On September 29, Johnathon Banks will face Antonio Tarver on a special Monday night edition of Fox Sports 1’s Golden Boy Live. Leading up to the showdown, Thaboxingvoice.com got a chance to speak with Johnathon Banks. The Emanuel Steward Prodigee, spoke about his upcoming fight, training Wladimir Klitschko and walking in the footsteps of his former mentor.
Johnathon Banks fractured his thumb in his last fight, a decision loss against Seth Mitchell, last year. “That fight is a bitter taste”, he told us. “I broke my thumb in the first round and just couldn’t punch anymore.” The fighter assured us that this injury isn’t going to be a factor against Antonio Tarver, “I’m 100% healthy for about four months now. I’m super hungry. I can’t wait to get back in the ring.” Banks told us that he is going to be the agressor in this fight, “Tarver is going to be Tarver. I will set the pace in this fight. I will be the agressor.”
The 32-year old fighter from Michigan explained to us how he combines training for his upcoming fight with training Wladimir Klitschko, the Heavyweight Champion of the World. ”I train before he does. When he comes in, I focus on training him. We don’t spar each other anymore. I mean, I’m his trainer.” The fighter feels that he has something to proof every time he steps in to the ring. He elaborated, ”People think that I am not focused on my career, Because I train the Heavyweight Champion. It has never been done before.”
While Wladimir Klitschko is currently training for his mandatory fight against Kubrat Pulev, a different name constantly pops up in the media, Shannon Briggs. “I promise you that this stuff isn’t choreographed”, Banks stated. He later added, “If there is any choreographing, it’s coming from Shannon Briggs. Briggs is a smart guy, he knows how to create controversy. But I feel that it would be unfair to other fighters, who are working hard to climb up the rankings, to give Shannon Briggs a title shot.”
Johnathon Banks inherited Wladimir Klitschko from his former mentor, the late Emanuel Steward. But he made it clear that he wants no credit for training Wladimir Klitschko, “I dedicate everything that I do to Emanuel Steward. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in this position.” Banks later added,”I would love to walk in Emanuel’s footsteps, who wouldn’t. But Emanuel Steward taught me to be who I am. Not to be someone else.”
When asked if he ever considered retiring from the ring, now that he is training Wladimir Klitschko, Johnathon Banks told Thaboxingvoice.com, “Emanuel Steward always taught me to have multiple sources of income. I love to train Klitschko, but I also love to fight. And everything that I am doing is all under the same umbrella. It’s all about boxing.”
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