Exclusive Interview With Johnathon Banks - "The Jason Gavern Fight Will Definitely Be Exciting"
by James Slater - 27-year-old Johnathon Banks of Detroit continues his heavyweight progress on May 29th, when he will face the tough and aggressive Jason Gavern on the Klitschko-Sosnowski card in Germany. Set to defend the NABF belt he won in fine style against Travis Walker back in March, Banks, 24-1(17) overall and 4-0(3) as a heavyweight, says he is ready for a tough fight with the 33-year-old Gavern, 19-7-3(8).
Article posted on 19.05.2010
Very kindly taking the time to speak with me yesterday evening (UK time), Banks had the following answers to my questions:
James Slater: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me again, Johnathon.
Johnathon Banks: Talking to Eastside Boxing, the pleasure is mine..
J.S: How has camp been for the fight on May 29th, with Jason Gavern?
J.B: Oh, camps been great; really good. I'm getting in tip-top shape so as to be able to put on another great fight for you all.
J.S: What do you know about Gavern?
J.B: Not a lot, actually. I've been looking at him, his style; that's the most important thing.
J.S: He had a good win last time out, when he beat Manuel Quezada on points in April. Did you see that fight?
J.B: I saw that, yeah.
J.S: Were you impressed?
J.B: Yeah, he's an impressive, aggressive fighter. This will be a tough fight, and it will definitely be an exciting fight, because Gavern will come to fight. It will be a great fight for the crowd - they'll love it.
J.S: You've been very active as a heavyweight, and this will be your fifth fight in less than a year. You have no problems being so busy?
J.B: It's great for me - the busier the better. This way I will continue to grow with each fight, and this is how I will get ready to win the world championship. You look at how it was with heavyweights in years gone by - they always fought back-to-back. Ali, for example, he fought back-to-back before he fought Liston. That's why he was ready to defeat Liston - and Ali wasn't fighting bums either. And Tyson, look at how active he was back in the day. This is how it should be done.
J.S: You scored a good KO over Travis Walker last time out, in winning the NABF belt. Will you be looking for another stoppage on May 29th?
J.B: I always like to get the KO; that's the way I've always been since I first started fighting. I never want to leave it to the judges (laughs). But at the same time, I won't look for a KO so much that I rush it. This is a boxing match, and I will start out boxing. If the opportunity comes [to score a KO], I will take it.
J.S: As you know, this will be your sixth pro fight in Germany. The fans over there must know you well by now!
J.B: Yeah, they always take a liking to me. I'm so used to fighting over there, too.
J.S: I know you've sparred with both Klitschko brothers a lot; who have you sparred with for Gavern?
J.B: Well, with Gavern not being their size [the Klitschkos] I had to find guys more his height. I'm just trying to remember the name of the main guy I've been sparring with but I can't remember his name right now (laughs). I don't mind saying who I'm sparring with - by the time Gavern finds out who it is, it'll be too late for him to do anything about it anyway.
J.S: How do you see the main event going in Germany, between Vitali and Albert Sosnowski?
J.B: I don't know a lot about Sosnowski; I've seen him fight twice. I think Vitali will stop him - he's too big, too strong and too accurate.
J.S: I read that the May 29th fight has already sold 40,000 tickets! Will this be the biggest crowd you'll have fought in front of?
J.B: No, I fought on the Wladmir-[Ruslan] Chagaev fight in June. That fight was a sell out too.
J.S: I didn't realise there were that many fans at that fight last June, sorry. But fighting in front of such a huge crowd doesn't bother you at all then?
J.B: No, I love it! The bigger the better.
J.S: Klitschko-Sosnowski is a big, big fight in Europe, even if the fight is not such a big deal in America; where they don't seem to be interested in even televising Klitschko fights lately!
J.B: No, that's crazy; just crazy.
J.S: Well, it's been great speaking with you once again, Johnathon. You're 4-0 as a heavyweight now - you'll definitely be 5-0 come May 29th?
J.B: You better believe it. I want to thank you guys at Eastside Boxing for putting me out there and for giving me great interviews. I appreciate it, I really do.
J.S: Thank you, Champ. For my final question, when will you leave for Germany?
J.B: I think I'll probably leave on Saturday, maybe Sunday - Sunday at the latest. Like I say, I'm so used to fighting over there, I only need a day or so to get acclimatised. It's no problem.
J.S: It would be great to be able to call you up after you've taken care of business in the fight.
J.B: Eastside Boxing, you can call me up any time!
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