|Steve Forbes: “Brewer will definitely be my toughest challenge”
By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Sep 25, 2006) Photo © ESPN
The stage is set this Tuesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA for The Contender finale and former IBF super featherweight world champion Steve Forbes 32-3 (9) is set to face off against Grady Brewer 21-11 (12) for the half million dollars grand prize and the title as season two’s The Contender’s champion.
Although Forbes held a major world title that he earned in December of 2000 when he defeated John Brown via eight round TKO to gain the vacant IBF super featherweight strap the Nevada native feels this is the biggest opportunity to showcase his talents and get his name out to the fight world to find the notoriety he believes he deserves.
The twenty-nine year old pugilist moved up in weight coming into the competition and had the accolades to succeed in his quest during the series. Forbes defeated three other Contender combatants (Curiel, Acevedo, Bundrage) to get the finals and now takes on the Oklahoman Grady Brewer to be crowed victor of the combative series.
Forbes sat down with the Doghouse to give his thoughts on his journey throughout the competition and what he feels Tuesday night and the future holds, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off I would like to offer up my congratulations to you for making it to the Contender finals. It must have been a wild ride thus far for yourself, if you will just share with the readers your
thoughts on the journey itself with the Contender.
Steve Forbes: It has been very interesting, being a former champion and nothing really happening, with the opportunity with the Contender I decided to move up in weight. I was just ready for a challenge and an opportunity to go for something like this being that so many people watch this, what a privilege to be able to do something like this, it was definitely the funniest time I have ever had in my whole boxing career.
BH: Besides the shot at the $500,000 prize coming up this Tuesday night what did you take away positive from your experience with the Contender?
SF: How I was treated, I was treated fairly well, they treated us like professional athletes. No matter what field you are in I think you should be treated with some form of respect, from the guy that got eliminated first to the last two guys in the finals I think everybody was treated with respect, I mean you can’t ask for nothing more than that, you always want to be treated with respect in doing something like this. Especially in a business where you have demons and people that take advantage of fighters, it was such a privilege to be a part of something like this.
BH: You’re opponent will be Grady Brewer, of all people who tuned in for the series Brewer was probably the one most thought wouldn’t make it to the end, but hey man he did his thing and now he’s your foe for fight and is the only one standing between you and the cash prize, give us your opinion on Brewer and the anticipated match-up.
SF: Honestly going in I never really thought about him at all, he didn’t look good his first fight all though he was able to win, but hew had good momentum, you have to give this guy his credit he does what it takes to with and he was able to make it to the end, so with a guy like that you have to give him all the respect in the world, like you say look at his past he has had some hard luck but this guy has persevered and he will definitely be my toughest challenge going into Tuesday night.
BH: Out of the three opponents you faced in the competition Curiel, Acevedo and Bundrage which of the three was the toughest for yourself to defeat?
SF: I would say probably Acevedo, just because he was a good puncher and he had good boxing skills and when we fought I had three days rest from the Curiel fight, Freddy was tough as well and that fight really took a lot out of me and having to compete three days later. Nick was a real smart technical boxer and it took me a few rounds to figure him out but I would have to say that he was probably the toughest.
BH: The camera shows some of the drama amongst the group, while editing some of it out, so give us the inside scoop, ha just kidding, but seriously though how was the tension in the house with all the competitors and did you take away any solid friendships from the show?
SF: There were a few guys who where a little cocky and a little arrogant but it was funny because going in I had the most credentials out of any of these guys, you had some guys who where show offs and stuff like that but the tension wasn’t to bad. I mean you had a couple of guys in a grudge match that didn’t like each other but all and all it wasn’t that bad, everybody had a good time. A few didn’t like each other but it never really got beyond that, it was mostly just talk. I think I gained fifteen brothers honestly I liked everybody there. I went in there thinking this is going to be business and I am not going to make no friends but I opened up and realized these guys are just like me and they are trying to make it for their families and trying to have a better life.
BH: Do you feel that through the editing process etc. that you were portrayed properly to the viewers?
SF: Yes I think so, I came across real cool with everybody witch I was, I didn’t like the list that they made up of about this guy fighting that guy, I thought that was bull because when it is a half a million dollars people are going to cheat, and change their minds and I didn’t like that whole thing and guys agreeing to fight this guy that was just stupid, but other than that I was portrayed very well cause that’s how I am. I don’t get too much into the hoopla; I do the talking in the ring.
BH: You have been a world champion before so it would seemingly appear that you accomplished your goal or goals throughout your career, but how has the Contender impacted your career and how different do you feel you will be depicted by the fight world if you win it all?
SF: I think with me being a former world champion I have reached that goal of becoming a world champion but there wasn’t something missing, I didn’t get the attention or the notoriety that I felt that I should have had that comes with being a world champion so I felt kind of cheated. And now with this it was funny because when I was world champion you had to be a hardcore boxing fan to really know who I was, and now non-boxing fans know who I am and I think that is a big turn around, life is funny. It is a great feeling and I think it is going to really boost me to where I can show people what I can really do, and I am anxious and glad that I was able to do that on such a show, and it’s still not over I have a lot left, and I think people ate going to see a lot of great fights in the future.
BH: What type of fight are you anticipating with Brewer, and what can the fans expect come fight night?
SF: He’s underrated; he learned how to box through tough fights and heartbreak losses and fights he should have won. He learned how to win and how to survive and get through, look at the fight with Bravo, Bravo dropped him in the first round and he was all but out, the bell saved him but he was able to make adjustments and win the fight, I think with him it is going to be a bit of a chest match meaning we will see who can out box who, and outthink who, and then it may just turn into an old fashioned street fight like my fight with Bundrage did, that was an old fashioned street brawl. I think he is definitely going to try to pose his size and strength on me and I am going to use my boxing skill and show that I can sit down and bang a little bit also. I really don’t know what type of Brewer will show up but whichever one shows up I will be ready for him. So expect excitement and a good time, I am going to be sharp, I plan on being sharp and I think people will see that I am focused and ready to fight. The fan will enjoy that night of boxing.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add to or say in closing?
SF: I just want to thank all the fans at Doghouse Boxing for logging in and checking out the site and reading the interview and stay tuned because you are going to see a lot more of Steve Forbes, and no only me but the other guys from the Contender, those guys put their heart and souls out there for the world to see, and you are going to see a goodnight of boxing and future fights as well.
I would like to thank Mike Levy for setting up this interview and a special thanks goes out to Steve Forbes for his thoughts. For more info on Forbes he old like to invite you to visit: www.stevieforbes.com/homepage.php.
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