Johnny Nelson

     It has been thirteen years since the 32 years old Yorkshire 
North Londoner fighter made his Professional debut in England, though 
he lost in 6 rounds to Peter Brown and consequently lost to two other 
opponents Tommy Taylor and Magne Havnaa before he came back to defeat 
Chris Littlen in 6 round decision. Johnny  Nelson is now 35-12-1, (25 
KO's) and won the British cruiserweight title over Andy Straughn by a 
8th round knockout in May 1989 and defended it once in October 1989 
to Ian Bulloch in which Neslon scored a second round Knockout before 
fighting January 27, 1990 for the WBC Cruiserweight title against 
Carlos De Leon which ended in draw. In November 1993, Nelson stepped 
up to fight Heavyweight Jimmy Thunder of New Zealand and won a 12 
rounds unianimous decision to capture the World Boxing Federation 
(WBF) heavyweight title. In his next bout April 1994, Johnny lost a 
10 rounds decision to former WBO Heavyweight Champion, Henry Akinwande. 
In November, Nelson won a heavyweight showdown to Nikolaj Kulpin of 
Thailand before fighting Adilson Rodrigues twice in Brasil and lost 
via controvasial decision on both bouts. January 20, 1996, Nelson 
stepped back down to Cruiserweight his natural weight to win a second 
round Technical Knock out over Tony Booth before defeating Dennis 
Andries by 7 round TKO to capture the British Cruiserweight the second 
time. Nelson won the European title over Patrice Aquissi in Febuary 
1997 and stopped tough Light Heavyweight contender Peter Oboh July 1998 
in the sixth round. In march 27, 1999, a new king was crown when Johnny 
destroyed Carl Thompson in the 5th round to win the WBO Cruiserweight 
Championship, he has defended his title to Bruce Scott in May winning 
by a 12 round decision and Willard Lewis his next victim was stopped in 
the fourth round. On September 18, 1999, the WBO Cruiserweight Champion, 
Johnny Nelson made his Las Vegas debut on the Oscar De La Hoya-Felix 
Trinidad card where he beat tough Sione Vaati Asipeli now 15-2-2 (7KO's)  
to retain his WBO Cruiserweight title. The Champ looks forward to fight 
James Toney or other Cruiserweight Champions.

Ike: When did you start your amateur career?

Nelson: I started amateur when I was 17 and Pro at 19.

Ike: Who's currently promoting you?

Nelson: I'm promoted by Frank Warren.

Ike: What's the difference between boxing in Europe to American      Boxing?

Nelson: Boxing in Europe is more relaxing, while in America is more real, and 
        organized, exciting and can make more money in America if you're marketed 
        well. I'll be fighting more in America as my promoter now has a deal with 
        Promoter Bob Arum here in the States.

Ike: How would you describe your skills?

Nelson: I'm very strong and have fast hands, no European fighter can beat me.

Ike: How did you feel to retain your WBO Cruiserweight over Tongan Sione Vaati 
     Asipeli September 18, 1999?

Nelson: I felt good to win and to get the opportunity to fight in Las Vegas on 
        the Trinidad-De La Hoya Card. In the past I had my ups and downs, draw 
        and losses. I think immaturity was part my early losses. I turned negative 
        to positive and left room for improvement. I believe now, I'm the best
        Cruiserweight in the World.

Ike: Why don't you take a fight with James Toney?

Nelson: I've nothing to gain by fighting Toney. I'll be in a no win situation, I 
        need fights to progress my career. I don't duck anybody but I'll not chase 
        him because I got what he needs if he wants my title I'll fight him any 
        time anywhere. I'm the huntered and he's the hunter I want to unify all 
        the titles but I might be able to fit in a fight before December.

Ike: What's your impression of former WBO Heavyweight Champion Herbie Hide?

Nelson: I think, Herbie's mind was not into boxing lately, he's inactive, 
        distracted, his desire was not strong as before when he won the title and 
        he didn't look confident at his last fight.

Ike: What's your impression of WBC Cruiserweight Champion Carlos Juan Gomez? 
      If you're the best Cruiserweight, why don't you fight Gomez?

