Boxing


Exclusive Interview With Vinny Maddalone - "Me And Jean Marc Mormeck Will Be A Great Fight"

by James Slater - Heavyweight crowd-pleaser Vinny Maddalone of New York has all but secured yet another big fight. Awaiting the final contract for a November 20th showdown with former cruiserweight king Jean Marc Mormeck in Paris, France, the 35-year-old who has been called a "real life Rocky" will hopefully be swapping punches with the man who is attempting to make the move up in weight.

Always friendly and easygoing, Vinny, 32-5(23) kindly took time out to speak with me about the Mormeck fight earlier today.

Here are Vinny's answers to my questions:


James Slater: It's always a joy to speak with you, Vinny. We hear you will be fighting former world cruiserweight champion Jean Marc Mormeck in November in France? Is that a definite?

Vinny Maddalone: Yes. We're just waiting on the contract right now, but I spoke with (promoter) Joe [DeGuardia] last night, and he told me the Mormeck people have agreed to everything pretty much. So I think the fight's a go.

J.S: Well, I'm a big fan, Vinny, and I'm pleased for you. This is a big fight you - another one.

V.M: Absolutely. I'm just looking forward to the fight myself so much now.

J.S: We all know you are never in a bad fight. I don't think you're capable of being in a dull fight! This will be no exception?

V.M: Without a doubt. With his style - see, styles make fights. With his style and my style, absolutely this will be a great fight.

J.S: You have shown in the past how you're not afraid to travel for a fight. You went to Germany to face Denis Boystov late last year. I know you lost on points, but you were really appreciated by the local fans. Will it be the same in France do you think?

V.M: I think so. I'll go anywhere to fight (laughs). I always want to win the hearts of the fans. And I always promise I'll leave it all in the ring and give the fans who have paid to be there their money's worth.

J.S: That's why the fans love you, Vinny. Win lose or draw, they know you've always given it everything. Mormeck, too, is a crowd-pleaser - almost as much as you! It goes without saying you are excepting another great fight. Will you jump right on him at bell one?

V.M: That's it, James. I respect fighters who stand right in front of me and fight. He's a pressure guy, I'm a pressure guy, and I think this will be a fun fight for the fans.

J.S: It's interesting. Mormeck may be the former world champion and he may have been in with the bigger names - but he is older then you, he is not a natural heavyweight like you, and he is coming off a loss and a two year layoff. Do you maybe see yourself as the favourite in this fight?

V.M: Maybe. I know his outlook on the fight - what with him being a promoter now and the fight being put together by him and his team - is that I'm the opponent. But my outlook is that once we're in the ring, it's just me and him. And we'll both be fighting as hard as we can.

J.S: You've been in with THE greatest cruiserweight of all-time, in Evander Holyfield. Unfortunately you got cut and came up short in that fight. But now you are going in with another crowd pleasing and arguably great cruiserweight.

V.M: Evander Holyfield, yes, without a doubt is the best cruiserweight ever. But you know, Mormeck will be coming in after that two years out, and it's interesting, a lot of cruiserweights are coming up to heavyweight now - [Tomasz] Adamek, for another example. I think it's a no-brainer that these guys will call me up. Their people know I will be right in front of them when we fight and I'm the ideal opponent for them. They know I'm not gonna dance around, they know I'll fight hard all the way. But of course I'm gonna jump right on this guy. I'm not going to change anything about my style.

J.S: Do you think, Vinny, that these opportunities that come your way every so often come because of your exciting style?

V.M: Absolutely. I mean, I'm not getting any younger at age 35, so when the phone rings I have to make sure I'm always ready to go. And, as always I give my promise to my fans that they'll get their money's worth.

J.S: Will you be watching tapes of Mormeck now then? Or have you seen his fights before?

V.M: I've seen some of his fights. I saw his (first) fight with [O'Niel] Bell, when he lost at The Garden in New York. He took some tremendous punches and he's got a great chin, but Bell was just the better fighter that night. He is a great fighter, but he won't get the type of fight he excepts to against me. This will be his toughest fight!

J.S: I just hope I get to see it! Will there be any T.V, do you know?

V.M: Joe's still working on that. I'm pretty sure it will be shown in Europe. But as for the U.S, Joe's still working on a few things. Like I say, I'm just looking forward to the fight. I've been working with the restaurant for a few months now - but I've also been training. Now I'm back training every day.

J.S: You have been called the "Real Life Rocky" before, Vinny, and the restaurant thing makes you even more so - just like Rocky in Rocky 6!

V.M: (laughs) I know. Some friends of mine have said I should wear a red jacket, just like Rocky does in the latest movie! You know, customers like to come in and listen to me talk about the fights. I enjoy the restaurant, it's a new venture. But boxing is my real love.

J.S: Hopefully, and not looking too far ahead, if you can beat Mormeck, you will get ranked pretty high. Obviously the ultimate would be to fight for a title next year?

V.M: Oh yeah. I mean, I'd love to fight overseas again - I'd love to come over and fight in England. But, of course, to be moved up in the rankings and get to fight for a title - that would be great if I got the opportunity against one of the three champions. I promise, I wouldn't disappoint. That's how I look at it.

J.S: How soon before the November 20th fight will you arrive in Paris?

V.M: I think about a week before the fight, the Friday before the fight. That's what I did in the Germany fight. I felt pretty good. I just need enough time to sleep and to acclimatise. I will also work out in the gym for two or three days before the fight.

J.S: Well, I wish you all the best with the big fight, Vinny. As always it's been a pleasure speaking with you.

V.M: Okay, James. Call me again some time.

J.S: I hope to call you after you've won on November 20th! I've gotta admit to rooting for you, Vinny. I'm a fan!

V.M: Thank you, James.

Article posted on 28.10.2009



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