Exclusive Interview: Vinny Maddalone Talks About Adamek-Klitschko, Haye-Klitschko, James Toney, Prizefighter International

By James Slater: Popular New York heavyweight Vinny Maddalone’s name has been in the news quite a bit recently. Firstly there was talk he would maybe be among the participants in the forthcoming May 7th “Prizefighter: The International Heavyweights” tourney in London, while today I read on 8Count News that James Toney had a fight lined up against Vinny, in Biloxi on May 14th.

Calling up the always-friendly 37-year-old to ask him about these subjects and others, I was given the following interview earlier today.

James Slater: It’s always a pleasure to be able to speak with you, Vinny. There have been a couple of news stories regarding yourself, on a number of web sites just recently - I was wondering if you could clear a few things up?

Vinny Maddalone: Oh, no problem, James.

J.S: First of all, will you be participating in the U.K International version of Prizefighter in London? I read that you’d been approached for the tournament on May 7th?

V.M: Yes, Joe [DeGuardia] brought that to my attention and I would have loved to have done it, but it was a little too soon. I recently came back from Italy - I was over there working on a book with an Italian writer, me and Lou Savarese and Peter Manfredo - and I’ve only just gotten back into the gym. When I fight I want to be 100-percent ready. But as I say, otherwise I would have definitely done it. I’ve been telling you I’ve always wanted to fight in London, that’s a goal of mine before I retire, and I promise you it will happen.

J.S: That’s cleared that up then, Vinny - thanks. I did think the Prizefighter format, three, three-round fights, would have suited you perfectly.

V.M: Without a doubt. But the thing is, I wouldn’t want to just win one fight; I’d want to win all three. I just wouldn’t enter without having had the proper time to get ready.

J.S: Well, the promoter of the series says there could well be more international tournaments in the future, so maybe later this year you might take part in the next one. Talking about the book you mentioned: have you and Savarese and Manfredo written a chapter each, is that it?

V.M: No, what it is is, the photographer did the photos and the Italian writer did the text; it’s a book about boxing in New York, fighters from New York. It’s only available in Italian right now and I guess they’ll translate it into English.

J.S: That sounds like an interesting book. The other news story concerning you, I heard on a U.S web site’s radio show. They spoke to James Toney and he said he was fighting you in Mississippi on May 14th. Toney said the contracts hadn’t been signed but that things had pretty much been agreed to.

V.M: (laughing) This is the first I’ve heard about it! No, that has never come up, so I don’t know where he got that from. The last discussion I had with Joe, we spoke about a fight maybe in June, maybe in Atlantic City. I’ve definitely not been approached about a Toney fight. As I say, I’m just back in the gym now and we’re looking at June. If I had been ready to fight in May I would have taken the Prizefighter offer in a second.

J.S: Well, thanks for clearing that up, too, Vinny! Just going back to your last fight, the loss to Tomasz Adamek. It was surprising seeing you down - was that just the second time you’ve ever been down as a pro?

V.M: Yes, the second time. Like I told Tomasz at the press conference after the fight, I tip my hat to him. I knew he’d be fast, but I didn’t expect him to be as fast as he was. I tell you, he is probably the most skilled fighter I’ve ever fought; even ahead of Evander [Holyfield]. He has good speed and it’s his accumulation of punches [that is his most effective weapon]. He was the better man that night. I was trying to land the one big punch, but he had the perfect game-plan - to move around and get in and out. So now it’s back to the drawing board for me.

J.S: It looks like Adamek will be facing Vitali Klitscko in September. On a scale of 1-10, how much of a shot do you give Adamek?

V.M: I give him a great shot. I really do. I think he’s the best opponent out there right now when it comes to being able to beat Klitschko. Adamek has some pop on his punches and he won’t just stay away in the fight. He will mix it, in and out. On a scale of one to ten, as you asked, I’d give him a seven.

J.S: How about David Haye against Wladimir?

V.M: Oh, listen, with David it’s…… You see, Adamek has been hit before, by big heavyweights. The book is still out on what will happen when Haye is hit by a big heavyweight. I know he fought [Nikolay] Valuev and Monte [Barrett], but this is really his first real fight against a big heavyweight puncher. Haye is definitely a skilled fighter, but Klitscko’s jab and the right hand…. I guess I’d give Haye a seven as well.

J.S: Thanks so much for talking with me, Vinny. We look forward to your next fight.

V.M: Thank you, James. Yeah, we’ll see what comes along. The June fight, we’re looking at as sort of a tune-up type fight, ahead of another big test. At age 37, I see another two years or so, going at full force.

Article posted on 05.04.2011

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