12 Rounds with Wayne Elcock
1) You have possibly the toughest fight of you career coming up in September against Howard Eastman. Athough he has shown a few weakness of late, are you confident going into the fight. I know he wants a world title shot should he win, would you be in the same frame of mind, quickly getting a title shot, or do you need a few tough fights first to get that bit more experience?
There is no doubt in my mind that Howard Eastman will be my toughest fight to date, however I am confident. I am not looking at his recent performances, I'm not preparing for the Howard Eastman of late I'm preparing for the Eastman of old.
I would not be daunted by the prospect of going straight in for a world belt, if the opportunity arose, but to be honest I'm not looking that far ahead as there is still plenty of work to be done and I need to focus all my thoughts and efforts on the fight with Howard.
2) As a WBF World champion how do you feel about the number of belts in the sport. Do you think that they should go back to just one world champion, to prevent champions avoiding each other?
I am a little divided on this one, it would most definitely be better for the fans and healthier for the sport. I don't think every champion avoids other champions because of this, it is mainly because of promotional ties with their promoters
I believe a Champion makes the belt and not the other way around. In the past great fighters were frozen out and unable to get a shot at the world belt and the same thing could happen if we went back to one belt. It could stop boxers with smaller promoters getting their shot, and with TV coverage/revenue it’s not like it used to be. Smaller promoters could struggle to sell fights without any title on the line and today that is where the only real source of income comes from.
3) There have been some terrible decisions in boxing over the years, fighters train too hard and put themselves through so much, only to be robbed of fights that they have obviously won. Do you think there is a better way to score a boxing match with all the technology around at the moment. As a boxer what do you think, should things change?
I agree with you there have been some terrible decisions, but it is all part of the game and history of the sport, unfortunately. Changing it now wouldn’t do the sport any favours. Its sometimes the controversy of a particular contest that helps keep the sport in the public eye. You can say in a bad light, but it does help gain more publicity for the sport, so getting more people interested is surely a bonus.
Unless of course it happens to me in September, I'm only joking by the way, with that last comment. Joking aside, all boxers know it could happen to them. I, along with many others would not be involved with this great sport if it was a major problem, as like you say, we put our heart and soul into preparing for each contest.
4) You have had some great wins so far in your career, which would you regard as your best?
My best would have to be against Anthony Farnell, I was not given much of a chance going in, with my lack of experience and with it also been my first title. The buzz that night when I lifted the belt, seeing 500 happy travelling fans from Birmingham there to witness it in Manchester, is a memory I will never forget
5) Which moment of your boxing career, both amateur and professional are you most proud of ?
The moment I am most proud of has to be after making the decision of going it alone and been given the chance from a local promoter, Dave Bradley, to help me achieve a dream I had always had, of fighting in my home city of Birmingham. The way the Birmingham people came out to support me that night and since, has been fantastic and I hope they are as proud of me as I am of them.
6) Who do you think apart from yourself (obviously) is currently top of the tree in the Middleweight division at the moment?
It has be Jermain Taylor his record speaks for itself and by beating one of my all time favourites Bernard Hopkins, doing that cements his place there, for the moment anyway.
7) What is the best fight you have ever seen?
There have been so many, but in my lifetime and with being a middleweight myself, the ones that stick in my mind would be my favourite Brit fighter Nigel Benn, when he boxed against McCellan who himself was a truly great fighter. Also Hagler when he pounded Hearns to defeat, although short, it was action packed from the bell. In the lighter weights Barrera v Morales was a unbelievable fight to watch.
8) If you were offered a million pounds in cash or a shot at the title of your choice, against the opponent and venue of your choice, which would you take. if it was the fight, which title, where and who against?
I would take the title chance without hesitation, against Jermain Taylor, as he is number 1 in my division and holds the WBC belt. The venue for such a fight would have to Birmingham City football ground, St Andrews.
9) Who is your favourite boxer of all time?
Roy Jones Junior, a truly great fighter, who has always promoted all that was good for the sport.
10) When you retire how would you like people to remember you?
To be honest I have not thought that far ahead, can we come back to it when I have achieved my goals and I will be able to give you a clear answer.
11) Who is the toughest guy you have ever been in a ring with?
Yuri Tsarenko was as tough as nails and just kept soaking everything up you threw at him and kept coming back for more
12) Which Boxer has inspired you the most in your career?
Nigel Benn as he also suffered a defeat early on, regrouped and established himself again, not only on the domestic scene, but also on the world scene. After talking to him after my first defeat he showed me, its how you learn from it and come back from a loss, that makes you a better fighter. It gave me belief back in my ability, which inspired me to chase a return with the guy who inflicted my defeat, Lawrence Murphy and avenge it with a convincing fifth round stoppage last year
Thanks Wayne and good luck with the Eastman Fight
Cheers all the best Wayne