Exclusive Interview: Derrick Gainer

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Derrick Gainer

Former WBA featherweight champ Derrick "Smoke" Gainer told Boxingtalk.com, "I'm getting ready to fight for the WBA title in Indonesia. I know it's going to be a rough crowd, and I know the crowd is going to be cheering with every punch he throws, but I'm going to be up for the challenger and I'm really looking forward to the fight."

GL: Tell us what you know about Chris John?

Derrick Gainer: "From the tapes that I saw on Chris John, he's a good boxer. It looks like has decent power, not a lot, but decent power. He has okay speed, he has a lot of heart, he has good skills and he's a comer. I know I need to be at my best to beat this guy. I know a lot of people don't know much about him over here, but he's a very good fighter."

GL: You were scheduled to fight John a few months ago, but didn't want to go due to the fight taking place in an outdoor venue. Will this fight take place indoors?

DG: "The first time I signed a contract that I was going to fight this guy in an inside arena and then when the contract came it said it was an outdoor arena. I never agreed to that though and it they would have specified that from the beginning we could have worked it out then. This time around, the contract that I signed states that we'll be fighting in an indoor arena."

GL: Do you feel you can get a fair shake in Indonesia?

DG: "Y'know, I saw that fight with Miguel Cotto and Corley and it only motivated me. I'm working to make sure that I'm not the one in trouble and I'm not the one going down. I just hope the WBA appoints neutral officials so the best man wins. I'm putting a lot of hope in the WBA. I'm hoping and praying that they do what they say they're going to do. I'm going to do my part to prepare for a war. I've never been afraid to fight anywhere and when you're a world class fighter or a world champion you should have no problem travelling anywhere."

GL: So why didn't Roy Jones Jr. ever go to Germany to fight Michalczewski?

DG: "I think that was just his decision. He's always been the type to worry about getting a fair shake. But when you think about it, after what happened to him in Seoul, Korea he shouldn't want to fight out of Pensacola."

GL: Will this fight be one of two things, a reemergence of Smoke Gainer or a retirment of Smoke Gainer?

DG: "This is win or go home for me. It's at the point where I have to fight and if I don't perform and do what I know I'm capable of doing this will be the end of the line for me. I have the speed, power, height, reach and skills to accomplish great things."

GL: Do you plan on switching up your style and fighting more aggressively than you usually do?

DG: "I'm going to leave all of that to Buddy. I'm going to stick to the plan fight smart and come home with the championship. This is do or die for me and I'm ready to outwill whatever he brings to the table."

GL: After 12 years with Alton Merkerson you're now being trained by Buddy McGirt. Why the sudden change?

DG: "I've been with Merk for a long time and I love him like a father but I just felt at this point I needed to hear some different things and add some different things to my game that will help me become a better fighter and my man headquarters Buddy McGirt is going to help me with that."

GL: Based on the fact that you haven't fought since you lost your title do you feel you deserve the title shot?

DG: "I do and I'll tell you why. After I lost my title to Marquez, me and my people tried to make fights with every single contender in the WBA's rankings. None of them wanted to fight me or fight for the right to become mandatory. If they didn't want to fight for the position I think it's fair that I get the shot at the title and instead of being punished because other contenders won't fight me."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

DG: "I'd like to thank the best boxing website, Boxingtalk.com for continuing to cover the sport like no one else can. I want to tell all of my fans out there that I'm coming back with the title and I'm going to make a serious statement in this fight."


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