Exclusive Interview with Monte Barrett - "I'm Going To Beat The Hell Out Of David Haye In November!"
by James Slater - Only a couple of hours after his big fight with David Haye was announced, heavyweight contender Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett, 34-6(20) very kindly granted this writer an over-the-phone interview from his home. Upbeat and extremely confident-sounding, the 37-year-old who had been hoping he'd land the November fight with Haye ever since his awesome June destruction of the big Tye Fields, was a pleasure to speak with. Here are Monte's answers to my questions.
Article posted on 26.09.2008
James Slater: Firstly, Monte, congratulations on getting the fight you wanted with David Haye. Did you always think you'd get it, or did you think Haye would fight someone else instead?
Monte Barrett: First let me say thank you for congratulating me on getting the fight, and there will be congratulations for me, not just for getting the fight, but after I win it.
It looked shaky at one point, and I thought I had better tell my team and my promoter to start looking at other avenues, which they did. I thought Haye was just hype and not really sure of himself, but I kept the faith and I kept my focus and now, for whatever strange reason, he's taken the fight. I'm looking forward to coming over to England, I like the British fans and I know I have fans over there. This fight is an early Christmas present for me.
J.S: When will you start intense training for the fight?
M.B: I'm in training already. I'm 221-pounds right now and I'll come in at around 215-217 for the fight. I'm always in the gym. I don't abuse myself - I don't eat junk food and I don't do drugs. I look after myself. After the Tye Fields fight, where "Big Sky" ended up looking at the sky, I had one week off training, where I spent time with my kids - then I was right back in the gym. As for intense training, that will start on Monday, after my trainer Jimmy Glenn comes back from working the Shane Mosley fight on Saturday. I must say, right now, I'm in the best possible place I can be in my life. My relationship with my Dad and my kids is real good and I don't have any debts to worry about. My attitude is really good, I'm at a place where I'm hungry and I have a desperate attitude [to win fights]. It's called desperate measures. I'm going to beat the hell out of this guy come November!
J.S: Who will you be sparring with for Haye?
M.B: I'll get two strong guys, that's all I need. I have two good guys in mind. I actually boxed - I don't call the guys I box with sparring partners, they are fighters working with me and trying to help me get ready for a fight - yesterday. I was sparring with a Golden Gloves winner from last year. I hadn't been throwing my right hand at all, I was just using my left, but as soon as I threw the right one time I knocked him out. I felt bad about it as he's a friend, but he said to me, 'Monte, you're punching stronger and you're faster than ever." I can tell you, Haye is in a whole lot of trouble.
J.S: David Haye's manager/trainer, Adam Booth, said you are a guy who beats prospects, and that you are desperate and dangerous. Clearly they know how dangerous you are, but they've taken the fight with you. Have they made a big mistake?
M.B: I don't want to scare anybody, you know a fight is only a definite when we're both in the ring. I don't want David Haye hurting his ankle or something like that and getting scared away. But they have made a mistake, yes. But Haye has to show up, I'll be there and he better be.
J.S: Most people, the fans, seem to think it will be a short fight. Do you agree?
M.B: Yes, if the fans say it. I think it will be a short, explosive fight, and I will win inside 3 rounds. But if the fight goes past 3 rounds, Haye may have to retire from boxing because the beating he'll get will be so brutal. As I say, I'm starving and he's in real trouble. The last guy to knock him out (Carl Thompson) had a similar record to mine at 34-6 ( Thompson was actually 32-6), and he was a cruiserweight and he knocked him out. Now what's he going to do with a real heavyweight? Someone who's been in with world champions and who knows all there is to know about fighting?
J.S: Do you have any concerns that if the fight goes the distance you will get a bad decision against you, what with the fight taking place in England? I know you've been robbed before, in the fight with Joe Mesi.
M.B: That only happened with the Mesi fight because I allowed it to happen. I'm much more experienced now. There will only be one judge in England and that will be the referee. I'm not concerned about if the fight goes the distance, but even if it does, the amount of punishment he'll have received, when the referee looks at us both at the end of the fight, he won't be lifting Haye's hand - he'll be lifting him off the canvas!
J.S: How soon before the fight will you come to England?
M.B: Around two weeks before the fight. I'll be coming to London for a press conference soon.
J.S: Have you ever been face-to-face with Haye before?
M.B: Not at all. I've seen him fight one time and I liked his style. I'd never heard of him before and I never pay attention to a fighter unless I'm going to fight him. When I thought I would be fighting him I did my homework and learnt all about him. Beating him will put me in a good position. I don't plan on boxing for too much longer. I'll be one of the best commentators in the world in around five years time. I won't let the sport of boxing retire me, I will retire when I want to. I want to go out with a bang, after having fired all my bullets.
J.S: Assuming you beat Haye, what then, a world title fight? Do you plan on becoming champ before you retire?
M.B: Yes. Either Klitschko or Sam Peter, or the WBA champ, Valuev - I'm real comfortable fighting all those three guys. What I say is, I'm crawling right now, but by the time I get to one of those guys, after having beaten Haye, I'll be walking. Not because Haye is one of the best in the world, but after I beat him people will be knocking at my door. It's the T.V networks I'm looking at impressing.
J.S: When you say Klitschko, do you men Vitali, who fights Peter on October 11th, or do you mean you'd like a rematch with Wladimir?
M.B: Just so long as I become champ. I would like to fight [Wladimir] Klitschko again, because I know much more about him now. Sam Peter I could beat with my eyes closed. After I beat Fields I called out Peter and Chris Arreola - Arreola's people were scared to death of letting him in the ring with me. I like Sam Peter as a person, but I don't think he's anything special as a fighter.
J.S: It's been great speaking with you, Monte. I appreciate your time, I know you'll be doing a lot of interviews now that you have this fight coming up. Do you have any final prediction for November 15th?
M.B: You're actually my first interview [whilst speaking on the Haye fight]. I don't really do that many these days. A fight is only won in the ring, it doesn't matter what you say beforehand. But as for my prediction - David Haye? No way!
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