Boxingtalk.com recently spoke to Middleweight Contender Ian Gardner 19-2(7), as he was finishing up preparations to take on prospect looking to turn contender “Bad” Chad Dawson 19-0(13) for the vacant WBO NABO Super Middleweight title live on ShoBox tonight. “I am going to show the world that this guy is stepping up to a guy that has already been there” stated the former NABO Light Middleweight champ, then added “I am either going to knock him out or shut him out. So it will end in knockout, or I will beat him every round to take a unanimous decision, I am just going to outclass him, in his hometown.” Read on as Gardner, tells us a about his preparation, his overseas experience and explains to us how he has already taught Chad a boxing lesson, and didn’t have to step in the ring to do it. RC: What’s going on Ian?
IG: I am doing good, I am focused getting ready for this fight.RC: How did preparation go for you leading up to this fight?
IG: It has been good. I know Chad is a little bit big and taller than me so I have been getting a few local fighters that are tall, that have that reach as well. So that I can get can go into the ring and be comfortable in there.RC: Give us your thoughts on Chad Dawson as a fighter?
IG: I have seen a couple fights on him, I was suppose to fight him a year ago but it didn’t happen, I wish I would have fought him last year, but it didn’t happen. Now it is coming around again a year later. I took the fight on a short notice, and hopefully Friday I can just show that I am the more experienced and better fighter.RC: This fight will be for the vacant 168lb NABO title, are you taking this fight because of the opportunity or…
IG: (Cutting in) well yeah, it is a great opportunity. I will fight anybody. If I have to gain weight to fight someone that is coming up, then so be it. If I have to loose weight, then so be it. I will fight whoever wants to fight me, it doesn’t matter to me, and the weight doesn’t matter to meRC: Chad obviously has the natural weight advantage going into this fight, but on paper you have the better competition, the two combined makes it a level playing field?
IG: I think all of that is irrelevant man, I think it is all irrelevant. Yeah he is bigger than me…. Bigger, stronger, oh yeah….. But if you look at the record it is clear that I have more experience than the kid. But that is irrelevant too; it is all going to come down to when we are both in the ring and the bell rings. So he can talk whatever he wants, and I can say whatever the hell I want to say, but everything is irrelevant man. He is hungry, and I am hungry and we are going to see who is hungrier and who wants it the most. No one wants to fight him, and no one wants to fight me. So lets get down.RC: Has it bothered you that he has made it clear, that he doesn’t feel this fight is going to go past five rounds?
IG: Yeah he is saying it wont go past five rounds, I am going to make him eats his words. He will find out, I am going to make him eat those words…. DEFINITELY!RC: Do you think that with him fighting in front of his hometown, which means he is probably going to try and impress, and him going in there with the “I am going for the K.O.” mentality, do you think all of that plays into your favor?
IG: I am always going in there into someone else’s hometown. This aint nothing new to me, I have been in many hometowns and I am always the one that is expected to loose so of course I am expected to loose this time too. (Rhetorically) But you know what? I will have my hands up and the end of the fight; I will be the one with the victory. RC: Do you feel you will be able to get a fair shack if it goes to the scorecards being that it is in his backyard
IG: Yeah it is for a title, so there are neutral judges. And once I show my skills and once I outclass him, they will have to give me the fight. They will have no choice but to give me the fight. He keeps saying that he is going to go in there and hit me and knock me out with one punch. Then the other day I was talking to him when we were on a radio station and he was on the line saying “Ooh I am going to knock you out” and dah dah dah and I said well the fight is going to be over by the time you try to knock me out. Then he said “Well I am not going to just hit you with one punch, I am going to hit you with all kinds of punches and knock you out” And I just thought to myself Chad don’t get mad because I just taught you a boxing lesson over the phone. Now I didn’t put him out there like that, but I did think that in the back of my mind. Because he got sooo mad when I told him that the fight is going to be over by the time he tried to knock me out. So that is when I told him, well the fight should be over by then. I mean if he is going to rely on a knockout man? I mean that is the last thing that you want to do, that is the worse strategy that you can have. Especially if you are fighting a good fighter, you can rely on doing that to a stiff, but I aint no stiff. I’m not just a guy that is coming out of the wood works. I have fought people. I am the real deal, the guy just thinks that I am some type of…in his last 18 or 19 fights he hasn’t fought me. He hasn’t fought anyone like me, now he is thinking that because he knocked out his last opponent that he can knock me out. That is a poor way of thinking brother. RC: So tell us Ian, what can we expect come Friday night?
IG: I am going to show the world that this guy is stepping up to a guy that has already been there, that has already seen it and I am basically going to outclass this dude and outbox him. I am either going to knock him out or shut him out. So it will end in knockout, or I will beat him every round to take a unanimous decision, I am just going to outclass him, in his hometown. I haven’t done it once, I haven’t done it twice, I have done it numerous times.RC: Some feel that you could have easily still been an undefeated fighter, most felt you won your fight against Peter Manfredo Jr., and who actually knows what took place overseas when you faced Arthur Abraham. Why don’t you give us your take on your loss in against hi in Germany?
IG: The Germany fight… I went over there; I stepped up my game once again to a guy that was 14-0. I went over there and the fight was close. I beat him but they wont give you a fight over there if it is close. I won the first seven rounds; he won the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. I slipped two or three times and they called them all knock downs, he hit me behind the head, he hit me with low blows, all kinds of stuff, but they didn’t count none of that. They gave him the win; the only thing I have to say is poor judgment on my behalf to go across seas. I shouldn’t have did it, but I have a heart, I have a stubborn mind, and I just wanted to do it. But I learned a lot from it, I learned not to be so desperate, and basically not to leave the country. I shouldn’t have went over there, I did beat the guy, but I didn’t beat him overwhelmingly. The guy did fight me, he did fight his heart out, but I did beat him and you cant win over there unless you basically knock the kid out. I learned a lot from that, and now I am staying in America. RC: Ok, back to Friday night’s fight, Chad even went as far as to say that he want to fight Allan Green next providing he gets past you Friday night, do you feel that…..
IG: (Cutting in) Well he is underestimating me, and that is not good. (In a real sympathetic voice) That is not good, I am not looking past him, he should never look past me, He better think real long and hard first before he thinks about anybody else. He is going to see a different fighter; he thinks I am going to be right there to get hit. But it is all-good, we will see. It is all going to be seen and all going to be shown.RC: Is there anything else you would like to add in closing?
IG: I just want him the best of luck, and I hope that he comes in fully prepared because it is going to be the fight of his life. I just hope that after this fight here I can be looking forward a title and something big. RC: This bout will be for the NABO Super Middleweight title…
IG: (Cutting in) yeah, you see I have already been there. I have been through this already. This guy is a new comer compared to me. RC: Now we just spoke about it not being good to look past your opponent, but providing you are successful, where do you plan on campaigning. You have won titles at 154lbs, you have challenged for one at 160lbs, and now you are challenging for another at 168lbs, where do you plan on staying?
IG: 160lbs I think is where I am most comfortable. But I took this fight just for the opportunity once again, but after this fight I am probably going to be staying at 160lbs, and make my mark there.
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