Samuel Peter: "I Am Going to Knock Wladimir Klitschko out Anytime I feel like!"
30.08.05 - Interview by Geoff McKay: On September 24, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City New Jersey, Samuel ďThe Nigerian NightmareĒ will square off against Wladimir ďDr. SteelhammerĒ Klitschko in the most highly anticipated heavyweight fight of the year. I caught up with Samuel in between training sessions, and he was gracious enough to take the time to answer questions about himself, his faith, and his sport.
Article posted on 30.08.2005
GM: Hello Mr. Peter, thank you for taking the time to speak with us.
SP: Hey, how you doing? No Problem.
GM: It is obvious that you are a deeply spiritual man. Why do you think boxers on the whole seem to be more overtly spiritual than other professional athletes?
SP: In Football and Basketball they just run and pass the ball, boxing is a dangerous game you know, you can go anytime, you can get damaged. Football you play you run you jump and throw the ball, you clap hands, youíre happy, you canít tell any basketballer to come and be a boxer. Boxing is just like a war, your face to face with somebody for 45 minutes, you always have to thank god that you donít have an injury..
GM: I noticed during one post fight interview you held your daughter in your arms. How has fatherhood affected you as a fighter and as a person?
SP: I love my kids, thatís one thing I was warned but It doesnít affect me, their mom takes care of them, so I donít worry about that, they are my true heart, they are the only thing I have in this world. If I go today they are going to represent me.
GM: I know from speaking to Mr. Gotzev (Samuel Peters Manager) that you have quite an intense training schedule. How has training camp been going?
SP: Nice, Iíve got some strong guys that I am working with, like Ray Austin; he has been giving me a good workout. Weíve got another guy Maurice Harris, they are good people, good guys you know, so again, no problem.
GM: I read in an interview you predicted you would KO Wladimir in round 1 andÖ..
SP: Definitely, Definitely I am going to knock him out. Anytime I feel like knocking him out. I donít really have a problem with Wladimir Klitschko, IĎve got a problem with Steward; Iíve got a problem with his trainer. He said heís going to knock me out, Iím going to prove to him that heís wrong, He canít predict a loss for me, Iím predicting a loss for them, there gonna lose.
GM: Do you see Wladimirís jab becoming a factor?
SP: It wonít be anything, my jab is a screw, Iím going to screw something into his brain.
Gm: Itís well known that you have sparred with Wladimir in the past. Do you see that familiarity as helpful in your preparation?
SP: I canít see anything bad because I am not a backward man, I am a forward man. When we were sparring he had over 40 fights, I was 3-0. If they have that kind of mentality they are losers. He didnít do anything to me, I was 3-0, he was 40-45 fights, so what do you think. He didnít take me out, or knock me, or do anything to harm me, so why are they having that in their brain, you know. Losers think about backwards, and I donít want to think about backwards, I think about what I am going to do September 24.
GM: What kind of Klitschko do you expect to see on September 24?
SP: I donít expect anything from him. He canít off my bottle, but Iím going to lose his pants. (Laughs)
GM: There are a lot of boxing fans, me among them, that are surprised and pleased that this fight is taking place. The general consensus is that you both have a lot to lose. Who do you think has taken the bigger risk by agreeing to this fight?
SP: Heís taking a big risk because of Emanuel Steward. When I hit him, everything Emanuel Steward tell him from the day he signed to contract to the day of the fight heís gonna forget.
GM: I take it youíre not a big fan of Emanuel Steward?
SP: No, because at the press conference he said that he was the one that was going to teach Klitschko how to beat me. Iím going to show him that Iím like the F.B.I. Iím going to surprise Emanuel Steward like the F.B.I. (Laughs)
GM: You have been called the Savior of the Heavyweight Division. How do you feel about that?
SP: I feel wrong because I am not a savior. The only man that name belongs to is Jesus Christ, so Iím not the savior of the heavyweight or anything. Iím just going to do my thing, you canít take any glory from god, heís the savior of everything. I am just going to do what I can do and I know heaven is going to back me up.
GM: Why do you think boxing is less popular now than it used to be?
SP: Because God put something there in Samuel Peter to bring it out again.
GM: You have said you think your style matches up well with Vitali Klitschko. In order for you to meet down the road you must first beat Wladimir, and Vitali must defeat Hasim Rahman. Who is your pick between Vitali and Rahman?
SP: I say the best man will win.
GM: What is the boxing scene like in Nigeria? Is it a popular sport there?
SP: Before it wasnít, but after 1995, a lot of people love boxing.
GM: Who do you see as the real heavyweight Champion?
SP: Well, I donít really see any exciting heavyweight, but you gotta give respect to any champion, anybody that hold the heavyweight championship belt, you know, you gotta give respect because itís not easy, you know, but Iím coming to send them packing.
GM: Thank you very much for your time Samuel. Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
SP: Yes, it is very important that I thank all my fans, I know that they are praying for me, you know, and I know that there god are my god, you know, we believe in the true god, you know what Iím saying. We know that god is gonna back us up, you know, with all my fans, and were gonna come out victorious by knocking this guy out, you know, making the whole heavyweight boxing be proud.
(At this point Samuels Manger, Ivailo Gotzev came on the line to make some closing comments.)
GM: Hello Mr. Gotzev.
IG: Hello, I just wanted to add some things but Samuel covered all bases. I just wanted to make sure but he already said it himself about Emanuel Steward because heís the one whoís going to end up looking like a fool at the end of the night. Heís been nothing but a used car salesman the way he sounds right now. Heís trying to sell a used car right now, you know, the one thatís been in a major wreck. Heís trying to sell us a salvaged title right now, something that looks good on the outside and we know itís been broken down before. He (Emanuel Steward) is going to create a lot of problems for Klitschko, because basically we are going to expose Emanuel Steward to the world as being the biggest B.S. artist. Heís always been overrated and now itís time for him to go where he belongs, you know.
GM: Do you think Emanuel Steward is the wrong trainer for Wladimir Klitschko?
IG: Samuel put it best. He might be good but heís not the greatest, heís not this hall of fame, all time best, which he is trying to represent himself to the world as. You know, he is getting good press, heís a good self promoter, and right now what heís doing, heís going overboard because heís in a desperate position, you know. His big time middleweight champion Vivian Harris went down on his face so now heís in a rebuilding stage, and heís going a little bit out of his way to sell something thatís going to fall on its face once again. I mean listen, we got a lot of respect for Klitschko, letís not kid around, you know. I mean, Klitschko is a well accomplished athlete, heís got the package, heís got the body, heís got the physique, but I mean there is no way on this earth he can match Samuel punch for punch, heart for heart you know. This is so simple to us; we canít even think about it, we canít even worry for one second. They are really in dreamland, but their dream will turn into nightmares come September 24th. Samuel is very humble, he doesnít like taking the position of being the savior but we all know what is going on. Heís here for a purpose. Weíre going to make history with this kid.
After our conversation I played the tape over a couple of times. I looked for those always present but often subtle clues that let us know what a person is really thinking. I came away with the impression that Samuel is confident, but that he also has real respect for Wladimir Klitschko. His tone belied the fact that he knows this fight is huge for him, not just another match up. I for one know Iíll be watching come September 24th.
I would like to thank Samuel Peterís Manager, Ivailo Gotzev, for his much appreciated assistance in setting up this interview.
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