Feature | Aug 14 2014

Monte Barrett discusses the highs and lows of his career

James Slater talks to the former Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye opponent
Promoter Don King poses with WBC Heavyweight Championship contenders Rahman Barrett after they weighed in.  |  WBC Heavyweight Championship contender Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett poses after he weighed in Chicago August 11, 2005. Barrett will face Hasim "The Rock" Rahman at Chicago's United Center on August 13. REUTERS/Stephen J. Carrera JG/KI

“MY best night, I actually have three I want to list. No. 3, my win over Tye Fields [ko 1 in 2008]. No. 2, my win over Dominick Guinn [sd 10 in 2004] and No. 1, my win over David Tua [pts 12 in 2012]. I was the underdog my whole career, but the win over Tua means a lot because I worked so hard for that fight, and it all paid off. I did so much great preparation in the gym and when he dropped me in the 12th and final round, and he broke my jaw, I was able to get back up and continue fighting. And I won by a unanimous decision, which is unheard of in the other guy’s backyard. I went to New Zealand and I beat Tua.

“My worst night, I have two. The loss to Odlanier Solis [rsf 2 in 2009] and the loss to Hasim Rahman [ud 12, for the interim WBC title, in 2005]. The Solis loss bothers me because I took it for selfish reasons. I had just fought David Haye, another bad night for me, because I got too overemotional due to the bad way Haye and his people treated me while I was in London, and the money from that fight had gone. So I needed money and took the Solis fight on short notice, just for the money. I had two weeks to get ready. And the Rahman fight, I should never have taken. I had just beaten Owen Beck and Guinn and I was in line for a title shot. I should never have fought my friend, Rahman. I was too emotional going in and though I still think I won, it was a bad fight for me.

“I fought a lot of punchers, such as Tua and Wladimir Klitschko. But the hardest I fought was probably Nikolay Valuev [for the WBA title in 2006]. What happened was, just before the fight, Don King told us it would be fought in a 16-foot ring, even though we had trained for at least a 20-foot ring. I had had a good camp but once I had to fight him, such a big, tall guy, in such a small ring, all my preparation went out of the window. With a full-size ring I was going to make him overextend and then counterpunch, as I’m a natural counter-puncher. But that was such a mentally tough fight. That was the first time I had ever suffered a concussion. I had to spend a night in hospital and it was six or seven months before I was back to normal.