"I'm not going to give up or take no for an answer in that ring. And a lot of these guys are not going into that ring with that type of mentality. They get hit hard, they ready to stop. They feel like something broke on 'em, they ready to stop. You ain't gonna get that from Amir Mansour. Like I said, I don't think any of these heavyweights in this present era are ready for these type of wars and wounds that we saw throughout the 70's, 80's, and the early 90's. And that's what I bring to the table, man. So I'm confident in me. I know the extremes I will go through in that ring. I don't think that this guy or any other heavyweight is ready to go through the extremes that I am willing to go through," stated comebacking heavyweight contender Amir Mansour, who talked about his return to the ring, the state of the heavyweight division, and much more. Check it out!
PC: When we last spoke, you were just getting into a little bit of sparring and things like that. I'm sure you are full go now. How do you feel?
AM: Things have been going good, man. I feel great. I'm getting my timing back and my legs and shit back, and just really excited to be back doing what I love to do.
PC: Watching the heavyweight division over the last year, do you still see that lack of substance that you have talked about for years or do you see a few names that can make some noise?
AM: I have always said the only one that I believe that can do just as much for this heavyweight division that I can is Bryant Jennings. I'm a big fan of his. Other than that, when you look at the big names that have emerged or the names that have been trying to emerge in the heavyweight division, when they get in there with real competition, they don't win or a weakness is exposed. So I still don't see anybody threatening my rise or my mission. But it's all to be seen in the ring, like I said, because we all can say what we want, but at the end of the day, you gotta get in that ring and prove it.
PC: With your return date approaching quickly, what is your mindset right now? How are your nerves?
AM: It's all good, man. Most of the top fighters and great champions, you see instances where they haven't fought in a year and they come back and defend their titles after a year. And sometimes, when you become a world champion, you may not fight but once a year, so being off a year isn't gonna bother me at all. Sometimes a year off does your body good, and in this game here, rest is always good for a fighter who takes care of himself while he's resting.
PC: A lot of the emails I get about you are from guys saying they want to see more of you, but your age scares them. How do you not let your age play a role in what you are trying to accomplish?
AM: Well, like I said, when it comes to my age, I really I don't want to say I'm an extraordinary dude, because everybody can do the same thing I'm doing. The bottom line is this, if you take care of yourself and eat right and live right, then there is no such thing as over the hill because if you do those things right, you can be capable of doing the things you did as a young child. Listen, I don't want to say I'm faster or anything like that, but I'm just as fast today as I was 10 to 15 years ago; really faster, because my mind stayed well and became more mature at what I was doing. So there are so many things now that I do in the ring through learning and as far as experience that I never did when I was younger. I didn't have the confidence that I was this fast or that fast or this powerful or that powerful. I didn't know. It's a natural thing, man. If you are taking care of your body and doing what you need to do, your body is gonna tell you when your time is up. Your body is going to tell you when your time is up, not your age. And anything besides that telling you that it's time to stop would have to come from outside forces, like lack of self-confidence and things like that, which can get you down as well. But age, man, nothing can tell you it's over with but your body, when you can't throw punches, you're not sharp, your legs get tired after 3 or 4 rounds and things like that. We increased power and speed and things like that. When you see me in that ring, there are things that I do now that I couldn't do in my younger days because of my mind progress. It's a mental thing. Any fighter that has been in the trenches in this sport will tell you this game is 90% mental.
PC: Are you big on finding film on your opponents and sitting down and studying them or do you leave that to your team, and have you found footage on Dominique Alexander?
