Chauncy Welliver: Im not afraid of either Klitschko. I will bring pressure on the inside. Thats something that theyve never seen.

by Geoffrey Ciani - This weeks special 100th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with heavyweight contender Chauncy 'The Hillyard Hammer' Welliver (45-5-5, 15 KOs) who is currently ranked by both the WBO (#9) and the WBC (#14). Welliver spoke about his career and provided opinions on the current boxing landscape, with special focus on the heavyweight division. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

On his long journey which saw him evolve from a club fighter into a bona fide heavyweight contender:

You know, its actually been a fun ride since we first talked two years ago, and Id like to say real quick its an honor to be on your guys 100th episode. You guys have made it very far. You guys have made it further than I did, but for me, going like you said from a journeyman coming up to these fights where I am now ten fights later. It feels great because Ive put in a lot of work and its starting to show. I love it.

His views on his chances of landing a heavyweight title shot against one of the champions:

With the state of the heavyweight division I would say I have a good shot because of where Im at in the rankings. I do hold those two rankings for either of the Klitschkos. When you look at guys like Derek Chisora and see that theyre getting shots, then guys like me that have had a lot more experience definitely should get a shot, because without a doubt Im the most active heavyweight in the game. Ive fought five times in the last eight months. So I think activity will definitely help me get a shot.

His views on a potential fight between him and David Tua and whether there was ever serious negotiations for such a fight:

Yes and no. It was between me and Kali Meehan to be his next fight. This was about two months ago. When we were in New Zealand we were actually informed by the media that Dave had said it was me or Kali Meehan next. But no, we never hit any negotiation stages but it was something that Dave was telling the media. That is a fight in New Zealand that I feel is bigger than him and Meehan because I have a little bit of a name there. Kali Meehan is a New Zealander representing Australia. Im an American representing New Zealand. So I think with me and Dave definitely having opposite styles, and I obviously believe I have a chin. Me and Dave standing there toe-to-toe would be the fight so were definitely working very hard to get that fight and hopefully Dave sees the light and comes to the table.

His views on WBA champion David Haye and his recent defense against Audley Harrison:

I actually didnt see the fight but it sounds like it wasnt a bad thing to miss that fight. David Haye I think is good for the sport, because he talks a lot. Hes actually one of those guys bringing headlines to boxing, but he does need to step it up. I do totally agree with that. He did get his domestic rivalry out of the way and now he does need to fight obviously a Klitschko or a Chagaev or somebody like that. He does need to step it up. He does need to be put to the test. As I said, he does bring headlines to the paper talking his garbage that he talks about his fighters, but if youre going to call somebody out you definitely have to man up when they stand back up to you.

His thoughts on Manny Pacquios unanimous decision victory against Antonio Margarito:

That guy is unrealspeed, power, he can box, he can move. Hes unreal. Usually when you see a fight that one-sided its pretty boring, you know when Mayweather goes out there and beats a guy one-sided its usually boring. This one was actually pretty exciting for as one-sided as it was. Manny Pacquiao can make any fight exciting and thats kind of the beauty for him and Mayweather should it ever happen. Manny Pacquiao might be the one guy to make Floyd Mayweather exciting. Manny Pacquiao I believe is the best without a doubt today. You know hes definitely up there for one of the best ever. Hes exciting to watch and the reason I like him is because he brings new fans to the sport of boxing. You can take a UFC fan or somebody thats never watched boxing and have him watch Manny Pacquiao and we add a new fan to the sport.

On whether he believes a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will happen in 2011:

You know Mayweather needs to start putting some money in the bank before he goes to jail, and right now its at its all time high. Manny Pacquiao showed he kind of took mercy on Margarito those last rounds. He is a good human being. Floyd Mayweather has shown with his last act outside the ring that he is not a good human being. This fight is a great fight. Its a total opposites fight. You have a boxer and a puncher, you have a good man fighting a bad man. Its really good versus evil, and I think that Mayweather does need to put some money in the bank, so yes, I think its something we see in 2011.

