JA: Mr. Burchfield, there has been a lot of speculation from GYM promotions concerning Scott Pemberton and Otis Grant. Would you like to comment on the situation?
JB: Yes, Positively. We sent the President of GYM association an offer for Otis Grant to fight Scott Pemberton for 25,000 dollars in Providence, Rhode Island or one of the Connecticut Casinos. We also sent the Championship Committee of Joe Dwyer of the NABF a copy of that offer. So that is where it is right now.
JA: Has GYM Promotions responded back to you?
JB: They have not contacted me back as of yet.
JA: Scott seemed to be upset in the Interview I did with him, Care to comment on that?
JB: Yes, well he has all the right in the World to be upset. Basically Scott is one of the true blue collar warriors in boxing. He is one of the most exciting fighters in boxing. He sits in the number one position in the WBC as well as the NABF Champion. Behind him is four ex world champions 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively. What we would love to do is instead of the champion, who we respect very much, waiting until March 2006 for his mandatory defense, we would like for him to fight now. The champion has said that he will fight anyone. I had sent them an offer of 500,000 dollars to fight Scott in the United States of America. I think it’s time to bring the Super Middleweight Title back to the U.S.A. He never answered my request. But that’s the fight that we really want, to fight the champion. But we have this Otis Grant offer on the table now. Otis Grant is a friend of mine, he is a great champion. It would be a great fight, Otis Grant and GYM has to understand that Scott is the champion. He’s the NABF champion. That comes with some protocol, that the champion is the person who dictates. Not the challenger.
JA: We recently saw Scott the other night, how is his mood doing? Have you met with Scott, have you talked with him?
JB: Ya we talk almost every day. In his interview, Scott was upset. There was an offer of 150,000 to fight Omar Sheika. First it was scheduled for May. Then it was scheduled for June. Then it was scheduled for July 17th. It’s about timing and luck and every one of those dates was taken. The June date was the date that Ricky Hatton fought. Then the July date ended up being Hopkins-Taylor. We cannot wait around any longer. We want to put this in our own hands. The thing is, I don’t have any reason why HBO and Showtime are not looking at Scott. Even ESPN on there Pay-Per-Views. He was a fighter of the year on ESPN for 2 years in a row. Scott goes back to the days of the real warriors. He is just a blue collar fighter. You can be beating Scott for Six rounds and then he will end up knocking you out. He is one of the hardest punchers out there. He is one of the greatest and respected fighters. He is a great family man and he deserves this. I have to get back to HBO and Showtime and they will be saying “well he’s not a main event on our network”. Well why not? Why isn’t he? Who else is more exciting? I mean it really doesn’t make any sense. So consequently we have a plan, and the plan is that we want to fight for the championship. Jeff Lacy is another great fighter. He and Scott Pemberton would be an unbelievable fight. If Otis Grant turns this offer down we might look at the fighter Cristian Sanavia who is ranked number 2. Maybe we will fight him. But basically, if anything, Scott will be fighting in August. Hopefully we fight 2 more times this year. If we have to wait till March of 2006 to fight the champion, we will. I don’t see any reason in it. What it is, is the boxing fans. The people in television are interested in ratings, well this is a fighter that will bring excitement. This is a fighter who is going to knock you out, he will never quit on his stool that’s for sure, like we witnessed these past couple of weeks. He is one of the most exciting, most colorful and hardest punchers in boxing. Why aren’t these networks coming and getting him. That’s what he needs, that’s what’s going to make his payday. That’s what he deserves.
JA: Do you think that the Marcus Byer fight could sell out in Providence, Rhode Island? Or Otis Grant, would you prefer the fight to be in Providence, Rhode Island?
JB: I think that we could put 15,000 people here (The Dunkin Donuts Center). I also wouldn’t rule out one of the Casinos in Connecticut, I wouldn’t rule that out either. It’s all about putting a creative plan together that makes sense for everyone. For the fighters, it has to make sense for the fans. It has to make sense for the venue. It’s got to be a win win, and that’s what where looking to do. Now why, after I have watched so many of these boring fights, now why wouldn’t the networks pick up Scott? Why? For the Omar Sheika situation, because we were offered 155,000 dollars for Scott, yes we would have taken it. But Scott doesn’t need Omar; he beat him twice and the last time he knocked him out. It’s the only time Omar Sheika has ever been knocked out. So why would we need Omar Sheika? Unless it was for the money, sometimes styles make good fights. You look at the Gatti-Ward days. It wasn’t for titles; it wasn’t for this or that. It was because there styles would make for great fights. I will guarantee that whoever Scott gets in there with, it has the opportunity of it being the fight of the year. Every time Scott enters the ring, it has the potential for it. And he is at the top of his game. He just reminds me so much of a Bernard Hopkins, to wait so long. Look at Mickey Ward, he had some losses and then he just found himself and he blossomed a little later. That is where Scott is right now. He is at the top of his game. We will not walk away from anyone, but it has to be for some good money. It has to be an exciting fight. We want to entertain the fans. You know if all promoters are not looking for an edge for their fighters. It’s looking to increase the market for boxing fans, that’s what we need to do.
