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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Q&A with Jermain Taylor
By Steffan Garrero
BBC Sport Wales

BBC Sport Wales' Steffan Garrero put the questions to the world's leading middleweight, WBC and WBO champion Jermain Taylor.


How are preparations going for the Cory Spinks fight? Do you see him causing you any problems?

Jermain Taylor
Taylor defends his titles against Cory Spinks on 19 May

Preparations are going well, I'm training in Memphis and we will be ready for Cory on 19 May.

Any fighter can cause you problems, that's why preparation is so important.

My trainer Emanuel Steward always makes sure we are prepared and able to make adjustments in any fight if necessary.

Did you catch the Joe Calzaghe v Peter Manfredo Jr fight? What did you make of the stoppage?

I thought the fight was stopped a little too soon. It could have gone on longer, but Joe was going to win anyway.

What did you think of Calzaghe's performance?

He did what he had to do, but he did not have very much time - with the fight being stopped so soon - to really put on the kind of performance I know he would have liked to have done.

Is Manfredo the best the USA has to offer?

No, and this is not a knock at Manfredo, but there are other fighters who could have been much more competitive.

Calzaghe says he wants to fight you this summer and his manager, Frank Warren, says he's offered $4m to your camp - do you fancy it?

If Joe and Frank want me that much... make me an offer for $10m and I will show up and bring him a gift to his front door.

Would you be ready by July or is later in the year more realistic?

My focus is all on 19 May against Cory Spinks. I don't like to look past anyone and I'm certainly not going to look past Cory.

Right now, July and anything later is something I'm not even thinking about.

Would you take a potential Calzaghe bout in Cardiff, or would you insist on it being in the USA?

I will refer to my answer on the last question... My focus is on 19 May.

Would you find an atmosphere like that at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium intimidating?

Joe Calzaghe at the Millennium Stadium
Taylor would not be afraid to face Joe Calzaghe in Wales

No atmosphere is intimidating because once you start fighting your focus is on the man in front of you.

I really don't hear the crowd or think about the atmosphere, you must not allow yourself to be distracted with things like that.

I'm a professional and I have a job to do and that's the way I approach any fight no matter where the site is.

Would you have a problem going up to face a big super middleweight like Calzaghe?

Understand that I'm a big guy anyway. Making super middleweight would not be a problem for me.

I have good size, frame and height to carry additional weight if I have to.

Manfredo says that Calzaghe did not hit hard and slaps - what do you think of the Welshman's fighting style?

Joe can fight, you don't win 20 title fights in a row without being able to fight.

I really don't think about his style so much, his style is his style, just like my style is my style.

Remember I won a bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics, the point I'm making is that when you have a lot of amateur fights like I did and make the Olympic team you face a lot of styles all over the world and you are able to make the proper adjustments for any style that you may face.

Joe equalled the number of title defences recorded by Bernard Hopkins and Larry Holmes on the weekend - is he as good as them?

I don't think so, because Bernard and Larry fought far more toughter fighters in their career than Joe has fought.

What has been the toughest fight of your career?

Bernard [Hopkins] and [Ronald] Winky [Wright] I would count together as my toughest fights.

Does a third fight with Bernard Hopkins hold any interest for you?

Not at all... I'm through with Bernard Hopkins.

You're established as one of the biggest names in world boxing - how do you see your future from here on?

All I can do is stay focused and approach each fight one by one.

I try to keep a level head about all the attention I receive and never forget where I came from.

Sometimes fighters can forget where they come from and how hard it was to get this level, that's when you can become complacent and at that point things can fall apart. I don't want that to happen to me.

Any professional fighter has the ambition to be remembered as an all-time great, and I'm no different.

SEE ALSO
Taylor wants $10m from Calzaghe
16 Apr 07 |  Boxing
Calzaghe confirms hand fracture
10 Apr 07 |  Boxing
The Calzaghe Record
05 Mar 06 |  Boxing
BBC Wales Sport coverage
31 Oct 05 |  Wales


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