By Ryan Burton
BoxingScene.com spoke to "Marvelous" Tarvis Simms (25-1) before his upcoming fight versus Willis Lockett (12-10). The fight takes place at The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on the Tomasz Adamek-Vinny Maddalone undercard later tonight. This is Simms' first fight since suffering his only pro defeat to Allan Green in October of 2009. Boxingscene spoke to Simms about his upcoming fight, his recent signing with Main Events and more in this exclusive interview.
BoxingScene.com: Give us your thoughts on your upcoming fight with Willis Lockett.
Tarvis Simms: I am excited that I am with a real promotion company now that is looking out for my best interests. Willis Lockett is stepping up and taking on the challenge and I haven't trained like this in years. I am just so motivated to get my career going again and to get my world rating back and hopefully fight for a world title in the near future.
BoxingScene.com: Do you know anything about Lockett? Have you seen him fight before?
Tarvis Simms: I saw a little bit of him. I have a general idea of how he fights but I am basically treating this like I did back in the amateur days. You just come prepared and I will listen to my trainer and find out his mistakes. Their job is to prepare me for it. I want to go in there expecting everything.
BoxingScene.com: You haven't fought in about 14 months when you lost to Allan Green. Why were you out of the ring so long? Was it just promotional issues?
Tarvis Simms: Yeah well basically it was like this...I was contacted by DiBella Entertainment and they gave me an offer of $30,000 to fight him (Allan Green) and I accepted but I told them that they needed to contact Star Boxing to make the fight and have them book it. (Joe) DeGuardia called me back maybe 45 minutes later and swore to God on his mother that he tried to fight to get me more money but that all they offered was $12500. Basically I called him out on it and he obviously was embarrassed that he got caught and this is the second time that he did this to me. So I fought and he made almost 10 grand for doing nothing but letting me fight. Basically what he tried to do was the same thing he does with all of his fighters. He uses them as opponents. I am definitely not an opponent.
BoxingScene.com: How do you feel since switching over to Main Events? Has your outlook changed?
Tarvis Simms: I tell you what, they are real professionals. What they say they are going to do is what they do. I know ahead of time what I am going to do. I have a schedule. I know when I am fighting. With DeGuardia you didn't get that. With Main Events it is a blessing in disguise. For all these years with my career I have been doing it on my own. I kind of felt like I was being disobedient to God and I had to take a back from the sport. I had to look at it for what it is. I am a born again Christian and I put it in God's hands now. I don't worry about things that I don't have control over. I put it in God's hands and when one door closes he opens up another one.
BoxingScene.com: This fight is basically a tune up since to shake off the ring rust. What are your long term plans for 2011 and beyond?
Tarvis Simms: I am definitely looking to make some noise. I want to give it to you people because I think the fans deserve it. The middleweight division is wide open and what it is missing is me. I should be there competing with these guys. I am telling you that I am very very talented and I just want to show the world what I can do even at age 39.
BoxingScene.com: Is there a time table for when Main Events wants to get you back in the ring after this fight?
Tarvis Simms: They are talking about maybe one more step up fight after this and then a world title. They asked me who I would like to go after and I said obviously that I want to go for Sergio Martinez. He is the premier guy in our weight division. I would definitely like to fight him. I think with my style it would be an attractive fight.
BoxingScene.com: What type of fight do you think you need after this fight for Martinez' promoter Lou DiBella to think you are a credible opponent for Martinez?
Tarvis Simms: It is not so much what type of win I would need because I am known in the sport. DiBella definitely knows who I am and those guys definitely know I can fight. I think that I have already made that mark by taking a fight with Allan Green on such short notice and I moved up in weight to 168 for that fight. Plus I put on a boxing clinic with Allan Green. I had the #4 rated super middleweight in the world and one of the most feared guys at super middleweight and I had him questioning himself throughout that fight. Allan knows if I had more time to prepare for that fight. If I had more time and was in shape I know for a fact I would have stopped Allan Green. I feel that I got a raw deal basically because I fought in his home state on his promoter's card and he was a Showtime fighter. The deck was stacked against me. I don't regret anything. I took the fight and I thank him for the opportunity and hopefully more will come.
BoxingScene.com: Do you have a message for the fans?
Tarvis Simms: Keep your eyes open for Marvelous Tarvis Simms. I am going to make some noise. You guys are going to see a middleweight rise really quickly. I am going to splash on the screen and take out everybody. I told Kathy Duva like this, you line them up and I will knock them down.
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