Wayne Braithwaite Interview: 'The Fear In Mormeck's Eyes'
01.04.05 - Interview by Wray Edwards: As the phone began to ring on the other end, this writer was filled with pleasant anticipation at the prospect of hearing the cheerful voice and Caribbean accent of the current WBC Cruiserweight Champion of the World Wayne "Big Truck" Braithwaite (photo: Tom Casino/Showtime) again. The twenty-nine year-old southpaw speaks with an easy confidence, and off-the-cuff humor, which belies his accomplishments in the ring. This interview was aimed at the practical boxing aspects rather than hype.
Article posted on 01.04.2005
Having KO'd sixteen of his last seventeen opponents, this Georgetown, Guyana native who now lives in Brooklyn, New York is undefeated. His 21-0-0 (17) record has included many serious challenges. Though the Cruiserweight division is not as high-profile as other divisions, many of our most accomplished champions have paid some of their dues in this weight class. Wayne recently gave Eastside Boxing an exclusive interview on the eve of his unification match with thirty-two year-old Frenchman Jean Marc Mormeck 30-2-0 (21). Braithwaite-Mormeck will be shown on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) .
ESB: Welcome Mr. Braithwaite, may I call you Wayne?
Wayne: "You can call me whatever you want to call me, but be careful, I have a hard punch."
ESB: (laughing) The last time we spoke it was obvious that the postponement of your match with Mormeck last year was a great disappointment. How was your camp and do you think you have avoided any ring rust having to wait for Marc to get fit after his "injury?"
Wayne: "I think I have avoided any ring rust because I'm always in the gym and always spar, and when I spar I do it like in a fight, and like my sparring partners to come at me so I gotta be on my P's and Q's.
ESB: Who have you been sparring with?
Wayne: "I have been sparring with a guy from Canada, a Cuban and a man from Egypt named Shemi; mostly cruiser boxers to stay in fighting shape.
ESB: Did you pick these partners for their similarity to Mormeck's style or that they would give you good training for him?
Joel Rivera (Wayne's number one) chimes in: "We make sure also that we get Wayne sparring partners sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller that way, you know, we can work on speed and power."
ESB: What do you consider to be Mormeck's best points as a boxer? What is it you see when you watch him box that reveals a point of advantage for you?
Wayne: "I've watched his last couple of fights and didn't see anything special. One thing, he doesn't set his feet when he throws punches. Because of that I plan to keep him off balance."
ESB: Do you think he is pretty aggressive?
Wayne: "Yeah, he's very aggressive. I like that because it's better for me.
ESB: You feel your training has prepared you to deal effectively with that huh?
Wayne: "Yeah, I can adapt to any style, no matter what another boxer does I have trained to adjust. I'm not worried. In his last couple of fights I noticed that he can't fight going back after he tries to come forward and gets countered."
ESB: Have you made any changes that you feel will help you to defeat him?
Wayne: "Yeah I made a lot of changes. I have started lifting weights. I've done a lot of swimming and trained much harder for this fight. I've made a lot of sacrifice. I've dedicated myself more for this fight. Um, this fight I'm more serious than any other fight because I'm more hungry for this fight. This fight is real big for me, this fight is very important for my career, because this fight can make me or break me."
ESB: How has your conditioning gone? Do you think you are better prepared than Mormeck for strength and stamina?
Wayne: "Ah yes! Yes I am because like I say. I personally don't like lifting weights, but it has made me very strong."
ESB: Last time we spoke you indicated that you thought you would knock him out. Not that you were necessarily going to try to do it, but that it would just happen because your skills and power were just superior to his. Do you still think he will go down?
Wayne: "All I know is that I'm going to win. I just don't see Mormeck being able to move me."
ESB: Do you plan to fight more often in the future?
Wayne: "Yeah I want to fight more often, because um...this is going to be the best performance of my career, and it will get people interested in having me fight more and put me in a couple of more shows before the end of the year"
ESB: Who do you respect as a future opponent and would like to fight. Bell or Davis for instance.
Wayne: "It don't really matter because I feel ready for anyone, I'm not thinking about Bell or Davis, but right now my mind if focused on Saturday night and Mormeck. After that I'm going to think about who I'm going to fight next. This fight is my coming-out party, this is My show."
ESB: Thank you for taking this time so close to the fight to speak with Eastside Boxing. Let's do it again in a week or so when the dust clears and see where we go from here.
Joel Rivera: "Wray just to give you an idea, just walking around here, Wayne is very much the favorite if you talk to anybody. People are really behind him, all the other fighters, all the other trainers, just everybody else involved really expect him to win.
You know his mother is a very faith bearing person, we were supposed to be the fight just before the Trinidad fight but that didn't work out, but as his mother always says "God is good" This is his main scorecard and now it's going to be on Showtime, which brings fights to so many more people than Pay-Per-View, and bring home to Americans Wayne's boxing skills; one of the best kept secrets in Boxing."
ESB: "What do you think about the possibility of changing the name of the Cruiserweight Division to Heavyweight and above that call it "super" like in the other divisions.
Joel Rivera: "You know eighteen months ago we were involved in the discussions and the Cruiser Division was raised up to two-hundred. I know a lot of people are confused by the name and it would be better to change it."
ESB: Well as we asked Wayne, let's hope to speak again in a week or so regarding his future.
Joel Rivera: "Definitely, and you know in terms of you were asking about this guy being aggressive. Remember Wayne's whole thing is that he has knockout ability so if this guy's aggressive and he comes forward, you know we really don't have to change our game plan, that fits into Wayne's game if he comes to us. Remember this guy's knocked out sixteen of his last seventeen opponents so, that feeds right into it, and.honestly he (Mormeck) looked scared (laughs) and you can quote me on that. I'm not the only one who says that so."
Eastside Boxing would like to thank Joel Rivera and Wayne for taking time to chat with us.
It has been many, many years since the Cruiserweight division has been unified. Wayne's impressive amateur career and his quite respectable professional record bode well for this big guy. Showtime's April 2nd presentation of his contest with Mormeck might just be a real battle. Though Marc has had several more fights, he has been rather sheltered by his division and his European boxing cloisters. When east meets west in this one of the straps will change hands.
Yours truly likes Wayne in this one. Go "Big Truck!"
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