Heavyweight contender Lance Whitaker is eyeing the heavyweight division and his sights are set on World Boxing Organization champion Lamon Brewster for now. The thirty-two year old 6’8” towering giant - ranked WBA #4, IBF #6 and WBO #3 - holds wins over highly credible fighters like Monte Barrett by split decision, Robert Davis by second round knockout, and a massive knockout win over Oleg Maskaev in the second round for the WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title back in 2001. In December of the same year he lost that title by unanimous decision to Jameel McCline in a fight that Whitaker feels he wasn't properly trained for. With a new trainer and an extensive training regime the rising star is ready to set the division on fire and carve out a name for himself. A relativity unknown fighter, the power punching giant has the size and strength to pound his opponents into oblivion and knows that the road to the top isn’t easy, but it is a challenge he readily accepts. Whitaker feels that recognition will come with fighting the best the division has to offer, and in time he hopes to be the best. The big guy took the time out for the Doghouse and spoke candidly on his career and his future.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Do you have any news on your next bout or whom you may be fighting next?
Lance Whitaker: I am not sure who and where but I always try to stay in shape and I am number one mandatory for either the WBA or the WBO and we are just working on that right now.
BH: Your ranked #4 in the WBA, #6 in the IBF and #3 in the WBO, is there a particular belt that you would like to go after first or any fighter in particular?
LW: The WBO, I am looking forward to fighting Lamon Brewster.
BH: Looking at Brewster, do you see anything in his arsenal that might give you a problem?
LW: No, not at all, not one bit.
BH: What inspired you to want to lace up the gloves?
LW: The competition, it is a self-motivating sport, that is what inspired me is the one-on-one competition. It inspired to me to box and everything.
BH: Looking at your self what do you feel is your best quality as a fighter?
LW: My good looks. [Laughs] No I’m just kidding.
BH: [Laughs] Well I am going to be sure to put that in the interview.
LW: Everything man you know, I take a good punch and I am strong and I can punch hard and good combinations and a good defense, everything.
BH: Do you feel that you get the respect from the boxing world that you deserve?
BH: Why is that, do you know why?
LW: I don’t know, I mean once I get to become the heavyweight champion I will get the respect. I have been in there with some tough guys and obviously I won, I have fought some tough guys and credible guys and I just lost my head with McCline. So I do this so the boxing world will know that I am willing to go in there and fight and knock these guys out. And once I get into real good shape it will repeat itself over and over again.
BH: You are ranked #6 in the IBF and McCline will be facing Byrd for that belt on the 13th of this month. With you being ranked in this division there is a chance you could possibly challenge McCline for that belt if he wins it. You have fought McCline once already and lost, how would you approach the rematch, what would you do differently in this fight?
LW: I would be in better shape, I mean I trained really hard for that fight but this time I have a different trainer and I would train harder and beat his ass this time.
BH: What is you training regime?
LW: Running in the mornings and training in the afternoons and weight lifting at night and eating chicken and steak you know, just good food. I trained hard for the McCline fight but I didn’t train correctly. I trained very hard for that fight; there are no excuses on for that fight. I just have to train harder, train better and train smarter.
BH: Out of your career so far can you give us one of your most memorable moments in the ring?
LW: Shoot, a couple of them on HBO. I beat Maskaev and Robert Davis. I guess Maskaev because my son was in the hospital fighting for his life so I really had something to work for.
BH: Did you use that circumstance for motivation for the fight or fight to get it off your mind?
LW: Yes and no, but I mean I train hard and I trained hard for that fight. My son was having some problems and I was thinking about my son but you know I went in there and took care of business like I always do.
BH: You have beaten Monte Barrett and Oleg Maskaev, so what do you plan to accomplish in the near future?
LW: To be heavyweight champion of the world, to fight Lamon Brewster or John Ruiz, I want one of those guys, and get other belts and defend it.
BH: You said that there is nothing in Lamon Brewster’s arsenal that concerns you. If you were to fight him how would you approach that fight, what would be your keys to victory?
LW: My key to victory is to walk him down and beat them down.
BH: Who were your boxing heroes growing up?
LW: One was George Foreman and that is about it.
BH: Looking at the heavyweight division now, some say that the division is weak and it isn’t what it could be. What are your thoughts on the division and its champions?
LW: It is pretty weak you know. There are a lot of the guys that are the so-called champions that are not doing anything or fighting anybody. Everything is weak.
BH: Well what do you bring to this division?
LW: Some awesome stuff, I’ll go in there and show them a whole different breed of fighting and knock these guys out.
BH: There are some heavyweight title matches coming up with Golota-Ruiz, McCline-Byrd and Klitschko-Williams. Do you have any thoughts on those match-ups? You could be possibly facing some or one of these guys in the future with your rankings in the division. Do you see any belt changes in these fights?
LW: I don’t have any predictions; a lot of these guys shouldn’t even be fighting for the belt.
BH: How would you define yourself as fighter and a person out of the ring?
LW: You know they are going to be very surprised when they see me fight or get in the ring with me. They are going to be very surprised with the intensity and the punching power and things like that.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add to this?
LW: Just tell the WBO and the WBA so-called champions that I am coming to knock their ass out, and when they get in the ring with me they are going to see. They will think I am soft or whatever but you look at my record and the guys that I have fought, I have been in there with some of the best and I took their punches and never have been knocked out. So watch it because I am coming in good shape and will be ripped and they are going to see what it is all about, give me a chance and they are going to see.
I would like to thank Mario Serrano for setting up this interview for me. I would also like to say thanks to Lance for taking the time out for the fans.
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