Boxing


Jameel "Big Time" McCline - "I'll Be So Much More Than Chris Arreola Thinks!"

Jameel McClineExclusive interview by James Slater - Seen by many as the biggest and most dangerous opponent yet in the career of the promising Chris Arreola, 38-year-old Jameel McCline is busy getting ready to win on April 11th. A huge, solid guy at approx 260-pounds, "Big Time" has a huge edge in experience over his decade-younger rival. Also, as he told me as we spoke over the phone at the tail-end of last week, Jameel remains a fast heavyweight - especially for one so big.

A pleasure to talk to, the former four-time world heavyweight title challenger had the following answers to my questions.

James Slater: It's great to speak with you, Jameel. Obviously, this is a big fight you have coming up with Chris Arreola.

Jameel McCline: Yes, it is. In all honesty, I thought I was retired. I'm doing other things now, outside of boxing, and I'm doing real well financially. But then, as they say, I got the call (laughs). I was happy with my career, really. I'd had four shots at the world heavyweight title - even though I didn't win it - and I fought everybody. I've achieved a lot when you consider how some people were telling me [when I first turned pro] to forget it, because I was already 25-years-of-age.

J.S: It's fair to say you've had your share of disappointments in your career. Which loss hurts you or bothers you the most?

J.M: Oh, the loss to Sam Peter. Man, I should have beaten that guy! I had him down three times - I mean, what more do you want in a heavyweight fight? I hurt him all night, he never hurt me once. I think that will be the case in the Arreola fight, too.

J.S: Which Jameel McCline can Chris Arreola expect on April 11th?

J.M: I'm still the same Jameel McCline who fought Chris Byrd for the [IBF] title. I've lost no hand speed. I'll be hostile and agile against Arreola. This fight will be a whole lot different for him than he thinks it will when we get in there. They [Team-Arreola] don't even know what they're doing yet. I'll be more than he thinks. I don't know what he thinks that is, but I'll be more than that.

J.S: I know you didn't attend the press conference a few days back. Any reason?

J.M: I simply needed to use all the time I had for training purposes. I didn't have the time to waste, travelling over for a press conference. In fact, I wish I'd had more time to get ready for this fight, that is my main concern. It doesn't really matter what we say before the fight anyway.

J.S: As you say, you've fought everybody - Wladimir Klitschko, Nikolay Valuev, Byrd, etc. Do you think your greater experience will be the key to you winning this fight?

J.M: I'd say I'm so much more relaxed at this stage in my life. I've got a lot going on [outside of boxing] and I feel great. Yes, my experience will help, of course. I was winning the Valuev fight before my knee blew out, I feel I won the fight against Chris Byrd and Klitschko just overwhelmed me late on. My age, at 38, going on 39, is not like it used to be in days gone by. Years ago, when you were that age, you were done. But not now. I'm just so confident. I really feel I will win this fight.

J.S: It's been great speaking with you, sir. Best wishes for April 11th.

J.M: My pleasure. Thank you.

Article posted on 25.03.2009



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