"He is a great, sharp fighter and I'm looking forward to a great fight. I look forward to using my height and reach advantage and, believe it or not, I don't know how people rate my speed or whatever, but I think I will be the faster fighter as far as continuous speed; not just one or two short punches. I can throw 3, 4 and 5-punch combinations with something in 'em and they are fast. That's something I haven't seen him do, and if he does do it, he doesn't do it a lot," stated welterweight contender Steve Upsher Chambers, who talked about his upcoming September 6 clash with former welterweight champion Andre Berto. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on securing the fight with Andre Berto. When did you find out that you were the one that got the fight?
SUC: It was about two days ago when I got the actual confirmation. I heard that certain people dropped out of the runnings for it. When I first heard about it 3 to 4 weeks ago, it gave me something to look forward to. I was training, but it was hard. People say you stay ready no matter what, but it's a different intensity when you know you have a fight coming up. So I just put it in my head that I had this fight coming up and they confirmed it two days ago that it was me. It was exciting. I was actually shocked that I got the fight because my luck in boxing, I would say the last 3 years haven't been the best. So I was really shocked that I got the opportunity.
PC: You haven't had a fight yet this year. Has it been just that, tough to get motivated to train, or have you picked it up a notch when your name was in the runnings?
SUC: Actually, I had a couple of fights fall out that I was gonna do locally, so I was training and then I would have to let off and then train and let off, and it got kind of redundant. But I was in camp with my good friend, he's actually more like a brother, Rod Salka. I was in camp with him helping him out, and actually before that, Paul Spadafora was in camp and I was in the gym training with him too. I was in the gym, but the intensity...I can't even say picked up really even then, but it picked up when I first heard about this fight being a possibility. Now it's just basically maintenance work now. If you ain't in shape by now, it's at that point where you ain't gonna get in shape.
PC: On record, you don't look like a big puncher, so obviously they are trying to keep Berto away from guys that are perceived to be punchers. Do you feel that's why you were picked for this fight?
SUC: Yeah, but everybody that has fought me know I can crack a little bit. It's not like Golovkin power, but it's enough to where if I crack you, it's enough to wobble you and get you out of there. I didn't have a bunch of guys taking fights with me on 2-days notice like the guys coming up or I would have 18 knockouts. If I had them soft touches, I would have a good knockout ratio. And I'm not saying that I fought all killers, but if you look at my record, I have fought guys that maybe didn't have the best record, but they were from Philly and I knew they could fight because I seen them spar in the gym before or sparred them in the gym before. I knew they could fight and that they were gonna be up for the fight because of me being from Pittsburgh and living in Philly and being known as a Philly fighter now; the Philly fighters want to beat me. They coming with their A game; on top of that, they know they are fighting me for a month or a month and a half, so it's gonna be hard to get a guy out of there like that. They're good; no matter what their record says, they can fight and they have beat people that were undefeated. But I didn't have all of these soft touches of bringing guys in on one-day notice from wherever or going to the Dominican Republic and getting a couple of wins in. I have heard of people doing that. I've never known people to do that, but I've heard people say that guys do that.
PC: What do you think of Andre Berto as an opponent and do you see things you can exploit?
SUC: I have always been a fan of Andre Berto. Me and my brother Eddie, we always used to be like, "Yeah, he a beast! He sharp as hell!" Never did I think I would see the day that I would be fighting him. And now, the day is here. He is a great, sharp fighter and I'm looking forward to a great fight. I look forward to using my height and reach advantage and, believe it or not, I don't know how people rate my speed or whatever, but I think I will be the faster fighter as far as continuous speed; not just one or two short punches. I can throw 3, 4 and 5-punch combinations with something in 'em and they are fast. That's something I haven't seen him do, and if he does do it, he doesn't do it a lot. It's a tough fight and people are saying Berto is not the same or Berto is that; man, that motherfucker can fight. I don't care what anybody says, it's still Andre Berto and he can fight. This is sort of what they are calling a crossroads fight, moreso for him because people don't really expect me to win. They expect him to win because he is Andre Berto and he has the name. He knows that if he loses to me, it's pretty much a wrap for him. He's gonna come in with everything he has that night. And really, in all of his fights, you have never really seen Berto quit. He has the heart of a lion and a two-time champion. I don't buy into any of that people saying he's done and all that. Man, I'm training for the best Andre Berto that there is.
PC: Berto has typically gotten in trouble when he's lured into fighting the wrong fight; mostly rough, inside fighting. You're not really known for that, so do you feel you have to offset his style by giving him something he's not used to seeing and that's to just box?
SUC: I can do it all. I could fight on the inside. I actually prefer that, but my trainers and Rod been telling me I need to use my reach, my fast jab, and movement. They feel I need to get out of the way and use head movement and everything and my boxing skills. They want me to use that more, but I can definitely get into a dog fight. It really isn't conducive for me to do that because I'm not really a 147-pounder at the end of the day. I'm trying to get down to my right weight, but the opportunities are not there at them weights. Nobody jumping up to fight me at 135 or 140, so the only opportunities I'm getting is at 147, and it's not really even at 147; it's at 149. People know that I'm good. They don't really wanna give me the total credit that I deserve, but they want all of the advantages if they are gonna fight me. And I'm okay with that. I'm gonna have to beat somebody under these circumstances and this will be the time that I do it because I'm actually in shape for this mentally, physically, and spiritually. The last 3 fights that I've had, I didn't have no kind of a camp. I would go to the gym sometimes. Like if I couldn't make it to the gym, I would run or go to LA Fitness. I probably had about 20 rounds of sparring the entire time. It just wasn't really right. Most of the fights were just fought off of heart. Like in the Collazo fight, nobody knows it because I was still winning rounds after that, but I was dead tired in the 4th round. I didn't hear anything my brother Eddie or my advisor and trainer at that time, Stephen Edwards, were saying at the end of that 4th round. I remember hoping the ring card girls scorecard said round 5 and when I saw it did, it gave me some relief and I gutted it out and finished it out. But now I know that I won't have to go through that because I'm in great shape.
PC: It's been a long time coming for you. Best of luck and we will talk afterwards. Is there anything you wanna say in closing?
SUC: Everybody tune in to Showtime Championship Boxing to watch "Showtime" put on a performance.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]