On which fighters he most enjoys watching in the current boxing landscape:

Im honestly a fan of Kelly Pavlik. Hes a boxer. He could box, he could punch, he could brawl, and the beauty is that his defense isnt that great. Hes from a small town like I am, and hell go out and fight the absolute best without having the greatest training in the world. I am definitely a very big Kelly Pavlik fan and I cant wait to see him back in action and hopefully beat a Sergio Martinez and a Paul Williams within the next year. Guys like that Im absolutely a big fan of. Also, Im a huge Morales fan. I was kind of hoping he wouldnt make a comeback, but hes doing good in it so lets keepn it going Erik.

On whether any serious negotiations took place for him to meet Wladimir Klitschko in December before Klitschko signed to defend against Derek Chisora:

No. The only real negotiations though were that it got to the point that we were talking. There was no money being thrown around, but there was, Yes, if Derek Chisora says no youre definitely the opponent. That was really as far as it got. It got me excited because Chisora was kind of hot and cold on whether he was going to do it, and he turned it down so I was getting pretty excited for it. I understand why hes fighting Chisora. Hes trying to build himself up in the UK market. Its all business. I think after he fights Chisora, the good thing is all I need to do is step it up a little bit and I will definitely get a shot at the Klitschkos because they are kind of cleaning out the division. Who else is there to fight the Klitschkos? I feel I have just as good of a shot as anybody else at getting that fight

On when he expects to get back inside the ring:

Right now were actually talking about a December fight in New Zealand. Now you know straight after my last fight, three hours after my fight we flew to Cancun for the WBC convention. My manager is awesome. He had me training all through the Cancun thing with the WBC Convention. I mean were going full out. We have a little bit, I dont want to say a tradition, but fighters usually take anywhere from two to three weeks off after a fight, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. We are literally back on it into training the very next day after a fight. I know I dont have that much time. I have 55 fights. Were ready for any fight at any time, so being in the gym the next day were definitely getting ready for anything at anytime. So December hopefully, and then we have one in Michigan in January that were working on right now. Were just looking for an opponent. So if any heavyweights are listening to this, were ready and if you want to come for the WBC Americas title, were ready for you. Give us a call.

His views on how far he can make it in the heavyweight division:

You know when people ask me that, it really is hard to say because it depends on who the champion is. Lets get the Klitschkos out of the equation and maybe Ill get a title, because they will be a tough beat. I think I have as good of a shot as Sergi Lyakhovich, John Ruiz, Lamon Brewster, guys like that. These were guys that we never would have guessed would be in the top ten and they ended up being heavyweight champions for long periods of time. I have as good of a shot as Shannon Briggs who went twelve rounds with Vitali Klitschko with one arm. You had a one arm fighter going twelve rounds. I think me getting in shape, every fight Im improving. We still havent seen me at 100%. Were getting there. Hey, as much as Im training we might see me at cruiserweight. You never know. But no, Im training and as soon as Im 100% ready for the title were taking it. Were only a step away from that though with as much training as Ive done, because I guess Ive lost seventy pounds. I see myself realistically in a title shot, and depending on who Im fighting, I could see myself winning that fight. I can see people are going to laugh and write things on the web and things like that. One thing people dont do with the Klitschkos, they dont bring the pressure. Im not afraid of either Klitschko. I will bring pressure on the inside. Thats something that theyve never seen. People are going to say Im not the hardest puncher in the world, and I totally agree. I punch the keyboard harder than I punch the heavy bag. One thing I will do, when most heavyweights will hit them with one and two shots, Ill be hitting them with eight, nine, ten shots. Ill bring the pressure, and hey! Well see what happens. Like I said, I will be 100% in shape for a heavyweight title shot, so I can see myself being heavyweight champion. I can definitely see myself getting a shot. All it takes is when can we do it?


For those interested in listening to the Chauncey Welliver interview in its entirety, it begins approximately twenty-eight minutes into the program.


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Article posted on 20.11.2010

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