JA: When did you start boxing? "
I started boxing when I was at the age of 7. My mother tried to find something for me to play in for my age because when I was growing up they didn’t have any of the Pop Warner leagues or any of that stuff where I was growing up. I was actually supposed to be 9 or 10 to start boxing but the coach kind of liked my mother so he said it was alright to come in and work out, the rest is history." JA: Did you ever think at that time that you could possibly be the heavyweight champion of the world?
LB: No way. I never thought about becoming heavyweight champion of the world until I was 23-24. When I was 23-24 I wasn’t a full blown Heavyweight, I was praying to God saying “Please God, this is my dream and if its in your will may I become Heavyweight champion. Make a path for me” and he did that. When I won the title I was in such shock because I was praying for it. You know when you ask for something for so long you almost feel as its part of your everyday life and you don’t think that you can ever achieve. JA: You’re a Christian?
LB: Yeah. JA: Wow, me too that’s awesome.
LB: Yeah I base my life too the best of my ability around God. All of the things that I went through and was not suppose to come out of, if it wasn’t for God I know that I wouldn’t be here because no body is that lucky. I don’t think luck exists. JA: God is getting all the glory through you.
LB: You know God said in the Bible that we're vessels. What is a vessel? A vessel is something that somebody else uses to deliver something and we're God’s vessels. No matter how beautiful your car is, it can’t drive it self. So I tell God to drive me till my wheels fall off. JA: You were talking about some of your struggles. Do you feel as though God has prepared you to become heavyweight champ?
LB: Yeah because he allowed a series of events to happen in my life. I mean I had money then I lost money, I had friends then I lost friends. I’ve had people that took advantage of me but he allowed all those things to happen to me before I became successful so I wouldn’t change. He doesn’t give you something to take it away from you. He will take it away from you if you misuse it, but he doesn’t want to dispose a blessing on you so you can just lose it because of your ignorance. JA: Has being a heavyweight champion been what you expected it to be?
LB: You know something? I really don’t know. It’s hard to answer that. When you imagine something, if you say I wonder what it would be to be “this” or “that”, there are always things that you didn’t add to the equation. There are good and bad things that I’ve been adding to the equation but the thing that I try to do every day is to just stay humble. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Psalm 37 where God says “The meek shall inherit the earth”. So with that being said I never tried to be envious of anyone who is more successful than me but to pray things out for the success and only want what God has for me. With me being successful I try to show God how much I appreciate this blessing and to not abuse the gift that he given me. JA: Switching gears for a second. You recently hired Al Haymon to your team. What do you think that Al can bring to the table that wasn’t brought before?
LB: I think that Al Haymon is a very good businessman and is very business minded. I also think that he can bring to me financially, more income. I think that he's going to bring to me my just due in this sport. All the perks that come with being heavyweight champion of the world, I believe he can also get for me. JA: How is your relationship with Don King? Have you had any discussions with him about your future plans and where you want to go from here?
LB: My relation with Don is good; I don’t have any complaints about him. The reason why we haven’t had discussions is because where just waiting to see where the heavyweight division is going to go. You know Hasim and Chris going their way and John fighting soon. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens. JA: Your last fight was in Hamburg, Germany. I didn’t see the fight but I did see the score cards and you were behind on all the scorecards. Now was that biased on their part? Or were you losing the fight when you knocked him out?
LB: Well I’m going to tell you maybe I’m biased. When I read the newspapers he must have really been doing something to be winning the fight. When I watched the tape of the fight and the volume was down, I said to my self “Ok maybe I can give him 2 or 3 rounds” but we fought 9 rounds. He threw a lot of punches but I deflected a lot of them but to say that he was beating me because he was throwing punches that were hitting my arms. I’m not going to say that I didn’t get hit because that’s ludicrous; it’s boxing of course your going to get hit. When you see the tape turn the volume down and you can be your own judge. But I never went in there with the intentions of winning every round but with the intentions of knocking him out. That was the whole game plan was to go in there, wear him down and to knock him out. I knew going into Germany I wouldn’t have a chance if it went to the scorecards. JA: So going over there to Germany you was a little skeptic. But with the whole mentality of “I’m going knock this guy out” helped you out?
LB: Yeah that’s the only thing that could give me confidence to go over there. I thought about it and what the deciding factor was that all great champions travel over seas to fight. Muhammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and I decided that I’m going to put my name in this great category. You know with that being said I prayed to God and said “You said you will be with me wherever I go, ok where going to Germany Lord” (Laughs). I did what others were afraid to do; I went where no man wanted to go (Laughs) JA: Is Germany that bad?
LB: No. Germany is cool but I just took the extra step to make sure that I got a fair shake. Hey if the man would of beat me I would’ve been cool with it, I just wanted to make sure that there was no foul play involved in it. Outside of that long 18 count that the referee from Puerto Rico gave him which I cant understand that but I hope that he never referees another fight again.