RTV: What are your thoughts on Gerry Cooney’s saying that basically if most American heavyweights had what you have, then the Klitschkos might not be so dominant?
BR: Well that sounds good to me. I appreciate that. When I came into that fight, I was drained and I still managed to pull out a victory and knock the guy out.
The way that I did it, John Murray was a tough guy and everything. But I think that I showed the world that I’m a true warrior and that I live for this sport. I love to fight, and I’ll do whatever it takes to win.
I don’t care how bad I feel or how fat I am, that’s the kind of champion I am. John Murray, he would have had to kill me to take the title back to his town.
Even though I lost it even before the fight, I still feel like a champion. I was sure that he wasn’t ever going to be able to take my title away from me in the ring.
RTV: How did you actually feel, physically, during the fight?
So in the fourth and the fifth rounds, I sort of took the rounds off. But in the sixth and the seventh and the eighth, Robert told me to pick up the pace again. In eighth and the ninth rounds, I went after it. That’s when Robert started to tell me, “Let’s take this guy out of here,” and “Let’s get him out of here already.”
He said, “Let’s just go.” So in the ninth, 10th and 11th round, I went out there to take him out. I wasn’t myself in there, I’ll admit it. My legs weren’t there like they usually are.
I wasn’t all the way there. But I’ll be there 100 percent against Gamboa. I’ll be there for Gamboa like I was for Miguel Acosta. Everything will be perfect like it was for that fight. The weight and everything.
RTV: Having stated that you’ve always longed to be involved in the Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward type of fights, are you looking for that sort of situation again with Gamboa?
BR: I love that sort of fight. I love to fight. I love to give the fans what they pay for. I love to show the world that I am a warrior.
I’m not here just to collect a paycheck. I’m here to put on a show and I’m here to give the fans what they want and what they pay for.
Not only that, but I need to be in a real fight for myself. That’s my high. That’s my drug. That’s what I need. That’s like my crack. I really need that.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com