Sunday, July 18, 2004

Quick chat with ... Boxing's Chris Webb



Boxing promoter Chris Webb last month set up the biggest boxing match in Kentucky since the days of Cassius Clay, signing Danny Williams to fight Mike Tyson in Louisville on July 30. Webb insists the card, which features nine other fights, will lead to bigger and better boxing events throughout the region, including Cincinnati.

Webb recently took time to answer questions from Enquirer reporter Ryan Ernst.

Q: Of all the places to hold this fight, why did you pick Louisville?

A: First of all, I'm from Louisville. And it's has been my goal not only to bring boxing back here, but to a region that I feel is filled with talent. Anyone can open their eyes and see it. Anytime we get a talent from this area, they go to Vegas or California to fight and do their business. They don't get the opportunity to fight in front of their hometown fans. We're going to start keeping our fighters in our region. The Midwest is back in a big way.

Q: How long have you known Mike Tyson and how did you get into business with him?

A: I've known Mike for several years now. To be honest, I've done business with him because I communicated directly to him. This is the first fight I've done with Mike. But I expect to do more fights with him and more fights in this region. And I'm confident that Mike has one goal in mind, to become heavyweight champion again. It's going to be a tough test on the 30th, but I expect him to get through it and get to his ultimate goal.

Q: A lot of recent stories report a kindler, gentler Tyson. Have you noticed a change?

A: I've noticed a big change in the past year. He's very focused. He has a full understanding of where he is and it's up to him to fully play out the rest of his story. I'm fully confident he'll be heavyweight champion of the world and he'll do it in a classy way.

Q: What would be your dream fight to promote?

A: I would fully love to see Mike Tyson in top physical condition fight Lennox Lewis again. I don't think Mike was physically or mentally prepared for that fight. Outside of promoting, I am a fan of Mike Tyson. And I think in good condition he can beat any heavyweight form the last 20 years.

Q: Some local politicians have spoke out against this fight because of Tyson's criminal past. What's your response?

A: I feel that there are other political issues that should hold precedence over a boxing match. Especially a boxing match that will generate over $5 in tax revenue on fight day alone for the city and state. It's a no-lose situation.

Q: What's your opinion of Don King?

A: I think that Don King is a very intelligent businessperson. There's a lot that goes on in boxing promoting that the public doesn't know about. But I think he's great for the sport of boxing. On a number of occasions, he's called with advice. He'd definitely like to see another region open up to boxing, because it will be great for all of us.




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