"He is the real deal in this division. He’s got a lot of power behind his punch and that’s the typical style when people talk about Russian boxers...everybody is beatable if you go in there with the right game plan and have the will, skill, and guts of executing it...I really do not care about the date because I know I will be ready. This will be the most important fight of my life," stated light heavyweight Meng Fanlong, who talked about his recent win, his future plans, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on your unanimous decision win over Adam Deines. You actually went down for the first time in your career. Were you hit with a good shot, a balance shot, or were you actually buzzed a little bit?
MF: Thank you. That was a good punch from Adam. I was trying to throw a hook and he caught me in the middle of it. It landed on the side of my head and caused me to lose balance and I went down, but I recovered within a few seconds. I was not hurt from that punch, but it did bring me down.
PC: Besides the knockdown, you completely dominated. How do you feel about your performance?
MF: People want to see knockouts and I get that. A lot of them were asking if I want a knockout, but as a boxer, I can’t guarantee it. I did my work in the ring and showcased my skill level. I’m very happy with my performance.
PC: Deines was also a southpaw. Some southpaws don’t enjoy fighting other southpaws. Does that not bother you?
MF: I think I’m more used to fighting southpaws than Deines is. I have fought a lot of southpaws in my amateur career and a few times in pro, so fighting a southpaw does not bother me at all.
PC: Did you have any expectations of Deines, and if so, was he who you thought he was or did he bring something different to the table?
MF: I watched his video from morning to evening when I was in training camp. I always expect him to be a tough guy, a smart counterpuncher, and a typical European boxer. He didn’t bring anything that was out of me and my team’s expectations, but I give him a lot of credit for being such a tough and credible opponent.
PC: Anytime you can remove a fighter’s 0 off of his record, I’m sure that’s a special moment. You were the first to defeat Deines and you will have the opportunity to be the first to defeat Beterbiev. As a fighter, do you think about those type of stats or do you leave it to guys like me?
MF: This does give me a lot more confidence if I ever fight an undefeated boxer in the future. I was the challenger and I beat the guy in front of me. I believe that I can make great things happen with this mentality, and more importantly, with my team behind me, everything is possible.
PC: You have improved to 15-0 with 9 knockouts and you are now the mandatory for the IBF light heavyweight title held by Artur Beterbiev. What are your thoughts of him as a champion?
MF: He is the real deal in this division. He’s got a lot of power behind his punch and that’s the typical style when people talk about Russian boxers.
PC: He has stopped all 14 of his opponents. Do you feel like your southpaw stance, along with your height being 6’2", could nullify some of his power?
MF: Southpaws are always a problem for some boxers. And me being taller is surely an advantage. Nullifying his power? The power is going to be there regardless, but it’s what you do in that very moment that takes the power away. One thing I believe is that there’s no “perfect style” in boxing. Everybody is beatable if you go in there with the right game plan and have the will, skill, and guts of executing it.
PC: Is a fight with Beterbiev the sooner the better or would you like a break and come back late in the year?
MF: If Beterbiev is ready, so am I. I’m taking a few weeks off and will jump in my next training camp at the end of June. I really do not care about the date because I know I will be ready. This will be the most important fight of my life.
PC: What a milestone to become the first Chinese boxer to ever compete for a world title. Is that added pressure or added fuel?
MF: It adds fuel. China has more than 1.5 billion people and amongst them, a lot of them actually follow boxing, more than you and I can imagine. This is going to be exciting for everybody.
PC: Some fights seem very difficult to make in today’s time. Do you fear there will be any difficulty making the fight with Artur?
MF: I will leave this to my promoter and his team. My job is to take care of the training and fighting part. That’s how I stay focused.
PC: I appreciate the time. Best of luck to you moving forward. Is there anything else you would like to add before I let you go?
MF: I appreciate the chance from you and thank you for having me. I have made history for the sport of boxing in China. I will continue doing so. Please stay tuned. Thank you.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]