Greg Leon: It was recently announced that Erickson Lubin (20-1) will return on June 29th against Zakaira Attou (29-6-2). How's everything going in camp? What can we expect to see from him on June 29th? Kevin Cunningham: "Everything is going great in camp. We've been in camp for about five weeks now and everything is going smooth man. For the first four weeks we just worked on conditioning and technique and things of that nature. Now we're getting into the meat of camp, sparring will be coming in on Monday and it's going to be great." GL: What do you know about Attou? KC: "All I know is he's a French champion, I've looked at a couple of his fights on YouTube and it seems like he's a guy with a boxer, mover type style so we're going to have to go get him, which Hammer ain't got not problem with that. We're on a seek and destroy mission from now on in anyway and he's just the next victim."
GL: Are you disappointed that Lubin's win over Ishe Smith didn't lead to a bigger fight than this? I know you guys wanted to fight Brian Carlos Castano, but now it looks like he's going with the Lara rematch, are you disappointed that he's not going to be in there with somebody the American public is more familiar with on June 29th?
KC: "Not really because it gives me time to help Hammer develop into that world class top fighter that everybody knows he's got the potential to be. There's a lot of different things that we're working on developing, enhancing and correcting. To answer your question I don't got no problem with the opponent and you've got to be careful with guys like these. I'm not disappointed with him, but after this fight I feel like the Austin Trout- Terrell Gausha winner would be a great next step and then after that anybody with a belt can get it."
GL: Two of the four major belts changed hands the other night, what did you think of Julian Williams' win over Jarrett Hurd?
KC: "Actually I saw a lot of flaws in Hurd prior to the Williams fight, so I just thought it was going to be a matter of time before somebody in the division got to him. Shoutout to J-Rock and Breadman [trainer Stephen Edwards] for a job well done, because it seemed like they had an excellent game plan and J-Rock executed the plan and more power to them. It just goes to show you how competitive the 154 pound division is. When you look at it, you've got a deep stacked division and there's no boogeyman per se, when you look at welterweight you've got Erroll Spence who is head and shoulders above the rest. 154 is a stacked division with competitive fights and on any given night any guy could beat the next guy. I think that's the type of fights the fans and TV networks want to buy and fans want to see."
GL: What you just said was also proven when Tony Harrison took Charlo's WBC belt. They're having a rematch on June 23rd. How do you see that one going?
KC: "It all depends on how Charlo regrouped and what type of adjustments he's made. Tony Harrison has always been a good boxer. He comes from that Emanuel Steward Kronk background so the skills have always been there, the fundamentals are there. What he did was expose some of the Charlo mentality of landing a big shot and knocking you out, but a slick boxer takes that away from you and if you ain't got nothing else in your bag of tricks then you're in trouble. It's going to be interesting to see what adjustment Charlo makes in the rematch. This division, like I said man, Tony Harrison went distance with Ishe Smith, Lara went the distance with Ishe Smith, J-Rock the unified champion went the distance with Ishe Smith in a close fight and a lot of people think Ishe should have gotten the nod. This division is waiting for somebody to come put a chokehold on the division."
GL: Sounds like you're saying 154 is the most competitive division in boxing right now.
KC: "For sure, but when the smoke clears Hammer is going to be the last man standing."
GL: Will Attou go the distance?
KC: "No. He's got to go. The goal is to go up in there and get him out of there. That's the goal, but if he survives we're going to be chopping him the whole night. He's going to have to be prepared to take it all night, because Hammer is going to be there to give it to him all night."
GL: Julian Williams made a powerful statement in the post fight interview I just did with him and that was, no VADA testing no fight. How do you feel about that statement? Do you think that the strict, three or four month program should be mandatory to ensure that we're getting a level playing field in high end fights?
KC: "I'm with J-Rock all the way on that. It's already a dangerous game that we're in and nobody should be allowed to use performance enhancing drugs to assist them to win a fight in our sport. I'm all for the VADA testing in championship fights."
GL: Closing thoughts.
KC: "Stay tuned, Hammer is continuing his rise back to prominence and on June 29th, he's going to deliver another spectacular performance."
Send questions and comments to: Boxingtalkg@Yahoo.com