GL: What's good Sharmba?
"I've actually already begun running. I'm trying to run at least three times a week to keep working out to make sure I maintain my weight properly. Other than that I'm just relaxing. My birthday is next week and I'm doing it big for my birthday but then I'm going right back to camp in Florida by the second week of September. I'm going to be putting in a lot of work on my conditioning, I'm going to put swimming back into my routine so I bring my weight way down before camp actually starts. By the time camp comes I'm already going to be in shape and just working on how to get this guy up out of there." GL: You and Tszyu were recently face to face for the first time in a long time. What was that like? Did the two of you exchange any words?
Sharmba Mitchell: "I just asked him if his shoulder was okay. We didn't really get into to it too much. He knows what to expect when he comes to fight me. He was there for my fight and he's been watching so he knows what I'm going to be looking like. What he saw was a cut, sculpted, one hell of a man in the ring that night and I ended the fight with a spectacular knockout. When I knocked Pedroza out and I saw him, I just wanted to ask him if he was ready to fight. He said, 'yeah,' so that's good. GL: Are you convinced he's going to fight?
SM: "Yeah. He's going to fight. And now we have it in the States. It's going to be in Atlantic City or Madison Square Garden...either one of the other. I'm pleased to hear that but I'm even more pleased to know that the fight is on, for right now. I just know the things I'm going to key on. He's got his achilles problem and then he had a shoulder injury, so those are the little things I'm looking at and I just see a bunch of little tricks I'm going to pull out of my bag. I've been active and I know I'm going to be at my best come November 6. I haven't been taking chump fights and I feel that the experience of staying busy in between is going to pay dividends when I get in the ring. GL: Do you feel more confident of getting a fair shake in the United States as compared to Austrailia?
SM: "Well, I felt that way the first time. But the first time it didn't seem the US was on my side. Maybe I would've gotten a better shake in Austrailia on that first fight. The people in Austrailia had me winning the fight while the people on TV from America had me behind. Nowadays, you've got to put things in your own hands. I can't depend on the judges too much, I just need to go out there and do what I have to do. And if I just shut him out or knock him out, I'd be glad." GL: Even though you've been on a roll since your comeback began against Frank Haughtaling, is this the do or die fight for you in terms of, if you don't deliver the big win this time, your reign as a marquee fighter will be over?
SM: "I've always been a marquee name. I don't understand how it's up to the writers to put people into perspectives or anything like that. But that's the way of the world right now, so I guess we all live and die by the media. People want to say that this is my defining fight, this is my defining moment that will put me above everyone else, I guess I need to get in there and take care of business. But it's like I've always told you G, I'm the best at 140 pounds and you could take it up to 147 and 154 if you want to, I'm the best. That's what I feel and that's what I know. The only person who could beat me is me, and I've already beaten myself twice, so it's something that I will never ever again do in life." GL: Boxingtalk.com recently announced that Ricky Hatton's will take place against Michael Stewart, for the #1 ranking in the IBF...
SM: (cutting in) "He's fighting WHO? This man runs and ducks from everyone. I don't understand him. He had a chance to make a great defining fight for himself against Harris and he turned that down. I don't understand...if he wants to fight Michael Stewart, that's great. But what is that going to do? Show that he still nothing more than someone who has to deal with my leftovers? They didn't want to fight me and they didn't want to fight Harris. I don't see what the big deal of him becoming #1 in the IBF is because he's going to have to wait for like two years. And he's not going ever fight me because I'm moving up, so he could do what he wants. But if he didn't want to fight me after I beat Michael Stewart, why would he want to fight me after I beat Kostya Tszyu? And it's funny how he's fighting everyone I beat up, except for N'dou. I don't know if it's the promoter or the fighter but they're all jokes to me."
"I'm just ready to get this thing on man. I want to get this weight off my shoulders. This Kostya Tszyu thing actually feels like a big weight on my shoulders and it's been there for so long that's it's almost become like something I can't shake. To even do this fight, and getting ready for this fight is going to finally take the weight off my shoulders and G, it's going to feel so good!" GL: How do you see the potential Mayweather-Gatti fight playing out?
SM: "That would be a very good fight because Mayweather wouldn't be going in there with no punk. Gatti is a tough guy. I don't know if he can catch up to Mayweather, but if Mayweather tries to act macho like he did with Corley, he might run into something that he doesn't want to run into. Gatti is no soft puncher and he's been at 140 for a while. There's a lot of danger for Mayweather in that fight, I don't see Mayweather knocking him out. I see Gatti with the better chance for the KO because I think Mayweather would try to get in ther and act macho." GL: Don't you see a Mayweather decision more than anything else?
SM: "If it goes to the cards, Mayweather wins. Because he's too fast, he throws too many punches and he really knows how to get around the ring. It's an excellent fight and it would be better than the blowout most people think it would be. I'm telling you, Buddy would come up with some sort of strategy and he'd put something together." GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?
SM: "I want to thank all my fans for always standing by me, we're about to take it there."
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