Calvin Brock: The unknown heavy
Interview with undefeated heavyweight prospect Calvin Brock
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr. (November 3, 2004)
Heavyweight prospect Calvin Brock seems to have it all: the skills, the size and strength along with a solid manager in Jim Thomas and a big time promoter in Main Events and an undefeated record to boot. But the one thing the Boxing Banker doesn’t have or shall I say isn’t getting is the TV time or the exposure you would think a 22-0 (18) hard-hitting heavyweight would be getting. The twenty-nine year old former Olympian doesn’t let the lack of exposure slow him or his career down as he continues to rack up the wins and leaves a path of opponents and ringside spectators in awe. He has been on NBC and fought on the under card of Gatti-Ward III where he destroyed Jim Strohl in the first round, but that is about it. He wants more, he wants the boxing world to know his name and his face, so get ready for him to show it. Hopefully in the future he will get the publicity he asks and works so hard for. The explosive heavyweight has stopped five of his opponents in one round and looks to make a big showing if given the stage to showcase his talents. Brock is a devoted Christian who believes that his time will come and when it does, all will know the name Calvin Brock. Doghouse caught up with the future heavyweight star while he was in Jameel McCline’s training camp helping McCline get ready for his bout against Chris Byrd on November 13th. The heavyweight wasn’t at a loss of words when it came to his thoughts on his career so far along with his future. Here is how it went.
Benny Henderson Jr.: How have the sparring sessions with Jameel McCline been going?
Calvin Brock: It is going great for both of us, getting him ready for his championship bout against Chris Byrd and my next bout on November 14th that is supposed to be in Denver, Colorado, against I don’t know who, but you know how it is, until you sign the contract it is not a done deal. I was supposed to have fought last Friday but it was cancelled because my opponent couldn’t pass the physical.
BH: You are undefeated with twenty-two wins with eighteen by the way of knockout. Why don’t you get the TV time or publicity as other fighters do with your kind of record?
CB: My dad and I was talking about that today and I don’t know man. It is coming that’s all I can tell ya, we have been working it.
BH: Do you feel the lack of exposure is hindering your career in any kind of way?
CB: I don’t even look at it like that, I look at it like this: everything is according to God’s timing. When I made it to the top in the amateurs it took a long time to get there but once I got to the top I stayed at the top. God is going to exalt me so when I make it to the top in the pros I am going to be well developed and I am going to stay at the top the same way we saw Holyfield do and Lennox Lewis do. I want to get up there and not fall back down. I am going to be the great champ that everybody is looking for and I am developing so when I get there I am going to take the whole division over so it is all going to work out. I am going to give God all the glory out of it because it is all according to his timing that is how I look at it. In the meantime he is supplying my needs, I am keeping busy and developing and learning, I am able to pay all my bills and have a good time so I can’t complain about anything because me day is coming.
BH: Out of your career so far is there a fight or moment that you are proud of?
CB: Yes, it was probably my fourteenth or fifteenth professional bout when I knocked out Jim Strohl in Atlantic on the Arturo Gatti versus Mickey Ward undercard, I think it was their third fight, but I knocked him out and I was real proud of that win. Also I am proud of my ten round victory win on NBC, I wished I could have won by a knockout but I am still proud of my win.
BH: To the ones who doesn’t know Calvin Brock or have ever seen you fight, how would you define yourself as a fighter?
CB: A boxer, a puncher, I tend to move around. I like to punch on the outside until I get on the inside then I get on the inside and I go to work.
BH: You have been open with your Christian faith, how does your faith in God play a part in your career?
CB: Well for one thing he is the one who called me to box. When I got saved and was born again I was about six years old I asked God what he wanted me to do with my life and what was the purpose of my life, it was to box so I could be famous and make a lot of money and let his light shine through me and proclaim his name and finance the gospel with the money that I’d be making. That is why all my needs have been supplied and my dreams came true with going to the Olympics that is why I am blessed with my promoter. There are a lot of boxers out here that could be champion but don’t have the right team together, God has always should me that I don’t need to count on me I just need to count on him and he will supply all my needs, that is the biggest thing right there.
BH: You are the only member in your family to lace up the gloves, how did your parents react to you wanting to box?
