Owen Beck speaks about Monte Barrett and his future in the heavyweight division
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr. (October 23, 2004)  
Owen 'What the Heck' Beck
Undefeated heavyweight contender Owen 'What the Heck' Beck looks to the future and the endless possibilities it may hold with a win over Monte Barrett in their forthcoming WBC heavyweight title eliminator. A native of Jamaica, Beck now resides in Nashville, TN, but is more than ready to step in the ring in New York’s Madison Square Garden on the Don King heavyweight explosion card on November 13th. A win over Barrett will secure the 28-year-old into the number one position in the WBC rankings and will make him the mandatory for the winner out of the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams bout set for December.

The hard-hitting heavyweight has stopped his last four opponents by the way of knockout within three rounds and has only had been past the fifth round twice in his six year career. Beck, 24-0 (18), steps up against Monte Barrett, 30-3 (16), who in his last bout defeated Dominick Guinn; his three losses have been by split decision to Lance Whitaker, a close majority decision loss to Joe Mesi and a less than impressive 7th round TKO at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko. But this will be the test for Beck to prove that he is the future of the heavyweight division, and it is a test that he is more than confident he will pass. I had the pleasure of meeting Owen Beck at his last fight that was held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV, where he stopped veteran fighter Troy Weida in the first round by TKO. I must say Beck is a very kind, soft-spoken man whom can put you to sleep with either hand and has the drive to be at the top. In a recent interview from Ohio where Beck is in training for his upcoming bout he was more than happy to give his thoughts on his opponent Monte Barrett and his talk about his plans for the future.

Benny Henderson Jr.: How has your training been going?

Owen Beck: My training is going good right now I am up here just working hard and there is no joke about it, I come in and do what I have to do.

BH: What are your thoughts on moving closer to the heavyweight crown?

It feels good, this is something I have been waiting all my life. I actually get the opportunity that I have been waiting on all these years. It is finally here and I am just going to make good use of it.

BH: Have you been anxious or nervous about this big opportunity?

OB: Nah, I am always cool, calm and collected. I am excited on being the number one contender and getting closer to the tile, but at the same time I still have to maintain my cool. If somebody gets too overly excited or anxious they can lose the composure and everything, and I am not trying to lose that right before the fight.

BH: Monte Barrett has fought some respectable fighters. He beat rising star Dominick Guinn, lost a close decision to Joe Mesi, went to a decision with the old dog Tim Witherspoon and was pretty much gunned down by Wladimir Klitschko. You know whether it was a win or a loss, he does have the ring experience.

OB: He does have the ring experience I’ve got to hand that to him. But I don’t think he has seen the quality and the perfection like I have. Them guys like work to a level and then they fall back. My level is high passed and higher and I can manage that level.

BH: Do you feel his ring experience will come into effect if the fight goes into the later rounds?

OB: My level goes higher every round because I train to go and not to stay at one level and stay there, I can pick up faster and harder.

BH: Do you feel this will be your toughest bout to date?

OB: It is definitely going to be one of my toughest fights I have had so far. I look at it as I am in there with a guy with a lot of ring experience, I am undefeated so I have a lot more to lose than to gain. In my book there is no such word as lose for me, my book is all about winning so when I step in there I am going straight to war.

BH: Is there anything in Barrett’s arsenal that concerns you or you may be working on in your training?

OB: Yes, I have seen most of the stuff that he does that I am definitely working on. I’ve seen his last two fights between Joe Mesi and Dominick Guinn.

BH: I won’t say if but when you win you will be the number one WBC contender and you will or should be fighting the winner out of Vitali Klitschko and Danny Williams. Who do you favor in their upcoming bout?

I really don’t know what to say, I have only seen Danny Williams in one fight so far and I have seen Klitschko in many. I don’t know what to say about that fight, but I mean whoever wins that fight is going to have to face me.

BH: How do you feel you would fair up against Williams or Klitschko?

Oh man I am knocking them out. I am knocking anyone of them out. I see it as a very competitive match between two big giants right there. But it will be just like David and Goliath. David did his thing and got the giant out, and I know that I am the man who normally does stuff like that so either guy would be going down.

BH: This will be your first fight at Madison Square Garden.

OB: Oh yes, this is my dream spot.

BH: How does it feel with its rich boxing history to be fighting there?

OB: Man, I have always dreamed about this place. I have always dreamed about fighting at Madison Square Garden so it is a dream come true along with another victory.

BH: Well, let's say when you become champ, how do you plan on carrying yourself? I mean when get that belt and reach that point to where they become outrageous do you believe you still will be humble in that position?

OB: Oh yes, I still will be the same. I understand myself, I understand life and I know where God has brought me from so when I become champion I will not try to go over that limit that I already know because you can be up here today and tomorrow and be at the bottom. I am not trying to play that game. I asked God to direct my life to where he wants it to go and not where I want it to go. So I am going to be the same person, always calm, cool and collected because that is who I am. There isn’t going to be anything different in my life after that fight.

BH: There are a lot of parts to being a whole fighter, what do you feel is the most important part?

I say be yourself and be a good role model for the kids, there are a lot of kids out there looking for role models. If we can make a change in somebody’s life just imagine the blessing that has been accounted.

BH: You are going to be on a huge heavyweight card. Any predictions, let’s say who will win out of the Chris Byrd and Jameel McCline bout?

OB: I would say Chris because Chris and I are close, but you know I am kind of close to Jameel as well but I am going with Chris because we are like blood brothers.

BH: Ok, John Ruiz or Andrew Golota?

OB: I couldn’t make that call that just isn’t one I can make.

BH: Larry Donald or Evander Holyfield?

OB: I’m going to have to go with Larry on that one.

BH: Ok one more, Hasim Rahman or Kali Meehan?

OB: That one I can’t make a call on it either.

BH: Anything you want to add to this or say to the fans in closing?

OB: I just want the fans to come out and support what they are going to see, there are a lot of fighters that night that are truly men of God, and have been blessed with the talents that God has giving us to be out there doing what they are doing. They need to come out early because a lot of these fights will not go the distance, so if they want to see the real action they need to be there on time, enjoy and just be blessed because it is going to be a good night of boxing.

I want to say thanks to Owen Beck for taking the time out of his training to talk with the Doghouse, I have had some great conversations with Owen and I am more than happy to call him a friend.
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