“I worked for it and I’m happy that I got the opportunity. For me, it’s just work because I have so much more to accomplish... I’m bringing that slickness back. Respect to all the fighters out there that got good defense and are slick, but I brought that back! When you mention slick fighters, my name is most likely number one... I believe I will be the face of boxing. I wholeheartedly believe that I will be the face of boxing given my story, my defense, my attitude to who I am as a person,” stated super featherweight contender Tevin Famer, who talked about his upcoming world title shot. Check it out!
PC: You’re fighting for your first world title and its only days away. How do you feel?
TF: I’m definitely excited. Right now, I’m cutting weight; a few more training sessions and then we’re on deck. We ready to rock and roll. I’m feeling good. I think this is the best...as far as weight and stuff, I think this is the best camp that I’ve had. I was on weight weeks ago. I’m feeling good, I’m feeling strong, and I don’t feel dehydrated.
PC: What is your taper down. What do you do to kill time when you’re living out of your hotel room?
TF: Instagram and talking. I’m actually at a house in Vegas right now, so it’s not really being in a hotel, but definitely not home.
PC: Do you have a pre-fight ritual during fight week?
TF: I just relax. I work out and relax. I don’t try to do too much during fight week. Plus, you’re cutting weight, so your body don’t really do what you want it to. So basically for me, it’s just relaxing. If I catch a little energy here and there, I’ll do something, but most likely, that won’t happen.
PC: I’m not sure if you had the opportunity to watch the HBO replay, but it was good seeing you on the big screen and hearing them talk about you during the telecast while you were attending a fight.
TF: I did see it and I was like, “Wow, that’s crazy!” It’s crazy because I was supposed to go to the Cotto fight and get interviewed and everything, but I had a flight early that morning on Sunday, so I couldn’t really make it. I was kind of mad about that, but I gotta fight on the network, so you will see me on there again.
PC: Sometimes situations or moments like this seem surreal until they are actually here. Now that it’s fight week and everything is on the table, what’s the feeling like?
TF: Right now, I know I’m fighting for the title and I’m proud of that, but it didn’t hit me yet. It just didn’t hit me yet. I know the title shot is right there; maybe when I get in the ring that day, maybe when I win, it’ll hit me, but it really hasn’t hit me yet. I know it’s a big fight, but I’ve prepared for so long to get to this point; it’s everything that I expected it to be. It’s no surprise. It wasn’t given to me. I worked for it and I’m happy that I got the opportunity. For me, it’s just work because I have so much more to accomplish.
PC: Boxing went through a period where slick fighters were appreciated, guys like Pernell Whitaker, and although he had power, Naseem Hamed brought a slickness that was appreciated. Now, we’re at a point where the knockout artists are appreciated and fans want to see knockouts. Do you think you can restore the sweet science and bring that appreciation back? Do you feel like you are that guy?
TF: Yeah, I am that guy. I’m bringing that slickness back. Respect to all the fighters out there that got good defense and are slick, but I brought that back! When you mention slick fighters, my name is most likely number one. I just did an interview this morning with Jim Lampley and he said that I’m one of the best defensive fighters in the world.
PC: You’ve always told me that you felt you would be the face of boxing. Those kinds of accolades are a lot to put on one fighters’ shoulders. Is that just part of the responsibility that comes with wanting to be the face of the sport, having bold statements like that made about you?
TF: It is what it is. For me, everything is natural and normal. I never try too hard to be what I am. I am who I am and it just comes natural. When things come natural, there is never pressure. When you force things out, you may get some good here and there, but when it’s natural and the only thing you have to do is go do what you do, it’s no effort. I don’t have to try hard because it’s just my style; it’s easy.
PC: Do you feel you can be the face of boxing given your style, because some fans are so in love with the knockout?
TF: Yeah! I believe I will be the face of boxing. I wholeheartedly believe that I will be the face of boxing given my story, my defense, my attitude to who I am as a person. I think I have the opportunity to be the face of boxing, especially with a big network like HBO behind you.
PC: Your opponent, Kenichi Ogawa, hasn’t said a whole lot. Obviously there is a language barrier there, but your rival, Gervonta Davis, has provided you with all the fire you need. So although you’re not getting any trash talk from Ogawa, Davis, through social media, seems to keep you fired up. Are you just having fun with him on social media and entertaining yourself while knowing you have business to deal with on Saturday night?
TF: I just be having fun. For me, it’s all fun and games. If I was taking it personal, it would be something different. But I know where my head is really at and what the task is. I’m too mentally focused, I’m too mentally ahead of the game; that little shit ain’t going to change nothing with me. I know what time it is when I step in that ring.
PC: Has it been tough to get up for a guy who doesn’t speak English? He’s not saying what he’s going to do to you. Do to take that as he’s showing up for business, therefore you have to show up for business?
TF: I never really think of that, honestly. I don’t really care. The only thing I think about is getting into the ring and fighting that day, whether somebody talks a lot or not. It never crosses my mind. I don’t really care about it because at the end of the day, you still gotta fight. You can talk all the trash in the world, you gotta get in the ring. You can be quiet, you still gotta get in the ring.
PC: You said the feeling of fighting for a world title hasn’t set in yet. What about the aftermath of winning a world title? Have you thought about what it would be like after or is that a distant thought as well?
TF: Now that I have been thinking about, I know the aftermath is going to be crazy. The aftermath is definitely going to be crazy; a lot more publicity and a lot more everything. Everything is just going to be way better. That’s something that I do know for a fact.
PC: And another world champion from Philadelphia.
TF: Yeah! That’s been going since 2012 when Danny [Garcia] won, if I’m not mistaken. That’s God, man. That’s a blessing right there. I don’t take nothing for granted. I’m just more of a mellow guy because of the way I had to get to the title. Every fight for me was like a title fight. Every fight for me was like a fight I had to go and win. This one here is nothing different. I gotta win this fight just like I gotta win every other fight and after this, I gotta win every other fight.
PC: Your 7-4 start in boxing is well documented. What would you credit the most to the great run you have been on with consecutive victories?
TF: I would say credit to my team and myself. At one point, I was all the way in this game by myself. I got the right team around me and it’s been history since then. You could have the best team in the world, but you still gotta do your part. I give credit to myself to for that reason. At the end of the day, I don’t have to do what I do when my team ain’t around. I don’t have to be in the gym every day. I can do what I want. Technically, anybody could do what they want, but the fact that you let your team be involved that much of your career...I don’t want to train for camp, I train all year-round. I train all year-round; I don’t just go train when it’s fight time. It became so normal that it’s normal now just to go to the gym. When I don’t go, it feels like something is not right. I gotta get to the gym. But most importantly, credit to my team for being great and doing the things that need to be done, keeping me mellow and keeping me motivated.
PC: I wish you the best. It’s been a long journey and the prize is in your grasps, my man. I look forward to the fight. Let everyone know why they should be tuning in to HBO on Saturday night.
TF: Thanks man! I appreciate it, man. Saturday night on HBO, I’m coming for everything that they said I couldn’t come for. We gonna get it popping, man. It’s going to be a show; don’t miss it at all!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]