“On Q Sports” recently spoke exclusively with WBF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion Amir “Hardcore” Mansour on his upcoming bout against Maurice Harris, his career, and why he put everyone else in the heavyweight division in the U.S. on notice and then some.
Mansour is known for his freakish punching power, but when he spoke to us all he wanted to talk about was why everyone is afraid to fight him, and why he thinks Tony Thompson is nothing and Tyson Fury is a bum.
Mansour is set to fight veteran Maurice Harris (26-17, 11 Ko’s) Friday August 23rd at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware, but took some time to talk with “On Q Sports” after a training session.
Rich: How is training going for Friday’s fight against Maurice Harris? This is nice test for you, title defense against a crafty, veteran guy
Amir: “Man, first off thanks for the time, and everything is going real well Rich, I feel good, you know, history in the making, living my dream and would not want to be anywhere else. I have gotten some real good sparring in (with Travis Kauffman, good boxer) and I feel great.”
Rich: How do you feel mentality, I know the mental game is huge with you?
Amir: “No doubt, I feel great, like I said, I am focused, doing what I want to do and my dream is right there man, you know, everything is good in my mind, I see it happening. I go into every fight like it is war, it is a battle and I prepare for it that way, it is going to be a long night”.
Rich: What do you know about Harris?
Amir: “I have been watching him since he fought Larry Holmes, man I figured him out and I am sure he thinks he has figured me out, my power game is a game changer”
Rich: Harris is tough, he fought Sosnowski, Rossy, he fought Thompson and he has some good wins and bouts under his belt”
Amir: “Once I put my hands on him, he will know, look man, he is a decent fighter, and I respect that, I am training hard, I am prepared, man, I am always prepared to go to war and Friday night is no different. If he goes down early, he goes down early, but it would be beneficial for me to get some work in, get some rounds in.
Rich: Speaking of getting some work in, to be honest with you, I thought your last fight was a joke. As someone who covers the sports, and respects the sport, I thought Jason Gavern had no busy being in the ring with you at that time and it showed. If I paid for a ticket, I would want my money back. I know he fought Cunningham, but he came in dropping 6 of 7, I believe and he just looked unprepared”
Amir: “You know, I respect what you are saying, but look man, I went in there and did what I had to do on my end, ok, this guy went some rounds with Cunningham, he went the distance with this guy, so I wanted to prove if this guy can go the distance with him and Cunningham is higher ranked then me, then I am going to beat this quy quick. His (Gavern) record speaks for itself, I think I surprised him when I hit him, ok, you know the myth behind my power, my name, this dude had flashbacks of my KO’s but he didn’t want to be a victim of them, but he was. That is why I was so pissed off after fight, that win and the knockouts are expected of me, so don’t boo me on the outcome.”
Rich: Do you…(Amir cuts me off)
Amir: “We asked to fight Seth Mitchell, Chris Arreola, Johnathon Banks, Tony Thompson, Tomasz Adamek, ok, the top guys on HBO, but these guys are all running from me, and you can print that. They don’t want to fight me and they know who they are, man, my record speaks for itself. You have seen me fight for years now, you know. Let me ask you something, you think there is a guy now in the US in the heavyweight division that can over overseas and fight say the Klitschko’s.
Rich: “I really can’t answer that, we need to see someone get a shot here and see what happens, see guys really step up and fight guys”
Amir: “Exactly man, you see what I am saying, ok, let’s see who the best in the U.S. is, now man, not later, now. Ok, let’s see who the baddest man in the world is.
Rich: In U.S you want Thompson is what you are saying?
Amir: “Yes, Thompson because he is ranked No. 1, I want the man, they think is the baddest and the best. I respect the Klitschko brothers, I respect them to the fullest, they handle their business, they are not ducking because the guys that the fight, these organizations recycle the same heavyweights that they beat. Let me tell you, Thompson is nothing, his display of talent is zero, ok, this guy has no businesses being in there with them, no business being in there twice man, come on, he didn’t even put up a fight.
Rich: Do you think you are the best U.S. heavyweight out there right now?
Amir: “No heavyweight is doing what I am doing, speed, footwork, power, I mean look at these guys, and they would avoid me, wait for guys to vacate belts and then just jumped on it. Mitchell is another guy, man, he just is afraid of me. So if you want to get technical, if I beat Harris, I have won ever North American Title.”
