Fighter of Faith: Calvin Brock: Ready for the ‘Big Time’ on April 23
Interview by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (April 20, 2005)
Hard-hitting undefeated heavyweight prospect Calvin Brock, 24-0 (20), is ready for the ‘Big Time’ and this weekend at Cesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada he will get a piece of 6’6” heavyweight giant Jameel McCline, 31-4-3 (19), for all the ESPN Pay Per View subscribers to see. The ‘Boxing Banker’ is looking to cash in with an impressive victory over the veteran McCline, and if so this should catapult Brock up the rankings.
The 2000 Olympian banged out an impressive amateur career of 147-38 and in 2001 brought his skills to the pro ranks, stopping his first three opponents via knockout. Brock continued the punishment of his opposition and on the undercard of the Gatti-Ward III he demolished the fight veteran Jim Strohl in the opening round with a vicious over hand right that sent the unconscious fighter to the canvas. Calvin has gone on to gain victories over Shawn Woods (TKO 1), Shane Swartz (TKO 7), Terry Smith (UD 10) and last January on ESPN ‘Friday Night Fights’ he traded shots with ‘The Black Rhino’ Clifford Etienne, flooring the vet four times en route to a third round TKO. The heavy-handed heavyweight sensation has stopped five of his opponents in the opening round and has laid to sleep over 80% of his opposition, and he is ready to lay more to rest.
The devout Christian has faith that his dream of becoming world champion will come true and the road to the top starts this weekend when he faces former sparring partner and two-time world title challenger Jameel McCline in a ten round throw down. Brock stopped by the Doghouse to give his thoughts on his career and his upcoming match, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Give us your thoughts on next weekend’s bout against Jameel McCline.
Calvin Brock: I’m going to win man, this is a fight I am looking forward too. This is a fight where a lot of people know I am going to beat him and a lot of people think I won’t beat him. So I’m going to win over a lot of fans after I beat Jameel McCline impressively and dominate him, that’s what I’m going to do. The world is going to know that I am the rising real heavyweight champion of the world.
BH: How has your training been for this bout?
CB: Oh my training has been great, I’ve been training very hard and I’ve done everything right. I couldn’t have done anything better, I had an excellent training camp and I’ve learned a lot and I’m 100% readily prepared for this boxing match.
BH: You were Jameel's sparring partner for his bout against Chris Byrd, from what I heard the sparring was pretty intense. Did you learn anything from those sessions that you may be able to use against Jameel?
CB: I was his sparring partner for just one week, but from sparring with him and watching him fight alone I learned there are a lot of things I can capitalize on with Jameel. I sparred him as a southpaw and hadn’t sparred southpaw in a long time, ever since 1999. I went in there cold as a southpaw and still gave him the best workout he ever had and I gave him very intense sparring sessions. I was thinking to myself ‘man if this guy was sparring with me right handed he wouldn’t be able to do anything with me’.
BH: When Jameel fought Chris Byrd he came on strong at first but seem to have some lost steam in the end. Although you are a much different fighter than Byrd is it your plan to drag Jameel out to the later rounds, or what will be your fight plan?
CB: My fight plan is to stay the same as always, I don’t adjust my fight plan to my opponent, I make my opponent adjust to me. I’m going to do what I do and I’m going to do what I do best, from the opening round to the end he will have to adjust to me.
BH: What are your thoughts on the ESPN PPV event, it is apparently cheaper than what the usual pay-per-views go for, what do you think it does for the boxing world?
CB: I think it is a very smart strategy for ESPN, come out strong with the first show cheap. They come out strong with an affordable price of $29.95 for some great boxing matches, so a lot of boxing fans I’ve talked to now say that ain’t nothing to pay. So they will pay for it and then as time goes along they can increase the price, as the boxing matches become a bigger draw.
BH: You want to make it to the top, Jameel wants to finally take that one last step up to the top, with a win this could be a big step for you, but how much of a big step would it be to reaching your goal of being champ?
CB: It will definitely put me in the top ten; it’s a big step at getting a title shot and becoming world champion.
BH: What have you learned about the boxing business in the four years you have been a pro?
CB: I learned that is very political, it’s not about the best boxers getting the title shot it’s all about who’s the promoter. I can only assume some rankings can be bought, some guys are ranked in the top five and haven’t really been on television or been off the scene for two or three years and they get ranked in the top five. Such as Andrew Golota, came off the scene for like two years and went straight to a title shot against Chris Byrd, now he is getting a third shot. You’ve got guys like Owen Beck fighting Monte Barrett for the number one contender-ship, and he ain’t ever boxed on television before, nobody even knew who he was [laughs] and he haven’t even beat anybody, so it is kind of mind boggling how some people get their rankings. When I get mine I will have earned it for sure.
BH: There are some match-ups coming up in the heavyweight division that could change the face of the division as far as new champions go. What are picks for the upcoming bouts? WBA heavyweight title, John Ruiz versus James Toney?
CB: I’m going to lean towards James Toney, but you never know; tough John Ruiz has been wining for the past three years so you can’t anything away from Ruiz, he’s very consistent, he stays strong throughout the fight. He has a lot of experience, but looking at the fundamentals I’m going to go with James Toney. He is a master at this game. He is very good and quick fundamental fighter, he is going to be in great shape.
BH: WBO heavyweight title, Lamon Brewster versus Andrew Golota?
CB: I will lean towards Lamon Brewster; Brewster is constant from round one. I mean he gets tired down the stretch, but he is very determined and a fundamentalist and he can punch hard. The past has proven for Golota that when he gets punched hard he just breaks up. But if Golota comes out with his A+ game the way he fought against Bowe and Byrd I think he would beat Lamon, but if he doesn’t come like that then I think he will get knocked out.
BH: WBC heavyweight title, Vitali Klitschko versus Hasim Rahman?
CB: I’m going to go with Klitschko, looking at Hasim Rahman with his athletic ability and power he stands a chance at catching Klitschko. If he puts the pressure on him he might knock him out the same way he did Lennox Lewis but looking at the fundamentals and the boxing skills I will have to go with Klitschko.
BH: Anything predictions for your bout?
CB: I don’t like to predict knockouts but I’m definitely going to win, and impressively.
BH: Anything you want to say in closing?
CB: Nah, nothing in particular just looking forward to the boxing match.
I would like to thank Calvin Brock for his time and thoughts, as always it is greatly appreciated. Brock is a regular here on Doghouse Boxing and we here at DHB appreciate his time, Calvin is a Fighter of Faith.
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