Scoop Malinowski: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Wladimir Klitschko!
Some fighters lose by devastating knockout and never ever regain their status. For one example, Michael Spinks lost to Mike Tyson and never fought again. Then there are the examples of Lennox Lewis, Joe Louis and Chris Byrd who all were able to come back from painful losses better than before.
Wladimir Klitschko suffered a crushing defeat to Corrie Sanders on March 8th of this year. How he responds to this adversity will be one of the most interesting issues in boxing this year.
Talking with the former WBO champ recently, I came to a realization…that he too just may come back stronger than ever. Just like Lennox Lewis did after his losses to Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman. Klitschko looked and sounded eager to get back in there and prove himself all over again. His explanation that he “wasn’t focused on the fight” may be interpreted by some as sour grapes. But I detected a truth in his words. Perhaps Klitschko was focused too much on winning the fight…as opposed to being focused on being in a fight.
Another aspect of importance is Klitschko’s ability to take a major league shot. He told me that it’s the first time he was ever hurt like that. I remember Angelo Dundee once told me that “…you could throw out the window all first-round knockout losses. If you go out cold, if you’re not ready, you didn’t warm up properly…if you get nailed in that first round…your body doesn’t react as well as if it’s warmed up.”
Whatever the truth is about just how good of a fighter Klitschko is and how determined his fighting heart is, we will learn it soon. Here is the exclusive interview with Wladimir Klitschko.
Q: What do you believe is going on about Lennox Lewis regarding a fight with your brother?
Wladimir: My opinion is that Lennox, for sure…fight with Tyson, no risk, a lot of money. Fight with Vitali, a lot of risk and no money. This is why Lennox, right now, try to get the right decision. And I hope he will fight again because I get the feeling that he doesn’t like boxing anymore. Maybe. And only then if against Mike. And I hope the fight Lewis against Vitali is coming.
Q: I remember after you beat Jameel McCline, you told Larry Merchant, “Vitali will beat Lennox.” And I remember how confident and sure you seemed saying that. What makes you so sure?
Wladimir: It’s difficult to explain. I just get the feeling. And he will do it. If the fight will come, Vitali will win this fight.
Q: Did anything happen on the set of Oceans Eleven? Were there any signals from Lewis that have given you and Vitali so much confidence against Lewis?
Wladimir: We learn from each other. We have a lot of fun on Oceans Eleven. We spend a good two weeks in Las Vegas. And it was time to talk about the fights of the future. Because, the beginning, the first days, he don’t want to fight us. And then he was being, Okay guys, first we will fight in the film and second, we’ll fight in real life. And it all sounded very interesting. And Lennox said [Wladimir laughs for a moment]…it was funny…Lennox says, One of us he will take for lunch and the other one for dinner. On the same day [smiles].
Q: Max Schmeling – I know you are friendly with him. What did Max Schmeling tell you after the loss to Corrie Sanders?
Wladimir: I am very proud, we are very proud to know him. And after every single fight he sends a message. And after this fight he send a message still and just saying, Come on back, you will come back. And nothing bad ruins. Just analyze it. It was a long letter. (Max also wrote that) I have in my life a long life ahead of me and I get everything what I want. Just wish it.
Q: In the Sanders fight, was that the first time you were ever hurt like that in a boxing ring?
Wladimir: It was first time in whole career that I go down so terrible on March 8. And it was never in amateur career. It was never in sparring. It was never in training. It was never. And I was surprised. I have to just accept it happened, it was mistakes on my side. And I have to do everything that these mistakes in the future will never come again. My wish…I will like to fight next Saturday against him in a rematch. But of course, it was a big surprise for me after the fight that I can’t have rematch against him. It’s not directly. I have to wait for him to fight against (Lamon) Brewster and then next fight with me in October this year. And so I hope he will win his next fight with Brewster and the rematch fight will come in this year.
Q: Were you ready to fight the southpaw style of Sanders?
Wladimir: I have experience working with southpaws and I have a lot of sparring partners. And I was just not focused on the fight, that’s it.
Q: Are you still moving to Beverly Hills?
Wladimir: Yes, I will.
Q: Who do you predict to win a fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins?
Wladimir: It doesn’t matter. I am a fan for De La Hoya. I wish De La Hoya will win. I don’t know him personally. But I know about him like a person. That’s why I just have a good feeling.
Q: How about Jones vs. Holyfield?
Wladimir: Jones. Younger. Faster.
Q: And who would you like to be your trainer? Will you keep Fritz Snudek or will you bring in a new trainer?
Wladimir: I don’t talk about it today. I am not ready yet to say exact names and everything else.”
Artwork by Scoop Malinowski
Photo From K2