Exclusive Interview: Derrick "Smoke" Gainer

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Derrick "Smoke" Gainer

GL: What's the latest Smoke? "I'm just training for this fight on December 3 against a very tough opponent, the WBA featherweight champion Chris John. He's tough and I'm going to have to go to his home country (Indonesia) to fight him. I don't know much about John, I've seen some pictures of him and I've read up on him but it's very difficult to get tape on him. My promoter is trying to get tape on him but we haven't been able to yet. I know he's 34-0 with 19KO's."

GL: How do you feel about having to travel around the world for this fight?

DG: "I really don't like it, but sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do to get where you want. Right now he's got the title and I have to go there for the fight. We're still trying to work out some things with the contract, but I'm getting ready and I'm looking forward to making this fight.

"Right now I'm training hard, I've been in camp for five weeks already. I've been working on what we feel needs work. I'm training the way I should be because if I don't win this fight, that's the end of my career.

GL: How do you feel about not fighting since November 2003?

DG: "It's bothered me. Not having activity hasn't helped me stay as sharp as I want to be. I don't like the fact that I've gone all this time in between fights, I've tried to make moves but I ran into a brick wall every time around. I wasn't moved in the way I want to be moved and it's probably going to take me a few rounds to get right, but my weight is already down so everything's going to be on point."

GL: You're fighting John in his backyard, will you need a knockout to win?

DG: "I hope not. I hope the WBA appoints neutral officials. I know me and my lawyer will argue for that but I'm going to fight aggressively, I'm not going to play any counter punching games with him because I'm sure he's going to the benefit of all the close rounds. My intentions are to get the knockout, and I understand that my performance agaisnt Marquez was very poor so I need to make noise in this fight or get out of the game. I just need to do my thing and not think too much."

"This is a do or die fight for me. I need to perform, I need to win, I need to dominate from round one. If I don't I'm not going to get anywhere near the marquee fights I want. This is a new beginning or the end for me, I feel like I'm starting all over again though.

GL: You're last fight with Marquez was a lousy performance, and you haven't fought in over a year since then. With that being said do you feel you deserve a title shot?

DG: "At this point I'd have to say I do. And the reason I say I deserve the title shot is because I was willing to make the eliminator fight first. Guys were there they didn't want to fight me. We went to Koshimoto and he didn't want to fight, Barrera's doing other things so we've been trying to make fights but guys weren't taking them. I'm thankful to the WBA and I'm happy Peter (Kohn) made the phone calls. I would have loved to have fought twice before this, but now that I've got the opportunity I have to make the most of it!"

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

DG: "I want to thank all of my fans for their continued support, I will be champion again."


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