By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
WBA rated #1 heavyweight Kali Meehan recently spoke to Fightnews and didn’t hold back. Meehan (35-2, 29 KOs) stated that he was initially offered an opportunity to fight WBA champion Nikolay Valuev when Ruslan Chagaev was bot approved by the Finnish boxing commission, when he believes his title shot will come, his thoughts on the David Tua vs Shane Cameron all-New Zealand heavyweight superfight, and much more.
When Ruslan Chagaev failed the blood test for his bout with Nikolay Valuev that was scheduled on May 30 in Helsinki – did you think you could be asked to face the seven-foot Russian for the title? Did you put your hand up?
I was asked to fight Valuev on one day notice. I said ‘yes I will fight him,’ I put my hand up. But Sauerland was trying to go behind me and give the shot to Lamon Brewster because he is a Sauerland fighter. Sauerland knows I will beat Valuev any day of the week – even on one day notice! My promoter Don King was on his way to Helsinki to negotiate a purse for me, and Sauerland called the whole show off – rather than let Valuev face me.
Why do you think you were not accepted as an opponent when you are currently rated WBA #1?
The only reason I wasn’t excepted as an opponent is simple, Sauerland knows I will beat Valuev and they are protecting him.
Chagaev has undergone further tests and his promoter Universum said he has passed all the blood tests. What are your thoughts?
I don’t trust anybody. I heard he was cleared by some Universum guys and then he failed the test in Helsinki. I also remember a few years back, he was supposed to fight here in Australia on a Kostya Tszyu-Jessey James Leija card, but he failed the hepatitis blood test then. It obviously hasn’t gone anywhere.
Chagaev will challenge IBF/WBO/IBO champion Wladimir Klitschko on June 20 in Germany. Does this open the door for you to get your WBA opportunity?
Wladimir Klitschko will fight against Chagaev? This is doing my head in! So what does that now mean, Helsinki had poor hepatitis tests? I hope it leaves the door open for me to fight Valuev or Ruiz first for the right to be called mandatory challenger. Those are the fights I want. Ruiz, Valuev, and then Vitali Klitschko, as I think he is the tougher of the two.
Has your promoter DKP given you an approximate date when you will get your title shot?
My promoter hasn’t given me a specific date as yet, but he told me my shot will come, so I’m going with that. He got me to No.1 and he got me a title shot before against Lamon Brewster. Also the WBA told me my shot will come, so I’m going to be ready and to give the boxing fans a good fight! Not a boxing match, but a fight.
You challenged John Ruiz to fight you for the right to challenge Valuev for the WBA title recently on Fightnews. Did you hear from the Ruiz camp?
I know John Ruiz doesn’t want to fight me, but I believe he should, to determine who should be the mandatory challenger. I’m ranked No. 1, and Ruiz stunk the house out against Valuev twice! For the love of boxing, we should fight for the mandatory, what do you say?
You were working as a sparring partner in May for David Haye in Turkey who was scheduled to meet Klitschko for the title. What was your opinion of Haye’s ability? Can he defeat Wladimir Klitschko if they do eventually fight?
Haye is a talented fighter. He has brought a lot of his skills with him to the heavyweight division, and yes he has a good chance to beat Klitschko. I also can defeat Wladimir. I believe if you make him fight, like Brewster did, like Sanders did, taking nothing away from Wladimir, he’s a good fighter, but he is human, just a man. He has been exposed before. I believe Vitali is the harder fighter. He has more grit and hardness. When I capture the WBA title, I aim to challenge Vitali to unify.
How long has it been since you last boxed? Any idea when you will be back in action?
My last fight was August last year, on the Valuev-Ruiz card and I was made to fight after the main event as there were rumours that Ruiz wasn’t going to show, and I would fill in if this happened. But now Ruiz gets another chance. This is wrong! Ruiz is a warrior, he’s fought everybody, but this should be my mandatory shot.
At 39 years of age, is time running out for Kali Meehan?
Well I’m not getting any younger, but I can still do the work in the gym. I still have fire and I still have knock-outs to give the boxing fans and (God willing I will be WBA heavyweight champ.)
David Tua and Shane Cameron clash in October. Who wins this fight in your opinion? Would you be interested in challenging the winner?
Man this is going to be a great fight, and it is so exciting for New Zealand boxing! I am originally from New Zealand so obviously I want to challenge the winner so we can definitely know who the best heavyweight from New Zealand is at this time. A time when there are three heavyweight boxers coming out of New Zealand all world ranked. This is the highest New Zealand heavyweight scene that it has ever gone on the world stage and I must challenge the winner! I believe it will be David “The Tua Man” Tua. If he is fit, I believe he will beat Shane Cameron, but this is the biggest fight of Cameron’s career, so David cant underestimate him, not for one second.