Heavyweight Skipp "Strictly Business" Scott (16-1, 10 KOs), and his promoter, Kerry Daigle of Keeppunching Entertainment, sat down for an interview today about Scott's upcoming nationally televised showdown.
The 6' 8" Scott, of Houston, Texas, is in the final stages of training to meet fellow up-and-coming prospect Gerald "El Gallo Negro" Washington (11-0, 8 KOs) in the 10-round co-main event on Thursday, April 3, when Golden Boy Live! presents "Night Of The Heavyweights," a tripleheader of heavyweight action on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes, from the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
In the 10-round main event, unbeaten Cuban Luis Ortiz will take on long-time top contender and world-title challenger Monte Barrett and, in the televised opener, 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic "Trouble" Breazeale will face veteran Nagy Aguilera.
Scott and Daigle are completely convinced the fight against Washington, in which they are being brought in as the "opponent", will turn out to be Scott's introduction to the boxing world. Daigle calls it a "miscalculation" on Golden Boy's part to put their fighter in against his man. Scott says he will there that night to "seek and destroy."
Skipp, how have preparations gone for this fight?
I've had over 60 rounds of sparring and we are coming down to the fine-tuning right now. My conditioning is excellent and I'm ready for 10-12 rounds. My strength is improving every week. We have prepared exceptionally well for Washington's style. I'm just ready to fight and anxious to make a statement.
You mentioned you feel disrespected by the publicity leading up to this fight, why is that?
Yes, I do. In looking at the publicity and posters on Golden Boy Promotions site, all you see is the 'local' guys. It's as if they are just going through the motions and bringing in opponents that aren't going in to compete. That is totally disrespectful. My promoter, Keeppunching Entertainment, has never disrespected a boxer and always given them their props.
All I can say that has motivated me to go out and 'seek and destroy' and I plan on putting this 6' 8" 270-pound frame in full gear to deliver a message. I haven't lost in seven years and lost my pro debut by decision to a guy that was on the verge of knockout when the bell rang. I feel they underestimated me in making this fight for several reasons. One, I lost my pro debut to the guy Washington just fought and controversially stopped on his feet... That wasn't a knockout.
Second, I haven't fought in a year but I have lived in the gym looking for this opportunity. This fight was scheduled three other times and was called off for various reasons.
Third, I've been dropped before, big deal. It's still a big mistake on their part. Getting knocked down is one thing, getting up and winning is another. We'll see what happens to Washington when he gets cracked. And when he goes down, if he will get up.
What do you think of Washington as a fighter? What do you see in him?
He looks good physically, but I don't see anything special. He's a football player/athlete. I'm a boxer/athlete. That is the first difference. He has a decent right hand against opposition that didn't want to be there and hasn't fought anyone that is really going to fight back and can punch with him. I don't plan on this going 10 rounds. We have a great battle plan. He will be in places in the ring that will test him to see if he really wants to be a boxer. I'm not going anywhere. This is the first opponent he's faced that is coming to win... and win big.
This is your first big TV showcase, any extra nerves?
No, not at all. The nerves are when you are fighting in your hometown. This is going to be fun - no stress - the pressure will be on Washington.
Kerry, how did you meet Skipp?
Actually, I had a light-heavyweight professional working out and training in Houston, a former winner of several national championships as an amateur, with over 250 fights, that knows boxing. He called me every day for a week telling me about this giant in the gym that was working out and wanting to change over from a kickboxing career (85-5) to a boxing career and turn professional.
He kept telling me to come look at this guy, Skipp. I traveled to Houston, liked what I saw, and put him in a pro debut which he lost by decision and was dropped. I saw this guy (Skipp) 'get back up' and pummel his opponent but too late to get the decision. His heart and desire to win captured me.
Being in boxing 40 years plus you can always find someone that can punch and throw a lot of punches, but when you see a guy get dropped and get fierce and stronger - you can't teach that and I was right. He went on to win his next 16 fights and learned the game and became a great student. I was right then and I'm right now with this match. It's a perfect match for us. It's Skipp's mental strength that is his biggest asset.
Tell me about the decision to take this fight. Obviously they think they're bringing you in as an opponent. What makes you think your man can pull off this upset?
Of course they are, but in reality Washington is the opponent. He has NEVER faced anyone that is going to fight him hard; someone bigger than him, taller than him and in tremendous condition that can take your head off, or outbox you. He's never fought anyone close to Skipp Scott and I believe this fight is about 7-10 fights too early for Washington.
Washington is not ready. We know what we are facing. We saw the last fight and how he stopped his last opponent. That was not a stoppage. He's going to have to do much better than that to beat Skipp and that won't happen. It's STRICTLY BUSINESS time! This is NOT going to be an upset. It's going to be a win. You could call it a miscalculation on their part. I'm loving the fight and so do all the cornermen we are working with.