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Heavweights Discuss Boxing Battle for Supremacy

BY Editor ON November 08, 2004
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Don King's 'Rendezvous with Destiny: Battle for Supremacy' boxing extravaganza at Madison Square Garden on Saturday features a number of the top contenders in the heavyweight division.

CHRIS BYRD
“Jameel McCline and me are good friends.  Our wives are good friends.  But this is a competition.  And I am really looking forward to the fight.  Style-wise, I love this match-up.  Jameel is the biggest, most athletic guy I have ever fought.  I think when the fans first see us in the ring, they will think he will beat me easily.  But I know how to fight big guys and by the third or fourth round, it will be a different story.

“The key in all my fights is to frustrate the guy in front of me and keep him off balance.  At this level, you cannot take anyone lightly.  This is going to be a great fight.”

HASIM RAHMAN
“I am looking to make a statement.  I don’t just want to win a decision.  I want a devastating knockout.  I feel better and smarter now than ever before.  I have got all the pieces to the puzzle.  It is just a matter of putting them together.  Meehan is a tall, durable guy with a good jab and good speed.  He comes to fight.  But with a world title shot on the line, there is no way he can beat me.”

MARK JANSSEN—KALI MEEHAN’S TRAINER
“We were hoping to get a few more fights under Kali’s belt after he fought Damon Reed.  He has sparred over 200 rounds with the likes of Lamon Brewster, Owen Beck and other great heavyweights leading up to his fight on the undercard of Brewster-Klitschko.  We received the opportunity to fight for the title sooner than we thought, but we had to take the opportunity.  We felt we won the fight.  We got robbed.  It shocked me that he didn’t stop Brewster.  We were just 70 per cent for that fight and we should be at 90 per cent for this fight.  In another six months time, Kali will be at his best.

“Don King had faith in us.  No one had ever heard of us.  Everyone said we were cannon fodder and we were slow as a turtle.  That all motivated us. 

“Brewster was a tougher style for Kali.  Kali is a very good fighter and he will prove that on what he does to Rahman.  Rahman doesn’t handle distance well.  Kali has better all around skills and speed. 

“We were a little tentative against Brewster, but that was a very big moment for us.  We used to fight in a little club in Australia.  Now all of a sudden we hit the bright lights of Las Vegas and we are fighting before a very large crowd on television at Mandalay Bay.  This has been unbelievable for us.  It is like hitting the lotto.  We were making peanuts in Australia.  Now it is limos, Mandalay Bay, Madison Square Garden…it is a Cinderella story.  We have to pinch ourselves.  Is this really happening?

“We were 100 per cent robbed.  They couldn’t give it to Lamon.  I keep looking at the tape again and again and we won that fight.  Lamon is an awesome fighter, but we won that fight.

“Kali started fighting at 13 years old.  His uncle was a fighter.  I have been with Kali for a couple of years.  We were introduced by a mutual friend.  I had been in boxing for many years and then I got to renovating homes for seven years.  Kali and I went for a workout and I felt that we have the makings of a champion here.”

JOHN RUIZ
“I feel my mental focus for this fight is better than it’s ever been. In every single fight I’ve always looked for a win and I just have to go out there and do it all over again.
 
“I’m going to work Golota real hard right from the beginning because I know he’ll get frustrated. Expect me to be very active in the ring, throwing a lot of punches and moving around.”

LARRY DONALD
“I was very heartened by the big turnout today at my media workout in my hometown of Cincinnati.  Everyone came out to support me before I head off to New York.  I’m looking forward to one of the biggest challenges of my career in facing Evander Holyfield in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.  It can’t get any bigger than that.”

ANDREW GOLOTA
“The reason I am coming in at 235 is because I have to be faster for this fight.

Ruiz will try to make the fight a wrestling match. But I will try to keep him away with the jab. The uppercuts.

”I will try to move as much as possible so he can't hold me and lay on me.

But that is all I can say because I know the Ruiz people are reading the papers.

For me...if I don't win this fight I retire.  I'm getting too old to train this hard for this many weeks for nothing.”  (Golota has been training for 3 months for this fight)

Saturday's Rendezvous with Destiny: Battle for Supremacy extravaganza at Madison Square Garden will be broadcast domestically on HBO Pay-Per-View.

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