Exclusive Interview: Jameel McCline

By Brad Cooney


Exclusive Interview: Jameel McCline

Boxingtalk just caught up with Jameel "BigTime" McCline, and got his thoughts on his next big fight against Terry Smith. This fight will be televised live on ESPN's Friday Night Fights, on July 21st, 2006. McCline admits that this fight is a do or die fight for him, and a loss will surely end his boxing career. With that said, Jameel McCline sounds very focused, and determined and he doesn't have any intentions of letting Terry Smith dictate his career.

BT - Let's talk about this fight coming up on ESPN Friday Night Fights, you got Terry Smith. What do you know about this kid Jameel ?

JM - From what I understand, and from the tapes that I have watched, Terry is a very tough, and game fighter. Terry is a skilled fighter, and has had a very extensive amateur career, always in the finals. Terry has 28 wins, and only 1 loss, he's a good fighter, and I am looking forward to coming out and proving that I can still beat the best in the world.

BT - Jameel, do you consider this fight as a crossroads fight in your career ?

JM - Absolutely I do, just like he considers this fight as a crossroads fight for his career. I am sure he's training extra hard, and I am sure he is wanting to get in there to get me out of there. I have different plans for him, but this is definitely a crossroads fight for me, one and done, one loss and I am done, it's just as simple as that.

BT - Your last loss comes against Zuri Lawrence back in October, but since then you have put together a nice win streak.

JM - Yes, I have a completely different mindset now. I have a different body, a different soul, a different heart. I am able to breath now, and no more running out of gas like I did in the Brock fight, and the Zuri fight, it just doesn't happen anymore. I am very busy now like I was earlier on in my career. As you said earlier, I have put together a nice win streak, and my confidence is way up.

BT - You put together this win streak, and now you have Terry Smith. Does Terry Smith bring anything into the ring that concerns you at all?

JM - A body, anytime there is a body in there, that concerns me. I have learned this lesson the hard way with Zuri Lawrence, and even Calvin Brock. Now I go into this fight thinking that anyone has the potential of beating me IF I don't come with what is necessary to stop them.

BT - How's camp going for you thus far Jameel ?

JM - Camp has been fantastic, never before in camp have I been able to box 12 rounds, and I have already done it twice. I remember back a few years ago in camp boxing 8 rounds in one week was a big deal. Looking at the tapes of this kid, he comes forward, and he's right in front of me, so I am very happy to be in the position that I am in right now.

BT - Jameel, I like this matchup. I saw Terry live in Memphis on the Jermain Taylor vs Winky Wright under-card. Terry loves to press, and come forward, and he's demonstrated that he can go 12 rounds easy. Are you prepared to go deep into the rounds with Terry Smith if you have to ?

JM - I am very, very prepared to go the distance if I have to. With that said, I am prepared to make him pay very dearly for walking into my stuff, because my stuff is not something you should walk forward into.

BT - I asked Terry if he has ever fought a guy as big as you. Terry admitted that he can't match up with you in size, and that he will have to out-box you, and use your size against you.

JM - That's a fair assessment, but the interesting thing about that is, guys are very shocked at my hand-speed, and body movement. He is going to try to box me, but he'll realize that I can move around just as good as any 220 pounder out there. I will surprise him with my hand speed.

BT - Jameel, you beat Shannon Briggs back in 2002. Shannon has a HUGE fight coming up against IBF/IBO Heavyweight Champion, Wladimir Klitschko. What advice can you give to Shannon Briggs as he tries to win the Heavyweight Title ?

JM - Shannon needs to show up for that fight at 250lbs. Shannon is the hardest puncher that I have EVER been in the ring with, and I have been in the ring with the likes of some of the best Heavyweights of our time. Not only does Shannon punch hard, but he punches very sharp, and very precise. I always like to say he can hit a dime on the chin with a left hand, and a right hook, he's that sharp of a puncher.

BT - Jameel, do you think that Shannon Briggs can be The Heavyweight Champion of The World ?

JM - Yes I do. Against Wladimir Klitschko, yes I do, and I am not saying that just because we are in the same stable. I truly believe that he can punch like nobody's business.

BT - Jameel a win against Terry Smith puts you back into the fold. The current Heavyweight champs are mostly these big Russian guys. How do you see yourself matching up against these guys ?

JM - Listen, honestly conditioning has been my only downfall. When I am in shape, there is nobody in the world that can touch me. When I am in shape, nobody can touch me.

BT - Is there anything else you would like to say in closing to your fans ?

JM - I want to thank my fans for standing behind me. I want to let my fans know that I have had a hard road in 2005, but I am back. I represent redemption, I will redeem who I once was.


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