Interview With Travis "Freight Train" Walker - "Samuel Peter Is Tailor-Made For Me!"
16.10.07 - by James Slater: Travis Walker was given the nickname of "Freight Train" by a reporter who had seen one of his earliest pro fights. The reporter was so impressed with Walker he wrote in his notes that the young heavyweight looked as though he went through his opponent just like a train. The nickname stuck. Now, with an unbeaten record of 25-0-1(19) the 28 year-old Walker is itching for his big chance at the top. In the meantime, Travis faces former amateur star T.J Wilson this Friday (October 19th) in Sacramento. After this fight, Travis, no slouch himself as an amateur, hopes to get a shot at a big fight.
Article posted on 17.10.2007
With training for the fight wrapped up, Travis very kindly gave this writer the following interview earlier today. Here is what the six foot four inch big guy had to say..
James Slater: Firstly, Travis, how has training gone for Friday's fight?
Travis Walker: Great. I've had two guys that have been giving me great work in camp.
J.S: Who is it you have been sparring with?
T.W: Raphael Butler and Roderick Willis have been sparring with me
J.S: And what weight do you plan on entering the ring at?
T.W: Oh, around 240, maybe 241. My last fight I was 235, so we decided to try a little heavier.
J.S: As you know, T.J Wilson is a big guy and a southpaw. Do you see any problems?
T.W: No, not really. As far as him being a southpaw, I've fought southpaws before. I also had about two months working with Sultan Ibragimov. I worked with him prior to his fight with Shannon Briggs. No, I don't see any problems with Wilson. I mean, I expect him to come at me and try to make a fight of it, but that will give me the opportunity to make it an early night.
J.S: Wilson was a great amateur, but what do you think of him as a pro?
T.W: Well, amateur is amateur and this is professional. I don't really have too much respect for any amateur champion. I've seen one of Wilson's pro fights, he's just a regular southpaw counter-puncher.
J.S: You were a good amateur too, right?
T.W: Yeah, I fought a lot of the top guys back then. Jason Estrada and George Garcia, they both beat me as amateurs but I've beaten both of them as a pro.
J.S: I was going to ask you, is the win over Estrada your best yet as a pro?
T.W: Yes, it is. But I actually won a small title [The IBA Americas Heavyweight Title] in my fight with Garcia, so that was a good win for me too. I know I didn't look great in that fight, but that was because he [Garcia] was so small [5,10"] and he was so much like an amateur, that made it a tough fight.
J.S: Do you have a timeframe in your mind as to when you'll step up and maybe fight for a world title?
T.W: We tried. My team and I tried to step in as the replacement for Oleg Maskaev when he pulled out of the Sam Peter fight. I'll fight anyone really, I think it's time to roll the dice right now. I'm just waiting for my chance, whenever it comes. My team feel I can do it and I feel I can do it.
J.S: Are you still with Goossen Tutor?
T.W: Yes, I've been with them right from the start of my pro career.
J.S: And who is your head-trainer?
T.W: Dwight Pratchett. He was a world class fighter himself. He was the first man to take Julio Cesar Chavez the distance in a world title fight.
J.S: Assuming you get past T.J Wilson okay, what next for you?
T.W: I leave all that to my promoter. I have faith in Dan Goossen.
J.S: If you could snap your fingers and get a shot at a world title, which champion would you choose?
T.W: Sam Peter. I feel he is tailor-made for me. With his style and my style I'm sure I could beat him.
J.S: I take it you're like all the other experts, though, and rate Wladimir Klitschko as the best of the current champs?
T.W: Yeah, I like him. He's got good foot-work and he punches real well. I respect him a lot.
J.S: It's been great speaking with you, Travis. For my final question, where do you see yourself in 12-18 months?
T.W: I'm nowhere near my peak yet really. I haven't been going that long compared to a lot of other guys. I've only been going for seven years, amateur and pro. I don't think I'll reach my peak for quite some time yet.
J.S: Well best of luck for the fight on Friday, and best wishes for the rest of your career.
T.W: Thank you.
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