By Ryan Burton
BoxingScene.com spoke to rising prospect Cerresso Fort (10-0) as he winds down his preparations for his May 20th fight versus Tim Taggart (5-2-2). The 25 year old undefeated middleweight prospect talks about the keys to victory, his layoff from boxing, his future plans and more in this exclusive interview.
BoxingScene.com: Tell us about your upcoming fight versus Tim Taggart.
Cerresso Fort: I got a fight on Friday May 20th. It is like my first fight all over again. I haven't fought in almost a year now. I can't wait to fight. I fight Tim Taggart. I don't know much about Tim Taggart. I just want to go in there and put on a good fight for the crowd.
BS: You mentioned your time off. Why have you been out of the ring so long?
CF: There are a lot of reasons. Part of it was I was just trying to improve in boxing. I put myself in a period where I was trying to get better at boxing. Part of it was family issues which was the really big reason. I lost my uncle Kerry Fort. He passed away in a motorcycle accident and before that my brother got shot 14 times. My little brother is 15 years old and got shot 14 times. I didn't have the real focused needed to focus in on the fights. I would have fought if I had to but I had a lot going on in my life.
BS: How do I ask this. You mentioned your brother was shot 14 times. Did he survive that?
CF: Yes he did. He is 16 now. He made it. I just got off the phone with him. He is doing good. He is 16 and he likes to tell me that he is going to beat me up in sparring. He is walking and he is playing basketball. He is like, 'I can't wait to get out there and kick your butt at basketball and in sparring.' God is great. It is a blessing. In my last fight my uncle rapped me into the the ring. He rapped his song that he liked singing as I entered the ring. It was pretty cool. That was my last fight last year in Minnesota and now he passed away and he was only 27 years old. He died in a motorcycle accident. That really hurt. I opened my own boxing gym and he was on his way to get the rental car so he could drive out from Springfield, Illinois to come out and check out my gym in Minnesota for the grand opening. He got hit by a car. The car threw him off the motorcycle. In all reality God is great. I just have to keep working hard and keep him in my path. I have to bring my uncle along with me. When I win he wins. When I shine he shines. This isn't the first time I have lost someone. I lost my best friend when I was 20 years old as well.
BS: Does all of that tragedy fuel you when you are in the gym? Does it make you want to succeed even more?
CF: Yes sir. It makes me work even harder. It reminds me that tomorrow isn't promised to me and I have to leave it all on the line every time I am in the ring or in training. I just have to be appreciative of today and of life in general, not just while boxing. Boxing is a part of my life and a part of me so I try to give it all that I got.
BS: Assuming you get the win on Friday that will bring your record to 11-0 and shake some of the rust off after your layoff. What is your plan for after this fight?
CF: I just want to stay on the path and fight whoever is in my way. They line them up and I knock them down like bowling. My goal is to be a world champion. Who ever is in my path, who ever gets in my way, I have to take them out.
BS: When do you think you will be ready for a title shot? Do you think you need about 20 fights first?
CF: Ideally I would say about another good two years. I get about 4 or 5 or 6 fights a year so estimating that I would say about 19 or 20 fights and I should be ready. I don't want to bite off more than I can handle. I also understand that I am a good fighter but I want to become great. I have to take the time and improve in the gym and get better and better. I am learning every day. I try to get 1% better everyday. That has been my goal since I started in the sport when I was young.
BS: You said you haven't seen much on your opponent Tim Taggart. Is the plan for you to get in the ring and implement your game plan and force him to adjust to you?
CF: I am just going to go in there and fight a smart, strategic type of fight. I want to fight real smart in there. We are playing chess and not checkers in there.
BS: Do you have a message for the fans?
CF: I just want to say that anyone who is behind Team Cerresso Fort is on the right team. I am going to try to take it to the top. I am all about winning. When I am in the ring you better believe it is going to be an electric fight. Win, lose or draw we are going to give it all we got. When I step in the ring I leave it all on the line.
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