By Ben Jacobs
Few fighters in the sport of boxing are more straight-talking than Amir Mansour.† The Delaware-based heavyweight will finally have the chance to show what he can do against a name opponent in front of a nationwide audience when he faces Steve Cunningham on April 4.
Mansour may be unknown to the wider public, but hardcore fans are aware of his abilities and some view him as the best American hope for a heavyweight champion of the world in the near future.
Speaking from an undisclosed location where he has set up training camp, Mansour spoke on a number of subjects including his upcoming bout with Cunningham, Bryant Jennings, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
BoxingScene.com: How pleased are you that you will have the chance to show your talent against a respected name like Steve Cunningham?
Iím very pleased, man.† My hat goes off to him for having the courage to fight me.† A lot of guys donít want to fight me and after a little negotiation he said, Ďletís make it happen.í† Itís going down April 4.
BoxingScene.com:† Do you know him on a personal level?
Of course, Philadelphiaís not that huge.† Steve Cunningham has made a name for himself by being in the cruiserweight division and by stepping up to the heavyweight division, so itís going to be a great experience for me, a catapult.† Iíve finally got someone in front of me that has all the bells and whistles, and at the same time this guy can fight, he knows what heís doing in that ring.† So Iím going to come in on my A game and do what I usually do.
Me and Steve Cunningham is a good fight for the heavyweight division, itís a fight a lot of people are anticipating.† It gives him a chance to show that he deserves to be in the division and gives me a chance to prove what I say time after time after time, that I am Americaís only hope to bring that world title back across the shores.† Thatís what I want to display every time.† I want people to look at me and say, Ďthis guy can beat a Klitschko.í† That is what I want to display in the ring, with my tenacity and resilience.† I will fight as if my life is on the line.† A lot of these guys arenít ready to risk their lives in there.† I donít have any quit in me, Iím relentless.† The type of training Iím doing now, this is the first camp Iím doing for a fight in 20 fights, this is my first training camp so you can only imagine what kind of shape Iíll be in and the fury Iím going to unleash on April 4.
BoxingScene.com:† Are you training in the Philadelphia area?
Iím training somewhere nice and warm; Iím out there as I speak to you in 80 degrees.† Itís snowing a lot up in the Philadelphia area and thatís interfering with training and transportation so I donít want to take any chances going into this fight.† Iíve packed my bags and taken off to my training to camp where the weatherís nice and I can get in really good shape.
BoxingScene.com: Do you feel your power will be the difference in this fight?
Iím not going in there banking on my power; Iím going in there using speed, footwork and angles.† I bring so much to the table, thereís so much I can do in the ring, itís not just my power, itís my overall ability to fight and then on top of that I hit like Mike Tyson.† Do I think he can withstand my pressure?† No.† I donít think any man on this planet can withstand it.
You can hit a guy and daze him or you can render him senseless, and thatís what Iíve been doing.† These guys donít get up and if they do you can tell theyíre really hurt.† That just comes from precision punching, making sure the punches land in the right place.† When I connect Iím moving my whole arm a certain way and being precise and accurate, thatís why I get the type of knockouts that I get.
Do you think you might fight Tyson Fury later in the year if you win on April 4 considering he beat Cunningham?
Tyson Fury is not going to fight me, just like Tomas Adamek wonít fight.† There are a few guys out there that have been adamant they wonít fight me.† Theyíre very serious about not fighting.† Adamek is one of them.†† I thought he was a warrior, you know, but heís been ducking me for the longest.† But I think youíll see me and Adamek fight before me and Fury.†
He [Fury] canít take my punch, I donít think heís a good fighter either.† The fact that his glass chin is so suspect and so huge, they donít want to take a chance with a puncher like me.
BoxingScene.com: Considering that Wladimir Klitschko is fighting another boxer who the public are unaware of, do you feel like you should be getting a shot against him soon?
I canít take anything away from the Klitschkos.† Everybody they put in front of them they demolish, man.† A lot of these heavyweights over here think they deserve another title shot but when they went over there they got their butts whipped, didnít even put up a good fight, all of a sudden two or three fights later theyíre going to beat this guy?†† Bull crap.† I understand you have to try to make money.† [Wladimir] Klitschko has fought everybody they put in front of him.† Heís fighting mandatories, or they give him someone to pick and choose.† Heís a very big guy, he knows what heís doing and heís dominating his division.† But at the same time, heís got a suspect chin too.† Of course, I will chin check him.† He probably doesnít want to take a risk with somebody like me.† I look at it like this, I can beg these guys to fight me all I want, my strategy is to get every big fight I can get, win impressively, and become a mandatory to whoever has a belt.† I feel thatís the only way Iíll get a title shot; otherwise these guys will run from me as long as they can.
BoxingScene.com: Could you go down the WBC route to fight the winner of Bermane Stiverne Ė Chris Arreola?
I would love to fight the winner, the only one that should be fighting for a world title is Stiverne, I mean he beat Arreola up.† He deserves a shot.† I donít know how Arreola got back in the mix of things.† A lot of these guys already fought for the title, went and got their butts whipped, now theyíre recycled and theyíre trying to fight for the title again.† Theyíre just a bunch of recycled, wannabe champions.† They had their chance.† We canít even line up three American heavyweights who fought for the world title in the last five years that truly went over there and gave it their all.† These guys, as soon as war starts coming, they break like little girls, they break down like little girls, take a knee and let the ref count them out.
BoxingScene.com: Do you see yourself fighting another local fighter who is on the world scene such as Bryant Jennings?
Yeah Iíll probably fight Bryant Jennings one day and Iím sure heíll say yes to the same question, but me and Bryant know our worth, youíre not going to put me and Bryant in the ring for a couple thousand dollars and the winner only gets bragging rights.† The winner should get at least a top three spot or a mandatory title shot, for that type of fight.† We will get it on, so you can best believe the winner will have some type of gift or bonus of going away to a world title shot.
Boxing fans have to stop supporting these recycled heavyweight fights, in fact they already have.† You had Klitschko and David Haye fighting and it wasnít even a PPV event over here in America, and it was the first time in history where there were two world heavyweight champions and it wasnít even on PPV, so thatís how boring these guys have made this division.† These guys in the lower weights are dominating PPVs.† Klitschko would fight Jennings or Wilder but he wonít fight me.† Wilder ainít got no chin, he ainít fought nobody.† You look at my record and guys that Iíve beat up, theyíre winning fights now.
Iíve beat guys with high knockout ratios, I didnít fight a bunch of bums.† Wilder fought a bunch of truck drivers and lawnmower men, he ainít fought real fighters.† Malik Scott will whoop his ass, you heard that from me.† Heís gonna beat Wilder up.† He has no chin.† Heís tall, has a nice reach, he can hit pretty good but heís not ready for me.† Anybody over 6í4, more than 200lbs should be able to knock guys out!† I donít even like Wilderís name mentioned in the same sentence as mine.