|Boxing Interview: Danny Batchelder: “I'm going to come to fight and I'm going to make a statement”
Interview by Bob Carroll, Doghouse Boxing (Nov 11, 2008) DoghouseBoxing.com
Last August, heavyweight contender Danny Batchelder stepped into the ring against former WBO heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster, and for the first four rounds, dominated the former champion. In the fifth round, Danny seemed to make a mental error that cost him the fight, getting dropped for the count in round five.
On November 29th, Danny Batchelder begins his climb back into the heavyweight mix, taking on veteran Otis Tisdale at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Danny took a few moments to speak to Doghouse
Bob Carroll: Danny the last time we talked, you were preparing for your fight against Lamon Brewster for the NABA Heavyweight title, last August in Cincinnati. Unfortunately you were on the wrong end of that fight. Can you tell the Doghouse readers what you felt went wrong?
Danny Batchelder: In that fight, it was going good for the first four rounds, but in that fifth round I made a careless mistake, a mistake I didn't need to make. I got to the ropes and instead of spinning out, I bent straight over and I didn't have my hand up or shoulders up enough and Lamon landed a nice right hand, right behind the ear. Hats off to Lamon, I made the mistake and he capitalized on it. I don't know what made me do that, but a lot of times in a fight you only have a split second to think and I just made the wrong move.
BC: Going into the fifth round of that fight, you were winning convincingly. Were you aware and did your corner tell you that you were ahead?
DB: Yeah, we were all happy about how the fight was going up to that point. I was outboxing Lamon like I planned to do, but he keeps coming, he's a strong guy with a great chin. The fight was going pretty much how I wanted it to go, I knew Lamon was going to keep coming and coming and I was just going to have to keep boxing him and picking my spots. My corner was telling me' You're doing good, keep doing what you're doing'. I realized he was getting a little close to me, and I wasn't really worried about it, I was planning on maybe going inside with him around the seventh round anyways and just staying in close for the rest of the fight. Before we got to execute that part of the plan, he landed that shot and there it went, you know.
BC: You step back into the ring on November 29th at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana against veteran Otis Tisdale (25-22-1, 15 KO’s). Tisdale has been in the ring with a lot of big names, Nicolay Valuev, John Ruiz, Bruce Seldon, and Michael Moorer to name a few. How does fighting a solid veteran help your career?
DB: Well it helps me because he looks at me, coming off a loss and he wants to get a win so he can get another shot at those guys again. He'll come in there to try to get the win, so fighting a guy like him will push me enough to where I've got to fight to get the win. He's not an easy push over guy, because I don't want to do that, I want to get back up to fight a named opponent if I can. Tisdale has a lot of ring experience, so fighting a guy like him, you may learn a few new tricks. He will also push me to fight and force me to earn the victory. I'm looking forward to being tested and coming out the winner and going upward from here!
BC: How much do you know about Otis Tisdale and his style of fighting?
DB: I've seen him fight, but it was a long time ago. From what I know about him, he likes to throw kind of wide punches. He always shows up to fight. I don't really set my mind to one particular gameplan because you don't know what is going to happen once you get in the ring. I just plan on seeing what Otis is going to do and work off of that action. I'm going to be in the best shape I can be in, so whatever style I have to fight, I'll be ready.
BC: Does your training team prepare you for each individual fighter, in this case Tisdale, or does your team prepare you for any fighter that will step in front of you?
DB: Well we had been training for anyone that would've stepped in front of us because we weren't sure of the opponent. Now that we know who it is, we can train a little more specificly towards Tisdale.
BC: What can the boxing public expect from Danny Batchelder on November 29th?
DB: I'm going to be in shape, I'm going to come to fight and I'm going to make a statement. I'm going to show that Danny Batchelder is ready to come back and get into the heavyweight mix. I'm going to try to do my very best to prove my point, the best I can prove it. I'm going to make a big statement.
BC: Looking at the card on the 29th, a name sticks out, Fres Oquendo. He is fighting for a minor title against Zuri Lawrence. Oquendo seems to be a tailor made fit for you. Do you see a fight with him; especially should he win that belt, down the road?
DB: You know, I saw that Fres was on that card and you always wonder if a promoter puts certain fighters on the same card to possibly match them up later. If that is the case, a fight with Fres Oquendo would be great, I defintely wouldn't pass it up. Fres is a big name, he's still good, still doing well. If the opportunity ever presented itself, that would be a good fight and I would take it.
BC: Are there any other fighters that you feel you match-up well with Danny Batchelder?
DB: You know, I would love to get a few more wins and stepping back into the spotlight. There has been talk, including today, for me to get through this fight and maybe one more fight and then getting a rematch with James Toney. That would be my ultimate right there because I carry a little bit of a grudge against Toney after the fight and the split decision he was given. I know you have to let go and the past is the past, but that one really bothered me (slight laugh). Besides Toney, any of the up and coming guys or the guys that are already names. I'm just trying to work hard so when I get there again, I want to make sure I capitalize on the opportunity and make the most of the shot.
BC: Say you were appointed the president of the sport of boxing. What would you say is the state of the heavyweight division?
DB: It's wide open right now. You have some good fighters coming up like Chris Arreola, he's real tough. You also have a bunch of guys in the heavyweights that you can say are good, but there is a kind of a gap between these guys and the Klitschko's. The division is defintely not like it was in the 80-90's, with guys like Holyfield, Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, there was more back in the 80-90's. Back then, even the guys who weren't at the top seemed tougher and it was a tougher division. Now I think it's a little more wide open and I think it is more open for a guy that may not have been able to it in that era, now I think that same guy can crack the division. I think that is good for the heavyweight division, you can see a new face, maybe this guy can get in there and make a name for himself. But I do think it is a wide open division.
BC: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers and all of your fans?
DB: I'm going to come to fight, I'll be in great shape and I'll make a statement. Man, if you are a fan of mine, I really appreciate you and if your not a fan of mine, maybe I can win you over. I hope you guys enjoy the fight, I'll do my best to put on a good show, and I'll see you in Indianapolis!
The fight will be on the undercard of the Lamon Brewster-Bruce Seldon fight. For information regarding Danny's fight, the entire fight card and tickets, log onto relentlessevents.net.
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