Europe’s best lightweights and before very long, the world’s best lightweights. As an entertaining boxer-puncher, Meager is set to become a leading fixture in the exciting developments taking place at Hennessy Sports and he graciously took time away from his training schedule to provide SaddoBoxing.com with this exclusive interview.
SaddoBoxing: You’re fighting Danny Hunt on the 19th of November for the English title, how’s your training been going?
Lee Meager: Yeah it’s going fine, I“ve just been sparring, yeah it’s going good, I’m feeling and now I just want to fight.
SB: This fight was scheduled for the 30th September why was it postponed?
LM: It was supposed to be the 9th October but I think the whole show got cancelled so it got put back to the 19th of November.
SB: Has this new date suited you better?
LM: It doesn’t really matter, I’d have liked to have got it out of the way October 9th really, so I could get on with the rest of my career.
SB: What do you think of Danny Hunt as a fighter?
LM: Yeah I think he’s quite a decent kid, he’s a bit flashy and a bit fast but he ain’t strong enough, or mentally strong enough or even good enough to beat me so, yeah, I’m just looking forward to getting in there now.
SB: How do you see the fight going? Do you have any predictions?
LM: Hard to predict but I can understand what’s going to happen. I think he’s going to come out and he’ll be flashy for the first three or four rounds, and then my work rate and my strength’ll just get too much for him in the end.
SB: How much does winning the English title mean to you?
LM: If I’m honest it’s (the title) just a stepping stone, hopefully I’ll get a shot at the British title straight away and fighting for the British means the world, so the fight is just as important as fighting for the British.
SB: Should you win the English title you get a shot at the British, what do you think of Graham Earl?
LM: I think he’s a gentleman, he seems like a nice geezer, I’ve met him before. But he’s just a rough, tough kid, fit, strong, that’s about it but technical wise he’s not even in the same league as me really.
SB: How do you see a fight going with Earl? Do you think it’d be a tough fight?
LM: I’d have to be fit yeah, you know, cuz he’d be really fit, he’s a fit geezer, strong, but I think I’d probably wear him down by the end of it, by the end of the ten/twelve rounds.
SB: You think it’d go the distance then?
LM: I think it’d probably end up late because he seems a resilient sort of geezer, but you never know, you know, that’s what makes boxing different to any other sport.
SB: So where would you want to goafter a fight with Earl?
LM: Anywhere really, to be honest with you I’d like to fight Zoff the European champion because if I’m honest he seems like the weakest of them all, you get me that fight I’d take it tomorrow. You’ve just got to work your way through it and hopefully it’ll come off.. Yeah Zoff, Bennet or Phillips the winner of them I ain’t fussed really.
SB: So you want to go the European rout and then step up to the world stage?
LM: Yeah of course, yeah that’s the only way to do it really, you can’t cut corners and you can’t call yourself a world champion when you ain’t a world champion you know what I mean? You get much more respect from fighters and people who know anything about the game, you know, there’s only one way to do it, British, Commonwealth and European and if one comes before the other then so be it, but as long as you go along those routes you can’t go wrong really.
SB: So who do you think is the best lightweight in the world at the moment?
LM: I would say, because Mayweather has gone up to light welter hasn’t he? I’d say Castillo is, (Jose) Luis Castillo? You know the Mexican? I would say he is, cuz for my money he just about edged Mayweather out of it and plus he’s a tough, rough sort of bloke, but, you know, anyone with a bit of technical ability probably could get out of the way and beat him. As for Frietas and Casamayor, I think they’re good fighters and obviously they’ve got to be doing something right, I don’t think that they are up with the top fighters, you know what I mean?
SB: Theres a lot of big names in the lightweight division, Corrales, Juan Diaz, Julio Diaz, Castillo, Freitas, Lazcano, who would you most like to get in the ring with?
LM: I’m not too sure to be honest. Any of them really. To be honest I’d like to share a ring with Mayweather you know. I do think he’s a very good fighter but I think he’s vulnerable a the same time. Obviously you’ve got to walk before you can run.
SB: He’s taking a lot more risks these days. Do you think he’s a much more beatable fighter?
LM: I do think he’s much more beatable fighter yeah. Especially at light welter I think if he fights Cotto or Gatti I think it’d be hard for him you know what I mean? He seems to be vulnerable and that Corley seems to have hurt him. And you know, Zab Judah had Corley out of it really.
SB: So who inspired you to box? Who do you look up to?
LM: If I’m honest it’s my coach, Robert, because, just the way he is as a person, he installs confidence in all of us.
SB: What’s it like working with Robert McCracken?
LM: I tell you it’s an honour, you learn every day and every day is different. He’s been there and done it. In this game you’ve got to be able to fight before you can start to tell anyone what to do. Some of these trainers have never even laced gloves and it’s a mystery how they get a job because they’re dealing with peoples lives.
SB: What are your hopes for the future? You’ve discussed how you want to go the European route is there anything you want to elaborate on?
LM: Not really no, I just want to give it my all and, like you say, go the traditional route and with a bit of luck get along the way and get to fight the top fighters and get to earn some money out of the game.
SB: Thanks very much for your time, I wish you the best with your career and I’ll be watching the fight in November.
LM: Ok thanks a lot see ya mate.
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