Exclusive Interview With Frank McCall, Brother And Manager Of Oliver McCall
by James Slater - Sometimes, instead of speaking to the actual fighter (as talented and fascinating as they can be) it can be more interesting speaking to the fighter's manager or trainer. This turned out to be the case earlier today, when I spoke to Frank McCall - brother and manager of Oliver.
Article posted on 27.10.2009
Originally hoping to speak with the always articulate "Atomic Bull," I instead spent a hugely enjoyable 20 mins or so chatting with brother Frank. Here is what Frank had to say in reply to my questions:
James Slater: It's great to speak with you, Frank. Your brother had a good win, in what was a risky fight for both men, over Lance Whitaker last weekend. What's next for Oliver?
Frank McCall: Well, first let me tell you about the Lance Whitaker fight. Lance came in at 253-pounds - he hasn't weighed that since high school (laughs). He really trained hard for the fight and he fought hard, that kind of surprised us - we thought he'd fizzle out come the 5th round. But my brother scored a knockdown in the 1st-round and that helped him get the points win.
J.S: Oliver has now won three in a row in his latest comeback, as you know, Frank. Who does he want to fight next? We hear, and have heard for a while now, that Oliver wants a fight with Chris Arreola - who is needing an opponent for his Dec. 5th fight.
F.M: Oliver wants that fight with Arreola, yeah. But I don't think they'll take it. I think they look at Oliver as too big a risk. Oliver and myself talk all the time about the fights he wants - we'd love to fight Tomasz Adamek, who has just knocked out [Andrew] Golota. My brother wanted the fight with Golota before he signed to fight Adamek. If Adamek came to the plate we could make that fight - he still needs a win over a name heavyweight to solidify himself as a heavyweight. He wouldn't have to come with a million dollars either. We've also looked at a fight with [Odlanier] Solis, but Oliver sparred with Solis for this fight [with Whitaker] and that didn't go down too great for Solis, so that kind of killed that fight!
J.S: For a while now, fans have spoken about how great a fight between Oliver and David Tua would be.
F.M: I think Tua's a great fighter on a certain level. But I think if Oliver beat him, it wouldn't mean as much as a win over Arreola would. Don't get me wrong, I wish Tua the best, and we would take the fight. But I don't think a win would mean all that much for Oliver. Arreola's a much bigger name right now. I tell you another fight we are looking at seriously - Ahmet Oener promised us a rematch with Sinan Samil Sam (who McCall beat on points in a WBC final eliminator in 2007). We are pursuing that fight and we really hope it comes off. It was a good fight and we had a great time over in Turkey.
J.S: I myself would love to see McCall Vs. Tua. It would be the iron chin against the lethal puncher. But it would also be Tua's iron chin Vs. Oliver's hard punching power. But I think Tua has to fight one more fight in New Zealand, to fulfil a contract he has.
F.M: Well, Oliver's next fight is set for November 20th at The Orleans in Las Vegas - that's just four weeks away. If Tua wants it, come and sign. But we'd go to New Zealand if we had to. The thing is, we could get a title fight now if we were willing to bow down to a big promoter - the kind who want a two year deal with Oliver for one fight. It's kind of tough, but we won't do that, we'll continue to do it our way. In the long run I think all good things will come. You see, the thing is, nobody ever calls out Oliver McCall on the internet. You never see anyone call him out. Because if me or my brother saw it, we'd make the phone call and make the fight right away! He's putting these young guys to shame, fighting three or four times a year when they take the safe route.
J.S: There's no doubt the fans respect Oliver as an old-school warrior who has never ducked anyone - and he is keeping very active. That's been a disappointment with our guy in The UK, David Haye; who hasn't fought in almost a year!
F.M: That's right. Oliver knows that you need to stay active to be able to win against the big guys - that's the key. David Haye's another guy we'd like to fight - right after he loses to the Russian giant [Valuev]. I wish Haye all the best as well, but he hasn't been active enough to be able to win [against Valuev]. We'd love to come over to England for a big fight.
J.S: That sure would be great. I can still remember when Oliver stopped Lennox Lewis in the 2nd-round back in 1994.
F.M: One thing that I don't think has happened since then - and you can look it up in your records - is that Oliver was the number-one contender with the WBC, the IBF and the WBA for that fight; all three organisations. Nobody's done that since. That win not only got Oliver the world title, but it also got Don King back on top of the heavyweight division. Don earned a lot out of Oliver.
J.S: No doubt, King had not had a heavyweight champion since Tyson went into prison.
F.M: That's right, and another guy, Evander Holyfield, he wouldn't go near Oliver at that time either - and neither would Riddick Bowe.
J.S: That would be a great battle of the veterans today - McCall Vs. Holyfield!
F.M: We'd love a fight with Holyfield, but he hasn't wanted to go near Oliver for years now! Oliver will fight all these guys.
J.S: Just speaking about Elijah McCall for a minute. I know he won on the same card as Oliver's win over Whitaker. I read how our guy, Tyson Fury, could maybe fight Elijah soon. Is that still a possibility?
F.M: Absolutely. I don't want to see my nephew duck anybody. But we want to make sure he's ready for a big fight like that. We want to get him to around 15-0, and then get him to win a Intercontinental title. We want to make sure we move him right because he's only had eight months as a pro, and he never had a single amateur fight. But he's coming on great now, he's been sparring with Hasim Rahman, and his father of course, and he's trained now by Michael Moorer and Joel Judah - Zab's father.
J.S: Wow. I never knew that.
F.M: That's right. Elijah had a draw in his third fight, but I thought he won the fight. But to have a draw so early, it still means he hasn't allowed anyone to beat him yet - that shows character. And he's never been hurt in any fight. The crazy thing about the Tyson Fury thing is, they offered Oliver that fight! I couldn't believe that. Tyson's career would be over if he fought Oliver!
J.S: I agree, it would be way too soon.
F.M: Right. I tell you about another young guy coming up, who's going to really be something. Mike "The Bounty" Hunter's son. He's a heavyweight and he's been sparring with Elijah. He's got all the moves, just like his late father, with all the jerky movement. Mike Senior beat my brother, on points, but they became good friends. Watch out for Hunter Junior, he's looked great in the gym and he's had a good amateur career.
J.S: That's very interesting, Frank. Thanks for the heads up. It's been great speaking to you. I was hoping to speak to Oliver, but it's been really interesting speaking with you. Thanks for all the info.
F.M: Okay. I appreciate it. Call up Oliver later, I'll work something out for an interview.
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