|Travis Walker: “The win over Estrada was a good win, but it was nowhere close to me being my best!”
By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Nov 23, 2006) Photo © Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
Last Friday night on Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation, the fight world got a glimpse of the undefeated heavyweight prospect Travis Walker, 22-0-1 (17), while he got the nod over his former nemesis Jason Estrada, 7-1 (1), with an eight-round majority decision. Although this was the first meeting between the two as professionals, the two combatants had a rich history together as amateurs, with Estrada winning on all three occasions, but none of that seems of any significance anymore with this win.
Somebody’s ‘0’ had to go and it did and the “Freight Train” kept rolling on down the line by the scores of 76-76, 77-75 and 78-74. So where does Walker go from here? In this exclusive interview, the victor speaks on his recent victory over Estrada and what plans he has for the future. Enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Congratulations on your victory over Estrada. Do you feel that you’ve gotten that
‘monkey off your back’ so to speak?
Travis Walker: (Laughs) Oh yes, I did that.
BH: How much does this ‘W’ affect your mentality?
TW: Ah, it affects it a lot, man, because I know I am at another level right now and all my fights are going to get tougher and tougher so I have to work harder and harder.
BH: You got to showcase your talents on Showtime. Looking back, what grade would you give yourself on the win?
TW: I know it was a win but I would give myself probably a C- grade, man. I have seen myself at my best and that was not close to my best. I think it was a very ugly fight to be honest.
BH: You stated that a win over Jason could go two ways: One, you would get respect because of him being an Olympian. On the other side, you said people would say that you haven’t fought, in your own words, ‘nobody.’ Now that you have had a few days to let the win sink in, which is it?
TW: I beat an Olympian. Another thing I didn’t know, he was ranked in the NABO.
BH: Where do you go now? I mean a win over Estrada was a good one for your career, I believe, and at least a step up but many would say that it is time to fight a guy around your level of experience with at least the same amount of wins or close. Anything less would be a step back, do you believe so?
TW: Right now, I am going to step back because after that fight, I really saw that I have a lot of things that I need to work on. I am very green, so regardless of what other people feel, this is my career and I am going to take it in steps. If I am going to be the best, then I have to do what is best for me, and what is best for me is to work out some of kinks. I need to work on my technique, get behind my jab more. Those are some things I need to work out on and I cannot just jump up just because I beat somebody. I have to keep working to learn what I need to learn. Like all the fights that I took and everybody said that I haven’t fought anybody, all them fights I took was enough to learn to beat Jason Estrada. It might be enough to beat the next guy up, so I am going to take maybe two to three more work fights and then I will take another step up. Right now, I am going to work hard and study on my craft.
BH: After you do complete the work fights, is there anybody in particular you would like to step in with?
TW: To be honest, I would want Shannon Briggs.
BH: Oh, really?
TW: Yes, I want to fight him. Not right now, but after my two or the more fights, I would like to fight him. Shannon has real good punching power and (former WBO heavyweight titlist) Sergei (Liakhovich) was afraid of that, but I would not be scared of his power. I would be aggressive and I would wear him out. I know he would get tired so I would wear him out. That’s easy.
BH: So you believe after three or more fights, you would be ready for that level of competition?
TW: I’d be ready for him.
BH: Anything in closing?
TW: I just want to thank everybody that has supported me and keep supporting me, please. Thank you.
I’d like to once again thank Travis Walker for his time and thoughts.
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