The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
As the boxing world approaches the end of the Evander Holyfield/Lennox Lewis era, there is one fighter who stands shoulders above the rest of the heavyweight division. And that is Michael Grant.
Not just in height, as Grant stands 6'7, but in raw talent and ability. The truth of the matter is that Grant is the future of the heavyweight division. Now one would think that being hailed as the heir apparent to the heavyweight championship of the world might cause some undue pressure on an individual.
Three days after his 11th round stoppage of Ahmad Abdin, Grant and I spent a considerable amount of time on the phone talking about, among other things, pressure.
This was prior to his Saturday night appearance on Ring Talk, the insider's look into the world of boxing that is aired on the Talk America Radio Networks on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
RT-First up, contrast on the win. And how is your right hand?
MG-Thanks, and the right hand is sore. I went into the fight with it being injured.
RT-I know that must have played hurt in other sports, didn't you?
MG-Yeah, but then you could use your body. Couldn't do that in a fight.
RT-It looked like you were just looking to go some rounds. That you were carrying Abdin.
MG-Pedro, you know I could have gottten him out of there around the fifth. But I needed the rounds, and you have to hand it to Abdin. He came to fight.
RT-Did his punches ever stun you?
RT-You are pleased with your performance against Abdin?
MG-Yes. He came in with a good record, 25-1, and he had never been stopped.
RT-Give yourself a grade?
MG-On the entire performance?
RT-No, break it down into sections.
MG-The jab I give about a B+. My overall performance rated about a C+. It felt really good after such a long layoff.
RT-How many times would you like to fight a year?
MG-About three or four times. Does it put pressure on you when people like myself and Larry Merchant dub you the "heir apparent" to the throne?
MG-No. Pressure has no way of penetrating me. It never has.
RT-Jack Mosley, Shane's father used to work with you?
MG-Pedro, he was my first trainer. When I first went with him we worked on footwork and rhythum.
RT-Who's idea was it to make him Don Turner's assistant?
MG-It was Don's. After Tommy Brooks left to go with Mike Tyson, Don brought up Jack's name. I thought he'd be a great addition to the team.
RT-Does that mean you are going to start throwing those wicked body shots like Shane?
MG-I tried when I dipped to the left with that hook. But they called it a low blow.
RT-What's your spin on Tyson's behavior in the last month or so?
MG-Man, he's lost it. Talk about pressure, he can't handle it. And I don't mean the pressure of being Mike Tyson. I mean that he can't handle somebody hitting him back. Holy took his heart, and he will never be the same because of it. he can't live with it.
RT-But he has to. Is he a serious contender anymore?
MG-He's still a draw, but he's no threat I don't think.
RT-Lou Di Bella at HBO is trying to make you and Andrew Golota. Mike, if Andrew had to be forced into fighting Jesse Ferguson. And if he was a deer in the headlights with lennox Lewis, what would tend to make us think that he won't faint looking across the ring at you?
MG-Golota's got his problems. But that doesn't mean I won't fight him.
RT-Your contract with manager Bill Cayton expires soon. Are you going to renew?
MG-No. RT-Why not?
MG-Because I don't feel I need a manager per say. I have an advisors and an attorney.
MG-Are you the best heavyweight in the world?
MG-Right now, I'm just one of them. I've got to get the titles.
RT-It's three days after the Abdin fight. 12:00 noon, what were you doing when I called?
MG-I'm going through two months of bills and stuff that I couldn't attend to because I was in camp.
RT-When you go out to dinner, first of all do you eat at McDonalds?
RT-OK, when you go out to dinner, do you order three plates?
MG-No Pedro, I'm a small eater. I feed the soul, but not to any extremes.
RT-What do you and the Mrs. do on a typical day/night.
MG-We have friends over, or go out to a restaraunt. Afterwards, we'll take in a jazz club and just relax. After we get our things back in order, I'll probably go home to my people in Chicago, and she will go to Las Vegas to see hers. She's a lovely lady.
MG-I thought I might go down and spar the last week with Holy(field). Now, I don't think so. As for a fight, April or May is what I'm thinking.
MG-When people think of Michael Grant, what is it you want them to know?
MG-That I'm a humble man. A man who gets by with a lot of prayer in his life. An honest man, one with good solid morals. You talked earlier about pressure. If people see me as the man who will carry this sport into the 21st century, that's a good thing. And unlike others, I feel I can handle the opposition, and the pressure.
The writer is a syndicated talk show host with the Talk America Radio Network(s). Mr. Fernandez has his own site at www.fighters.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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