Exclusive Interview With Vinny Maddalone - ďThe British Fans Will Be Cheering Both Me And Tyson Fury!Ē
By James Slater: Vinny Maddalone is never, ever in a bad fight. The same can be said of unbeaten, much-hyped British heavyweight hope Tyson Fury. How then, can we expect anything other than a sizzling slugfest on July 7th?
Article posted on 16.06.2012
As soon as news broke that informed us 38-year-old New Yorker Maddalone, 35-7(26) would be making the trip to Somerset, U.K to face 24-year-old Fury, 18-0(13), I knew I just had to call Vinny. I make no apologies for being a huge fan of the Queens warrior, a man who gives his all each and every time he climbs into the ring. On the past occasions when Iíve been fortunate enough to have interviewed Maddalone, he always made a point of mentioning how it is one of his goals to fight in the U.K before his colourful, massively entertaining career is over with. Now he has a tick in that box.
Speaking with Vinny earlier today, I told him I was as excited as he is about the upcoming July rumble!
James Slater: Itís always a great pleasure to be able to speak with you, Vinny. And you know why Iím calling you!
Vinny Maddalone: James! How you doing? Yes, absolutely, this fight is great news.
J.S: I remember talking with you about this fight a while back, when it was first talked about. When did you know youíd be fighting him in July?
V.M: Pretty much yesterday it was made official. Joe [DeGuardia] has delivered again. Iím really looking forward to this fight.
J.S: Youíve seen tapes of Fury, havenít you?
V.M: Yes, I actually saw his last two fights, and Iíve seen some stuff on You Tube. Listen, as I told Joe, heís definitely a guy I respect. He gets hit a lot, but he comes back to fight. Heís been down before, against Neven Pajkic, and heís been wobbled, But he gets up and he fires right back. Thatís an admirable thing and I can see why heís so popular in Britain. Heís definitely got some balls and this will make a great, great match-up.
J.S: Well, the fans know all about your exciting fights, Vinny! Is the fight set for ten or 12 rounds?
V.M: I think itís 12. But whatever, either way it doesnít matter. Iíve got another three weeks to get ready, and Iím sparring now. I was back in the gym a week after my last fight (a 4th-round TKO stoppage over Chris Koval on May2nd) and my weight right now is around 239. I will be around 232 or 234 as usual for this fight.
J.S: Fury attracts a few millions viewers, maybe three or four million, on Channel 5, which is a terrestrial channel, not cable or anythingÖ.
V.M: Thatís great.
J.S: Yeah, so the T.V fans are in for a great night also! Will you have any of your New York fans coming over with you, Vinny?
V.M: Iím not sure. Right now, weíre working out all the details. I spoke with Mick Hennessey, a real gentleman, and weíre waiting to hear back on all the details. But as long as I have my team with me for the fight. Where is the actual venue?
J.S: Iíve never been myself, Vinny. I think it may be a new arena - itís called The Hand Arena and itís in Clevedon, Somerset.
V.M: Okay, so itís close to London?
J.S: Fairly close, yes. I just hope they put you up in a decent hotel, and not try any of the tricks you read about whenever a fighter travels to another country to fight!
V.M: [laughs] Well, I hope Mick does the right thing! Iíll call you and tell you if Iím put in a bad place [laughs]. We get to the U.K on the Monday that week, so Iíll have a couple of days to train in the gym.
J.S: You say youíre sparring now - with tall guys of course?
V.M: Yeah, I know heís tall and we have a couple of tall guys to work with. But I know what I have to do; Iíve been doing this for so long now, 13 years. Right now, itís all about getting my legs strong, with running on the beach, to make sure I can go the full 12 rounds.
J.S: Youíve actually been in with a guy taller than the 6í9Ē Fury - when you had a tough time with the 7í1Ē Julius Long!
V.M: Yeah, Julius Long. He was really awkward. At least Fury is more or less a guy with basic fundamentals. Long was all over the place!
J.S: You saw Fury-Martin Rogan as you said. He turned southpaw in that fight. What will happen if Fury tries that with you?
V.M: I just think Fury, as he said himself, likes to keep things fun in there; for his fans. If he fights southpaw with me, Iíll come right over the top with the overhand right. If he drops that left hand like he has doneÖ. But I think heíll fight his regular orthodox way against me.
J.S: Youíve won your last two, and in quite quick fashion: the 1st-round win over Mike Sheppard and then the 4th-round win over Koval. Some people said they thought you were hitting harder than usual. Do you think youíre punching harder now, at age 38?
V.M: Yeah. My new trainer, Nirmal Lorick, who also works with Luis Collazo, heís been focusing on that with me - on sitting down on shots and digging hard to the body. And what better a fight than one against Tyson Fury is there to work the body? Heíll be right there and Iíll look to go to work.
J.S: Well, best of luck for the fight, Vinny. This one canít fail to be exciting! Iíll try my best to be there at ringside!
V.M: Okay, thanks. Iím really looking forward to it. I tell you, the British fans will be cheering for Fury of course, but I hope to make them my fans. By the end of the fight, theyíll be cheering for both of us.
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