Derrick "Take It To The Bank" Webster is one of several boxers in the 168-pound super middleweight division and sports a 21-1 record heading into his first title fight as a professional boxer in the super middleweight division.
Webster is fighting Thomas Awimbono, a former champion from his native Ghana, for the vacant USBO super middleweight title in Trenton, New Jersey on January 21, on the undercard of the Zab Judah vs. Jorge Munguia boxing card. Webster spoke to Fightful.com on a number of different topics, including the sport of boxing this year.
The sport had several bumps, including failed negotiations of a Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez fight, no bouts involving some of the sports biggest stars, such as Miguel Cotto and Wladimir Klitschko. Some people, such as famed promoter Eddie Hearn, believed 2016 was a good year for boxing and Webster said the sport will benefit greatly this year if they keep making good fights and keep building stars, such as Vasyl Lomachenko and Anthony Joshua, two men who had a breakout year in 2016, then boxing will be in a good place.
"If they keep implementing what they did last year and do it this year, then yeah boxing should be back on the platform it should be in," Webster said. "I really do feel that."
Webster has sparred with a large variety of great boxers, such as Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., all boxers fighting at higher weight classes. He has plenty of experience interacting with world class boxers and said Chavez Jr. is in for a fight against Canelo Alvarez when the two meet in May.
Speaking from experience sparring with Chavez Jr., Webster does believe the all-Mexican megafight will be a war, but also see Canelo coming out as the victor.
"I'm not really sure how I feel about that," Webster said. "The Chavez Jr. that I know, he's not serious, whereas Canelo is serious. It may end up being a war, but I think ultimately Alvarez is going to come out on top. I can't see Chavez beating a guy like that. Alvarez is still a threat and I see him being as such [against Chavez Jr.]."
As for his next fight, Webster said he is not worried at all. In the press conference leading to the fight, Webster confidently said he "will fuck [Awimbono] up." Webster said his opponent's record is impressive (25-5-1, 21 KO), but said the strength of the opponents that Awimbono has faced does not even compare to the fighters Webster has encountered throughout his career.
"I've got enough speed to give away," Webster said. "That's going to be the one thing that is going to bother him. How's he going to get away with that? Speed is power. I know he has a huge knockout percentage. He got 21 knockouts out of 25 [wins], but again, look at who he has knocked out. The thing about punchers is that they are effective if they can punch you. I'm taking this boy to school. I'm in it for the 10 rounds. I've been sparring 12, 14 rounds. I definitely feel as though I am going to take him to school."
The full interview can be heard in the video above and on Fightful's official YouTube channel.