Former IBF junior middleweight titlist Verno Phillips recently contacted Boxingtalk.com to get a few things off of his chest, mainly about wanting to test the skills of WBA champion Travis Simms. "Travis hasn’t really fought anybody" stated the Phillips "He has the [regular] WBA title, and wants to call out big names but he hasn’t been tested." He even informs us that a bout between he and Travis’s twin brother Tarvis, who campaigns six pounds north as a middleweight, had been offered to him. "My name has been mentioned as a possible opponent to fight Tarvis in February, the only thing is he fights at 160lbs and I fight at 154 pounds. But if he wants to do this at 155 to 157 then he can get it" Read on to see what also he had to say as he makes it clear he is ready, willing and able to face either of the two Simms twins.RC: What’s going on Verno?
VP: Tarvis Simms people proposed a fight to me his brother is calling out names. I heard that my name has been mentioned as a possible opponent to fight Tarvis in February, the only thing is he fights at 160lbs and I fight at 154 pounds. But if he wants to do this at 155 to 157 then he can get it, and if his brother (Travis) wants to do it, then he can get it for his title. RC: What are your thoughts on Travis Simms, who currently holds the WBA title and is currently one of the top names in the divisions?
VP: Actually if you ask me Travis hasn’t really fought anybody. Wait…Wow, what he has two big names that he fought. He fought Garcia, really nobody knows anything about Garcia, he fought Bronco McKart, I beat Bronco McKart before he beat him, and I don’t feel as if he really fought anybody. So if you ask me, he really needs to be tested and I can be the one to test him before he calls out other fighters like Ouma or whoever. He has the WBA title, and wants to call out big names but he hasn’t been tested. Yeah I know he wants to make money, because everybody wants to make money in the game, but my thing is at least get tested first to see where you are really at. Don’t get the title, then defend it and then think you can go big. He needs to defend it a couple of times, and get some names under his belt. Then after he beats the top contender, because I am still a top contender, I am a tested fighter; and that is what he needs to do if he wants to fight world class fighters. RC: What do you think about his performance against Garcia?
VP: It seems as if he wasn’t really into it, he came out all slow like he didn’t really want it. But he did his thing, it was alright.RC: So what does Tarvis have to do with any of this?
VP: We told his people that we would fight him at 154lbs, and they didn’t want to go down, this is after they said that they wanted to fight us in February. I feel as if they have the confidence to believe they can do it then they should fight me to see where they are at. RC: What do you think of Tarvis?
VP: He is aight, if I do my thing I can beat him, and if I don’t plan around I might be able to stop him. RC: Do you think a match between yourself and either of the two is likely to happen?
VP: We will see, Tarvis wants the fight at 160lbs, and of course Travis (WBA champ) wants bigger and better things, which is cool, but I am saying he needs to be tested.
Nobody even knows Garcia, people just look at his record and say "Ooh wow, he is undefeated, he has a lot of knockouts" but no one even knows him. My thing is he shouldn’t short change himself. You know, I am a washed up, former three time world champion and I would be a good fight for him. His promoter Don King needs to put him in there with me to see exactly what he is working with, because I am sure Don King doesn’t know exactly what he is working with.
I was bugging out when the other day he was on boxingalk.com talking about how no one has ever beaten Bronco (McKart) like he did, and I am saying to myself, I did, I beat him pretty good also.
It is bugged because now I am here waiting to get a fight, before my fight with Ouma nobody wanted to fight me because I kept winning tough fights back to back, but now I lost, people still don’t want to fight me, so I have to call these guys out. RC: With the exception of the last couple of rounds, in the Ouma fight as even the final scores reflected, you put up a very good fight with the Ouma; do you feel that people may have seen that which would make them still not want to fight you?
VP: I’m saying, as it is, boxing is fucked up, that is what they say, but if you are a real champion you can’t be afraid of nobody. It is not like when I was champion, it is not like here take this money and step aside so I can fight somebody else for more money like other promoters have their fighters do.
I want to let it be known that I am ready, willing and able to fight anybody out there in my weight class.
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