by James Slater - Upon reading the news in the U.K that British big man Tyson Fury could well be facing New York warrior Vinny Maddalone in his next fight, in August, I called up Vinny in an attempt to ask him about the fight that Showtime were reportedly interested in televising. Initially reaching Vinny's answer machine, I left a message explaining why I was calling.
Article posted on 03.07.2010
Calling back an hour or so later, Vinny answered and had some interesting things to tell me - but it appears Fury and his team have jumped the gun in suggesting the 21-year-old will be fighting Maddalone next.
Here is what Vinny - one of the true gentlemen of the sport - had to say in reply to my questions:
James Slater: It's always a pleasure to speak with you Vinny. We hear you may be fighting our guy, Tyson Fury, maybe in August?
Vinny Maddalone: How you doing, James? No, it was funny when you first called, because this is the first I've heard about this fight. I mean, wow! I've heard quite a bit about him, and it's definitely a fight I'd love to take, especially in England, but right now, between you and me, I'm looking at a bigger picture. (Vinny told me in confidence who he will very likely be fighting in September/October, but obviously I cannot say who it is until the deal is final).
J.S: You have a bigger fight in the works?
V.M: Yes, I can't say too much about it, but Joe [DeGuardia] is working on it now, for September or October. But after that fight, maybe [I can face Fury]. As I've said before, I really want to fight in the U.K before I retire. That's one of my wishes.
J.S: Just asking you some questions about a possible fight with Fury - have you seen him fight before, or have you just read about him?
V.M: No, I've not actually seen him, I've just read, mainly your articles on Eastside. I know he's a fighter rather than a boxer - in that he always comes forwards. He keeps coming. How tall is he, 6'6"?
J.S: Stats vary, Vinny. Some listing have him at 6'6," others have him at 6'9"!
V.M: Wow, I knew he was tall (laughs). Like I say, after this next fight, I'd love to do it. Actually, I've been doing a lot of sparring with two guys who have their own fights coming up. Monte Barrett, you've heard of him, he's fighting David Tua on July 17th. I've been sparring with him for about 2 weeks now, helping to get him ready. I wish Monte the best, I've known him a lot of years but..... well, Tua is dangerous, especially with that left hook. But anything can happen in boxing, and maybe it will be Monte's night. I've also been sparring with Kevin McBride, the guy who beat Tyson, and I've been getting him ready too. So I'm not in 100-percent great shape myself, I've been helping to get these guys in shape.
J.S: Well, not to keep banging on about the Fury fight possibility, but he acknowledges how you are a step up from John McDermott....
V.M: The guy he fought last week, in a rematch?
J.S: Yes, Fury had a tough night, but he won by stoppage in the 9th. Anyway, he knows you will be tougher and harder-hitting than McDermott. With all the experience you have - having fought Evander Holyfield, and having boxed in Germany and France quite recently - do you think you'd be too much for a guy like Fury?
V.M: Well, these guys, these prospects, they use me as a stepping stone - and I've no problem with that (laughs); but they've gotta beat me! I keep getting calls [for fights], but one day it's going to be the wrong call, because I'll expose one of these guys. But again, after this fight, let's see what happens and if it's a real possibility I'll do it, a hundred-percent. And hopefully, if things go right, I'll be in a great position after this next fight we're working on.
J.S: And you'd take the fight in England for sure?
V.M: Oh, that's not even a question! Of course.
J.S: Let's just talk about your last fight, the March win over another big guy in Dominique Alexander. A decent win for you.
V.M: Yeah, it was a tough fight, in that he tried to stay away - he wouldn't really mix it up with me. I had him down, I think it was four times before the ending. It was an ugly fight but I did what I had to do.
J.S: Thanks so much for your time, Vinny. It's always great to interview you. Just before I go, how's it going running your restaurant in Queens?
V.M: Let me tell you, it's going really well, but it's a tough business, with lots of hours. Friday and Saturday nights, with the bar and the restaurant, we do long hours. But it's great, meeting people, talking about my fights with the fans. I've had the restaurant a year-and-a-half now.
J.S: Well, continued good success with that, and best wishes for your next big fight! Thanks again, Vinny.
V.M: You got it, James.