Interview w/ Dariusz Michalczewski
Dariusz Michalczewski, 40-0, will defend his WBO light heavyweight world title on March 29 at Color Line Arena in Hamburg against American Derrick Harmon, 23-3, a former challenger of Roy Jones Jr. Since today the 15,000 seat arena is sold out. It will be Michalczewski’s 23rd defense of the title he won in October of 1994.
Interview by Fabian Weber
“I want to fight against Roy Jones Jr. at heavyweight. I don’t care into which weight class Roy Jones moves. I wanted to fight him for years, and I still want to fight him.”
‘Everybody knows that I always take the full risk. With me you always get to see a lot of action.’
Boxing.de: Dariusz how is your training going?
Michalczewski: I have ten and a half weeks of training behind me. I’m in very good shape. I’ve had an excellent preparation and good sparring partners. I’m in good spirits.
What do you know about your challenger Derrick Harmon?
He is comparable to Richard Hall, my last opponent. He is also southpaw and he has about the same height. That’s why I didn?t have to adjust very much. My tactic will be almost the same as against Hall. As always with these kinds of opponents I have to watch out in the first round and then stay concentrated.
Does that mean we can expect another war like against Richard Hall?
This can always happen. You never know. It could also become a clean fight. But everybody knows that I always take the full risk. With me you always get to see a lot of action.
On May 10 Graciano Rocchigiani fights your stable mate Thomas Ulrich. Do you like to face the winner?
That would be interesting. And I’m running out of opponents anyway. However, if I won my next fight I want to talk to my promoter. I want to fight against Roy Jones Jr. at heavyweight. I don’t care into which weight class Roy Jones moves, I wanted to fight him for years, and I still want to fight him. He just became WBA heavyweight champion and of course a heavyweight title would be also very interesting to me. I’ve already been cruiserweight world champion, in contrast to Jones who jumped right from 175 lb to heavyweight. For me this step would be much easier than it was for Jones.
Is Sven Ottke a possible opponent?
Ottke is always an interesting option. Last year Ottke himself approached me and offered me a fight. But now he apparently pulls back. He has no idea what he wants. I suspect it was just big talk from him. He said he wanted fight and beat the ‘Tiger’ only for the reason to make himself look more interesting so the newspapers would write about him. If Ottke doesn’t make stuff like that nobody cares for him. Anyway, if someone makes the right offer, I’ll fight Ottke.
You are one of the most experienced professional boxers world wide. What in your mind were the major mistakes of your stable mate Wladimir Klitschko that led to his deafeat?
Wladimir wasn’t focused and he didn’t really concentrate on the fight. I suspect he already thought about future contests against Lennox Lewis and against many others. He just didn’t focus on the concrete fight in front of him. Such a setback can happen. One punch can change anything in boxing, one tenth of a second can decide. Wladimir was shocked by the first knockdown and was unable to recover.
Can the same happen to you?
I hope not. I learned from my little mistakes and I learned form my big mistakes. You can make a mistake. But you better don’t make it twice. I wish Wladimir good luck. But it’s just very hard in the heavyweight division. In general it’s very hard in boxing to reach the top and it?s even harder to stay there.
What’s your predicion for your fight against Derrick Harmon?
Best would be a knockout in the second or third round, a knockout win for of course! But I’m prepared for the 12 rounds. You can never plan a knockout. You always have to be prepared to go the full distance. That’s why we do all the hard work in the gym. I?m in very good spirits and I’m in very good shape. But boxing is so interesting because each time there is also big question mark.