Former light heavyweight world champion and current WBA number one cruiserweight contender "Honeyboy" Lou Del Valle of the Bronx, NY now (29-2) with 20 KO's is expected to make his return to the ring after eighteen months on Wednesday, January 17, 2001 on Joe DeGuardia's fight card at Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, New York. This what Del Valle had to say about his past, present and future.
Interview by: Ike Enwereuzor Ike: Last time I called, you were heading out to Miami. How was your trip to Florida? Del Valle: Ike, it was really good, it went great, I had to go see my daughter, Tela. I took her out shopping bought her things. It was really nice, we had a good time and we did a lot of things together. Ike: How old is Tela now? Del Valle: She's a year and eight months now. Ike: How is training coming long for your January 17, fight at Yonkers Raceway in New York? Del Valle: It's going real well, everything is coming back slowly. The Florida trip was very good for me, it made me feel good and stronger after all the training. I sparred five rounds today with Aaron Davis. He helped me get ready for this fight. I'm back to become a world champion again. Ike: What could you share with our reader about this come back fight with Earl Butler? Del Valle: Just coming back hopefully it will be successful, it's not really a come back, you know I just had some legal issues to resolve. Now, I'm happy with the way everything came out the way it was supposed to. Hopefully, this is a process for me to get back down to light heavyweight to get a rematch with Roy Jones jr. This is the fight fans want to see again, I dropped him like no one ever did. I know I'm going back down to 175. I'm No. 1 in the world, my January 17 fight is just a tune up fight. All my career, I fought light heavy even in the amateurs. Ike: What do you think about a rematch with Virgil Hill? Del Valle: They robbed me the first fight. I'll love that fight again if they give me that opportunity, I'll take it. This is another I want, I want to fight the best. Ike: Please, tell us about your New York Daily News Golden Gloves days? Del Valle: I won the Gloves in 1989 and lost a controverial decesion to New York Police Officer, Richard Frazier in the 1990 finals. I know I beat that guy but they gave it to him. He knew the police comissioner and all those people. I had over 100 fights then but it was only my second year in boxing. They use to have the age limit of 26 years old but that year they moved it up to 30 something. Ike: Your thoughts on the Roy Jones-Richard Fraizer bout few years ago? Del Valle: It was a horrible fight, Frazier was there just to survive and never did anything. Roy just knocked him out. Ike: Are you in talks with Roy Jones jr. camp for a possible rematch? Del Valle: Well, people are talking about it, I hope Roy will give me the opportunity. If everything goes the way I plan, I'll be alright. Ike: What would be your prediction if you face Roy again? Del Valle: Roy will be in a whole lot more trouble than our first fight and his hands will be full. It's going to be a different fight and I hope I'm given the chance to prove it. Ike: What was your thoughts of the Hill-Tiozzo battle in France? Del Valle: I knew Virgil was going to kick his butt even Max Kellerman said on television, that I (Lou Del Valle) predicted that Virgil Hill will destroy Fabrice Tiozzo. It's really funny the way it happened even my friends called me to ask him if I heard what Max said on TV about my prediction. They even talked about how I drooped Roy Jones in our first fight at the Garden. Ike: Could tell us about your fight with Virgil Hill for the WBA light heavyweight title on April 20, 1996? Del Valle: I won that fight, they gave it to him because it was in his hometown. I thought I fought a good fight for someone who had 22 fights, Virgil had more defenses than all my fights combined. Even though, I was undefeated, he had over 40 professional fights when I fought him and he had experience. I beat the crap out of him. I learned a lesson from that fight, I hit him but he kept coming with shots, like I never hurt him. He was muscle strong, he can muscle you, not a hard hitter but he's a big light heavyweight. If I fight him now it will be a different fight. I was kind of frustrated, I thought I lost composure but if I stayed cool I would have knocked him out. Ike: What would you do different if you fought him again? Del Valle: I'll put a lot more pressure on him, go to the body, my body shots are better now and I'll bring it to him. Ike: Please, tell us about your last fight with Tyrone Armstead Septmber 1998? Del Valle: That was a terrible fight for me. I was really out