Chauncy Welliver: "I am adding some skill into the mix."
By Charles C. White - How are you doing today my friend? CW: Feeling great. Went 8 (rounds) in the gym sparring. I feel great and am learning more and more everyday training with Joe Hipp.
Article posted on 15.07.2010
I just learned that your opponent, Galen Brown, has backed out of your fight scheduled for July 24th at the Pagent in Saint Louis. What were the circumstances surrounding his cancelation?
CW: I hear he was cut, but nothing for sure. The moment we heard we just went on to looking for a new opponent and stayed in the gym. Didn't want it to disrupt anything we were doing. It didn't and the fight is still on track for July 24th..
Do you have a replacement opponent lined up yet?
CW: It looks like we have Joell Godfrey. He's only 9-3 but was on The Contender and fought some solid guys. We offered a few people the fight but many said no. He was the first to say yes and we had to close the deal so took him. I was looking for somebody with a bigger name but will use this fight to help improve my skills and keep improving throughout the year so me and Joe can get used to each other and get the title shot.
How difficult will it be to make adjustments for a new opponent's style after spending so much time focusing on Brown?
CW: Not hard at all. Kinda worked out funny. We were training for Galen and sparring southpaws, but also working with a righty who fights the same exact style as Godfrey. Everything is the same. Can't tell the two apart, so fighting Joell is great because I am so used to his style right now.
You have an interim WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title defense coming up don't you? Any word on who that challenger will be and when and where the fight will take place?
CW: Looking like August 21st will be the date in New Zealand. Officially the opponent is Moyoyo Mensah (21-8-1 with 9 ko's), but it looks like he will be taking another fight. I offered Alex Leapai's promoter Jamie Myer the fight for Alex, even offered to move the date back a little so his fight with Owen Beck can happen too. They declined. We offered the same amount they did for me to go to Aussie. (Colin) Wilson has his title defense coming up so no go there. Still looking but we will know soon.
And how about your NZNBF (New Zealand National Boxing Federation) heavyweight title? Any defenses of that in the works?
CW: Nothing planned. Not too many fighters available to fight for it. I will defend against anybody who would like a shot, if they can get their promoters to make it happen.
How is training camp going? Everything running smoothly?
CW: Everything's running great. I have been laughed at and had plenty of fingers pointed at me in my career, so I figured I would be serious and knuckle down for awhile and now I have the right team behind me working hard to help me; Roland Jankelson and Joe Hipp. Not only are they good with the boxing and the business, but they are two of my best friends as well, so it makes everything fun and the camp run smoothly.
When I came to your camp last week, I noticed that you had put on a good deal of muscle. The weight lifting regime that Joe Hipp has you on must really be paying off...
CW: It really has. I feel great. I tried lifting before but didn't get the right results. I'm no Hulk...yet. I am working hard and I do notice a difference everyday. I look in the mirror and see a bigger guy, but I look at pictures even from a few months ago and am truly proud of myself. I really do try to pat myself on the back (laughs).
When you get the call to action, will you be ready to rumble come fight night?
CW: I'm ready now, and even with the change in opponents, I feel great. I am ready for whoever, whenever. I'm learning little bits and pieces everyday from Joe. I will improve with each fight, and that's a bad thing for Godfrey, or whoever should happen to be in the opposite corner July 24th.
An interesting fight coming up is Manuel Quezada vs. Chris Arreola on August 13th. Who do you pick for that fight?
CW: I gotta admit, I'm an Arreola fan and think he's a good good fighter. I'm not really high on Quezada but he might be able to step up to the plate.
Would you be interested in taking on the winner of this intriguing matchup?
CW: I wouldn't mind if my team don't mind. I want a bigger fight but know a fight with Arreola would be good, and I'd have to be in great shape to fight him, so I'd train very hard for that fight. He's an elite guy, and I'm trying to build a name for myself, so hopefully Arreola or somebody will give me the chance soon.
A somewhat surprising fight coming up on August 21st is between former heavyweight title challenger and former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion, recently turned heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek. How do you see this fight playing out?
CW: I like Adamek. I'm a fan of the guy. I really do think he'll go far, although, I think this is his test as a heavy as Grant is the biggest man he has faced. Golota was shot and Arreola didn't show up in shape. I think Adamek will win, but Grant coming out of the dark wouldn't shock me. People forget, Grant is a good solid fighter who has beaten many good fighters, though not in the past few years. Adamek UD12.
Another fight rumored to be taking place possibly in November is an all British affair between Audley "A-force" Harrison and WBA heavyweight champion David "The Hayemaker" Haye. How do you see this fight going if it is indeed signed?
