Exclusive interview: Chazz Witherspoon

Ray O. Campbell Jr.


Exclusive interview: Chazz Witherspoon

Witherspoon predicts early fireworks!

RC: Chazz, what’s going on with you? How is everything coming along with you for you upcoming fight Saturday night on Showtime against Michael Alexander?
CW: Training is going pretty good. I am getting the rounds that I need. I would have liked to have some tape on the guy, but I don’t have any on him, so I really don’t know what to expect. But we are trying to keep an open mind and adapt to whatever it is I get that night.

RC: It’s clear you would have much rather seen some tape of the guy, but is there anything you have been told about this guy, such as what type of fighter he is?
CW: No, from what I know, is what I have seen on Boxrec(.com) and from what I see on there, he wins most of the rounds. He doesn’t loose too many rounds, so I know he is doing something right. I don’t know if he is a mover, if he is somebody that comes forward, or if he is a combination puncher. I mean I am going into this fight blind I would like to know what I am getting myself into, that way I can look as best as possible. 

RC: You turned professional about sixteen months, and as an amateur I am sure you that you have had to face guys that you didn’t know much about. But that was as an amateur, and you are a professional now. Tell us the difference going into a professional bout not knowing much about an opponent, compared to when you were an amateur going into a bout with no knowledge of the person you are fighting?
CW: Well in the amateurs it is different because you know it is only four rounds. And whether or not the person is in the top ten, you know whether or not…. you can actually about gauge how talented they will be. You see what I am saying? Where as in the pros, it’s a big difference because you got some people that use to box in the amateurs and just took a long time off, and they can do some slick things. Basically there is a lot more that you can do in the pros, and more you can’t get away with, that you can get away with in the amateurs. Another thing is, this is my first time going eight rounds, and this guy has been eight rounds twice. So there are a couple of different factors to being a pro.

RC: Overall what’s your strategy going into this fight? You are on a card with other up and coming prospects that are related to other successful fighters that are well known and made a name for themselves in the sport of boxing. I’m sure all of you feel that you are going to have to go out there and show and prove yourselves, but give us an idea as to what YOUR mindset is like going into this bout?
CW: I just want to go in there, and show people that I am a fundamentally sound fighter. I am still in the learning process; I am not somebody that is all the way polished off and looking to contend for a title six months from now. I am not that guy, but a year and a half two years down the line; I am looking to be that guy. I just want everything that I am doing in the gym to show forth in the fight. If I can do that, it will look good, and it would come across well and everybody will have to consider me a serious prospect.

RC: Who have you been working with in the gym for this fight?
CW: I have been getting some sparring with a guy name Mark Brown 7-0(3), they call him Oak tree. I have been getting some work with John Poore 17-2(17) he is a heavyweight out of Philadelphia. I have been getting some good work with (Fast) Eddie Chambers 26-0(14), he is a really good heavyweight out of Philadelphia, and a guy name Clinton Barnes, he is an old ex pro. So I have been getting pretty good work.

RC: Obviously there is a lot going through your mind, leading up to this fight. First off it is your first national televised fight, it as a big show with like I said earlier a lot of good prospects, not just ordinary prospects, but  prospects with relationships to accomplished fighters, which of course makes people expect more from them just off of thatg. As the young heavyweight, and the headliner of the show, do you feel any extra added pressure going into this bout?
CW: Nah, you see I don’t really get into all of that “I am the headliner” or “I am the first fight” I know I have a job to do. When the bell goes ding, I have to go out there and see this man. That is my main concern. I am not going to get caught up in all of that hoopla so to speak. I am just going to do what it is that I have to do to win the fight. I put a lot of pressure on myself as it is, I am my own worse critic. So with that said, I don’t even really get into all the other pressures that the outside world wants to put on me.

RC: You’re on this particular show because of your relation to “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon. He’s a former world champion (WBA Heavyweight champion) that has been in some great fights and has pretty much been there and done that. Going into a fight like this, what type of advice does he give you? And tell us a little bit about the day to day relationship between the two of you.
CW: Tim and I have a good relationship, Tim tells me different little things that he did that when he was in the ring. He basically tells me “Chad just stay calm”  because that is the main thing. If you can stay calm in a fight, you can do the things you learned in the gym. It is about being able to perform under that mental pressure, under that mental strain of having a man in front of you, and being in a fight situation. The mental aspect of the fight game is what Tim really stresses to me, and keeping outside distractions away. Different little ways to tie in, and things of that nature. He always helps me with those kinds of things. He basically tells me “Chad stay focused!” “Focus on the fight”, and “Worry about everything else after the fight” So he keeps me mentally in check.

RC: I’ve noticed that you have worked with Gary Shaw in the past, but I do know that this show here Saturday night will be promoted by Lou DiBella. What is your promotional and managerial status as of right now, because if I am not mistaken you were also working with Shelly Finkel early on in your career?
CW: Right now I am independent; I am not with a promoter yet. I am talking with Lou, but I am independent right now. If he wants to talk to me after this fight, I will listen, but I am independent right now. As far as Gary and Shelly, I still talk to Shelly, and I still talk to Gary. They are great, wonderful people, and I still might end up being with Gary, but you never know.

RC: What about your managerial status?
CW: Right now Tom Moran (Also manages former IBF champion Kassim Ouma) is my manager.

RC: We know you’d like to go in there and stay calm, and put on a good showing. But if nothing else, overall what can everyone tuning in expect?
CW: I come to fight, I am not coming to play and look fancy doing any dancing around, I come to fight.  I come to rumble, that is something that I do.; I am a busy fighter and I always come to fight and if he comes to fight too, if he is not somebody that moves around a lot, then you’ll are going to see some fireworks.

RC: Should we look forward to Chazz Witherspoon going the distance in his first eight round bout?
CW: I would hope not (Starts to laugh), I mean I would like to make it a short night, but you never know. I am going to do what I have to do to win the fight. If I have to break him down over a couple of rounds, I will wait and look to take him out later on. If he is somebody that I can get to early on, I am going to look to get him out of there early. I gotta take what the fight gives me, and that is something that I am learning to do. In the past I use to go into a fight with a strategy and just stick to the strategy and try to implement only that strategy, but now and I am learning that that’s not the way to go. You can take strategy into a fight and if that is not the way it is going to go, you must be able to adapt to the fight so to speak. You can’t force a fight to go a certain way if it is not going that way. So that is what I am learning as I get more experience and that is the only thing I am lacking, is experience. I train hard, I run hard and I live clean so it is the experience that I need to get under my belt.



Don’t forget to tune in Saturday night at 9 ET/PT on Showtime. Other featured fights on the card include Middleweight Ronald Hearns 8-0(6), son of Legendary all time great former five time division world champion Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns 61-5-1(48), will take on Phoenix’s Hector Hernandez 8-1-1(3).

James McGirt Jr. 11-0(7), son of highly regarded trainer/former two division world champion Buddy McGirt m73-6-1(48), will take on Stephan Pryor 10-1(7), son of hall of famer Aaron Pryor 39-1(25) in a very intriguing Middleweight bout.

Jorge Paez Jr. 9-0(7), son of popular former featherweight champion Jorge Paez Sr. 79-14-5(51) will open up the telecast, when he takes on Armand Horn 13-1(11) in a six round Jr. Welterweight bout.

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