Exclusive Interview With Travis "Freight Train" Walker - "I Definitely Have A Lot To Prove"

Travis Walkerby James Slater 30-year-old Travis Walker is a heavyweight contender who feels he has learnt much since his most recent defeat. "Freight Train," 34-3-1(28) was shocked inside a round by Manuel Quezada last July, but the big puncher from Texas is sure he was the recipient of a "lucky punch." Very much wanting a chance to once again avenge a 1st-round stoppage loss (see his two fights with TJ Wilson), Walker must first get past former cruiserweight/now heavyweight contender Johnathon Banks.

Walker and Banks will clash in a crossroads bout on the under-card of the March 20th Klitschko-Chambers title affair in Germany - and earlier today, Travis was kind enough to give the following answers to my interview questions. Here is what the hard-hitting "Freight Train" had to say:

James Slater: Thank you so much for your time, Travis. First of all, is the fight with Johnathon Banks a definite?

Travis Walker: Yes it is..

J.S: And when was the fight set your end, and when will you begin camp?

T.W: The fight was given to me on Friday, and I will start training on Monday.

J.S: What do you know about Banks? Have you seen him on tape?

T.W: Yeah, he's got a couple of fights on You-Tube, and I've checked them out. I actually know a little about him , from since he was an amateur.

J.S: You are the bigger guy, with more KO wins than Banks, as well as more actual pro bouts - do you see a KO win for yourself?

T.W: I definitely see a knockout victory for me. But at the same time, I've learnt now, and I take my time in fights - I don't go rushing in for the knockouts. I box from the outside now, use my distance, and wait for the KO to come - rather than go looking for it in a hurry.

J.S: Will this be your first fight outside of America?

T.W: It will be my first pro fight outside of the U.S. I'm not nervous, I'm excited about it. I want the world to know I'm a fighter - not just the U.S. I want to be known worldwide. And I want to be appreciated.

J.S: We know you have won your last three fights by stoppage, and some experts said you looked angry in those fights. Do you feel you have something to prove; after the loss to Chris Arreola - in a great fight - and after the loss to Manuel Quezeda last July?

T.W: I definitely have a lot to prove. I have to prove - number-one: that I am still a heavyweight to be reckoned with. And - number two: the people who say I have no chin and the people who are looking down on me now are wrong. I know what I did wrong in the past and I have to prove that I am still here, but better than ever. I've worked with a number of trainers who have shown me what I did wrong in the past, and who have helped me correct my faults. Things I did wrong, I will do right now.

J.S: Was the 1st-round stoppage loss you suffered at the hands of Quezada a fluke kind of thing, where he got lucky - or is he the real deal?

T.W: First of all, that was a punch I really didn't see. But, in a way, it was meant to be that I lost that fight - it was one of those things. But I must say, I was actually up before the referee's count of ten. But he just jumped on me and gave me no chance to continue; the referee did. And that was not the first time I've lost a fight like that, either.

J.S: You mean the quick TKO loss to TJ Wilson, which you avenged?

T.W: Yes.

J.S: You feel if you got a return with Quezeda, you avenge that loss also?

T.W: I'm very sure I would. But I don't think he [Quezeda] wants a second fight. Maybe he will after I win this fight [with Banks]. He hasn't done anything since that win over me.

J.S: Are you as hungry as ever, Travis?

T.W: I'm as hungry as ever, yes. But I also have more knowledge now. I'm more relaxed and I've learnt so much since that fight. You know, I'm still young as a fighter , even though I'm 30. I started off green and I have still had only ten years of fighting - both amateur and pro. The guys that beat me had something like twenty years experience. I still have a lot to offer.

J.S: You'd like a rematch with Quezeda, then, as you've said - but Banks is next for you. Who have you been and who will you be sparring with; or would you rather not say?

T.W: I'd actually rather not say, because I'm still working with the main guy.

J.S: You've never been in a fight that wasn't exciting - win or lose. Will this be the case on March 20th?

T.W: It will be on my end!

J.S: What do you hope a win over Banks will lead to for you?

T.W: I hope to get a shot at the number-one spot for a challenge for a [world] title. I want to show everyone what I've got.

J.S: When do you plan on going to Germany, how soon before the fight?

T.W: I plan on going a week before the fight, so I can acclimatise and get a couple of workouts in also.

J.S: Well, it's been great speaking with you, Travis. Thanks a lot; we all look forward to a good fight on March 20th.

T.W: Okay, thank you.

Article posted on 13.02.2010

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