Tha’ Boxing Voice spoke with James Ali Bashir, the longtime assistant of Emmanuel Steward and now the senior member of Stewards camp of fighters. Bashir was very forthright in his views of his camp and the current state of the Heavyweight division.
The always frank Bashir gave a candid view on the set rematch between Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell, in which Banks won via a dominant 2nd round TKO.
“Johnathon Banks is a steady professional; he’s going to do what Johnathon Banks does. He’s not going to change; he’s going to be the same guy he was in the first fight. He’s going to look to catch Seth in the mix somewhere and knock him out again.”
He went on to further downplay Mitchell’s prospects and question Golden boy’s decision to schedule the rematch. “As smart as that team is, I think it was a terrible mistake that they even chose Johnathon Banks, he’s a guy that has been boxing with the heavyweight champions of the world for 10 years,” he went on to add. He defiantly concluded, “They are going to get him knocked out again.”
Bashir explained his role in the Klitschko camp, clarifying he’s doesn’t have any direct training duties and eluded “I’m just there as the brain trust, I’m there for strategy side of things,” he detailed. “Johnathon Banks is the trainer and I just assume the position I’ve had all along.”
In addressing the rumors and declaration by American heavyweight, Deontay Wilder, that he got the better of Wladimir Klitschko during a sparring session in preparation for his last fight against Mariusz Wach, Bashir was quick to dispel the claims.
“I wouldn’t describe it like that. Because I was working with Deontay Wilder, he did better than expected. Of course I opened different doors for him to have some advantages,” Bashir said. “In fact Wladimir Klitschko hurt Deontay Wilder, on two, maybe three times in that sparring session.”
The topic then came up of the current crop of heavyweights and weather Bashir felt fighters were being protected in the current climate. Bashir commented that he felt times had changed from previous Heavyweight Generations, referencing Tim Witherspoon and Lennox Lewis as examples of fighters who took on significant challenges early in their careers.
“It’s a matter of timing, a matter of desire. Everybody is so careful nowadays that they would rather have a guy 30-0 fighting 30 cab drivers.”
Bashir’s frustration was aimed at up and coming heavyweights: Joe Hanks, Deontay Wilder and Malik Scott in comparison to Leotis Martin, Thad Spencer, Jerry Quarry, Ernie Shavers Ron Lyle: Heavyweights contemporaries of the past that competed against each other and the best fighters of their era.
In Conclusion, Bashir commented that he felt both Klitschko brothers would see out the remainder of their careers undefeated, but did single out two fighters he felt had the potential to cause some problems, Kubrat Pulev and David Price. In particular he focused on Pulev, commenting:
“I was impressed with Kubrat Pulev because he beat Alexander Ustinov, he didn’t just beat him, he knocked him out, I was impressed with that, I’m impressed with his mental attitude. He has that championship mentality and that’s a big part of boxing.”
For Audio of this Interview Click Here: http://mixlr.com/thaboxingvoice/showreel/thaboxingvoice-michelle-rosado-plus-fight-week-debate/