"I've been told I'm fighting in April back in London...I would be happy to face Khan, Bradley, Alexander or Maidana. Bradley is the number one out of that crop, but he is not unbeatable. Alexander and Khan do not like pressure, and Maidana can be outboxed...I'm good enough to beat Peterson, Soto and Holt; these guys are not Floyd Mayweather. I just want to fight the best fighters, as I've shown I can hang with them. I could beat any of the above fighters mentioned. I just need the chance to show that I can...The bigger the fight, the better the performance from me will be," stated jr. welterweight contender Ashley Theophane, who talked about his future plans and much more. Check it out!
PC: Ashley, what's been up my man?
AT: I'm good Percy; just training at Gleason's gym in New York City at the minute, putting that hard work in.
PC: You recently signed a deal with Ricky Hatton's promotional company. How did that deal come about for you?
AT: After I beat Lenny Daws for the British title on February 19th of last year, Frank Warren showed some interest in signing me to a promotional deal. I held out to see what other offers were on the table. Mick Hennessey, Eddie Hearn and Ricky Hatton also threw their names in the hat. Ricky offered me the best deal and he seemed to share my desire of getting big fights Stateside, so I signed with him. Ricky has achieved what I would love to do myself, fighting the world's best in America.
PC: It has to be cool to have a promoter that was a fighter so he can relate to you, and not only that, but your promoter competed in the same weight class that you compete in, so it's a unique situation.
AT: I watched Ricky beat Kostyzu [Tszyu] at the M.E.N in Manchester. I bought a ringside ticket to watch the fight, so it is inspiring to work with a man who campaigned at my weight division and was also number one in the 140-pound division for a good amount of time. It feels like Ricky is passing over the torch to me. All he has to do now is get me those big fights that he competed in.
PC: You're coming off of 2 knockout wins in 2011. I hear there is an April date floating around for you. Can you confirm that?
AT: I've been told I'm fighting in April back in London. I'm just waiting on Hatton promotions matchmaker Richard Poxon to confirm that so I can start working towards the date and intensify my training.
PC: Amir Khan is seemingly on his way out of the division soon. Timothy Bradley is now competing at 147, and Devon Alexander and Marcos Maidana have all vacated from the 140-pound division as well. Do you see this as a good thing to open the doors for new blood or can we expect you to move up in the near future too?
AT: I would be happy to face Khan, Bradley, Alexander or Maidana. Bradley is the number one out of that crop, but he is not unbeatable. Alexander and Khan do not like pressure, and Maidana can be outboxed as Corley and Khan showed. I'm good enough to beat Peterson, Soto and Holt; these guys are not Floyd Mayweather. I just want to fight the best fighters, as I've shown I can hang with them. I could beat any of the above fighters mentioned. I just need the chance to show that I can.
PC: How often do you come to New York to get some work in and train?
AT: I have been in New York for the last two weeks. I've come to the States for an 8-week camp, which will see me spend two weeks in Vegas to add something different to the normal schedule in New York.
PC: Although I just named a ton of guys leaving the division, there are guys like Vernon Paris, who will be fighting Zab Judah here soon, Kendall Holt and Tim Coleman should be another intriguing fight, and of course Danny Garcia and Erik Morales next month. Do you have a preference as to any of those guys you would like to face; a rematch with Garcia?
AT: If Garcia was to beat Morales, which he should, I would want a rematch. He knows I beat him and even though they gave him a split decision over me, I'm a blemish on his record as he struggled against me. I hurt him numerous times and I believe I could stop him in a 12-round bout. I wouldn't hold my breath in fighting Zab Judah as he has pulled out or turned down three fights with me since 2008. I've never watched Vernon Paris, so I can't comment on the guy, but Holt and Coleman I would love to fight as they would be credible wins on my record.
PC: At one point, it seemed like you really wanted to fight Zab Judah. Is that still a fight that interests you should he win or has that ship sailed for you?
AT: I never really wanted to fight Zab. Square Ring, Kathy Duva, and another promoter in Vegas offered me the fight on three different occasions. I want to fight the best fighters, so I will always say yes as long as the monetary reward is satisfactory. Judah or his people decided for easier options than fighting me.
PC: Brandon Rios will be fighting probably his last fight at lightweight and will be moving to 140 soon. Stylistically, I can see you giving him a lot of trouble. Do you like that fight?
AT: Brandon is a good fighter. I like his style, but I believe I could outbox him or break him down. I've fought big welterweights, like Delvin Rodriguez, and I was backing him up all night, so I'm definitely strong enough to hang with Rios and my boxing skills would cause him nightmares. He will probably come to the 140-pound division with a loss as I can't see him beating Gamboa.
PC: Following you on Twitter, you seem to stay in the know on all current events going on in boxing. What is your take on the last Mayweather/Pacquiao situation?
AT: Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto would never have happened if Cotto was still under Top Rank. When and if the fight happens with Pacquiao, it will be an easy nights work for Floyd.
PC: Tim Bradley is a guy I'm sure you have watched a lot of. Do you think he can beat Pacquiao at 147?
AT: I will not be shocked if Bradley beats Pacquiao. Pacquiao has not fought a young, hungry, and determined fighter in years. He has been fed a diet of weight-drained and past their best fighters. I believe it is not mission impossible for Bradley.
PC: I wish you the best of luck this year. I hope to have you on the site often. Is there anything you want to say before I let you go?
AT: Thank you Percy for the interview. I would like to thank every one of my supporters and I'm looking forward to 2012. The bigger the fight, the better the performance from me will be. Visit me on Twitter @ASHLEYTHEOPHANE, Facebook, and my website, www.ashleytheophane.com.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]