Chauncy Welliver: "Bring your best Galen, [because] I am"
Exclusive interview by Charles C. White - Kindly taking time out of his busy training schedule to speak with this writer about his recent shutout of Daniel Tai (18-7-2), future plans, and much more, here is what WBO #12 heavyweight contender Chauncy "The Hillyard Hammer" Welliver had to say...
Article posted on 15.06.2010
Hey bro, how are you doing today? Welliver: I am good. Training hard. I just got done running up Tiger Mountain here in Washington and going to my weight lifting now, then boxing tonight..
You are fresh off of a unanimous decision victory over the durable heavyweight and former New Zealand kickboxing champion Daniel Tai (18-7-2 with 6 knockouts). How did you feel going into this fight?
Welliver: I felt great. Daniel and I have a bit of a rivalry in New Zealand so winning and winning impressively was important. We trained very hard in the States and kept it up when we got down to New Zealand. Had a sparring partner and a great team behind me. I went in 100% in mental and physical shape.
You weighed in at 248 lbs. for this contest, your lightest since 2006. This shows a serious increase in dedication to your sport. What kinds of things have you been doing differently lately that have produced these awesome results? New training methods perhaps?
Welliver: I am on a "Hipp Diet." My trainer, who I love working with, is keeping me in shape and focused. My manager Roland Jankelson helps as well; pushing me because he is always on me about doing it right. The best diet is having the right people around you. My girlfriend won't let me eat junk. Joe's training me hard. Roland is giving me a push to the title and making me see I can do it. I am so thankful to all of them for helping me and making me see I can do it if I work hard.
How much more weight are you looking drop? And has the weight loss impacted your stamina at all?
Welliver: Really not sure where we will end up with the weight. I have plenty to lose but we will see as the weight comes off how I feel carrying it. My stamina has always been decent, but with the weight lifting I feel strong for the 12 rounds I fight. In the Tai fight I felt great in every round including the 12th, so my lungs are good and catching up to the muscle with it.
In your first fight with Tai back in 2008, you won by disqualification when Daniel repeatedly hit you with low blows. Reports indicate that Tai resorted to fouling in this fight as well. Were you able to keep calm and remain focused, or did your emotions get the best of you, resulting in trading heavy shots with Tai, or perhaps fouling him yourself?
Welliver: I have never been a dirty fighter, at least not on purpose. He kept hitting me with his elbow in this fight and head butting me and the ref hardly said a word, so I kept calm and did what I was told to do in the corner. I am a very calm fighter and it would take a lot to get me out of my game.
This fight also marked the first time having the legendary Joe Hipp in your corner. What was the gameplan going into this fight and what kind of advice was Joe giving you inbetween rounds as the fight progressed?
Welliver: The gameplan was to keep cool-headed as we knew he would make a dog fight of it and work on setting down on my shots. I did both and had great results. Joe is a great trainer and kept me cool in the corner. Told me what I was doing wrong and I corrected it. By the end of the fight he didn't really have much to say. I was dominating Tai at that point so Joe would calmly tell me how to get in and score, but Tai kept holding so (it) made things a bit tough.
How would you rate your overall performance in this fight?
Welliver: I say 150% improvement from my fight with Mike Sheppard. Tai came ready to win and had a gameplan, so this was a sweet victory. Overall I'd give myself an 8. Room for improvement for sure, but me and Joe have only had this one fight together, so as he sharpens me up, the grade will get better.
What approach is Joe taking with you in training? Are there major style changes taking place, or are you more just refining the skill set that you already possess?
Welliver: My major drawback has always been my power. We're keeping my work rate high, but now throwing with power. Tai is really hard to judge how my power has moved up as he has a head like a rock. His only stoppage loss has been to Danny Green on cuts in the last round in which he had a kickboxing fight the week before in which he was cut in.
Joe is well known for his immense toughness; is some of that rough and tough attitude rubbing off on you? Not that you aren't already tough as nails to begin with.
Welliver: Joe is helping me slowly but surely to get that killer attitude in me. I never really opened up with bad intentions on somebody, but as Joe told me, "this guy is the reason you're stuck at a training camp not able to see your girlfriend or your family." That really does make me mad at the opponent and push for the stoppage. He's taking time away I could be spending with my girlfriend, or mom, or nephews and nieces.
You are scheduled to face Galen Brown (33-14-1 with 20 ko's) next on July 24th at The Pagent in Saint Louis, Missouri according to boxrec. What will be your plan going into this fight and do you expect Brown to give you any problems?
