MAURICE HARRIS ON FIGHTING IN GERMANY
By Maurice Harris as told to Doveed Linder
Heavyweight disputes loss to Gerber in gentlemanly manner
Heavyweight Maurice Harris (25-16-2, 11 KOs) discusses his recent fight with Edmund Gerber (L UD8) and the years he has spent in the sport of boxing. The Gerber-Harris fight took place in Gerberís homeland of Germany. Team Harris believes that their fighter deserved the decision.
Maurice tells it his own way:
I like Germany. I went there last fall when I sparred with Edmund Gerber, and then I went there a couple weeks ago when I fought him. Germany is different. Itís a country that has a history. There were hard times in Germany and even though itís not like that anymore, you can tell that some of the people have been affected by it. They have really nice restaurants in Germany and the people treated me really good. There are a lot of boxing fans over there. Itís not like America. The fans love boxing, and some of them came up to me and asked for an autograph, but they were really there to support their man Edmund Gerber. Thatís why they were so quiet during our fight. They werenít used to seeing their man fall behind like that.
The main thing about fighting in Germany is having to adjust to the different time zone. As soon as I got off the plane, I slept for two hours and then got up and went for a run. The air was good. Everything was good. It was relaxing and peaceful. Some fighters donít like to go overseas to fight, but I donít care. When youíre a fighter, you fight. This is our job. It doesnít matter if youíre in Alaska. True fighters will fight anywhere.
I get nervous before my fights and I always pray before I go out there, because anything can happen in the ring. When you get in the ring, you have to be ready to die. Itís a blood sport and I accept my role as a fighter. This is what God put me here to do. I havenít had a fortunate career like a lot of other guys, but Iím a student of the game. I study it, inside and out. I have an eye for it. It takes me about thirty seconds to see what type of fighter you are. I know how to adapt and capitalize on your mistakes.
I knew from sparring Edmund Gerber what to expect from him. Heís strong, but I knew what I had to do in there. It had been ten months since I fought Derric Rossy, so I had a little rust in the first two rounds. I gave those rounds away, but from rounds three to eight, I did my thing. I put the jab on him, I had him cutÖ He panicked and I could see it. Let me tell you something though Ė Edmund Gerber is a real nice guy. When I sparred with him last fall, he used to pick me up himself and take me to the gym. Heís a good man, but when you get in the ring and fight somebody, you get into a different zone.
When they announced the decision, I was real disappointed. I thought I won, my team thought I wonÖ Sometimes you have to knock a guy out to beat him. After the fight, I took a shower and watched the other fights. Kubrat Pulev beat Alexander Dimitrenko and I saw that Scott Welch was the trainer for Dimitrenko. Scott Welch is from England and he came to New Jersey to spar with Ray Mercer back in the day. You know Ray Mercer, donít you? Heís my sonís Godfather. Iíve boxed a lot of rounds with Ray in the gym. Iíve also been in with Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, both of the Klitschkos, Sam Peter, Alfred Cole, Dominick Guinn, Malik Scott, Bert CooperÖ
Iíve even been in with Larry Holmes in a real fight. I was twenty-one years old and he was forty-eight. Thereís another forty-eight year old making a comeback and thatís ďRazorĒ Ruddock. Check this out, right? When ďRazorĒ fought Tyson the first time, he was 228 pounds. The second time, he was 238 pounds. Now, heís 211. I like ďRazorĒ. He would throw his left hand at a 45 degree angle, like a half hook, half uppercut. He called it ďThe SmashĒ and he knocked Michael Doaks out with it.
Man, talking about all this makes me feel old! Iím only thirty-six, but Iíve been doing it a long time. Before I hang Ďem up, I want to be heavyweight champion. For everything that Iíve put into boxing, I feel like I have to walk away with something. As long as Iíve got God in my life, I canít go wrong. I get on my knees and pay homage. Iíve even seen the great Floyd Mayweather get on HIS knees. Somebody is responsible for all this, right? We think weíre the ones doing great things, but all victories belong to God.
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