RingTV.com: Have you spoken to Robert Garcia and what do you know of him as a trainer?
KP: No, I have not yet spoken to him yet either. He definitely couldn’t hurt anything. He’s got a great resume. I personally think that he’s a great trainer. His fighters are very fundamentally sound.
They don’t waste punches. They don’t make major mistakes. They counter. Good defense. I think that he could do a lot with anybody.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on basically re-locating your family to California?
KP: I think that, yes, that’s good. That’s what we talked about in the meeting. But, you know, I wanted a couple of days when I got back from the New York fights.
I wanted them to give me some time to get everything going. That’s why I haven’t spoken to anybody yet. I wanted to get with my family, because my wife has been really supportive of me heading out to training.
RingTV.com: How old are your children?
KP: Sydney is 5, and baby Kelly is 2 and he’ll be 3-years-old in February. He’s Kelly Jr.
RingTV.com: Is it validating to know that Top Rank seems willing to re-invest in you this way?
KP: It really is validating to me. Top Rank’s been with everybody. They’ve had everybody — they’ve got a lot of things going on — for them to still do this for me with all of the fighters in their stable right now.
They really don’t need to be taking any chances with me because they’re going to make tons of money with the fighters that they already have.
So, really that re-assured me that they really do have faith in me and that they really do want me to still fight for me. Actually, it’s a confidence builder for me, it really is.
RingTV.com: Is the change of venue, leaving Youngstown, really necessary?
KP: Yes, for several reasons. Everybody and their mother knows that there has been a lot of negativity surrounding me in Youngstown, especially from the media outlets there. The negativity has flowed all around.
I still have a lot of friends there and people who are friendly with me. I can’t even go to the store without somebody wanting to shake my hand or to take a picture with me to get an autograph from me.
To this day, in that small, little city, I’ve probably, since 2007, signed every autograph there. But really, I guess that I haven’t. It’s just that there are some negative parts. Behind my back distractions.
So I just think that it’s better to get away and maybe try a different atmosphere. At this stage, you know, what’s it going to hurt? I want to get out there, see what they have, work with personal trainers. Let’s just see what happens.
RingTV.com: What fighter or fights would you like to pursue in the super middleweight division?
KP: Carl Froch. I would really like to fight Froch, because of his mouth. But whoever is going to give me the opportunity after I take two more tuneup fights, I’ll be ready.
I just want to get back into the mix of it with any one of those top guys. They’re all great fighters, I mean, they really are. Can’t take nothing away from them. Especially Ward, with his hand speed and everything else.
Ward’s a phenomenal fighter. But I’d like to take on any of the top fighters out there right now. It would be exciting for me to be in a fight with any of them.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on Taylor’s comeback?
KP: Well, they approved him for a license. They passed him, so that’s a positive thing. I don’t relly think that he was ever really beaten badly say in the Froch fight. I actually watched that fight two days ago.
Taylor was destroying him. He was so far ahead, I think that he could have taken two knees and still won that fight. That wasn’t like he got beat up for 12 rounds or six rounds and still got knocked out.
I think that if Jermain Taylor wants to come back and do it, and if he has been passed, physically, then I think that it can be good for the sport. Believe it or not, he’s only had a couple of lackluster performances.
Like maybe against Corey Spinks. But if you look at some of the fights with me and with Froch, where he stood there in the pocket and he looked good, no holding or running? I wish the best of luck to him.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org