CW: A lot of people are counting Audley out. He's lost to guys Haye would crush in the past, but Audley can fight and is the naturally bigger man. My friendship is with Audley so of course I will look at everything in a positive for him, so if he hits Haye, he could end it because of his size. People forget Haye has a very big question mark on his chin and he hasn't fought somebody with Audley's speed and angles in some time.
There are rumors circulating that negotiations are in progress for a potential fight between former WBO heavyweight title holder Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs and current WBC champion "Dr. Ironfist" Vitali Klitchsko. How do you see this fight panning out if it is indeed made?
CW: I think Klitschko (wins). Briggs has been scoring some 1 round kos lately but when this fight goes mid to late rounds I just don't see the wind being there. Vitali has a chin, and if somebody is gonna crack it, it's Shannon, I just don't see Shannon finding the chin.
If a deal is not reached between those two, and Vitali instead fights Nikolay Valuev or another contender, would you like a bout with Briggs?
CW: Love to. I want to step it up as I said before and why not fight a Shannon Briggs? Shannon is an elite heavyweight and a way to prove that I have matured and can make the step to fight a guy like him.
I think I recall you sparring with him in the past. If so, tell us about those sparring sessions and how they panned out..
CW: I'd like to start by saying Shannon was the first pro fighter I ever worked with. I was 17 and did well. I was bringing the pressure to him and I was just a toughman fighter. It gave me a lot of confidence. I was 17 then. Flash forward to when I'm 23 and he's training for the Ibragimov fight. At that point I had been in with some of the best in sparring. I had just left camp with Juan Carlos Gomez. JC is a great fighter and another guy I learned a lot from. He had me sharp. So sparring Shannon really was no problem. He comes hard for 1, maybe 2 rounds. I did great with him. One day he hit me with a good right hand and stepped back and kinda waited for me to go down, and when I just came forward as the shot didn't faze me, he said "you got rocks in your head." What? Was he expecting me to go down?
That fight was pushed back and I wasn't called in to the next camp.
Who else is on the radar right now Chauncy? I know that you have been trying to chase down some big names the past few months..
CW: Anybody with a bit of a name. Lance Whitaker, Alex Leapai, Solomon Haumono, Mark DeMori, Kertson Manswell, anybody who represents the next step. As I said, this pretty much is my first year of really knowing how to fight, and every fight will be a step up.
You have just been ranked #10 in the heavyweight division by the World Boxing Organization. Congratulations on this great achievement. How does it make you feel knowing that no matter what happens from here on out, you have now achieved a place in history that few people could ever hope to?
CW: It feels GREAT! It was something that you always hear; "he was a top 10 fighter." Well, I am now too. To see my name with some of those guys is an honor.
Now that you are ranked in the top 10, many new windows of opportunity are going to open up for you. Perhaps you may even get a call someday soon for a shot at a voluntary defense made by one of the current champions...
CW: I keep my ringer on extra loud for such an occasion. That would be a dream come true, but at the same time, I am still a few fights away from that at the moment. My manager, Roland Jankelson, is a very smart man, and he will move me at just the right pace. If he tells me to fight tomorrow then I would. I trust him with my life, but we agree that I need more time to sink in the things Joe's been working with me on.
Which of the current champions would you most like to test your mettle against?
CW: Any fighter will say (Wladimir) Klitschko because he pays the most, but for me, to have a good shot after the proper steps, I'd say David Haye. He comes forward and is willing to take chances. People will knock my power, and that's justified, but we have been improving my power, slowly but surely. If I stick with Roland and Joe's program, I'll be ready for a shot within the year.
What are your thoughts on HBO's recent announcement regarding heavyweight boxing and not airing heavyweight title fights for the time being due to a lack of U.S. interest in heavyweights, which many fans have labeled as "turning their backs on the division?"
CW: Can't blame them. The Klitchkos, for as good as they are, are too good and that makes for boring fights. They also have no personality. Their styles are no more exciting than "Pretty Boy" Floyd's, but at least he has personality to keep people interested. If Briggs were to pull off the upset, hopefully he'd bring a bit of life to the heavyweight division, and maybe back to HBO. Adamek, Haye and Arreola can make a difference too, just gotta get the Klitschkos out.
Thank you for your time Chauncy. Any final message for the fans?
CW: Keep your ears and eyes open for Chauncy Welliver. I'm coming and after 50 fights of fighting off of just balls and heart, I am adding some skill into the mix. Moving ahead slowly but surely and hoping to show my newfound skills off by year's end on national American tv. Thanks for following me in these interviews.
For questions and comments, Charles C. White can be reached at email@example.com or 360-333-5911.
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