| Chapman: “I am pumped up about the opportunity!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr (Dec 4, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
From a small town kid to a factory worker, from competing in the local toughman circuit all the way to a top ten contender, the undefeated JD Chapman 28-0 (25), newly ranked as the WBO’s number ten heavyweight, is pumped up about his opportunity to get in the ring with a fellow contender and solidify his stance as young up and comer.
The twenty-four year old Arkansas native stepped in the professional ranks in late fall of 2002, the hard hitter opened up his career with seven consecutive knockouts, six in the opening round, before winning on the cards unanimously.
Throughout his five year career he has defeated the likes of John Carlo (TKO 2), Edward Gutierrez twice via UD and Jeff Yeoman (TKO 4),and has tacked on the Arkansas state, IBF/USBA southern regional, NABC and the WBC Latino heavyweight titles. With manager Scoot Hirsch and Team Chapman guiding ‘The Natural’ he is ranked #13 WBA, #14 WBC and now #10 in the WBO, and the 6’6” power puncher is pumped and ready for the future.
In this exclusive interview Chapman conducted with the Doghouse, Chapman speaks out on his new ranking and the journey it has taken to get here as well as his seemingly bright future, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: It has just been reported that you are now ranked number ten in the WBO, give us your thoughts on the ranking and your journey getting there.
JD Chapman: I am obviously excited about it, I still have a ways to go I know that. I just started training a few years ago so me being a world conqueror tomorrow is not going to happen but here in a few years it will be. With me being in
the top ten it just means that everybody has done a good job of doing what they are supposed too. I have been training my ass off and I have Scott in there fighting the politics for me and my coaches are always with me so everybody is doing a really good job.
BH: You had a really good year this year, you went 3-0 (3), how would you grade your performance in 2007?
JC: Grading myself on my abilities and what I can do in the future I have to grade myself a B-, my last fight I fought Marcus Rhode and he is a rugged veteran and everything and I tore him up a lot easier than I thought I would but still there are improvements every time I get in the ring.
BH: You started off as a factory worker who fought in the toughman contests, went pro in 2002, you have been in the biz for five years now. You said before that there are needed improvements every time you get in the ring, what improvements do you feel that you have made and what do you feel you still need?
JC: I still need that confidence and all getting in there with the big names and everything, I still get nervous before every fight. That could always improve there just to calm down, it usually takes me three to four rounds to settle down with anybody. My coaches have taught me a lot, to catch punches then just to stay in the pocket and bang with anybody. My hand speed, my power and conditioning is there, but that is naturally a given there. We have come a long way but we have a ways to go as well.
BH: Your manager Scott Hirsch was quoted as saying that he is happy with the rankings and that they bodies have paid attention to your performances, as well he said, and I quote: “Chapman will be in a significant step up fight against a fellow contender early next year.” Any word on whom that might be against?
JD: They came up with a few names but nothing solid yet, but I am pumped up about the opportunity to step up against somebody, I feel like I do better with a guy who can fight better than a guy who cannot. I have sparred with Jameel McCline and Timor Ibragimov and with more top guys and every time I have been in with them I have done great, I look like a superstar and sometimes I you take a fight with somebody that is not of that caliber you can blow them out or they can make you look bad for a few minutes you just can never tell.
BH: What do you feel has been your greatest asset this far in your career?
JC: I think it my ability to stay humble, I am getting great success coming on right now but I am still a small town kid, I am in Mansfield, Arkansas right now. I go downtown and I still shake hands with everybody that I have known all my life and it does not go to my head. When it comes time to go to work I got to work, they tell me to run I run; they tell me to jump I jump; it does not matter.
BH: Do you know when you will be back in the ring and where and possibly against who?
JC: We are talking about the Taylor vs. Pavlick rematch, whenever that may be February or March, I am excited about that, who it is I do not know yet but I am sure Scott is working on that right now.
BH: Anything you want to add to or say in closing of this interview?
JC: I would like to say thanks to everybody that has helped me out, from my trainers to my coaches to my management, my entire team has done a great job this year. Happy holidays to everybody and I will see everybody next year.
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