Jameel McCline: Ready to cash in on the ‘Boxing Banker’
Interview by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (April 19, 2005)  
Photo © Marty Rosengarten/ HoganPhotos.com
The big man is back and this time he is more ready than ever to prove he is more than just a contender, but that he is championship martial. Jameel ‘Big Time’ McCline, 31-4-3 (19), is focused and ready to take on the young undefeated heavyweight prospect Calvin ‘The Boxing Banker’ Brock, 24-0 (20), and McCline is looking to cash in the win with a dominate victory over the younger lion. The two will clash on the first ever ESPN PPV extravaganza this weekend and Jameel is as hungry as ever.

McCline broke out on the scene in 1995 with a first round knockout victory over Brian Nix. After Jameel went 2-2-1 he restructured himself and since then has made his mark on the heavyweight division leaving a path of formidable fighters behind him. Using his size and ability to utilize his jab he went on a mission to devastate and dominate his opposition. In the summer of 2001 the then 25-2-3 McCline devastated Michael Grant in the opening round to win, dropping Grant with the first punch of the fight. Five months later he hands down dominated Lance Whitaker with a twelve round UD for the WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title and four months after that victory he earned a 10 round UD over fight veteran Shannon Briggs, knocking Briggs down in the sixth round.

Last November McCline stepped in the ring with good friend and IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd for his piece of the title. In the opening rounds Jameel used his size and reach advantage to breakdown the champ, dropping Byrd in the second round with a solid right hand but in the end he lost steam and eventually lost the bout via split decision. Now the big guy looks to stay afloat and needs this victory over Brock to do so. McCline, who is ranked IBF #5, WBA #8, WBC #9, Ring #8 and USA Today #6, knows this fight could finish him so he is hungry and ready for war. ‘Big Time’ McCline took the time out of his training to talk with the Doghouse on his career and upcoming match. Enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr: What are your thoughts on your upcoming bout against the unbeaten Calvin Brock?

Jameel McCline:
My thoughts on Calvin Brock are that he is young, strong, and he is ready to come and prove himself against an established fighter.

BH: Calvin was one of your sparring partners before your bout with Chris Byrd, from what I was told you and the sparring partners went at it full force, do you feel you learned enough about him in the sessions to break down his style and know what he has to offer in this bout?

No, I’m not really going to know what he has to offer only because he went southpaw for me and he is not a southpaw. He is going to turn around back to his natural side and it is going to be a little different.

BH: You weighed in for the Byrd bout at 270, which you have weighed in about four times prior but never had to go more than four rounds at that weight. You came on strong in the beginning but seemed to have lost a bit of steam in the end, so do you feel that your weight should be a bit of an issue for this bout and if so what do you feel would be a good weight for you to fight this fight at?

Well I thought it would be an issue and I tried to address it and we worked very, very, very diligently with the weight but I’m still around 270 so is still up there. We just addressed it by doing more threshold work, more endurance work.

BH: You stated in our last interview that you will fight any titleholder or top contender in the world, how much of a statement do you feel a win over Brock will make to the boxing community?

A win over Brock would just let the world know that I’m still here, I’m a great fighter so it’s not like I am going in there with this tremendous fighter and I’m winning. I’m going in there with a good fighter and I’m a better fighter and I will win the fight and it will let everyone know that I am still here and I am a formidable opponent.

BH: How has your training been for this match-up, and are you doing anything different in your training than your last fight that you can tell us about?

Like I said I didn’t take anything for granted, he is a young strong kid. I trained as diligently and I sacrificed as much, I was as focused as any other fight.

BH: What are your thoughts on the whole ESPN PPV event, from my understanding it will be around $29.95 aside from the usual $49.95, do you think this will help the boxing world by bringing in more fans due to lower pricing?

I am very happy that ESPN is doing this, it is very exciting and it is very cool. It is a new venue and I am glad to be a part of the first event.

BH: There are some heavyweight bouts coming up I would like to get your picks on them if possible. WBA heavyweight title fight, John Ruiz versus James Toney?

John Ruiz.

BH: WBO heavyweight title fight, Lamon Brewster versus Andrew Golota?

Andrew Golota.

BH: WBC heavyweight title fight, Vitali Klitschko versus Hasim Rahman?

Vitali Klitschko because I would like to fight him, but I don’t think he will beat Hasim. But I want him to so I can get him next.

BH: Any predictions in your bout against Brock?

I’m just a very dominant fighter and I will show that I am dominant.

BH: Is there anything you would like to add to this in closing?

No not really, I’m sorry Benny nothing special, to be honest with you I am just very happy to have this opportunity to fight on this big card and I’m not being cliché here. I’m really happy about being able to come back and let the people see what I am about, I’m really happy for this opportunity that’s all I really have to say.

Once again I would like to thank Tine McCline for her wonderful help with the interview, and I would like to give a big shout out to Jameel, your time and thoughts are greatly appreciated. For more info on Jameel visit his website: http://www.jameelbigtimemccline.com/
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