JA: Changing pace a little bit, Matt Godfrey had an excellent win on Friday night against Jamal Barnes in an 8 rounder. I see that you’re not afraid to stick him in with anybody! Can you tell us any possible opponents next for him?
JB: I think because of Matt Godfrey’s experience as an amateur, 3x National Amateur champion, you know he is ready for just about anyone right now. With 8 professional fights, Jamal Barnes is a veteran who has great ring generalship, he comes to fight. You seen that Matt just picked him apart. So yes, I would hope that Matt would be fighting for one of the titles, USBA, NABF, one of the titles like that. I believe Matt will be the Cruiserweight Champion of the World. He’s got so much talent and the whole thing that I love about Matt is that Matt is a professional inside the ring as well as outside the ring. He lives for boxing, he’s so credible. He reminds me of a Joe Louis, with his style and mannerism. He is just a great young man and he is great for boxing.
JA: What about Jason Estrada?
JB: Well many people told us the other night not to take the fight with Demetrius. That this is a dangerous fighter, big kid, 265 pounds, ripped like superman and he comes to fight. With 14 professional fights and he’s only 20 years old. It was a big test for Jason. A lot of people who would have an Olympian, especially a heavyweight, would never step in the water like we did the other night with that fight. We are so happy to see how Jason would handle himself. His dad and the whole Big Six team said “no, let’s go for it! We want to fight real people. We don’t want any cakewalks, we want to show that Jason is one of the best, if not the best, young heavyweights out there”. He surely proved it. I have received so many calls on how happy of the performance, and what they see from the Big six machine.
JA: When do you think that we can see Chad Dawson back in the ring? Have you spoken with him?
JB: Well we hope to have some things corrected in the very near future. Just stay tuned for that, we will keep you updated on that also.
JA: Will Joey Spina be on the August 2nd or 6th card? Is that correct.
JB: No it’s actually August 12th. We’re actually looking at two fight cards. August 6th which would be at one of the casinos in Connecticut. I think coming back to the setting of the Dunk Center Theater; it was unbelievable the other night. It was just a tremendous setting for boxing. With the Mayor and council president John Lombardi, the directors of the convention center in Down City Providence was really excited with bringing boxing back here. A lot of great’s things are going to happen there.
JA: Is there anything that you would like to say in closing to the Boxing fans around the world?
JB: I just would like to say that there were three fighters the other night that stepped up to the plate. I was so happy with Joey Spina, that’s his second fight that he stepped up from an 8 rounder to a 10 rounder. Going against his first left hander that he fought in his career. Matt Godfrey, Jason Estrada, the females did a great job, Jamie Clampett and Missy Furintino. Matt Remillard had a very tough fight. It’s going to make him a better fighter. I can promise some very exciting things to be happening with our CES program, our series and our fighters. I believe that we have the youngest and best prospects in boxing. We’re going to keep working hard, we’re going to keep exciting the boxing fans. And if anyone out there wants to call me or email me, I’d be glad to here of anything that they would like to see. I would do anything to make the boxing fan happy. That’s what it’s all about. Entertaining the boxing fan. That’s what we expect to do here at CES.
JA: How can the fans reach you?
JB: They can reach me at my email which is JimmyBurchfield@CESboxing.com
or they can call the office at 1-401-724-2253 and I answer every one of my calls and Emails. I want to see positive things in boxing. We got to stay away from all the negative talk. We’re increasing the market. Young Peter Manfredo yesterday, I spent three or four hours with him and the Everlast people at Model Sporting Goods hear in Warren, Rhode Island. There had to be at least 1,000 people in line to get an autograph from Peter. I’m talking about little girls 3-4 years old. A little boy came in there with an Everlast headband, just like the one Peter wore on “The Contender” series. That’s what we got to do, we got to stay positive and entertain the boxing fan.
JA: As always Mr. Burchfield thank you so much for your time!
JB: Thank you, Jim.