On November 13th quick fisted heavyweight Larry 'The Legend' Donald, 41-3-2 (24), will be facing legendary four-time champion Evander 'The Real Deal' Holyfield, 38-7-2 (25), at Madison Square Garden on a heavyweight card blowout. The ten round bout will be featured on PPV on the undercard of the Chris Byrd-Jameel McCline IBF heavyweight championship matchup. After losing to heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko two years ago in Germany for the WBA Intercontinental belt and an almost two-year hiatus from the boxing world, Donald has come back and is ready to take on the heavyweight division. The 6’4” 36-year-old Cincinnati native isn’t taking this fight lightly but is confident that he will beat Holyfield and become heavyweight champion of the world in the near future. His eleven-year career has produced wins over old schooled Bert Cooper and Tim Witherspoon and one time undefeated heavyweight Jeremy Williams, all three for the WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title, and he has faced fighters such as Riddick Bowe, Vitali Klitschko and Kirk Johnson. Donald knows the road back will be tough but he is more than ready to accept that challenge and will begin with Holyfield. The former US Olympian talked about his upcoming match against Holyfield and plans for the future in this exclusive interview he conducted with the Doghouse.
Photo © Marty Rosengarten
Benny Henderson Jr.: Give us your thoughts on your upcoming bout against Evander Holyfield.
Larry Donald: I’m excited about the bout and I think it is good for boxing.
BH: Could this fight be a no win situation for you? I mean if you win you beat an old man, if you get beat you were beat by an old man. Do you feel that you are taking a chance on your career with this fight?
LD: Well you know Evander is ready to fight all the time so you can’t take anything away from Evander. A lot people are going to say what they want to say anyway but let them get in there and try to do what he is doing. People have to understand that Evander is not the type of fighter that goes out and drinks and does all that crazy stuff. He takes good care of his body and if you do that you can fight much longer.
BH: In your training for this fight is there anything that you are working on specifically or adopting a specific game plan?
LD: I am not doing anything different than I would normally do. The game plan is to get in there and just do it. You can’t think about what you are going to do, you just have to get in there and do it.
BH: You had an impressive amateur career with sixty-seven wins and just five losses and you were also part of the 1992 US Olympic boxing team. Do you feel that it is important for a professional fighter to have a solid amateur background?
LD: Yes, I think that is important you know, it is very important. To me that means you don’t have to start right at the bottom, you come right out and it puts you in a nice position to have a nice career and make a good living.
BH: What do you feel your best quality as a fighter is?
LD: Well, I feel like I have everything.
BH: Have you thought about a rematch with Riddick Bowe now that he has come out of retirement?
LD: [Chuckles] That would be good if he can get passed what is in front of him. I mean I don’t know what state of mind he is in or what type of health he is in. But if he can pull himself together and have some good fights there is a possibility that could happen.
BH: Your thirty-six years old and have been in the business around eleven years. How much longer do you feel you can still fight and how much longer do you plan on fighting?
LD: It all depends.
BH: After Holyfield, is there any fighter that you would like to face in particular?
LD: Any of the champions, it doesn’t make any difference.
BH: Looking back on your career what are some of your most memorable moments?
LD: Yes, whenever I had my belts that was a great feeling. Beating Jeremy Williams, Bert Cooper. Anytime I was fighting for a title or defending my title those were great feelings for me because I took pride in that.
BH: What do you feel the future holds for you Larry? I mean we all want to be champions and such but what do you feel the future holds for you and how do you wan to be remembered?
LD: Oh yes, my goals and my vision are to become heavyweight champion of the world. When they look in the record books I want them to see my name right among those other great heavyweight champions.
BH: There are a lot of people saying that Holyfield should retire and he is too old, do you think that Evander could still be a threat to the heavyweight division at his age?
LD: Yes, he still can be a threat. I mean the man still takes good care of his body. If he was a guy who just took advantage of his body and just wore it out doing some things that yes I could say that. But he takes great care of his body so he can box as much as he wants so why can’t he. He has been in a lot of wars and that can take its toll as you get older. It is all about how he feels about himself. When I beat Evander I don’t want to be talking about or diminishing him of all the things that he has done up until now. As long as he is still fighting he is still the “Real Deal” as they would say.
BH: You have respect for the man as a man and a fighter.
LD: Right, exactly. You have to respect anybody that gets into that ring. If they think it is easy then they ought to try it.
BH: Do you see any new young heavyweights making any noise in the division?
LD: No not really at this time unless I haven’t seen them yet. Well, there is one that could be great if he decides to fight as a heavyweight. Andre Ward who won a Gold Medal for the 2004 US Olympic Team this year. He looks really well.
BH: You have been in the business long enough to know the ins and outs of the boxing business and know what to do. What advice would you give to a young fighter?
LD: The advice that I would give to them would be take their time and train hard and stay focused. The sky is the limit.
BH: Is there anything that you want to add to this interview that we might not of covered or anything you want to say to the fans?
LD: Yes, I just want the fans to know that I will be the next heavyweight champion of the world. That is my destiny, that is my vision and I will be heavyweight champion. When you step in the ring you are in my domain. I want people to know that Don King is the best promoter that has ever lived, and when it comes to the boxing world he is a special individual, he will go down as being special. Don makes a lot of great things happen in the boxing world.
Professional record 41-3-2
WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title
WBA Fedelatin heavyweight title
WBO & NABO heavyweight titles
1992 US Olympian
I would like to give a special thanks to Carl King for making this interview happen and a big shout out to Larry Donald for taking out time of his training for the fans. I had a great conversation and I appreciate your kindness.
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