EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: J'LEON LOVE
By G. Leon
GL: Congrats on your victory over Derrick Findley this weekend [via unanimous ten-round decision]. Can you give us some thoughts on your peformance?
J'Leon Love: "Derrick Findley is a tough guy, he's very aggressive. He's been in there with some of the best. He's fought Andre Ward, Andre Dirrell and Fernando Guerrero. He came to fight and he was determined to win. He put in some work, but I kept my composure and did what I had to do in order to win."
GL: In the fourth round you nearly had him out of there, but it seemed like you shot your load because you appeared to lose the fifth round...
J'Leon Love: (cutting in) "At the end of the day, I tried to jump on him when I hurt him. But he's a veteran and he knows how to survive. I mixed it up between the body and head and he knew how to survive, I can't get mad at that. At the end of the round I tried to gain whatever energy I had left and get back to the basics. He may have won that round or the round after that, but we got it back together and it was a ten round fight. It's like you've always told me it's a marathon not a sprint. We just said hey, let's keep doing what we're doing winning rounds and stick to the game plan."
GL: How did it feel to go ten rounds for the first time?
JL: "It felt good. I was in shape, but the guy was a dog and he made me work and made me think. You need those type of fights. You don't want to be carried along with ease and then when you get to the grit and grind of a tough fight you can't do anything because you're not prepared for it, so I think I needed that fight."
GL: Was there anything about Findley that surprised you?
JL: "I was surprised he was able to go the whole ten after the fourth round, but he kept coming. He was a true warrior, he came to fight and he came to win. I knew he was going to be extremely aggressive because that's his style. We watched some film, he comes to throw big bombs and tries to get you out of there."
GL: The judges scored it 10-0 and 9-1 twice. Do you think the margin of victory was so wide? The Showtime commentators seemed to disagree.
JL: "I felt like I could give him a round or two. He wasn't really landing much but he was there trying to outwork me, so I can give him a couple of rounds."
GL: What was it like to have Floyd Mayweather work your corner?
JL: "Obviously he's never done that before. Roger was unable to come out because he just had surgery on his eyes. During sparring through camp he was there with me, and I knew he was going to come to the fight but I didn't know he was going to work the corner, so it was exciting for me."
GL: Was there any extra pressure on you fighting in Detroit?
JL: "Not at all. I could fight in a backyard in Omaha, Nebraska and I'm going to fight just as hard. It was great for me to fight where it all started, but I didn't feel any extra pressure."
GL: When might your next fight take place?
JL: "I'll be fighting on May 4 on the Mayweather undercard, but we don't have any opponent yet."
GL: Closing thoughts?
JL: "I want to thank all of the boxing fans in Detroit. I appreciate all of the support from the fans because the game wouldn't be what it is today without them."
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