CB: Well I first asked to box when I was eight, and my family wasn’t actually too happy with it. My Mom was like NO; my Dad was like why you want to be a boxer when it’s a long shot career and the chances at making it as a boxer are really very slim. But I kept on begging and they finally let me box at the age of ten, and when I went in to the gym the coach told me to come back at age twelve because he felt like I was too young. So I waited till then and at age twelve it started and it has been going on since then. After six months when my dad found out I wasn’t getting the training that I was needing he took over and ordered a boxing instructional tape and worked with me at the house as well as going with me at the gym.
BH: You have any heroes in the sport of boxing?
CB: Well no, but when I think of a boxer that really influenced me a lot I think of Evander Holyfield. Because it took him a long time make it to the top as an amateur like I did, and then as a smaller heavyweight he has conquered a lot of the goals and titles and made the kind of money that I would like to make in the heavyweight division.
BH: Well let me ask your opinion on Holyfield since you look up to him and all. Do you think he should still be in the ring, does he have anything left, or do you think he is going to get hurt?
CB: I think he still has something left and I hope he doesn’t get hurt, but I think that he should retire because he has accomplished everything that you could actually accomplish in boxing. He is a four-time heavyweight champion of the world and has been the undisputed heavyweight champion, so what else is there to prove to the world? He is probably trying to prove something to himself, but the boxing fans aren’t interested in seeing him anymore because his season has come and gone. There comes a time when you have to let other people come and take over, so I think he should step aside and put his time and energy into something else.
BH: I read in another interview you did before you stated that out of all the top heavyweights right now you thought that James Toney was the best, and you stated that he could beat Vitali Klitschko and so on, can you explain your reasoning behind that?
CB: Yeah I think James Toney is the most skilled heavyweight out there, I feel with his sound fundamentals and his experience that he is able to handle any heavyweight out there. Because there aren’t many heavyweights out there that are fundamentally talented the way he is, he fights at a different pace since he came from the middleweight division so he fights at a middleweight pace in the heavyweight division. He comes in great shape and I think that is why he is still winning. He dominated Evander and then he dominated his last fight against Rydell Booker, and Booker is a decent boxer but he had nothing for James Toney. It would definitely take a good fundamental, in-shape boxer to beat Toney, and right now he can hang with the best and beat the best out the right now. I am not including myself as one of the boxers that I think he can beat; I think I will beat James Toney because I am a fundamental sound boxer and I am younger, bigger and I am stronger and I get into the ring in shape. But he is definitely one of the best guys and I have done a lot of studying on his boxing matches. Anytime you take a real fundamentally sound boxer such as the way Joe Louis was, strictly not the flashy but fundamental sound boxer that does a lot of right things such as James Toney too. You can look at those type of guys ad make them look beatable but they are doing so many smart things that if you are real knowledgeable with the fundamentals of boxing then you will see why these guys keep on winning because those guys are doing all the correct things.
BH: What do you feel your best quality is as a fighter?
CB: My best quality is that I adjust to styles really well. Styles beats boxers. Lou Duva is the first person I ever heard say that, and that is the truth. You have a lot of boxers that are one-dimensional and the box somebody that doesn’t know how to beat that style and they don’t have a problem. But when they do find somebody that can beat their style they get beat, and I don’t get beat because I am able to adjust to styles.
BH: Is there anybody in particular that you would like to step in the ring with?
CB: You know what, no. I really don’t care whomever God wants me to get into the ring with that is whom I will get in to the ring with. I know that will be the best opponent at the right time that will market me the most and propel my career. I can’t call it; it doesn’t matter if you call somebody out this day and time. I can’t call out any of Don King’s fighters because I can’t box any of his boxers unless I am signed with Don King or a number one contender. So my mind doesn’t even think like that.
BH: What is your main goal for the next year?
CB: Well, I can possibly be and I mean possibly be on the January HBO co-main opener for Arturo Gatti against Jessie James Leija, that would be great. After that I could maybe do something in March on HBO or ESPN in April, but I can only look at the first quarter right now and hopefully the year will start off with me being on television. I thought I would already have been on HBO about a year-and-a-half ago now, but I haven’t been on there yet. It is all going to happen for me I know it. People always tell me that I am just a few fights away from it so people can see it and feel it coming.
BH: How do you think the fans will react when they finally get a good look at Calvin Brock?
CB: Well that is all up to me, I have to make them react like “wow, this guy is going to be the next great champ”. I have to get in there and pretty much knock somebody out impressively, but it is coming.
I would like to thank Doug Robertson for helping me with this interview. I would like to give a big shout out to Calvin Brock for his time and thoughts, I had a good one.
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