Exclusive Interview: Steve Forbes

By Brad Cooney


Exclusive Interview: Steve Forbes

Boxingtalk.com hooked up with Contender 2 runner up, Steve Forbes. Forbes is enjoying all of the things that come with
being a part of The Contender show, and looks forward returning to the ring in December, 2006. Steve gives us an in
depth look at what life was like behind the scenes on The Contender show, and gives us his views on some of the upcoming
championship fights.
BT- Steve you just signed a contract with The Contender, talk about the contract, and talk about your game-plan for the upcoming new year.
SF - Well the contract is great. The Contender pays pretty good so I am not complaining at all. This is a great position to be in, and you know, having all of the exposure really helps. The Contender puts on good shows, they really bring the crowds out. I'm going back down to 140lbs, and hopefully a high profile fight will happen within the next year.
Junior Witter is a guy that actually called my name out, he's the WBC Super Lightweight Champion. There has been a lot of talk, so I will just wait and see what makes the most sense for me.
BT - you came up a little short against Grady Brewer, a bigger and stronger guy. How much did his size impact your  performance Steve ?
SF - He was bigger and stronger, but I had a flat night. But I don't want to take anything from Grady, he did what he had to do. He fought a good game-plan.
BT - The weight and the size had to have had an impact though. Do you think That The Contender should make sure that the weights are closer to one another ?
SF - Well when they announced the tournament, it was our decision to make. The Contender went over with us about what
weight we would be campaigning at. I felt pretty good about being in the tournament and how far I got in the tournament. I was the smallest guy on paper coming into the tournament, so I was happy with how far I got.
BT - Were you surprised by how quickly Ebo Elder was eliminated ?
SF - A little bit, I was. He just got caught with a great shot man (laughing).
BT - He was winning that fight up until that point (laughs).
SF - Yes, he was winning the fight, and you know what? To be honest a lot of people didn't think he was hurt, but he was hurt, I was there.
BT - When you look back at your experience with The Contender, what was the most enjoyable part for you ?
SF - We were treated like professionals, they treated us so good. Anything that we needed, it was there. We had access to Ray Leonard, he was around all of the time. Ray shot pool with us, trash talked with us, he was great.
BT - one of my favorite parts of the show is when Ray Leonard showed Michael Clark how to jump rope. (laughs)
SF - Yea (laughs) Mike Clark started that.
BT - Were you guys busting Mike's chops after that ?
SF - (laughs), Yea we were, we were like 'Ray hasn't fought in like forever, and he took you to school' (laughs)
BT - Talk about how life has changed for you the most Steve.
SF - Being noticed. It's funny because I was the former IBF Champion, never got noticed, or appreciated. Now wherever I go, like restaurants people come up to me. Little kids come up to me, and I think that's the best. I get a lot of emails from all over the world. I have a huge fan base in Europe, it's huge. I think that's one reason why I have guys like Junior Witter calling my name out.
BT - K9 fooled some people didn't he ?
SF - Without a doubt. K9 came into The Contender with a good record. K9's only loss was to Sechew Powell, and I think they both knocked each other down in the 1st round. Everybody saw him spar, and they thought he would be an easy fight. I think K9 looked bad on purpose, he was keeping his chin up, he looked bad, but he's a smart person. I looked at him differently, he's the biggest guy that was there. K9 kept shocking everybody, he kept winning.
BT - I agree, I think he looked bad sparring on purpose as a strategy.
SF - After the semi final, K9 worked the mitts with me. K9 knows his stuff about boxing, he is a smart guy. K9 was underestimated going in.
BT - How much animosity was there behind the scenes ?
SF - I tell you what, K9 and Aaron Torres were about to kill each other (not literally),and they were on the same team. I thought we were going to be shut down for a minute there (laughs). Nothing physical happened, but almost. The producers did a really good job of patching things up. Were like 'please don't mess this up for everyone else'. Those two guys just didn't like each other. Everything else was pretty much controlled.
BT - I am interested in your thoughts on some of the recent fights that just took place. Did you get a chance to see the Diego Corrales vs Joel Casamayor fight ?
