"Come December 8th, it’s going to be a good one; someone’s head is going to fall off...I was glad that my hard work had paid off. It feels like a title fight. I’m a kid, bruh. I know it’s not a title fight, but it’s a big fight for me. Jean Pascal is a guy that I used to watch...When I’m in the ring, I have no plan. I live life by the day. Come December 8th, when I’m in the moment, I just react. That’s just the way I am. The plan is to go to the head and go to the body and that’s it," stated light heavyweight contender Ahmed Elibiali, who spoke in-depth about his upcoming clash with former world champion Jean Pascal. Check it out!
PC: On December 8th, you will face your stiffest competition on paper to date in Jean Pascal. How is everything going?
AE: Great! We’ve been preparing, honestly, since the day after my last fight. Everything is going great; it’s been the best camp of my life. Every camp has been the best camp of my life, so it’s a good fight.
PC: If every camp is the best camp of your life, that means you’re improving.
AE: Thank you, man. I’m trying. That’s the only thing you can do in boxing is try.
PC: It’s in Miami, your hometown. I don’t really believe in homefield advantage so much in boxing, but it does help with not having to travel and sleep in hotels and things of that nature.
AE: Yeah, that’s what my team is saying. We are all saying it’s better because it’s Miami and he’s the one that’s going to have to travel. But, as a fighter, it’s like you just said, there really are no advantages in this game but outworking your opponent. As fighters, we’ll fight anywhere. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes fighting at home could be a disadvantage. He may have the advantage, who knows? Come December 8th, it’s going to be a good one; someone’s head is going to fall off.
PC: When you heard it was going to be Jean Pascal, what was your initial reaction?
AE: Happiness! I was very happy. I don’t think any other word or emotion could explain it. I was just happy. I was glad that my hard work had paid off. It feels like a title fight. I’m a kid, bruh. I know it’s not a title fight, but it’s a big fight for me. Jean Pascal is a guy that I used to watch. I never would have thought that I would fight this guy, shit.
PC: You always come to fight and sit down on your shots and load up with big punches. The same thing can be said about Jean Pascal. In fact, he’s most dangerous when he lures his opponents into that type of fight. Is that a danger area you have to be aware of or can we expect you to do what you always do?
AE: Jean throws one shot every now and then. You never know with him, of course, so I just gotta be careful, man. When I’m in the ring, I have no plan. I live life by the day. Come December 8th, when I’m in the moment, I just react. That’s just the way I am. The plan is to go to the head and go to the body and that’s it.
PC: When you’re faced with a guy who has fought Kovalev twice, Hopkins twice, Froch, Bute and Dawson, yet Kovalev is the only guy to stop him, is that something that is motivating you, to be the second guy to stop him?
AE: Most, most, most definitely! I’m putting a little more pressure on myself for that, but at the end of the day, it is all about the win. But, the reality is when you knock people out, especially former world champions, your name gets noticed and you make more money and that’s what I’m here for.
PC: Not only are you getting a former world champion, you get to headline on FS1 as well. That has to be a great feeling for you and where your career is heading.
AE: I was just telling someone, everything that I wanted is happening in this one fight. I’ve always wanted to headline a fight, I’ve always wanted to headline a fight in Miami, and I’ve always wanted to fight a real talented fighter where I could showcase my talents. Shit, it’s happening all in one fight, so that’s a nice little combo.
PC: Anytime you have the opportunity to fight late into the year like this, you could use this performance to catapult you into the new year. Is that the mentality for this one?
AE: Absolutely! You never know what fight this fight could get me. They got me Jean Pascal; they might get me Stevenson next, another Canadian. I’ll take his head off too. I’m ready for it. They have experience and I understand that, but I have something else.
PC: It sounds like you’re trying to become the Canadian Killer (laughing).
AE: I’m trying to become the every type of nation killer (laughing). I really love the world and boxing is just boxing, but boxing is my tool to spread the word. Everyone has a gift and boxing is my gift, which is unfortunate for some, but very fortunate for me. And boxing is a sport; I can get my head chopped off too, but this is what I’m here for, this is why I train, and this is what it takes to be a winner and a legend. You gotta fight the best and you gotta beat the best and sometimes you gotta lose to the best and come back and beat them after that. It’s just a cycle.
PC: You set an unbelievable pace during your fights. Obviously Pascal isn’t the same guy he was and he’s a little older now. Do you plan on your pace being something that you can utilize and make him uncomfortable?
AE: The pro game, bro, a lot of these fighters like to start off slow and they think, “Oh, he’s a pro fighter, he’s going to start off slow too.” Nah buddy, I’m going to set my own pace. If I want to start off slow, I will start off slow; if I don’t, there is no point. Why stand in there with a guy for 10 to 12 rounds against a guy you know you can get out in 2 to 3 rounds. I’m expecting the very best Jean Pascal, but I’m realistic too and I understand boxing and I understand sports. Is he on his downside? Yeah! Am I still young and lack experience, unlike him? Yeah! We are meeting in the middle, but do I have the advantage, absolutely!
PC: What separates you guys on fight night?
AE: Hard work. My hard work and my dedication to the sport. Does he have it and does he work as hard as me? Yeah, he has in his past. I don’t think he is right now. That’s going to be the biggest factor. The man is not disciplined, bro. I can smell it from Miami. The lack of discipline shows itself.
PC: I can’t wait to see how this one plays out. Good luck to you and we will speak afterwards my man.
AE: Thank you, brother! It was great talking to you.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]