Welliver: I expect him to come into shape. He knows this is a good chance for him and can help his career as a heavyweight with a win. Problem for him is I am training down the house. I have kept training nonstop this year and though he is in the middle of the road on my way up, I will be ready to push through him. I have many tapes of him and know his style. He is a mover and tries to counter. I love that style. I can cut off the ring greatly; I am ready for anything. We hired a southpaw sparring partner and everything. Bring your best Galen, [because] I am.
You are now ranked #12 by the WBO and #22 by the WBC at heavyweight. What's next for you Chauncy? Anybody on radar? I know you must be eager to get in there with a big name.
Welliver: Next of course is Galen Brown, and as Roland has told me, don't look past him. I'm sure there is plenty Roland has been thinking of for after this fight, but my mind is on him, his tapes, his photos, and knocking him out!
The massive 6' 8'' Lance "Mount" Whitaker (35-6-1 with 28 knockouts), a man you have been calling out for a long time now, just outpointed prospect Andrey Fedosov (21-2 with 17 ko's). Are you still open to fighting Lance after his recent victory?
Welliver: Lance won that fight and good on him. I still push for that fight and will do anything for it as it is a great step for me and a necessary one at this point in my career. He has a new promoter now, so hopefully something will come about, but his manager has shot the fight down a dozen times already, so we'll see.
Your fellow New Zealand fighter (Chauncy is U.S. born but fights mostly in New Zealand and considers NZ to be his adoptive country) David Tua is now ranked #2 by the WBO and has a fight lined up against former 2x world title challenger Monte "2 Gunz" Barrett in Atlantic City, NJ on July 17th. Your prediction for this fight?
Welliver: Monte is still dangerous but Dave is a machine right now. He is training hard and if Dave doesn't lose focus I call for a mid-rounds KO for Dave.
Would you be interested in a fight with David Tua if he prevails in his next outing?
Welliver: Dave is a friend of mine, and a fellow New Zealander, but this is a business and me and Dave would do good numbers in Auckland. I would train the roof off if training for Dave. It'd pretty much be like a title fight for me. Dave was KOing guys when I was a kid. I'd love that fight and the only place it makes sense is in New Zealand. Sign me up.
Shane "The Mountain Warrior" Cameron (24-2 with 20 ko's), who came up short in a fight against Tua late last year, has announced his plans to move down in weight class for a potential fight with Australian IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green (29-3 with 26 ko's). How well do you think Cameron will be able to adjust to the lower weight and how do you like his chances against Danny Green should a fight between the two occur?
Welliver: Shane trains very hard and knows his body so if he decided to move down then it must be something he can do. Shane is a very healthy guy. I think if he carries his power down, this will be a fight pay per view worthy all over the world. It'd be the 4th of July...pure fireworks!
Switching gears here a bit, another question I have for you is regarding James "Lights Out" Toney's future career in the UFC. Are you a fan of the UFC or mma in general, and how well do you think Toney will do in transitioning from boxing to mma and fair against the top UFC fighters?
Welliver: I really have no opinion of how James will transform over to it as I have heard nothing from his camps. I think his boxing ability will carry him through the sport ok, but this is a whole new sport. I think he should baby step his way up. I personally am not a fan of the UFC. I think they do great marketing and I don't fall asleep watching it, so no disrespect to the sport at all, but I was raised watching one way of fighting and just haven't adjusted to watching two half-naked men roll on the ground using moves called "ground and pound, rear naked choke, and the Brazilian tea bag." These all sound like some rough sexual positions.
James is slated to face off against UFC legend Randy Couture at UFC 118 in Boston. Any predictions for this fight?
Welliver: I will hope if James hits him it's over, but if Couture is smart he'll go straight to the ground and that'll be the show.
Have you ever considered an mma career for yourself after boxing?
Welliver: No. I hope this boxing takes me far and I make enough to be done with all types of fighting when I decide to hang the boxing gloves up.
After you eventually retire yourself, have you given any thought to a career in training fighters?
Welliver: I love training kids so that'd be an option. I feel I'm good with people and communicate with them good enough to get my point across to them. My brother owns a gym in Spokane; spokaneboxing.com check it out.
When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered in boxing?
Welliver: I want to be known as a guy that came from 0 with no physical ability and no money to be a good example for kids and help promote my sport in my parts of the world (i.e. Hillyard-Spokane, Auckland, New Zealand).
Thank you for your time Chauncy. Any final message for the fans?
Welliver: Still moving up with ability and athleticism to be the best in the world. I have the right team behind me. Roland Jankelson is managing me, moving me smart and at the right pace. Joe is making me more of a champion everyday, and my girlfriend Sarah for sticking with me through all the layoffs and disappointments and keeping me the best I can be through it all.
For questions and comments, or to simply chat about boxing, Charles C. White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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