McCline ready to make third shot at title a charm!

By Brad Cooney


McCline ready to make third shot at title a charm!

Boxingtalk caught up with heavyweight contender Jameel McCline and discussed the recent news that he will challenge for the WBA heavyweight championship against Nikolay Valuev. This fight is scheduled to take place on January 20th, 2007 in St. Jakob - Halle, Basel, Switzerland. McCline gives Boxingtalk the run-down on how this whole thing started, and talks about his thoughts on going to Europe as well as the $5 million dollar Superfighter tournament he was scheduled to partake in.

BT - Jameel talk about the recent reports that you will challenge for the WBA heavyweight championship against Nikolay Valuev.
JM - Well all of the reports are correct, we are signed, sealed and delivered with the German promoter, Wilfried Sauerland.

BT - When did all of this happen Jameel ?
JM - Well, this all started after the Monte Barrett vs Valuev fight. This whole thing was Mike Borao's idea, this is his brainchild. Mike brought this thing to fruition, he approached Valuev's people and negotiated the whole thing.

BT - Talk about this match-up Jameel. How do you see yourself matching up against this guy?
JM - Well obviously humbly speaking, and I thank God for the talent, I feel this title is the fulfillment of my destiny.

BT - Jameel, how does this fight impact your opportunity to fight for the 5 million dollars in the Superfighter tournament ?
JM - This unfolds very simply, if the Superfighter fight comes through I would love to be a part of it. The first business at hand is to fulfill my dream of becoming heavyweight champion of the world, although it is for considerably less money.

BT - The Superfighter tournament has been postponed, so maybe you will get a crack at both opportunities.
JM - Maybe I will get both, that's something that we have thought about. The most important thing is that we are very focused on becoming heavyweight champion of the world. I am giving lots of thanks to God for giving me this opportunity.

BT - You saw the Valuev vs Barrett fight, what do you get out of that fight that can help you as you prepare for this guy ?
JM - Monte Barrett gave a Hell of a fight, having said that, I believe Monte was a little bit too small for the guy. I will come into this fight with the same intensity, and the same desire that Monte brought but with a lot more strength and size. I believe that will be the difference in the fight.

BT - What does Nikolay Valuev do that impresses you in the ring ?
JM - What impresses me is his ability to execute, and to be successful in that execution.

BT - A few years ago after your loss against Zuri Lawrence and Calvin Brock it seemed that your career was over. It is strange how things happen isn't it ?
JM - I never thought my career was over after Calvin Brock, it was after the Zuri Lawrence fight when I thought my career was over. Mike Borao and my new manager, Scott Hirsch came to me, and we came up with a plan. This was not a mistake, this is all by design. We had the plan, but it was my job to stay in shape, and my job to make sure that what happened to me against Brock, Lawrence, and Byrd didn't happen again. Mike Borao and Scott Hirsch put together their magic, and here I am again fighting for the heavyweight championship for a third time.

BT - What is the biggest difference in Jameel McCline with this opportunity as opposed to your other world title challenges ?
JM - There are several differences. I am a better fighter, I have a clean soul and heart, I am healthy again. You will not see, no matter what happens in the fight, me fading or running out of gas again. You saw me run out of gas against Byrd, Brock, and Lawrence, well that's not going to happen again.

BT - This fight will be held in Switzerland, what are your thoughts on the venue ?
JM - It's my first fight in Europe and I am very excited about being involved with the Sauerland promotion company. I am very impressed with their ability to keep their guys busy, and sharp. I am happy about the fight being in Switzerland because they are neutral over there. It's no secret that American fighters don't do well over there in Europe, but I don't think the Swiss will deal with any shady stuff.

BT - Any more pressure on you to have to knock Valuev out being the fight is in Europe ?
JM - Well like I said being that the fight is in Switzerland I am less concerned about that, but that doesn't mean I am not concerned with Valuev as a fighter. Going into this fight, my concern is to win every round possible. This fight is winnable for me, and if he stays in there with me I want to win rounds 1 through 12.

BT - When does camp start ?
JM - Well camp started 9 weeks ago, I have been training for the Superfighter tournament. I have 7 weeks under my belt, and I will go another 6 or 7 weeks. I will take a few weeks off before all of that.

BT - I am guessing you will be looking for big sparring partners ?
JM - I would like to put out an APB for big sparring partners. If there is anyone out there interested in sparring with me for this fight, they can call my manager Scott Hirsch.

BT  - Jameel is there anything that you would like to say in closing ?
JM - Brad I have said this before in our previous interviews, I told my fans to be patient and I will be back. I am back.


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