Rich: If Thompson beats Pulev.. (Amir cuts me off again)
Amir: “Look he is nothing. All I can do is fight who they put in front of me, you know I went to HBO and they said we love Amir, we want Amir, we love his story, we know who he is and we like him, but we do not want Amir fighting a Harris or (Dominick) Guinn on our card. Ok, so then I am like find, get me someone, gets some guys in there, but they all run man, I can’t stand this. Face me, fight me, let’s see who the baddest man on the planet is. I think I would be a good win on anyone’s record.”
Rich: You think fighting in Delaware, as much as you love it and you have following, hurts you a bit?
Amir: “You know that is a fair question, you can make that argument. Delaware has enabled me to fight consistently, it has great venues, large following, so it works hand in hand, Delaware is good to me and I am good to Delaware, whenever and wherever I am in the ring, I just have to take advantage of it.
“I can only keeping winning, IBF, IBO, all these sanctioning bodies, these guys say we need an American heavyweight champ, Mitchell can’t take a punch, he would not last six rounds with me. Why don’t we know who the baddest man in America is, because none of us are fighting, so we don’t know? These guys get their shot, NABO titles here and there, whatever, where is my shot, again man, come on, they just do not want to see me in the ring.
Rich: What do you think of Tyson Fury, is he the real deal or hype?
Amir: “Honestly, he is a bum; I went to see him fight against Cunningham. Man, he has no defense, dude can’t take a punch, and you think he can handle one of my punches, he dragged Steve down. I was a bit shocked because I thought Steve was a tougher fighter then that, I think he let Fury get in his head and Fury got physical. I commend Steve for coming back after that knockdown, but Fury used a bunch of dirty tactics with Steve, and if I was Steve I would have gotten down and dirty with him. You use that crap with me, come on, you have the audacity to use that stuff with me, then I will use it against you. Hey, but, it worked for Fury. “
Rich: Who do you want to fight right now, if you can take a fight today who would it be?
Rich: Deontay Wilder?
Amir: “Yes, let’s make a fight with Mansour and Wilder, right now, HBO will pick it up, I guarantee this, good pay, I have the venue, let’s make it happen. I will back it up. I will do everything in my power to make this happen. They will not take it, his chin will not keep up with my power, man he is slow. He said he would make easy work of me, are you kidding me man.”
Rich: Where would venue be and when would fight take place?
Amir: (Chuckling) I interrupt him for a moment “You brought it up, I asked the questions, you answer, chuckling back”
Amir: Hey man, November, I am willing to fight any heavyweight in the top 10 in the U.S. and the world, we are tired man”
Rich: Do you feel you are still racing against the clock to make it happen? You are 41, but the thing is, there are a bunch of heavyweights that are in late 30’s and such.
Amir: “Can’t stop the clock brother, every second passes, you can’t get it back, look I feel great, I am very healthy and I am not beat up. I am not a journeyman fighter. I feel good. The highest ranked heavyweight is older than me. Look at B-Hop, Bernard Hopkins is a legend, this man, 41, 42, 43, does not matter; he is dominating every class he fights in. Years from now when we are all gone this man will still be a legend and never forgotten.
Rich: You guys speak a ton don’t you?
Amir : “Yes, we do. I respect this man; we have more in common than just doing jail time.
Rich: You guys never fought as amateurs
Amir: “That’s right brother, exactly right man, I have zero amateur fights, I am not beat up, and I take care of myself. And I watch and see how Bernard trains, and I talk to him but I mostly listen. I know this man has knowledge and it works, I have a lot going for me, none of these guys are in my league, they do not have enough balls to get in the ring with me, I will fight them anytime, anyplace, anywhere.”
Rich: What should be expect Friday night, guarantee another win another knockout
Amir: “All I can say is that, I guarantee, you will see Amir Mansour do his very best, the same thing I have been doing over and over, I have improved on movements and defense and angles. He has been stopped and the people that have stopped him do not punch like me.”
Rich: Is this your year?
Amir: “We are hoping and praying by year’s end we are at the door at a title fight, someone will have to see Amir. I do not know when it will happen, but I believe God willing it will happen in 2014, somebody is going to have to answer to me; they are going to have to see me sooner or later. It is not about the money, they know I am the real deal. No circus.
Rich: I always appreciate a couple of moments of your time. Good luck on Friday.
Amir: “Rich, anytime brother, God Bless”