Interview with Undefeated Heavyweight Prospect JD Chapman
Interview By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (October 13, 2005)
Take a great jab, quality skill and a massive right hand with no prior amateur experience and what do you get? ‘The Natural’. A hard hitting twenty-two year old undefeated professional banger that goes by the name of JD Chapman, 16-0 (15), the knockout artist is ready and willing to steam roll the competition.
As a youngster JD participated in school sports back home in small town Arkansas, which had a major hand in carving out his competitive edge, and when high school was over Chapman wanted more challenges so he tried his hand in the local Tough Man contest and despite negative feedback from others around him he prevailed. After smacking out a 3-1 record in the sport the only loss a controversial split decision Chapman met up with a local Arkansas trainer/manger Stacy Goodson and his journey in the punch for your pay ranks began explosively.
Chapman’s first seven bouts ended in knockouts, six in the opening round before JD would face off against the fight veteran Calvin Miller. The 7-0 prospect accepted the challenge and outworked and out-boxed the sixteen-fight veteran for four rounds winning the bout by unanimous decision. Four wins later Chapman would face his foe in a rematch, stopping the journeyman in six rounds to win the Arkansas State Heavyweight title.
Chapman continued his run over the usual suspects dropping and stopping all in his path with his most recent KO victory coming on the undercard of the Samuel Peter versus Wladimir Klitschko match-up when JD laid to sleep hard hitting Robert Kooser in round four. And in less than two weeks ‘The Natural’ looks to keep his unbeaten streak alive when he steps in with scheduled opponent Ron Johnson at Slug Out II on October 22nd in Russellville, Ark.
All though JD is a work in progress who is learning on the job, the prospect is really coming on strong and now under the tutelage of former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer he looks to get stronger, better and take the title of heavyweight champion in the future.
The undefeated prospect took the time out of his training to talk with the Doghouse and gave his thoughts on his career, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off tell the Doghouse what inspired you to want to lace up the gloves?
JD Chapman: I played football my whole life and whenever it was over in high school I was going to go to college but things didn’t go well with the scholarship so as a fun thing I would spar with my friends. Then Tough Man came and I have always been a competitor with everything so I had to try it and I did real well at that, and then I ran into Stacy Goodson and the rest is pretty much in the books. I was pretty much just trying to keep that competitive drive going.
BH: Was the lack of an amateur background a hindrance throughout the early stages of your career, or was it easy to adapt?
JC: I have always been able to pick up sports real easy, I am just a natural athlete, I have played football, basketball and I ran track and I can play just about anything. It just came easy to me, things are a little bit tougher now that I am up here working with Michael Moorer, he is a perfectionist but it is getting easier all the time.
BH: How has it been working with the former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer?
JC: I have learned a lot, I have been down here for two and a half months and I have learned more these past two months than I have the past four years of my career. It is just a different level of fighting down here.
BH: What have you learned about the fight world these past three years as a professional boxer?
JC: There is a lot more business to it than what everybody sees; I mean seriously, fighting is like a quarter of it. The fighting is actually the easy part. (Laughs)
BH: You are undefeated in your sixteen bouts and all have ended in knockouts expect one, do you find yourself going straight for the KO when the bell rings?
JC: No, I don’t force knockouts, they just come. I have a big, big right hand and I just wait for it to land. I stick the jab out there and I see what they are going to do and I can go back to the corner and Michael has the whole game plan ready.
BH: There are a lot of young heavyweight prospects in the division who claim they are the next big thing, some make it some don’t. What separates you from the other prospects, what do you posses as a fighter that assures the fans that you are the real deal?
JC: Pretty much drive and determination. I am a small town kid and I have always been the underdog, when I stared fighting Tough Man all I ever heard was that I wasn’t going to make it, then I did. Then when I was going to go pro I hear again that I couldn’t make it, and I am flawless so far. When I fought for the title against Miller they still said I couldn’t make it, I am just overcoming everybody’s odds that they have put on me so far. It doesn’t bother me. They can say what they want because people still keep getting knocked out. I train hard every day, all day and I do what I am told, I am not the best fighter in the world by no means but with the surroundings I have and the way I listen I can be.
BH: How is it learning on the job, what have you taken from your last few fights that will help you in your next bout?
JC: Ah, I have learned patience; every time I fight I get a little more patient. A lot of fighters especially early on with no amateur background they get real antsy, I don’t get antsy anymore, I still get nervous but I go in there and I do what I am told to do. It is coming easier now that I am getting world class training, and every time I spar I get better every time.
BH: Who are some of the boxers that you look up to in the sport?
JC: Michael Moorer is one of them, and Ali, I have always liked watching him fight. Michael Moorer is a textbook of what a fighter should be, if you really look at his fights you will see that there isn’t as many fighters that can box as well as he did with as much power, that is just the ultimate fighter.
BH: What else do you do besides box?
JC: Play a lot of Playstation 2. (Laughs)
BH: Although the Arkansas State Heavyweight Title isn’t a major belt, how did it feel to earn the strap, it is still an accomplishment.
JC: It made me kind of a celebrity in my little town. That was pretty cool you know, it was an honor. I get looked up to a lot by the little kids back home. I coached peewee football back home and I had my whole team come to that fight and that was something else. Everybody is like a family down there.
BH: For the ones who haven’t seen you fight how would you describe your style?
JC: My style is kind of like a Larry Holmes, I stick that jab out there quite a bit, and I get my reach and look for that big right hand to go through. I have had a lot of people say that I move like Ali, I don’t know if it was because I have watched him so much or what but I am light on my feet for two and fifty pounds.
BH: What do you feel is your best quality?
JC: Straight jab and a big right hand.
BH: Are there any other prospects in your division that you would like to step in the ring with?
JC: Whenever the time is right and whoever is in there is good enough. I am not looking for anybody, I may have people gunning for me but right now I am taking one step at a time. They stick them in front of me and I know what I have to do and we will go from there.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add to or say in closing of this interview?
JD: If you are out and about Russellville, Arkansas October 22nd that is where it’s going to be, people are going to get knocked out and it is going to be a big show. My whole hometown is going to be there, it is going to be a great night and you are going to see a good show. I am ready to go and my team is ready to go and we are going to come out with another win.
I would like to thank Stacy Goodson for getting me this interview, and a special thank you goes out to JD. JD is managed by Scott Hirsch and is trained by former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer. If you would like to attend Slug Out II and witness first hand JD’s live performance please call: (479) 206-0250 or visit: www.goodnightclubfights.com.
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