|Kali Meehan: “Ruiz is calling out fighters, I want that fight, but he would never fight me!”
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr., DoghouseBoxing (May 8, 2009)
It has been nine months since heavyweight contender Kali “Checkmate” Meehan 35-3 (29) has seen any ring action, but that all changes come May 30th when the Fiji born fighter steps back in the ring on the under card of the heavyweight showdown between Nikolai Valuev and Ruslan Chagaev.
Meehan, who almost won heavyweight gold against Lamon Brewster in the fall of ‘04, has held a top spot in three out of the four sanctioning bodies but is yet to get a chance to fight for another title. And Meehan is ready for a title fight and insists he will fight anybody to get his shot at the top. And in this exclusive interview conducted by Kali, “Checkmate” touches on the heavyweight scene and even calls out a certain someone in the heavyweight division. Read on to see what Kali had to say, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: It has been nearly a year since the fight world has seen you in action, when can the fight fans expect a return from Kali Meehan?
Kali Meehan: I’m fighting on the Valuev versus Chagaev card on May 30th.
BH: In late 2007 you had the knockout victory over DaVarryll Williamson, I have to say it was a sensational one at that. Then you had just two fights in 2008, and have not fought since August of that year. Why the long lay off?
KM: Man, I have been hounding my promoter DKP for fights all the time, but sometimes I know it’s hard to put someone on from way over here in Australia, with the costs and so forth, and especially without a big fan base following me. But that said I believe the boxing fans in USA will get behind me if they can see me in action more. After the Brewster fight, I felt so honored to receive so many fans, also after the DaVarryll Williamson fight, it wasn’t televised, but many people told me they watched it on Youtube.
Also I know I was brought in to lose that fight given nine days notice, he was ranked number four. I took his ranking I got to number one in the WBA, which means I should be the mandatory challenger. I thought I would get the fight with Valuev, and then Holyfield got it, and then Ruiz got it! And now Ruiz has been made the mandatory challenger AGAIN, (damn) and he’s calling fighters out, I want that fight because I believe I should be fighting as the mandatory challenger.
BH: You are ranked #12 in the WBC, #1 in the WBA, and #9 in the IBF, but yet haven’t gotten the shot at another title, even going as far as being surpassed by the likes of David Haye and Nikolai Valuev. I know it has to be aggravating with all of this, but why do you feel that you have not gotten the shot, and do you honestly feel you will ever get the shot again?
KM: I can understand David Haye getting the shot at Klitschko, as he has money behind him, as well as unified the cruiserweight division, it will be an interesting fight between him and Wladimir Klitschko. Incidentally I am leaving for Cyprus tomorrow to spar with Haye for two weeks before my fight on May 30th.
As for Valuev I think the sideshow has been overplayed, and people have seen it for what it is, it's a circus, he’s not a fighter! He’s not a boxer! He throws three punches: a soft jab, a decent right, and a right uppercut. If and when he steps into the ring with me I will expose him. I will knock him out (at the same time I take my hat off to him for what he has done!).
BH: What are your thoughts on the current scene of the heavyweight division, and where do you stand amongst the crop?
KM: Everyone is complaining about the state of the heavyweight division, but actually it think has a lot of flavor and excitement to it. There is not a dominant standout like Lennox and Tyson were in their time, we can say VK but the both Klitschko’s are very beatable, if you make them fight!
I think the PROBLEM with the heavyweight division at the moment is not all the fighters’ fault, but more so the powers that be. Promoters and sanctioning bodies often put a stop to certain fights, as a loss will mean an end to their meal ticket. But it is a business I suppose. The sad thing is, this process can hurt the boxing fan, and also the future, very few young boys now want to be heavyweight champ when they grow up. They want to be in the NBA or NFL. I believe I can be Heavyweight Champ of the World, and if Valuev gets into the ring with me I will be.
BH: If you could have it your way, who would you step in the ring next with and why?
KM: If I can have it my way I will fight John Ruiz, because he has my mandatory shot. and then Valuev for the title. I would then love to try and unify against the winner of Klitschko and Haye, as the winner will be the biggest name in the heavyweight scene. But Ruiz will never fight me, I know this because my first sparring ever on American soil was with him, six years ago and I was handling him easy. I have improved a lot since then. Ruiz hasn’t changed!
BH: If you could send out a message to the fight world concerning Kali Meehan, what would you say?
KM: To the fight world, I say I’m looking forward to fighting on May the 30th, it has been a long struggle for me. I’m not sugar-coated like a lot of other fighters, I represent the working class man. I hold two jobs to support my family. So when I throw my punches, I throw them with every thing I got, as one punch landed can change my family’s life.
BH: Anything closing?
KM: Please support me in my bid to becoming Heavyweight Champion of the World. Thanks for reading.
Writer’s note: I would like to thank Anthony Cocks for helping out with this interview, and a thanks goes out to Kali Meehan for his time and thoughts.
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