Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - When Deandre Latimore and Sechew Powell first met inside the squared circle Powell was the IBF’s number one ranked junior middleweight. Latimore scored an upset knockout victory in Powell’s backyard and the win paved the way for a shot at the vacant IBF championship in a fight with Cory Spinks. Latimore lost a close decision that some observers felt he deserved to win. Friday night, Latimore is set to square off against Powell for a second time in an IBF eliminator at the Choctaw Gaming Center in Durant, Oklahoma. I recently had a chance to have a quick talk with the former title challenger and here is what he had to say:
Q: Deandre, last time you fought Sechew Powell you were going in as an underdog and fighting in his backyard but you still managed to score the upset. Can you tell me a little bit about that experience?
A: I mean it was a good experience for me. I went into his hometown, I guess I was a big underdog, but I didn’t let the pressure get to me. I just did what I had to do to get the win..
Q: How are preparations going for your March 19 rematch with Sechew?
A: Oh, preparations are real good. We got our game plan together, we got our head on straight—we’re ready to fight.
Now this time around, what kind of changes are you expecting from Sechew?
A: I mean, I would expect him to be smarter. I am not really worried about what changes he’s going to make, I know what kind of changes I’ll make.
Q: After you beat Sechew the first time you got a shot at the vacant IBF title in a fight with Cory Spinks. You lost that fight by split decision and I’m wondering if you could tell me about your assessment of that fight?
A: I don’t really like talking about that fight. The fight is over with, it happened, he did what he had to do to get the win. I just say next time around I will do what I have to do so I can walk away victorious.
Q: Now what did you learn from that experience in the Spinks fight?
A: I learned a whole lot, you know. I learned how to be more patient and learned how to put the plan together.
Q: Your rematch with Sechew is an IBF title eliminator and the winner is actually going to get a shot at the winner of Cory Spinks and Cornelius Bundrage. If you get by Sechew, who would you prefer to fight?
A: Oh, anybody. Whoever gets the win, it doesn’t matter to me—I just want the title.
Q: The biggest fight in boxing coming up is a May 1 fight between Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Junior and I was wondering if I could get your thoughts on that one?
A: I’m going with Floyd. I think he’s going to do what he has to do to get the win. I think Floyd’s just a better talented fighter, to me. You know, everybody’s got their own opinions, but that’s who I think is going to pull away with the victory.
Q: Back to your career, what do you consider to be the best asset you bring inside the ring with you?
A: You know, my power—and I’m smart inside the ring. I got to continue to stay that way.
Q: You’re 24 years old, Deandre. What would you ultimately like to accomplish in the sport of boxing?
A: I want to be known as the best fighter in boxing, not one of the best, but the best fighter in boxing.
Q: Do you have a prediction for your upcoming fight?
A: I just predict a win. How it comes? Hey, I’ll take it however it comes.
Q: For my final question Deandre, do you have anything else you would like to say to all your fans out at East Side Boxing?
A: I just want all my fans to know that 2010 is my year to shine and I’m going to be here for a long time.
Q: Thank you very much, Deandre. Good luck in your upcoming fight.
A: Okay, thanks.
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