Derrick "Smoke" Gainer Training with Roy Jones

By Darren Nichols


Derrick "Smoke" Gainer Training with Roy Jones

Gainer-Gogaladze for vacant USBA title coming soon to ESPN?

BoxingTalk:  Hey Derrick, what’s the latest and greatest with Smoke Gainer?

Derrick Gainer:  I’m back in the gym training with my man Roy Jones Jr. in Pensacola. It’s been great.  We’ve been working together in the gym since his victory over Trinidad in January.

BoxingTalk:  How has it been working with Roy and to what extent are you guys working together?

Derrick Gainer:  We’re working on getting each other back to being sharp.  We’re working on techniques that we stopped doing.  We were getting too relaxed in the ring, and we were getting complacent after doing these things for so long.  But we’re back now, and are reminding each other of what made successful in this game.

BoxingTalk:  We have yet to see you in the ring for 2008.  When can we expect to see you in the ring next?

Derrick Gainer:  I’m waiting to see what happens.  My advisor Greg Leon and Gogoladze's promoter Artie Pelullo have been talking to ESPN and they're interested, we're just waiting for a date because ESPN's been having some last minute disasters with guys pulling out on  a few of their recent cards.  

BoxingTalk:  What do you know about Gogoladze?

Derrick Gainer:  I know he’s a good fighter who is coming to win, but I’ve been in the gym working hard.  This is my year to get back in the mix.

BoxingTalk:  What have seen been the biggest improvement that you have seen since working with Roy?

Derrick Gainer:  Our footwork.  We’re working on our legs.  We know we can throw punches, but we’re working on making sure our balance is on.  You are going to see me get a lot more aggressive in the ring.  We were fighting guys, but not concentrating on where our feet were.  So now we’re working on footwork, which is key, and now we’re back.

BoxingTalk:  Once you face Gogoladze and things go your way there, what do you want the rest of ’08 to look like for you?

Derrick Gainer:  Having the USBA 130-pound title would get me ranked with the IBF, and that would put me back in the mix to fight the winner of Casamayor-Katsidis or Juan Diaz and Nate Campbell. The next time people see me on TV, they're going to see a different me. My style is going to be a lot more fan friendly and I'm going to fight more and box less. That doesn't mean that I'm not going to use my tools and gifts, it just means that I'm going to be very aggressive. I can't wait to show everybody what the new Smoke Gainer is all about.

BoxingTalk:  Going back to your training regimen with Roy, how often are working in the gym as you await your next fight?

Derrick Gainer:  We’re training twice a day.  In the morning we work on conditioning and cardio, then we go to gym around 4 in the afternoon for more training.  Starting today though, we’re going to three times a day, morning, afternoon, and then sparring in the evening.

BoxingTalk:  Do you feel this is the hardest you have worked in the gym?

Derrick Gainer:  Yeah.  This has to be my year.  To get the fights I want I know I must look good and I must perform.

BoxingTalk:  If everything goes your way in April, what would you like to do next?

Derrick Gainer:  I’m hoping after ESPN pulls through and gives me the fight on April 25th, I will be fighting on the same card with Roy when he fights Jermain Taylor in June, but Taylor is acting scared now, so who knows?  Then hopefully I’ll fight for title towards end of the year.  ‘08 will be a good year for me, and that’s my plan.
BoxingTalk:  Having worked since January for a fight in April, are you concerned at all about being overtrained?

Derrick Gainer:  We’re getting back to the basics so I’m not going to overtrain.  I’ve just started sparring, so I don’t have to worry about inflicting any damage on myself.  The reason I’ve started so far out is so I can be prepared mentally, just as much as I have physically. 

BoxingTalk:  Coming into a fight so well prepared, do you see this next fight going the distance?

Derrick Gainer:  I have to knock him out.  I’m going to bulldog him. I’m willing to take chances.  I have to be more pleasing in the ring, and I have to be more aggressive.

BoxingTalk:  What is your prediction for your fight against Gogoladze?

Derrick Gainer:  It’s not going the distance.  We’ll see what he has in the first couple rounds.  If he makes a mistake I’ll catch him, but I will be the one going forward.  I’m the bigger guy, and I have the speed and I have the reach.  I will be able to push him back and make him pay.

BoxingTalk:  How do you feel the nine month layoff will effect you?

Derrick Gainer:  It won’t bother me at all.  I would love to be more active, but I didn’t stop training.  I’ve stayed in the gym and I’m going to be able to dominate him.  Me being off is nothing.

BoxingTalk:  Do you have a message for the boxing world and your fans?

Derrick Gainer:  I’m going to be champion in ’08.  I’m going to be more pleasing in the ring to watch, and I’m going to dominate in the junior lightweight.  Then I’m invading 135.  If Juan Diaz, Nate Campbell, or Casamayor are willing to fight me, I’ll fight them now.  If you look at my record I don’t turn down fights.  If Zahir Raheem wants an opponent in April I’ll fight him too.


Send questions and comments to: