LAS VEGAS (March 28, 2006) – Former IBF cruiserweight champion William “Kid Chocolate” Guthrie (30-3-1, 24 KOs) has been there, done that, and now at 39, all he really wants is an opportunity to prove that he’s still a world-class boxer.

“The difference now is not being a champion doesn’t open doors anymore,” Guthrie remarked. “There have been a lot of inner changes. I’m 39, not 29, and I’ve gotten use to a lot less physically, and more mental emotion. I have a lot to think about being older and coming back. This is an extremely dangerous sport and older fighters have to pay more attention to the danger.

“I don’t look at this as one last run. I don’t need the money. I fight because I love boxing with a passion, still enjoy fighting, and believe I can still win at a championship level. If I can’t win at that level than it’s time to walk away. I respect this game too much be to a boxing whore, no disrespect to those who’ve had to take that route. If I can’t win at that level I’ll know. I still have a warrior’s spirit and mind frame.”

The Philadelphia native grew up in St. Louis, where he was a four-time Golden Gloves winner and National Golden Gloves champion, which earned him an induction into the St. Louis Hall of Fame. He also was a finalist at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Guthrie turned pro in 1989 and he reeled-off 24 straight victories, including a fourth-round knockout of Richard Frazier for the USBA belt. Two years later, William stopped Darrin Allen (23-2-1) in the third round to capture the IBF title.

After being inactive for 2½ years, Guthrie returned to the ring in 2004 and he is unbeaten in his comeback, winning three with one draw. He has scheduled fights March 31 and May 5 at the Ybor City Multi Sports Complex in Tampa, Florida.

“In this dangerous business, especially in your thirties, you have to prepare yourself the right way,” he said, “mentally, physically, socially and spiritually. You need proper medical attention before and after each fight.

“Life has taught me to be patient and more than anything, to be compromising: When things don’t go your way all of the time, just get up the next morning. I’m on the fast track to see if I’m still a world-class fighter. It’s a tough process and so far the best thing is I’ve been better prepared, slowly but surely, in the last year.”

Now trained by Buddy McGirt, Guthrie feels that he has the best in his corner. “Buddy McGirt is absolutely the best trainer in boxing today,” William concluded. “I think I’m in the best position to say that because I’ve been trained by two of the best ever, Eddie Futch and George Benton. They were great trainers, the best in the world, and Buddy’s on the way to joining them. I’m qualified to say it. Buddy McGirt is magic. I joke with him, saying I’m his oldest fighter and I’ll leave it up to him; I retire when he retires. Whatever he says, I do because I respect him so much.”

Guthrie will soon discover whether or not he shapes up against the world’s best cruiserweights.

He is promoted by Silverhawk Boxing and managed by Rider Boxing. For more information about Guthrie or Silverhawk Boxing go to www.silverhawkboxing.com.