By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Former IBF 140 pound champion Lovemore Ndou (46-11-1, 31 KOs) talks with Fightnews about the biggest win of his career, the night he defeated Noufell Ben Rabah to capture the world title. He also talks about his great losing battle against Miguel Cotto, tough twelve round bout against Junior Witter plus two bouts with Paul Malignaggi and why he would like to challenge Timothy Bradley.
Fightnews: Your dream came true in 2007 when you captured the world IBF 140 pound title by stopping Noufell Ben Rabah in eleven rounds in great fight in Sydney. Please give me your thoughts on that fight.
It was a great fight. We both gave it our best but the stronger man won at the end. Ben Rabah is a very elusive and skillful fighter. In fact he should have been a world champion after his fight against Juan Urango. He clearly won that fight but I guess the ring judges saw it different. It was great to be world champion and it’s every fighters dream. I believe I can still do it again if given another opportunity. The 140 pound division at the moment is very weak, of course, with the exception of Ricky Hatton. I could beat up all the current champions at any given day. In fact I would like a shot at Timothy Bradley and believe me I would chew him up for breakfast. Both Juan Urango and Andreas Kotelnik I would teach a boxing lesson.
Fightnews: You went in on short notice and gave Miguel Cotto one of his toughest fights. Please tell me about that contest.
Cotto is one of the best fighters to ever walk on planet earth. I took him on on less than 10 days notice and gave him one of the toughest fights of his career. In fact I had him running around for survival like a little girl towards the end of the fight. And don’t forget that in the 4th round of that fight I sustained a very bad rib injury but still fought the remaing 8 rounds like a champ. It was a very close fight and one boxing fans will always talk about. And I would love a rematch.
Fightnews: You also boxed Junior Witter on short notice and battled him in all twelve rounds in an impressive performance… Your thoughts on this fight.
Junior Witter is one of the most awkward fighters in the world. In terms of awkwardness he is on the same level as Manning Galloway. He is another one I fought on a week notice. He is the second man to ever put me on the canvas for an 8 count. But again I got up and fought to the end. He got very tired at the end but if it were not for the knockdown the fight would have gone either way. I would love to fight the man that beat him (Timothy Bradley).
Fightnews: You lost your world IBF 140 title to Paul Malignaggi in Connecticut but lost a disputed split decision in a return bout in Manchester England in 2008. Please tell me about both fights with Malignaggi.
Malignaggi won the first fight easy with the help of the referee, of course. The referee wouldn’t let me fight my fight and I got a point deducted. A slip was ruled a knockdown giving Paulie a 10-8 round. The second fight in Manchester was the biggest daylight robbery in boxing. I hit him with the cleanest shots and even sent him to the canvas but there was no ten count. Paulie expected me to come brawl with him but I shocked and surprised him when I chose to box instead. Even Mike Tyson who was sitting ringside ruled it one of the biggest robbery in boxing. The problem going into that fight was that contracts were already signed for Malignaggi to fight Hatton in his next fight. Everybody, including promoters, stood to make millions from that fight. Now what were my chances of winning that fight? I’m sure even if I knocked him out I would have got a draw at the end. There is no way they were gonna let me jeopardize that. Unfortunately boxing is sad like that. Just like any business where there is a lot of money to be made, fairness don’t count. Everybody was booing the decision at the end. One judge and the 56 thousand plus crowd gave the fight to me. But two judges saw it different.
Fightnews: You boxed former IBF 147 pound champ Kermit Cintron in 2008. Please give me your thoughts.
Kermit Cintron is the biggest fighter I have ever been in the ring with. It still beats me how he made the weight. I never saw him weigh in and nor did the IBF official. It also beats me how after securing the mandatory position he chose not to fight for the title when the IBF ordered it. I guess only he can answer that. Anyway, that said, Cintron is a very strong fighter. Everybody expected him to knock me out but I stood my ground to the end of the fight. Honestly speaking I think it was one of the most boring fights to watch. I feel sorry for the fans who had to watch that for 12 rounds. We never got off. We both had a night off and I would hate to see myself in a fight like that again. As a person, I think he is one of the nicest people in the industry. After the fight when we were both waiting to do our post fight drug tests I got an opportunity to talk to him and I have to admit he is a gentleman. God bless him and his family.
Fightnews: You have worked with Floyd Mayweather for his bout with Ricky Hatton. Please tell me about the rounds you sparred with Mayweather.
Like I said before it was an honor and experience working with Mayweather. He is a natural talent and hard worker in the gym. Sparring with him was the best I ever had in my boxing career and I will live to cherish that. And I will do it over and over again for free if I have to.
Fightnews: What fights are on your schedule in 2009?
I have been made a few offers so far this year but nothing seems attractive enough to make me want to jump into the ring right away. There are some other offers I’m still considering and you can expect me to make an announcement pretty soon. But one fight I would really like is against Timothy Bradley.