit a little more careful about going into other fighters' backyards and things like that. The Juan Carlos Gomez rematch was a fight I should have left alone. His style was all wrong for me and I also had an injury [ in the second fight]. Don't get me wrong, he [Gomez] was a great fighter, a great cruiserweight champion, and he was no pushover.
J.S: And you didn't have to take that second fight with Gomez, as you had beaten Sinan Samil Sam in a final eliminator for the WBC title (in June of 2007). We all thought you'd be challenging for the world title after you'd beaten Sam?
O.M: Right. I have to take the right fights now, the sensible fights that will position me where I need to be.
J.S: Well, we'd love to see you fight Holyfield. But in the meantime, best wishes for the Lawrence fight on the 16th. Thanks for your time, Champ.
O.M: Okay, I've enjoyed talking to you. Have a blessed day.
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