|Malcolm Tann: “Yo Chris Arreola, let’s go ahead and get it on and settle this in the ring!”
INTERVIEW by Benny Henderson Jr (Feb 7, 2007) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Mary Ann Owen)
The last time Doghouse Boxing spoke to the heavyweight prospect Malcolm Tann, former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko had just earned that strap, Super Bowl XLI MVP Peyton Manning led his Indianapolis Colts to a 12-4 record but was whipped by the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional playoff game, and Tann himself had just avenged his first loss to veteran Willie Chapman and was heading to Houston, Texas to square off against Louisianan Andrew Greeley.
A lot has happened in the past two and a half years, Klitschko retired, now is expected to return to try to recapture his former crown, Manning led the Colts to a 29-17 victory over Tann’s team the Chicago Bears, and Tann himself with twelve more fights under his belt has a new perspective of this boxing game.
Tann, a six year Air Force veteran who earned the 2002 super heavyweight national golden gloves stepped in the pro ranks in November of that year, Tann went 8-0 before dropping a gut wrenching split decision loss to all around journeyman Willie Chapman. Picking back up on the winning trail Tann fought on and got revenge on Chapman. Tann had wins over Innocent Otukwu (TKO 2), Leroy Childs (KO 2) and in a stellar performance only the ringside fight fans witnessed he defeated Derek Bryant (UD 8).
With a busted eardrum, busted ankle and injured elbow Tann fought out a grueling six rounds to fall to defeat to Dominick Jenkins. So after surgery and being fully recovered from his injuries the Arizonian has tallied up six consecutive victories, four ended via knockout, but even with his recent success Tann has flown under the radar, but now ‘The Showstopper’ is remerging and ready to hit it hard in 2007. He was set to square off this Friday night on ESPN against Chris Arreola, but that fight went south for various reasons (which will be explained in the interview), so now Tann will stare down the 6’5” Cuban Damien Norris on February 22nd and hopefully in the near future settle things in the ring with ‘The Nightmare’ Chris Arreola.
In this exclusive interview Malcolm speaks out on his proposed yet declined bout against Chris Arreola, as well as his career and what’s in store for 2007, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Hey Malcolm, well the last time we spoke it was July of 2004, you were my seventh interview for Doghouse Boxing, you were coming off avenging your loss against Willie Chapman and was preparing to head to Houston, TX to face Andrew Greeley. You know a lot of time has went by and a lot has happened since that point and time, just give us your thoughts on your career and the past two and a half years, to be exact, how would you describe it?
Malcolm Tann: My thoughts on my career up to this point, I am at a good point in my career to make a career step, because it is all about blood and guts for me now. I am at the pointing my career either I am going to make it to the top or maybe I need to change my career field, because I am not going to be second tier in anything that I do in life. From now on you just name the names and I am going to give them the game, that’s how it is with me.
BH: Well again looking back on the past events, the ups and downs, etcetera, what have you learned about the business of boxing and even more so what have you learned about yourself?
MT: What I’ve learned about myself is that I am a real strong dude. The business of boxing is like you can be hot one minute and everybody loves you and you have all kinds of fans, people want to be up in your mix but if anything goes wrong or a little minor set back everybody jumps off the bandwagon and you are a has been and you had some many doubters that you didn’t even know you had.
BH: There is a fight coming up on ESPN this Friday night in Seldon, NY, the undefeated heavyweight Chris Arreola will be fighting Michael Carr, rumor has it you accepted the fight to face off against Arreola, can you tell the Doghouse what went down in that transaction, and why aren’t you the one Arreola is facing?
MT: I guess it was something dealing with his management or maybe he didn’t feel like he was going to be in shape at the beginning of the year for that type of fight, but I had dedicated myself over the holidays, I didn’t go home for Christmas break or anything like that. I am down here training getting ready like I am fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world because that is the fight that I want, that is the fight I am feeling Deon Warwick about. I mean like styles make fights and he is the perfect style for me and a victory over him will put me where I need to be.
BH: So if you had a message to send out to Chris and know that he would read it what exactly would you say to him?
MT: Let’s just man up, if you consider yourself a real prospect which I do, let’s go ahead and get it on and settle it in the ring and either you go to the front of the class or I go to the front of the class.
BH: Now to the business at hand, you are facing off against Damien Norris February 22nd in California, he’s a tall wiry fighter from what I’ve seen of him, what can you tell us about him and what fight plan do you plan on using against your opponent?
MT: I can’t really tell you to much about him, my manager and trainer have seen the guy fight, I guess I’ll have to go in there and adapt when I get in the ring because I’ve had numerous amounts of fight now to the point is where I have to get in the ring and within a round or two I can figure the guys out. What I do is get myself in the best possible shape go in there believe in myself and my abilities and know that I am going to go in there and win the fight.
BH: This might be a brainless question, but with the heat between you and Arreola you know, Chris stopped Damien in the fourth round in Norris’s last fight are you coming into this fight thinking to yourself that you have to make a strong statement by getting this guy out quicker than Arreola did or does it really matter?
MT: It doesn’t really mater to me I am going to come out and have an impressive performance because that is simply who I am that is what I like to do. I don’t like to go into a fight and not give it my all. I just go in and focus on Malcolm Tann and doing what I do and if I do that it is going to come out good.
BH: Now that you are fully healed up and recovered what plans do you and your team have for 2007?
MT: Like I said it is all about blood and guts, I am looking to get in the top ten this year, I am looking to put some names on my resume to get me where I need to be to get to the title.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add to or say in closing of this interview?
MT: All I really have to say is Malcolm Tann is coming hard in ’07!
I would like to thank Steve Munisteri for setting up this interview, and a thanks goes out to Malcolm Tann for his time and thoughts.
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