Verno Phillips: Why are the young pups afraid of the old lion?

By B. Artest


Verno Phillips: Why are the young pups afraid of the old lion?

"Paul Williams and his camp think I'm an easy mark, pay me like it!"

BT:  What's the latest with Verno Phillips, and when can we expect to see you back in the ring?  "Expect to see me back by the end of this year, and I'm hopeful that someone comes with the loot so it can be on."

BT:  A while ago there was a lot of talk about you possibly fighting John Duddy.  The talk seems to have quieted down, what happened?

Verno Phillips:  I don't know, I was just doing my part waiting for the deal to come through.  I guess they probably got shook, but it's on to the next guy.

BT:  Ronald Hearns is another name that also came up,  why do you think it's been so difficult for you to secure your first title defense?

VP:  These guys know that once I get in there, they don't have a chance.  Everytime they give me a chance I make the most of it. I fought hard to become champion, I had to beat Cory Spinks in his backyard and it's almost like nobody wants to see the old lion tear these young pups out of the frame.

BT:  As someone that has accepted every challenge that's been placed in front of you, are you dissapointed that neither HBO or Showtime has stepped up to the plate and made it their business to put one of these young, up and coming, guys against you, or make it their business to put your next title defense on there period.

VP:  I've been on HBO before, with my performance against Ike Quartey there should be no questions about having me on their show again.  I show the crowd what I can do and I always come to fight. They've been making mismatches for the guys they have an agenda to promote because of who their promoter is or who their advisor is, but the real fighters like me is suffering. All I've done is fight everybody they put in front of me and I'm ready to fight the best out there. If any of the champions want to unify. I see things like Angulo fighting on HBO for the second time this year and it's crazy because if young guys like this are good enough to be on HBO, why aren't they good enough to fight for the title?"

BT:  There's been some talk on the internet about you possibly fighting Paul Williams.  Is that true, what can you tell us about that?

VP:  Hopefully it's going to come through with Paul Williams.  It's no problem, I've fought someone who was 6'5" before.  (laughs) I pulled him down to size.  Show me the money and I'm there, I've put my time in the game.  I've paid my dues, see my record, see how long I've been in the game. Now that I'm the champion of the world give me what I deserve."

BT:  What do you think of Williams as a fighter?  

VP:  He's a good fighter, he beat Margarito. He's tall and he throws a lot of punches but I'd have something for him. He can't make welterweight anymore and they're trying to get him a title at a higher weight class.  I don't really need to prove anything to this welterweight. If fighting me for my title is helpful to him because he can't make weight and they think he can beat me, they have to pay me like it. Once they come correct the fight will be official.

BT:  How do you feel about unifying now with the other champions?

VP:  It would be a good move and it's definitely something I want to do.  Daniel Santos is with Don King.  I just beat one of Don King's fighters, so I don't think Don King wants any part of me like that.  Vernon Forrest and Sergio Mora are fighting on Saturday, I think Vernon is going to win but I want the winner either way. I would love to add another title to my collection, but that'll make it more difficult for these guys to avoid me."

BT:  Is it important to you to get another fight in before you have to make the mandatory title defense?

VP:  After all of the things I've been told I thought I would have been in the ring by now, but in boxing things happen. Right now I'm trying to get in the ring as soon as possible but the fight has to be right. If they get me something meaningful I'll take it, if it's the mandatory I'll take it. I'm ready to fight whoever they put in front of me. Now that I'm champion I just want to be paid like one.

BT:  Who do you like in the Forrest-Mora rematch?

VP:  It doesn't make a difference to me, as long as I can get the next one. Vernon Forrest was doing a lot of talking about get a title and then we'll make the fight. I get the title he says get another one

BT:  If you could unify with any other champion, which one would it be?

VP:  Vernon Forrest, but he got to beat Sergio Mora first.

BT:  How do you feel about the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight?

VP:  I don't care about that.  If I'm not making that money, I don't care.
BT:  Closing thoughts.

VP:  I appreciate the fans for following me.  The people who doubted me, who said I was finished, I've got twenty years in my career. To all the champions out there, and the young ones coming up, I'm the teacher.  It would be a mistake to get in the ring with me.