WBO #9, WBC #13 Heavyweight Chauncy Welliver Speaks Out
By Charles White - Kindly taking time out of his busy training schedule, heavyweight contender Chauncy “The Hillyard Hammer” Welliver gave the following answers to my questions.
Article posted on 14.12.2010
It has been a while since I last interviewed you Chauncy, how are you doing today?
Chauncy: I'm good. Just been traveling and training everyday, even on my travels. Living the life of a boxer. I am just training my butt off... literally (laughs)..
In your last fight, you easily stopped Brad Gregory. How did you feel going into this keep busy fight that capped off the year for you? Were you pleased with your performance?
Chauncy: I was pleased. I got to work on some things me and Joe (Hipp-Trainer) have been working on. It showed. We wanted much pressure and we got it. Joe was happy, Roland (Jankelson-Manager) was happy, Sarah (Longtime girlfriend) was happy and most of all, I was happy, so I think after 55 fights I'm getting it all together.
What’s next for you Chauncy? I understand that you could have a very busy first few months of the next year. Tell us about it.
Chauncy: We have a January 28 fight at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Waterford, MI. Nothing solid yet on opponent but it will be a fight just to shake off the rust going into my fight that looks to be February 26 in Auckland, New Zealand. In that bout we hope to fight Okhello Peter. They have agreed but not signed yet, but it looks solid. Okhello and his team are great people.
Roland and Joe have taken a look at him and said he is very strong, but at the end of the day we all agreed that this is the step I need to take as we plan on some big things this year.
I had a chance to watch him fight Lawrence Tuasa on tape a few months ago, and man does he have power, but I feel this will be a good fight and please the people who say I need to step it up.
How do you intend to overcome Okhello’s height and reach advantage and defeat him?
Chauncy: If up to me it will be a give and take stand-in-front war, but it's up to Joe on the game plan, and I know he'll have the right plan, so I will do whatever he says, but no looking past January. As they say, "If you look too far ahead you won’t see what's going on in front of you."
About a month ago, you attended the WBC Convention in Cancun, Mexico. Did you have a good time down there in the sun?
Chauncy: I had a great time. I gotta say, I'm a huge fan of the sport so meeting guys like Hector Camacho, Evander Holyfield, Carlos Zarate, Erik Morales and many more greats was an experience I will never forget.
Me and Sarah, and my manager and his partner went, but I gotta say, though it was a business trip, we all really had a great time in Cancun and it was one of the best times of my life. I got to be with the love of my life, Sarah, dealing with the other love of my life, boxing. There is so much that goes on at those things that you don't know. It was a great time and a lot of fun. I thank them for having us.
You just got back from a trip to China right? How did that go?
Chauncy: Another great trip. I plan on going back soon, and it looks like I will for a fight. I went for an event held for the WBO boxing in China. WOW! Was it an event! People flying through the crowd. Mike Tyson in the ring. Music. Dancers. Great fights, and we were treated like kings. It was another great time and I really enjoyed the people who put it on and I think the WBO has a great program over there. I’ve been to Vegas shows and lots of events, this was top notch and the best show ever. American boxing can learn from the Chinese.
You are now ranked #9 by the WBO. Is there any particular fight out there that you are looking for?
Chauncy: If I ruled the world I'd fight David Tua. People jump all over that saying I can't win, but if David Tua shows up like he did with Monte Barrett, then I win. Simple. If Dave shows up in Shane Cameron shape, we gotta fight on our hands, but as I said before, I trust whatever game plan Joe and Roland come up with for me and we'll execute it and win the fight.
As I said, people will say Dave’s too much because I fought nobody. Well I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't aren’t I?
I assume you heard that Wladimir Klitschko pulled out of his fight with Derek Chisora due to a back muscle injury. What are your thoughts on this, and are you looking to fight the winner of this clash assuming it is rescheduled?
Chauncy: Of course. My dream is to go for the world title, and if it happens to be them or Haye, or Vitali, I will be ready in time and with great training and management, I will go for the win.
There are reports that an eliminator is being made between Alexander Ustinov and former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman. How do you see this fight playing out?
Chauncy: I haven't watched Ustinov a great deal, but I think Rahman is shot just enough, for anybody with a little can beat him. He had troubles with Damon Reed from what I hear. Rahman is one of the best heavies of my time, but he is on the down slide and ready for the taking.
On December 17th, Odlanier Solis is taking on former heavyweight title challenger Ray Austin, with the winner getting a shot at Vitali Klitschko next year. A lot of people aren’t giving Austin a chance in this one, and since you fought Solis two years ago, and took him further in his pro career than anyone to date, I am curious, do you agree with these people? Or does Austin have a shot?
Chauncy: Austin is a big strong man, and if I had to guess, I think this fight will be good while it lasts. People only remember the Austin who fought Klitschko, but this man has beaten some good fighters since. I think he will give Solis a bit of a go but Solis' youth and activity get him the win, but as I said before, it'll be a tough one.
Assuming Solis is victorious, how do you like his chances against Vitali?
Chauncy: I think it takes a bull to beat the Klitschkos and I don't think Solis will back up against him. Solis is afraid of no man. He's seen tougher things in the streets of Cuba. I hope Solis wins so he brings a bit of excitement back to our once glorious division, but if I had to bet, Vitali outboxes him in a decision win.
Is a rematch with Solis a fight that you would like to have?
Chauncy: For sure. My dream match. He's done some great things since the October 2008 fight with me, but I assure, I am in great shape now as I tipped the scales this afternoon at 233 lbs. I am training very hard, like never before, and Solis is my motivation.
What would you do differently a second time around in order to ensure victory?
Chauncy: Train! (laughs) I would be able to move more now. I was 50 lbs. bigger and no game plan. I won the 1st round then was dead. I'm in shape now, would have a game plan and would be carrying much less weight so would move fast and longer.
I hope he beats Vitali so my shot could come against him. That would be a wicked circle. The man that made me realize I can fight is the guy I win the title from.
Well thank you for your time Chauncy. Any final message for the readers?
Chauncy: Yes. Most people will shoot me down, and say "who is this guy?" "He hasn't done anything" or "why him again?" I have answers for all of those. First off, I came from hardly any amateur experience. I just wanna make a name for myself and this is how it's done. I never was given a chance to fight a big name because I don't suck up to the "big time" promoters. I've been quietly making noise for 9 1/2 years, and I think I'm allowed to make a bit of noise now after 55 fights.
I have been one of the most active heavies in the game and for the people who say I fought nobody, nobody will fight me. I've tried. I think the Okhello Peter fight in New Zealand will open some doors and maybe entice Tua to fight me. Okhello fought for the title and went all 12 rounds and has power. I'm a guy trying to have a go in this sport. I'm not here to be shot down by some keyboard warriors. I know people express their opinions, and that's great, but give some fighters credit. I train hard everyday and work to entertain you, the fans of boxing. Thanks.
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