JD ‘The Natural’ Chapman: “I am nowhere near satisfied”
INTERVIEW by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (December 20, 2005)  
Photo © Benny Henderson Jr.
Undefeated hard-hitting heavyweight JD Chapman 19-0 (17) is heating up the division and the twenty-two year old power-punching pugilist has just begun his wear and tear on the big boys. From factory worker to fighter, prospect to contender, contender to champion status is his mission, and under the tutelage of former world champion Michael Moorer who is working on sharpening his tools, the Arkansan rising star is well on his way to the heavyweight throne.

The 6’6” towering titan has banged out nineteen straight victories, ending nine in the opening round, and just recently passed the test of conditioning when he defeated the now once beaten Edward Gutierrez in a twelve round heavyweight clash that earned Chapman the USBA Regional Heavyweight title. Fast and furiously administering power and pain to the opposition, JD is stepping up the ladder while knocking down his foes, and the ‘The Natural’ isn’t satisfied just yet, only the world title will satisfy his hunger… and hungry he is!

The Doghouse sat down with the heavyweight young gun and got his thoughts on his pay-per-view victory and what the future holds, enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr.: First off JD I want to say thanks for taking the time out to speak to the Doghouse and congratulations on your recent victory, how was it going a full twelve rounds for the first time in your career?

JD Chapman:
Well it was really stressful you know, I am used to getting everything done and over with fairly quick, not forcing knockouts but they usually come early. Edward is a tough guy and he knew how to defend himself real good and stay away from my right hand. He tried to catch me reaching in and counter off of me with leaping left hooks which he did a good job in catching me with a few times with them, but overall throughout the fight I out worked him and I had my jab going and that how I won. I won decisively on the scorecards; I evaluated myself and scored it 119 to 110 for myself. He was a tough guy and he hung in there and came to fight.

BH: How would you rate your performance in this victory?

Considering where I am at right now and not considering where I will be in the future but my capabilities right now I would rate it a six-and-a-half to a seven because I wasn’t a hundred percent myself. With Carlo I felt real good and I was aggressive and pretty much took no prisoners, there are no excuses about it, I just didn’t have it all there right then, whatever the reason was. It will be different my next fight, I will get better, I learn from my mistakes.

BH: You handed your opponent Edward Gutierrez his first loss of his career, your last three fights prior to this victory you have defeated some tough opponents with formidable records so you are beginning to make some noise in the division. In your opinion what statement do you feel you have made in the last few fights?

I feel that I am improving in every fight, my skill level mainly. I am young and comparing from when I fought Clinton Bonds under Stacy to comparing me fighting Gutierrez, it is just two different fighters. The best is yet to come, I am improving with every fight, I am improving every day that I train and I am just going to keep going up.

BH: This was your first televised bout, honestly were there any butterflies going into this one in knowing that this was a pay-per-view event?

You know there are butterflies in every fight that I have ever had, and it does add a little extra pressure on you knowing that you are going to be in front of the whole world, but you have to overcome that. I think I did a fairly good job of that in keeping my straight with what was going on. You just have to keep it to a minimum going into the fight because once you are in the ring fighting it doesn’t matter if the whole world is watching or if it is the taxi cab driver that brought you to the arena it doesn’t matter because you have to fight. You have a job to do and it is time to go to work.

BH: You are becoming well known amongst the fight world, you were even showcased as one of the top heavyweights from established Doghouse Boxing writer Julian ‘Crown J’ Kasdin in his Young Guns article, and there is so much more to come. Honestly, looking back a couple of years ago working in the factory did you ever fathom you would come this far?

I always figured if I stuck with it long enough I would always have my shot. Did I think I would get this fair? It isn’t fair to say that I didn’t think I would go this far because if I didn’t think I was going to make it at all then I wouldn’t have done it. But to see what I have accomplished so far it is truly a blessing. To go from being a small town kid whose dad has worked in the sawmill to just support his family and me to be out on my own working in a factory to be given this opportunity it is really a blessing. I have done the best with the chance that I have been giving and I am going to continue to do so.

BH: What is next for ‘The Natural’?

Just training, that is what we lack is experience so everyday I am getting bigger, faster and stronger, but most importantly I am becoming more of a complete fighter with Michael’s training regime. He preaches to me everyday about basic things that would be so easy for an amateur fighter that has been fighting since he was eight to ten years old. They take it for granted but me being twenty-two who never had that experience I have to go back and actually relearn what a lot of guys already know. It can be challenging at times but I am reprogramming the computer so we will just keep going because it will build up one day.

BH: How much do you feel you have grown as a fighter in your last few bouts with Michael Moorer in your corner?

I have grown a lot compared to what I have come from, my patience level is up and my confidence level is up, I am getting world class sparring and world class training and I was blessed with the abilities and the size. With my size and athletic ability together and with somebody with me now who knows how to train me I can go anywhere.

BH: If there was any verbal statement you could make to the heavyweight division and the fight world in general what would you say?

Have fun now because here in a few years I am going to take it over, I am going to. My goal was to get to where I am now and I have achieved that goal but I am nowhere near satisfied. My dad still has to work at a sawmill, my mom still has to do the home healthcare, there are still bills to be paid and until I get that big red belt that says world champion on it I am going to crush everybody. And we are going to take our time doing it, there is no reason to get into a hurry. I know I can’t beat Rahman or Brewster right now, I shouldn’t be able to right now there is now way. Those guys are tremendous fighters and have been doing it their whole life and they are awesome athletes, but one day whenever I get to their experience level then it is going to come down to heart and determination, and I am going to win that battle.

BH: Is there anything you would like to add or say in closing of this interview?

I just want to say thanks to my management Scott Hirsch and to my advisor Stacy Goodson he has helped me out throughout my career early on and has stuck with me and supported me. I would like to thank Michael Moorer for giving me so much time and I want to thank my strength and condition coach Robert Arias, he is more than a coach, he is more like a big brother. He helps me become a fighter but he is also helping me become a man, he is a good guy and I look up to him a lot. I would also like to thank everybody who has come out and watched me and supported me.

I would like to thank JD Chapman for his time and thoughts, it is always appreciated man.
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