|Travis Walker “I’m getting my revenge!”
INTERVIEW by Benny Henderson Jr (April 1, 2007) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Tom Casino/SHOWTIME)
If revenge is sweet, then Travis Walker 22-0-1 (17) has a hankering for a saccharine filled scrap coming up this Friday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN when he takes on fellow unbeaten heavyweight George Garcia 13-0 (4) on Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation, 11:00 PM ET/PT. The two undefeated ones will be squaring off in a scheduled twelve round clash for the vacant IBA Americas heavyweight title, and all though it is penciled in for twelve, the ‘Freight Train’ does not intend for it to last that long.
Since making the jump into the professional ranks in the summer of 2004, Walker has banged out a spotless record defeating all in his pathway, battling to only one draw. Standing at nearly 6’5” the ‘Freight Train’ has rolled over his competition using his size and strength to bang out wins. Although defeating his foes the Floridian flew under the radar until November of 2006 when he defeated the decorated amateur and then undefeated professional
Jason Estrada via eight round majority decision. Although the two professionals had never met as a pro, the two had a rich history together as amateurs. Walker dropped all three meeting s against Estrada as an amateur, bit won as a pro where it counted.
Now, with Walker facing off against Garcia it is another chance for him to avenge another amateur loss. In 2004 as an amateur in the Olympic Trials the double elimination tournament, Garcia ousted Walker from any Olympic dreams giving Walker his second and last loss of the tourney. So again, vengeance is on the mind of Walker, and this Friday night he plans on getting it.
Before you tune in to the heavyweight throw down, read on to see what Walker had to say on his upcoming bout, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off, once again I would like to thank you for taking the time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing, as always your time and thoughts are greatly appreciated. Ok, now to business, you will be facing off against the undefeated George Garcia coming up this Friday night, give the readers your thoughts on that match up, as well as getting the exposure.
Travis Walker: The exposure on Showtime is just great, Showtime is giving me a chance to redeem myself from the amateurs, you know Estrada beat me in the amateurs and Garcia did as well in the Olympic Trials. In both of those fights I felt like I did not lose, and these are two guys that I wanted to fight when I turned pro, and Showtime has given me the opportunity to do so and I really appreciate Showtime for doing this. This is kind of like me getting my revenge. What do I think about this fight; well I think it is going to be a short night for me. I actually think I am going to end this night kind of early. He is a short guy and he is going to have to try to come in, and when he does he is going to get met with that right hand, I am going to keep that jab on him and fight from the outside, and every time he tries to come in he is going to get met.
BH: That is interesting, I was not aware that you two had fought in the amateurs, so this kind of adds fuel to your fire doesn’t it?
TW: Yeah, with him and Jason, both of them beat me in the Olympic Trials, so definitely Showtime is letting me get back some revenge.
BH: You know the last time we spoke it was right after your win over Jason Estrada, I asked what was next for you, your exact quote was, “Right now, I am going to step back because after that fight, I really saw that I have a lot of things that I need to work on”. Well first off, do you honestly feel Garcia is a step back from Estrada, and what preparations have you been taking to better yourself coming into this bout?
TW: Yeah, I think Garcia is a step back, but he is still a good fighter. I am not underestimating him; I am coming into this fight thinking I am fighting King Kong, so I am training real hard. My trainer and I have been working on some things. The Estrada fight gave me a better look at what I needed to improve on so my trainer and I have been working on a lot of things, especially the jab, I am using the jab more. This is going to be a fight to see, I am going to be the heavyweight that America has…well, in fact I am going to be the heavyweight the world has been looking for.
BH: To be honest I have never seen your opponent fight, I imagine you have seen tape on Garcia plus you already fought the guy in the amateurs, what you can you tell us about him as far as his strengths and weaknesses go?
TW: I have not seen any tape on him but I do not know if he changed much since turning pro. I do know that he is a short guy so he is going to try to come in, he still fights amateur style, and I can tell by his record that he still fights like an amateur. He has four knock out, that is not a heavyweight fighter, in my opinion heavyweight should be getting their opponents out of there. He has also been fighting out of his hometown a lot so of course he has been fed bums, and he could not even put them out. I think he is still fighting that pitter-patter style.
BH: Granted the IBA Americas heavyweight strap you are fighting for isn’t one of the top four sanctioning bodies, it is still something, so give your thoughts on fighting for the title, does it add any pressure on you coming into this match-up?
TW: No pressure but it does make me want it more, I really do not get much pressure from a fight, I get anxious and ready and the hunger to win, but when they put this out there I just had to train a little harder.
BH: What can the fight fans expect from the ‘Freight Train’ come fight night?
TW: They can expect to see that jab the way it honestly should be used, because I am really going to use it, I have talked about it a lot of times but I really fell it now. I have worked on it show much it feels so much better, we changed the way I was throwing it and it feels very comfortable now. This is a fight that I have to win so I am going to come in there very aggressive and with bad intentions.
BH: If you could send out a message to your opponent what exactly would it be?
TW: You should not have signed that contract. (Laughs)
BH: Now in closing is there anything you would like to add to or say?
TW: Nah I’m good.
I would like to thank Steve Munisteri for setting up this interview, and thanks goes out to Travis for his time and thoughts.
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