Donnell Holmes 31-0-2 (27) has been patiently waiting to come out from the shadows and get his shot to shine in the heavyweight spotlight, and come August 14th the undefeated hard hitting heavyweight will get his chance as he takes on tough contender Brian Minto 33-2 (21) in a clash for Minto’s WBA Fedecentro belt, as well as the vacant WBO NABO heavyweight title.
Rated as a top amateur, the Ivanhoe boxer broke out in 2003 as a professional knocking out his first nine opponents; six fell in the first round. All though Holmes has never tasted defeat, “The Real Touch of Sleep” has flown under the radar of a who’s who in the heavyweight picture.
Holmes’s most significant wins came over the likes of Don Steele (2nd R. TKO), Stacy Frazier (8th R. TKO) and Billy Zumbrun (SD), all though not contender material, Holmes demands that he has wanted big fights, but has never gotten them. And believes a win over Minto will do such a thing.
In this exclusive interview conducted by Convicted Artist Magazine, Holmes speaks out on his upcoming bout against Brian Minto, and gives his thoughts on the outcome, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.
You have the fight coming up the fourteenth against Brian Minto, your thoughts on the fight?
Well, I would like to thank Brian Minto for giving me the opportunity. He is ahead of me of the rankings, and as far as the boxing world goes, everybody is claiming that they are the next great heavyweight champion, like Arreola and all the rest, but none of them would give me a fight. People want to criticize me, but nobody wants to fight me. So how could you fight top fighters if they refuse to fight you? So, my hat goes off to Brian Minto, because he is giving me the opportunity. And as well it was not like Minto and his team was trying to pull any games, they gave me an eight week notice when they offered the fight, everything is on the straight up and up, I have had the same amount of time as he did to prepare for this fight. So, the best man is going to win.
Looking at Brian Minto, what do you feel are his strengths that could pose a threat and what weaknesses do you see that you may be able to capitalize on?
I just don’t feel that Brian Minto is on my level, not saying that to be negative, people just don’t realize just how much experience that I have as a professional fighter, and then I had a top amateur background. Nobody gives me credit for that, being out of North Carolina it is not a big boxing place so I have basically been in the shadows. The thing about it is that they don’t realize that I have a lot of experience; I was always in camp paying my dues behind the scenes in training camps with all the top fighters. The thing is I have given 110% since day one, and I have a lot of experience. There are a lot of good fighters here in North Carolina, but they are just like me, like a needle in haystack, but they have not gotten their break or they got called at a short notice and not be fully ready. So I have all of those guys to spar with.
Do you feel the fight with Brian Minto will give you the recognition and respect that you deserve?
Yes, that is why I am fighting; people don’t realize how hard it is to get seen, a lot of good fighters don’t get to be seen, but at least with Brian Minto, you have a guy with credibility, he has a record, so I am finally going to get some attention from a guy.
What can the fans expect from Donnell Holmes come fight night?
Believe it or not, even in the amateurs, I have always been compared me to Evander Holyfield, I am that type of fighter. I am a boxer/puncher, but I believe in going in there and getting it going, I don’t believe in going in there and standing around like these big heavyweights do. I believe that if the fans paid to see a fight, they should, I am not saying I am going in there and brawling get sloppy and lose, but go in there and work, getting it on. I have not heard or read any of Brian Minto’s interviews, but people have told me that, they have listened to him. Brian has said that he is going to apply pressure, Brian is going to do this, Brian is going to do that, which is good, because if he does he is going to end up getting himself knocked out a lot faster and make the night go a lot quicker.
If you could send a message out to Brian Minto before the fight, what would it be?
My hat goes off to him, I thank him for the opportunity, I thank all of his fans because you know his fan base is wonderful, if it was not for them his career would not be where it is today and I would not be getting the opportunity to fight Brian. It is going to be a good fight, the fans are going to see Brian at his best because I think even though Brian is taking me lightly, I do think Brian is taking it serious enough to be in the best shape of his career. So win, lose or draw, the fans are going to see a very good fight. It is going to be a good fight, but I do believe Brian Minto is going to come up short. It is going to be a fight that Brian and Mr. Freddie Cockroach is going to see that they picked the wrong opponent. Freddie Roach made a comment, that there is no way that I will be able to stand the pressure and the punches that Brian will be throwing no more than four to five rounds. I think after four or five rounds, that Brian and Freddie are going to realize that they made a big mistake, and they will be in deeper water than what they have ever been in. This is a bad fight, a bad career decision that they made.
Anything in closing?
That’s it really, I am just glad that people are going to finally get to see Donnell Holmes, and you know coming off of this win, and I am not overlooking Minto, because it is going to be a fight, but coming off of this win, I hope the rankings and champs pay attention and I can get a title fight. Or if not a title fight, at least Arreola, if that fight doesn’t go through with Klitschko I would love to get Chris Arreola.
Benny Henderson Jr.