SF - Yes, I saw that fight. What a difference a day makes. Corrales blasted Castillo for not making the weight, and the same thing happened. I can relate to what happened because I had to give up my IBF belt because I couldn't make the weight. There was a lot of talk about those guys not being professional, but the body just shuts down. Corrales     ridiculed Castillo so bad, and then the same thing happened to him.
BT - Big fight coming up with Manny Pacquiao vs Erik Morales, how do you see this fight ?
SF - I think Manny Pacquiao is definitely the man to beat at 130lbs. Manny has improved over the years, I believe early in his career he fought at 115lbs, he hasn't lost since early in his career. This guy can fight, he's a non stop punching machine, I am going to favor Manny Pacquiao. I heard Erik has struggled with weight, and that will be a factor. Also, the psychological impact of being crushed by Pacquiao the last time Morales fought him.
BT - What are your thoughts on the four current Heavyweight Champs. Did you ever think that there would be 4 white  Heavyweight Champions, all from Europe or Russia?
SF - Honestly? No I didn't (laughs). I have always thought that Wladimir Klitshcko was an outstanding Heavyweight though. I had the chance to see Serguei Lyakhovic earlier in his career, and we even trained together in Arizona. Out of all 4 of those guys I think he transformed more as far as an American style of fighter. I really like Serguei, I think Serguei and Wladimir are the two top guys to beat as far as skill.
BT - Brock fights Wladimir, and Briggs will fight Lyakhovic, how do you see those two fights shaping up Steve ?
SF - Brock is a big puncher, and we will see if he can take Wladimir's punch. As far as Briggs, I think he will come out swinging. My thing is, how will Briggs do mentally? If he can't get Lyakhovic out of there it will be interesting. I have to favor Lyakhovic in that fight.
BT - You mentioned Junior Witter earlier, when you get back in there, do you want to jump right back into a championship fight, or a tune up in between ?
SF - I wouldn't mind jumping back into a championship fight, because it will be more at my natural weight at 140lbs. If you remember, on The Contender I fought like 3 times in a month, so it's not a problem. I would definitely like to be back in the ring in December. I am looking forward to once again working with Floyd Mayweather Sr. we had a great run, and I am looking forward to doing it again. I am excited to be back in there.
BT - Now that you mention Mayweather, how do you see Jr against Baldomir ?
SF - I see it with great interest now because Roger Mayweather isn't around. You can't go against Mayweather, he's been a world champion for over a decade. I see the fight as being a good fight though, I don't think it's going to be a cake-walk. I plan on being ringside for that fight.
BT - Baldomir is a big strong guy, I'm not sure Mayweather will get him out of there.
SF - He's a big guy, he walks around at 190lbs.
BT - Talk about the 5 rounds that you have to fight in The Contender, It's not a normal 5 rounds is it? It's more like running a sprint isn't it ?
SF - Exactly, and then on top of that, you're dealing with a smaller ring too. They want to make sure that the people get action. Everybody knew that if you lose you have to go home, so I was glad I was able to make the adjustments to do it being a fighter that is used to fighting 10 and 12 round fights.
BT - Talk a little bit about how important it was for you to have your wife out there with you.
SF - It was real important because people didn't really know me, they just knew me as the former Junior Lightweight Champion, and I think it was important to have my wife with me. My wife plays a big part of my career, and she is furthering her education to help out as well, she's in law school. Having her inspired me, and it pushed me to do more, I mean these guys are like Jr Middleweight, and here I am known as a Jr Lightweight, and I just moved up to 140lbs. Then I had to move up 10 more pounds, so I was like 'you know what? This is a risk worth signing up for'.
BT - Manfredo Jr will fight Joey Spina in Providence on October 14th, how do you see that fight Steve ?
SF - I like Peter Manfredo Jr, and I know Joey Spina too. I think it's going to be a war, and it's not fake, these guys do not like each other. Spina is undefeated, so he doesn't know how to lose. I like Peter Manfredo Jr in that one.
BT - Steve thanks for your time, is there anything that you would like to say to your fans in closing ?
SF - I want to say to the fans thank you guys for supporting me. I want to thank Boxingtalk for supporting me, and The Contender. You will see me at 140lbs, and I am looking forward to making a big hit.
* Visit Steve Forbes website - www.stevieforbes.com


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