N’dou’s thoughts on fighting the top 140-pounders: “I have issued challenges to everybody, from Tszyu to Mitchell to Hatton, and all the top contenders, but they are avoiding me. What should I do? Should I go point a gun to their heads and tell them to fight me? I can’t do that. If they don’t want to fight me, then I’ll fight whoever is available to keep me active.”
Having fought seven times in the past twelve month, Lovemore N’dou continues to climb up the ladder in hopes of reaching the upper echelon of the junior welterweight division by year’s end. For the Black Panther, who will take on one opponent per month for the remainder of 2004, his next rung to greatness will be stepped on in Australia next Friday in the form of Eduardo Ramon. With each win, N’dou knows that he comes closer to facing those at the top of his hit list – Kostya Tszyu, Sharmba Mitchell, and Ricky Hatton, and the right to be called champion. BoxingTalk spoke with Lovemore yesterday to get his thoughts of fighting Ramon as well as taking on the top 140-pounders.
BoxingTalk: Lovemore, thanks for talking with us. You have been quite active lately, and you will be in the ring again next Friday. Who will your opponent be?
Lovemore N’dou: I’m fighting Eduardo Ramon, he’s 28-3 (5), and he’s never been stopped before…but I intend to stop him.
BT: Does that mean you will be looking for a knockout so that you can look impressive against Ramon?
LN: I’ll just come out looking impressive. I won’t go crazy looking for the knockout, but I have a feeling I will stop him. With the training that I have been doing with Jeff Fenech, I believe I have improved my punching power, and if I catch Ramon with my right hand, I believe he will go.
BT: What else are you doing to prepare for a fighter who has never been stopped?
LN: I’ve been doing a lot of sparring, weight training, and all the other things I do to prepare for a fight. I feel good, the fact that I fought less than four weeks ago is going to help me. It’s good for me to stay sharp, and the best way for me to stay sharp is to stay active.
BT: How often are you looking to fight before 2004 is up?
LN: I intend to fight two to three more times before the end of the year. I intend to fight every month.
BT: Why are your reasons for being so active in the ring this year?
LN: Because anything can happen in this boxing business. When Kostya Tszyu fights Sharmba Mitchell, I want to be ready to take on the winner between them or between the winner of Ricky Hatton and Michael “No Joke” Stewart. The only way for me to do that is for me to stay active, and because I love it and enjoy boxing.
BT: By fighting so close together, does that mean you have another fight lined up after this one against Ramon?
LN: I have another fight planned for October 16th already. I’ll be taking on Isaac Hlatshwayo, the guy that recently defeated my cousin Philip N’dou. Not only did Hlatshwayo beat him, but he sent him to the hospital afterwards, so I have some family affairs to take care of. He might have beaten one N’dou, but he didn’t beat the Real McCoy.
BT: Hlatshwayo is undefeated with a record of 20-0 (9)…
LN: I know he’s undefeated, and this will be his first loss. To me this fight is personal. Look, I don’t have to fight him and the way the rankings are going in the IBF, in the next couple months I should be ranked number three. I will be there just in time when the number one position becomes vacant.
BT: Do you feel the opponents you have been facing recently are good enough to move you up into the top three rankings of the IBF?
LN: That’s something that is out of my control. I have issued challenges to everybody, from Tszyu to Mitchell to Hatton, and all the top contenders, but they are avoiding me. What should I do? Should I go point a gun to their heads and tell them to fight me? I can’t do that. If they don’t want to fight me, then I’ll fight whoever is available to keep me active.
BT: If you had your choice between Tszyu, Mitchell, or Hatton, who would you like to face the most?
LN: All of them are on my hit list, but on top of that hit list is Kostya Tszyu. This is fight that everybody in Australia is talking about. Even in America and the world people want to see this fight. Kostya keeps on coming up with excuses. His last excuse was that I had to become number one, and that’s exactly what I am doing. I’ll become number one and don’t be surprised when he comes up with another excuse. I believe I beat Sharmba Mitchell already, but I would love to get in the ring with him again and stop him this time instead of leaving it up to the judges. I beat him with only two weeks notice, so what would I do with six weeks’ notice? I’d kill him.
BoxingTalk thanks Mr. N’dou for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him continued success both in and out of the ring.
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