of shape, I fought a guy I should have knocked out earlier, before the 7th round but it went to eight rounds. Ike: What about Eddy Smulder where you won the WBA title? Del Valle: It was a great fight and I was in good shape and strong. I prepare differently for all my fights. He was brawler and a slugger. He jumped me, wrestling, using his elbow, charged in like a bull and all kind of tactics but I fought his fight and wore him down. He was from the Netherlands, so Germany was like his hometown, he didn't want to loose plus it was a world championship. I played his own game, wrestled him and used my muscle to wear him down. I hit him with a lot of clean shots and knocked him out in the 8th round. Ike: What do you think of a fight with James Toney? Del Valle: That's a good fight for me. I want to fight these guys. He's a good fighter, he can beat anyone in a inside fight, I'll need good footwork to fight him. It will be a great fight. I haven't seen him in a long time, he wasn't so dedicated to the game, always out of shape, his best shape was when he fought Michael Nunn and knock him out in in 11th round in 1991. Nunn hasn't been same since that time. Ike: What can you add to fight with Earl bulter Jan.17? Del Valle: I'll prove to the world I'm the No. 1 fighter out there. Earl Butler, I heard he fought Vasili Jirov, who knocked him out in the second. Michael Nunn won a ten round decision, James Toney KO'd him in 4, Derrick Harmon beat him by a 8 round decision. Ike: What do you predict if you were to fight Michael Nunn? Del Valle: That would be an easy fight for me. I think I would knock him out. Ike: What of David Telesco? Del Valle: I'll beat Telesco easy too, without any problems. I'm a better fighter than him. I'm going to fight all these guys you mentioned to know my place in boxing before I end my career. I want to know where I belong before I leave the game. I know I'll beat Telesco, I don't like to predict knock outs but I know I'll win against him, if a knockout comes I'll take it. Ike: You were arguing with boxing reporter Michael Katz at the Mosley-Diaz press conference. What really happened? Del Valle: Katz, falsely accused me of something untrue, being on drugs. I was so mad, he keep saying that Joe Deguardia helped me and all that crap. How did he know what Deguardia did for me, he only heard one side of the story. He doesn't know what I went through since my professional career. I was living with the Rats in the basement of the gym. Ike: Any comments to your fans? Del Valle: Thanks for their support. I'm back, gotta come see a lot of me. I'm coming out with my gun blazing. After the January 17 fight, I'm going to camp and handle my business. Ike: Who is your favorite fighter? Del Valle: My favorite fighter in the world today? I think the most impressive fighter to me is Floyd Mayweather jr. but my all time favorite ever is Pernell Whitaker. He's the greatest, he's a southpaw, don't have power but had great skills and a very slick fighter. He fought lightweight won WBC/IBF lightweight titles, also a IBF jr welter, WBA jr middleweight and WBC welterweight. That's 4 different classes and he beat De La Hoya, they robbed him of the title. Ike: Your sister, a former female world champion, Melissa Salamone is expected to fight on your card January 17. What can you tell us about her? Del Valle: I think she's a great female fighter in my opponion, not because she's my sister. She's the best female fighter in the world with the best skills. She got a bad habit, she keeps fighting on the inside. When she hits back you can see her very close, she should stay away and pump in her jabs. Ike: Your thoughts on Reggie Johnson? Del Valle: It's funny, I saw his last fight on ESPN2 against Chris Johnson. I think he'll give me a lot of problems, he got skills and is very slick. Reggie fought a smart fight with Chris and he looked real good. Reggie really impressed me. Ike: What are your comments on Johnson's fight with Roy Jones jr.? Del Valle: I thought he could have done better with Roy. Sometimes, Reggie looks good, sometimes he doesn't look impressive. I don't know why, maybe sometimes he's intimidated. Another fight he looked horrible in was against Will Taylor. I think Chris is a better fighter than Taylor. Ike: How did you get your ring name of "Honeyboy"? Del Valle: I got the name from my trainer, he used to put us in the ring saying go get a taste of the honey in the ring. A lot of guys disappeared after the first time but I stayed and got beat up a lot before I got better and became "The Honeyboy". Ike: Thanks for taking time to speak with us, best of luck in your January 17, 2001 clash with Earl Butler. Del Valle: You're welcome Ike.