Interview with Thomas Damgaard

17.01.06 - By Per Ake Persson: 200+ amateur fights, 37-0 in the pros, countless of tough sparring sessions, 34-year old Danish welter Thomas Damgaard, a southpaw, have seldom failed to excite with his brawling take no prisoner style of boxing. He is currently in training for the biggest fight of his long career as he takes on another crowdpleasing veteran in Arturo Gatti January 28 in Atlantic City..

When do you leave for the US?

We depart on January 21.

Does that leave enough time to recover from jetlag, adjust to weather et cetera?

Oh yes, all of my heavy training will be done by then, my weight is allright and Iīm in great shape. The last week is more to recharge the batteries.

How do you see the Gatti fight? How do you plan to fight him? Itīs for 12 rounds, right?

Yes, itīs 12 rounds, itīs for the IBA title. Itīs going to be a war, we are very similar in styles but I feel Iīm the stronger. Iīm a full blown welter while he comes up from 140 and that should give me an advantage. We havenīt made any definite plans on tactics. I got a lot of experience by now and know what to do and when to do it. I feel him out and then we take it from there.

You sparred a lot with former EBU champ Christian Bladt (who fights another Damgaardsparring in Maxim Nesterenko on the Kessler vs Lucas show), loser of five of his last six, what do say about him, is he over hill?

Christian? No, I donīt think so, we know each other very well already from the amateurs. I think Christian still have it, he may lack a little in conditioning but other than that thereīs no problem.

You also switched trainer of lately, why was that?

Well, itīs not much to it, My old trainer John Johannesson retired as there wasnīt much going on in my career for awhile. Poul Duvill took over but John and his wife are invited and will be with me to Atlantic City.

Is there any change in how you train now?

Not really, Poul have had me work very hard in the gym and Iīm in great shape.

Assisting Poul is retired heavy Brian Nielsen, how did that come about?

We are good friends, I was with Brian to the US when he prepared for the Tyson fight and now he helps me.

Letīs say you beat Gatti, who do you want next?

Oscar De La Hoya! Iīve always wanted to to fight him. If Oscar canīt make 147 anymore Iīll meet him halfway. Floyd Mayweather is also out there. (note: I heard rumored that Main Eventsī Carl Moretti have stated that if Damgaard beats Gatti they want to make Damgaard vs Gatti II).

And if you lose to Gatti?

I havenīt thought about that. I guess it depends on how I lose. If I get badly knocked out I donīt think I want to go on.

You have a lot of business outside of boxing, donīt you?

I have some real estate, yes.

In the summer of 05 you were all set, or so it seemed, to challenge Oktay Urkal for the EBU title but then you pulled out, what happend?

I needed more time to prepare. Another thing is that I already been EBU champ in two weight divisions. I wanted to have a big fight, a world title fight and as it was I did the right thing.

You were waiting a long time for this WBA titlefight to happen ...?

Yeah, first I was to have fought Trabant, then Rivera, then my father was very ill and eventually passed away, he got injured, I got sick and then Rivera lost the title to Collazo. Itīs been a long wait but now Iīm ready for Gatti!

Article posted on 17.01.2006

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