AM: They have probably looked up some footage. I have never seen this guy fight. All I know is he won in the ring 25 times. He has 10 or 11 losses. I don't know. My focus is this man went to the ring 25 times and found a way to win. That's all I'm concerned about. I'm not concerned about how many times he lost because I don't know if he ever fought for a world title or fought someone undefeated or not. He can come in for our fight and put on the greatest fight of his life, and I can come in and put on the worst performance of my life and this guy could walk away victorious. I don't know. He's been successful 25 times in the ring. I have only been successful 16 times in the ring, but I never lost. I can't ignore the times this man climbed into that ring, sucked it up, and feared nobody and found a way to be successful at the end of that fight. That's what I look at, man. But really, I focus on me. I know what I can bring into that ring. And I don't care who you are. You could be faster, you could be bigger and stronger, you ain't gonna beat me because you ain't ready to die. And I don't like saying that. Nobody wants to die. I don't want to die. I want to live to see my kids have kids and all of that, but when I go into that ring, I understand that you can die in this ring. I understand that when I go into that ring, I can get seriously injured, but I understand that I am capable of going beyond that. I'm not going to give up or take no for an answer in that ring. And a lot of these guys are not going into that ring with that type of mentality. They get hit hard, they ready to stop. They feel like something broke on 'em, they ready to stop. You ain't gonna get that from Amir Mansour. Like I said, I don't think any of these heavyweights in this present era are ready for these type of wars and wounds that we saw throughout the 70's, 80's, and the early 90's. And that's what I bring to the table, man. So I'm confident in me. I know the extremes I will go through in that ring. I don't think that this guy or any other heavyweight is ready to go through the extremes that I am willing to go through. The Klitschkos and some of these guys, man, are rich. They are filthy rich. They don't want to die in that ring. You understand what I'm saying? They got too much to lose. They get in that ring with a dude like me, I keep coming and I'm hitting 'em and beating them and hitting them harder than they've ever been hit, they gonna be ready to quit. They already rich; I ain't got nothing. I'm going to keep going. You gonna have to carry me out on a stretcher. So at the end of the day, like I said, it's 90% mental and if you don't have that, more than likely the physical not gonna carry you far at the end of the day. I don't care about age or whatever, if you don't have the mental. But when these people continue to see Amir Mansour, they gonna forgot all about the fact that I'm 40.
PC: From the heavyweight division, what sticks out in your mind from 2012?
AM: Watching Seth Mitchell and Chazz Witherspoon fight for a title that I had to vacate and honestly not even knowing that when they fought, they were fighting for the title that I vacated. And then after, watching Seth Mitchell get defeated by Johnathon Banks. I wanted to be the one that took Seth Mitchell out. I wanted to come home and get back in the swing of things and get my title. I felt as though it would be something that the people wanted to see. I felt as though it was something the WBO would definitely make happen. So watching him lose, that took a lot of wind out of me and a lot of air out of me as far as me getting Seth Mitchell. At this point, if he gets in the ring with a guy like me, who is known to have knockout power in each hand now I'm supposed to knock him out. So when I knock him out, it's like I was supposed to. It really doesn't bring that excitement that I think a fight with me and him would have if he would have never been stopped by Johnathon Banks.
PC: Do you think it's too soon for him to be facing Banks again or are you okay with him taking the rematch in February?
AM: Nah, I don't think it's too soon. I commend him because you get knocked off that horse, man, and you get right back on. One thing that stuck in my mind that Seth said, and even taking that loss the way he did, he did it like a gentleman and a serious man, but one thing he said is, "Don't feel sorry for me, feel sorry for my next opponent." And when he said that, that stuck out in my head because I'm like, this guy got some heart with him. But of course when he gets back in that ring with Banks, we're gonna see if he can back that up.
PC: Give me some closing thoughts my man.
AM: I'm just blessed to have as many people invested in these fights. At the end of the day, a lot of people know I've had my falls and I made my mistakes and done some dumb things, and people for the most part genuinely wanna see and like me. And in this case, a lot of people wanna see me win and be successful through my struggles. That truly affects me and I will always be grateful, and it overwhelms me at times by the amount of people that support me in the Tri-State area and around the world. I have been getting letters from people from Poland telling me that they are big fans of mine; way in Poland and the United Kingdom. That is extraordinary to me, having once spent 8 ½ years in a jail cell at my lowest point in life and then to have so many people behind you and cheering you on and wanting the best for you. I'm blessed to have the backing, the family, and friends that I have, and it's truly a blessing and I am always grateful and thankful for that. A lot of people know my struggle and where I have been and what I have gone through is because of you and your site. I know people that are not really that interested in boxing, but just a success story, you know what I mean, and you put it out there for the world to see, and let me tell you something, man, you guys got some serious readers and followers because a lot of people that hit me up is because they read what we have been doing on your site now for a solid year and I appreciate you brothers for that. This world can be unforgiving at times and people who want to see me succeed are a blessing.