|Jameel McCline; “Brittle-ali Klitschko, I was going to beat him and he knew it!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr (Sept 14, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
Eight months after his upsetting loss from the hands of the former WBA heavyweight titleholder Nikolay Valuev, a fight where he injured his right knee that ended the fight in the third round and required surgery, long time heavyweight veteran Jameel McCline 38-7-3 (23) was raring and ready to step back in the ring September 22nd to face former heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko. But after the big time publicity campaign as well as what Jameel calls a tremendous camp, Klitschko pulled out of the fight this past Saturday 8th citing a back injury that required immediate back surgery, leaving McCline out in the cold.
Despite the fight falling out, McCline is still ready to get back in the ring and are in high hopes of something happening the next few weeks. Until then McCline wanted to speak out on the current events and the Klitschko situation, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: What luck, I mean first off you get a big fight against James Toney two years back and he pulls out due to an injury, you go back in forth within the rankings, get a shot at a title against Valuev, injure your kneecap in the third round, prepare to face Vitali Klitschko who at one time was considered one of the best heavyweights in the division where a win could pay great dividends and now he pulls out due to an injury. I am not a believer in luck but they say if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all, you agree?
Jameel McCline: Yeah man, that is what it seems like.
BH: What was your initial thought when you heard the news of Klitschko’s injury?
JM: Listen when I heard I was very hurt, I was just hurting emotionally because we put so much into this. We worked really hard, it was a huge production we took it very serious, we came in already fifty thousand dollars over budget, I had an army of guy’s man, five heavyweights that were working with me. We are just really disappointed because we did not think it would happen, we did not think that he (Vitali) would pull out again of a fight. I suspect that there were reports that were coming out of my camp that were a little tremendous, I suspect in fact I know that they banked on the fact that I came off an injury and I had a lot of weight to lose and I was off for many months and I would not be where I am. But I am a rededicated athlete and I came in just the other day Saturday, the day we found out it was off I did thirteen rounds that day with five other guys. I won every single minute of every single round, and I have good guys in, like Larry Donald, whom they were trying very hard to get. JD Chapman who is ranked fifteenth in the world, JD is an excellent big man who can work, Julius Long, I had monsters in there, and it was a tremendous camp.
BH: How about your injury, how is the knee been holding up?
JM: The knee is a non-issue, the knee is tremendous.
BH: I know you are not going to sit here and say you would of stopped Klitschko in two rounds if you two would have fought or demand any outcome, but I do want your honest assessment of the match-up itself and how you feel you two would have faired up against one another.
JM: Oh my gosh, no listen, the God’s honest truth we truly felt that we were going to dominate this guy and shut him out. That’s what we trained for because we were going to Germany number one, against a huge rock start type name in Klitschko. I am thirty-seven years old and I finally figured out the formula and I have matured and grown into knowing what the formula is in getting ready for this type and level of competition. What I am trying to say that we did the same thing as far as work load goes in the Valuev camp, we came in so strong, so ready so dominating in our training, every work out was just so dominating. Every workout was balls to the walls, there was just too much movement to much speed just constant attacking, and it was just too much. Our prediction there was no way he was going to stand up to that for long. That is our true assessment.
BH: Reports say that Vitali could be out between four to six weeks, then from there they are going to see how the healing process is going and decide what is next, how about you, do you wait, or do you take another fight, and if it is the later then who would you like to step in with next?
JM: No I can’t wait, I need a fight now. I am thirty-seven years old and in tremendous shape, I have to fight now. We don’t have time to wait or time to sit around and wait to figure what they are going to do next. They don’t want to fight me anyway; they realized that they made a major mistake, just like the Valuev people made a mistake. But at least Valuev’s people got us into the ring, they lucked out with the injury. They realized they made a mistake, they realized they bit off a little too much.
BH: Are you doubting Klitschko’s injury?
JM: Of course I am, of course I am, because listen I work through tremendous pain, I work through back pain, elbow pain, I just came off a major knee injury, they told me eight to twelve months, and here I am training in four months with pain, but I am getting it done. I am a machine and I think they sensed it.
BH: What now?
JM: Listen, we are going to talk to some people, if we have to go to Arum we will, if we have to go to King we will, or to the Warrior’s down in Florida we will, we are going to go to these people and see what they have. I know somebody will put me on coming off this huge publicity that I got getting ready for Klitschko, I know somebody is going to want to put me on. So we are not very concerned with working in the next few weeks, Don has some shows coming up, maybe I can do something with King, or maybe Arum, we are in shape and we are free agents.
BH: If you could say anything to Klitschko or his team what would it be?
JM: The man is brittle, Brittle-ali Klitschko! I just think that we should have gotten fair warning, we should have gotten more time, you don’t have emergency arthroscopy surgery, you have other emergency surgeries but not arthroscopy, I have been operated on several times arthroscopy and you need an MRI, there is a date set, whatever the problems were he was having he knew before, then we find out third party, we did not even find out from them. We get on the phone from them and ask what is this we are hearing they are like they just found out too. Finkel says he did not even have a clue and claims to be shocked over it, I say it is fraud, we put so much time in and I respect Klitschko so much I just never thought he would do this. If he’s hurt then maybe he will reschedule it like he said, but he does not want to fight me, he wants to fight the winner out of Peter-Maskaev, listen the God’s honest truth. This is exactly would I would like you to quote it, the reality of the situation is this, they know that Jameel McCline is way to tough, I am not ranked, they know I am tough nowadays, there is no need to fight me. I am not anywhere in the rankings and why waste your number one spot on somebody you know who might…you probably will lose too. I was going to beat this guy and he knows it, he felt it is his heart, you do not walk away from things like this, and this was huge.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add to or say in closing of this interview?
JM: Listen, I am here and am a viable heavyweight as I have always been and I am excited about the opportunities that I continue to get. I am thankful to God I am thankful to my wife Tina for sticking by my side and we are going to go and make something happen, regardless of who it is with because we have to. We are going to make something happen very soon.
I would like to once again thank Tina McCline for setting up this interview, and a thanks goes out to Jameel as well for his time and thoughts.
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