"My promoter throws names at my manager and my team and they are gonna sit down and we gonna talk and whoever it may be, I'm just looking to fight. I'm a heavyweight, I'm here, and I'm looking to move up the ranks... I feel this extra little bit of weight is gonna help me withstand some of these punches and show these guys a little bit of my strength. But I feel good, man. At cruiserweight, I felt drained leaving the ring after sparring, but at heavyweight, I feel good. I feel comfortable," stated former cruiserweight champion turned heavyweight Steve Cunningham, who talked about his recent debut in the new division, his future plans, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on the win. How do you feel about the performance?
SC: I feel good. I was more patient. I didn't rush to knock him out. I felt I was hurting him and dazing him, but I didn't want to I wanted to get some rounds in, but of course I wanted to get the stoppage. But I didn't force it too much; just working on being relaxed and comfortable at this weight.
PC: Before we talk more about the Gavern fight, you've been hinting at a move to heavyweight for some time now. What made now the right time?
SC: After the two fights with Hernandez, the first one I felt I was cheated and the second one I felt he won it. But before the Hernandez fight, we couldn't get any unification bouts, so it wasn't worth it. I wanted to unify it. I wanted to be the #1 cruiserweight in the world, which I already was, but I wanted to have those other belts. But I wouldn't have that opportunity because the guys didn't want to fight me; a couple of them, I already beat. I can understand that and it's a tough fight, but I thought with me having a belt and him having a belt, the money would be there and it wasn't, so we were talking about moving up to heavyweight before the first Hernandez fight. If we would have won the first Hernandez fight, I was going to vacate the IBF and move up to heavyweight.
PC: You came in at 207. Do you feel that's where you should be or would you like to add a little more muscle, which in turn would make you a little heavier?
SC: My thing is I'm not concerned about being extra heavy. I want to be comfortable. Of course I did put on a solid 10 pounds since my last fight. But I do want to get to 210 and just chill there, or 215. If I can get to 215, I would love to see how I perform at 215.
PC: Gavern outweighed you by 30 plus pounds or so. At any point did you feel that extra weight of the heavier man being on you or were you good?
SC: I felt comfortable, man. Actually, I felt more comfortable than I thought I would. I felt good. I felt kinda like I was supposed to be there. It wasn't a drag. Even in training, I was sparring with Chazz Witherspoon and some other guy who was 6'5" and 240=something pounds. They kept putting these guys in with me in sparring. But I felt good though, man. I felt really good, and like I said, I felt like I was supposed to be here.
PC: You had a cut on your eye due to a headbutt. Will that keep you out for a minute or can we expect a quick turnaround?
SC: In the 1st round, we had a clash of heads. He was coming up and I was going in and we clashed heads literally in the first 30 seconds of the fight. I got a cut, but you know, my cutman, Buddy Osborne, does a great job and it didn't bleed at all after that and we continued to do what we came to do and that's win. As far as me fighting, my eye is pretty much healed right now. Of course I'm going to wait to spar until like October some time, but if I can get in there in November or December; I know they are trying to get a date for me hopefully in December and we will be back at it, man.
PC: At one point, Naazim told me you were a gym rat and that you basically lived in there. Have you gotten better with taking some time off away from the gym?
SC: Yeah, I have been taking some time off because I'm starting to understand rest. My body needs rest. I will be working out again by the end of this week, but it will be light stuff. I take about 2 weeks off at the max. But then when I hit the gym, it's in the middle of the day and it's just to slowly get the body back into that routine. By the end of the week, I'll be lifting weights. I don't take too much time off because I love to work out, but if I'm hurt or injured, I will take a little more time.
PC: You were going back and forth with Antonio Tarver at one point for a cruiserweight fight. I know he's on some sort of suspension, but I doubt he returns as a cruiserweight, so would you like to meet him at heavyweight?
SC: Man, Tarver won't ever fight me, man. He's looking for a payday to cash out. He wouldn't fight me when I had the IBF belt, and even after my loss to Hernandez, he still had excuses to why we shouldn't fight. So if it's not lucrative for him, he won't do it. So hopefully I can get a belt in this division and he will move up to heavyweight and we can fight. But I mean, who knows if I would want to by then.
PC: Is there anyone in particular that you are targeting?
SC: Nobody in particular. My promoter throws names at my manager and my team and they are gonna sit down and we gonna talk and whoever it may be, I'm just looking to fight. I'm a heavyweight, I'm here, and I'm looking to move up the ranks.
PC: Did you feel different competing 10 pounds or so heavier than what you are used to fighting at?
SC: The thing with me being a cruiserweight, I was leaving the gym literally 194 or 192 sometimes. I felt I was starving my body. Not that I had to make weight, but I wasn't eating right. I could eat once a day and go on and still feel good at the gym. I feel this extra little bit of weight is gonna help me withstand some of these punches and show these guys a little bit of my strength. But I feel good, man. At cruiserweight, I felt drained leaving the ring after sparring, but at heavyweight, I feel good. I feel comfortable.
PC: I look forward to seeing you compete more at heavyweight. Congrats again on your win in your debut at the weight. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
SC: I want to thank everybody for their prayers and all of the fans of USS Cunningham can hit me up on Twitter @USSCunningham, and I just look forward to some good fights.