Nelson:  Like I said I want to unify all the titles. I want to fight Gomez 
         soon anywhere and anytime. Whoever steps up to me, no mouth off, I don't 
         care I'll fight them. Fighting Gomez or the IBF Champion is very close 
         and I don't care where I fight any of them. Gomez fought Bruce Scott 
         about a month after I beat Scott in a 12 rounds decision. I was told by 
         Scott after their bout that I would beat Gomez if I fought him. I can't 
         wait for that fight.

Ike: Would you like to fight Gomez in America, maybe in Florida?

Nelson: Like I said I would fight him anywhere.

Ike: Who are the boxers you have sparred with in the past?

Nelson: I've sparred with heavyweights, cruiserweights and light heavyweights 
        like Alex Schulz, Derick "Sweet G" Williams, Herbie Hide and others. 
        Schulz is strong but predictable.

Ike: What's your impression of IBF, WBA & WBC Champion Roy Jones?

Nelson: Jones is a good Businessman, very slick, smart, fast and good fighter. He 
        picks fights where he can win. I'll beat Jones. I can deal with him I'm 
        fast too and I think with my style I'll frustrate him and knock him out. 
        I'm fast, strong, have excellent knowledge and tactics.

Ike: What about WBO Light Heavyweight Champ Dariusz "Tiger" Michalewski?

Nelson: He's a very good work horse.

Ike: How frequently would you like to fight in a year?

Nelson: I would like to fight at least 6 times in a year.

Ike: What is it you would like to accomplish in Boxing?

Nelson: I want to unify all the Cruiserweight titles but if I don't succeed I 
        got a lot to do I'm doing few other things now. We have some business 
        going on and I want to get into media work after boxing. some fighters 
        goal is just to win European or World title, but for me, I want to pursue 
        the road of excellency just like Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad 
        Ali, Dick Tiger etc. If you believe in it you can achieve it. For people 
        who know my history will realise that anyone can change their life around.

Ike: What do you like about Boxing?

Nelson: Well, I like the Challenge. I like the opportunity to move around the 
        world while others pay for it.

Ike: What do you hate anything about Boxing?

Nelson: I never want to be a trainer, promoter unless the television side of it. 
        It can be the best sports in the world.

Ike: Why don't you want to be trainer or promoter?

Nelson: I Don't want to play the game. Sometimes, promoters do things just for the 
        money not caring about the fighters.

Ike: What did you think about De La Hoya-Trinidad bout?

Nelson: I think Oscar was robbed. In Oscar's mind he would be saying I'm the "Golden 
        Boy" I'm the hero. Felix Trinidad wanted to fight, was aggressive but 
        should have been schooled to change his plan. I think that when family 
        members train the fighter it could reflect sometimes negative because 
        the family like Felix's father cannot see everything and compare like 
        an outsider who is the trainer. Trinidad should have changed his game 
        plan when he realised that Oscar was moving so much.

Ike: What's your impression of WBO Featherweight Champ, Prince Naseem Hamed?

Nelson: I think Naz will beat all the featherweights out there, he's very talented 
        and powerful fighter. I think he'll knockout Norwood. I've trained with 
        him but I don't think he should fight "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather 
        because of Mayweather's powerful and excellent punches.

Ike: If Naz thinks he's the best out there, why doesn't he take on Mayweather and 
     stop ducking him?

Nelson: Naz is an awkward fighter and has a lot he wants accomplish worldwide. He 
        wants to make as much money as he can. He's a money machine right now.
        Naz is doing the same thing Roy Jones is doing. Jones is supremely 
        confident in the ring and carefully selects opponents to favor him.

Ike: Champ, thanks for giving us the opportunity to chat with you on victory 
     over Sione Vaati Asipeli and your general boxing career we wish you a safe 
     trip back to London and best of luck in your career. We are looking forward 
     to your future fights.

Nelson: Thank you for coming by and it was a pleasure meeting you Ike. Good luck to 
        you too.

Ike Enwereuzor is a regular writer for Boxing Wise and to see more of his
work please visit the Judges section.