Exclusive Interview: Verno Phillips

By Ray O. Campbell Jr


Exclusive Interview: Verno Phillips

Boxingtalk.com recently caught up with former two-time Jr. Middleweight champion Verno Phillips 38-10-1(20), to discuss what he feels was an embarrassing offer to face former buddy turn rival J.C. Candelo January 20th on ESPN. “I turned it down because the price wasn’t right” stated Phillips, who despite going 0-2 in his last two outings, (A close but unanimous decision to then 154lb IBF champ Kassim Ouma followed an easily debatable loss to former welterweight champion Ike “Bazooka” Quartey on HBO), still feels he is major threat in the division. “I mean I will get in there with anybody and I am not saying they gotta pay me a million dollars, but I think that I should be at least getting paid what everyone else is getting paid”

RC: Verno what’s going on?
VP: I’m just lying back chilling

RC: When can we expect to see you back in action?
VP: Well they talked to me about some fights coming up on the 20th of January, but I turned it down because the price wasn’t right

RC: Who was it against and what wasn’t right about the price?
VP: J.C. Candelo and it was underneath what I should be making, I think I should have been making a little bit more than what they were offering me for an ESPN co-feature bout. With the money they offered me I’d rather go spar, and be a sparring partner than accept what they offered me.

RC: How much is a little bit of money, I mean was it less than $10,000?
VP: Yeah

RC: More than $5,000?
VP: No Comment on that one

RC: Now from what I can remember you and J.C. Candelo were buddies and shared the same trainer, but the two of you had a fall out a while back, and the two of you wanted to lace emm up against one another….
VP: (Cutting in) and I still want to fight him. That is who I want to fight, but with the money they offered me it is like I will be fighting for free because that is the amount of money Candelo owes me.

RC: Just for the fact that the two of you have this grudge, doesn’t that make you want to take the fight and the little bit of exposure and …
VP: (Cutting in) Yes I want to take the fight so bad, but the money doesn’t add up, the offer wasn’t good enough. I really want to fight J.C. because I want to whoop his **explicit** because of the money he owes me. I want to whoop him out, but what the promoters are offering me it is just low budget.

RC: Verno, does it bother you that being that you fought two former world champions (Kassim Ouma & Ike Quartey) in your last fight, and had there been a one point difference in either of the judges scorecards, the outcome would have been completely different. With that said it’s clear you still have a lot more left, but considering the circumstances of the way this game works you might have to take short money this time in order to make a little more later.
VP: I know, I am looking to move on from all of that and I would take the Candelo fight, it is just the money issue, the money isn’t right what they are offering me, it is not satisfying me at all. I mean I will get in there with anybody and I am not saying they gotta pay me a million dollars, but I think that I should be at least getting paid what everyone else is getting paid for a fight like that. If that mean me being sat out, then I will just do that.

RC: At this stage of your career, you aren’t getting any younger, and some will look at it and say why don’t you just make the sacrifice, win and then try to make the best of it coming off of a victory
VP: Well I would tell them I been there and I done that fighting for a little bit of money, and I am not going back to that. Like I said I am not asking for a lot of money, I just wanted what as fair that was real embarrassing chump change they offered me. They should have least worked with me and made it worth my while.

RC: Is there anything you would like to add in closing?
VP: To all of those fighters out there, that think I am just getting old and washed up. Get at me and I can show you wassup. I am in the gym and I feel I can be a threat to anyone in the division, I might b getting older but I can still do my thing.


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