Detroit native Johnathon Banks must have one of the most interesting roles currently in Heavyweight boxing. Not only is he a ranked heavyweight himself with a record of 29-3-1, he is also the trainer of RING/IBO/WBO/IBF Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Banks had been recommended to Wladimir Klitschko by the late great Emanuel Steward for one of the most illustrious training jobs in world boxing and despite no high level experience in this field Johnathon Banks and Wladimir Klitschko remain undefeated since their partnership together. This week it was announced that Wladimir Klitschko will face arguably his toughest test yet, in the form of Undefeated Tyson Fury on October 24th in Düsseldorf Germany.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Johnathon on the day the news was announced.This is what he had to say about the upcoming Heavyweight title fight.
Adam Noble-Forcey: Many UK boxing fans believe the Klitschko-Fury fight being in Germany could be a disadvantage to Tyson Fury. What are your thoughts?
Johnathon Banks: There is no advantage. The fight is in Europe, Tyson Fury is from Europe! (laughs) There is no advantage to either fighter. I just don’t see it being an advantage to either guy. Yes, Wladimir Klitschko has fought more in Germany than Tyson Fury, but Wladimir and Tyson have fought most of their fights in Europe. The fight being in Europe is like an even playing field for both guys.
Adam Noble-Forcey: As the trainer of Wladimir Klitschko, what are your main concerns in fighting Tyson Fury?
Johnathon Banks: Tyson Fury is a big guy, he’s bigger than Wladimir. Tyson Fury is fearless, he’ll fight anybody anywhere anytime. You got a big guy like that who comes to fight, he doesn’t care where he hits you. Once he’s hit you, he’s just going to keep coming. So we definitely have some things to worry about, of course.
Adam Noble-Forcey: Obviously Tyson Fury has sparred Wladimir Klitschko before. Did you see a potential world title challenger in Tyson Fury?
Johnathon Banks: Yes of course. We were sitting talking during dinner about him. He’s a work horse; he worked his butt off when he was with us. You could tell Tyson Fury was going to be a top contender. I always believed he would, it’s no surprise to me at all.
Adam Noble-Forcey: Tyson Fury has constantly stated that he does not believe Wladimir Klitschko will ever fight him, even once the contract is signed. What are your thoughts on this?
Johnathon Banks: He’s just kidding, Tyson Fury is a joker, he’s just kidding. He knows the fight is going to happen and he is going to be ready for it. The fight is going to happen! You know how Tyson Fury gets? He’s a joker, that’s all he’s doing. He’s good at what he do, I’ll give him that, I’ll tell you. But Tyson Fury, he reads the paper work, he knows what’s going on the business side and he knows the fight is going to happen.
Adam Noble-Forcey: How do see the fight turning out? Stylistically, a chess match or a shootout?
Johnathon Banks: It’s not going to be either one. Let’s think about it.You talking about a shoot out! When you say shoot out, you’re talking Larry Holmes vs. Earnie Shavers because you got two guys going for it right there in the middle of the ring. That’s a shootout. Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko is not a shootout at all.
Is it a chess match? I don’t think it’s a chess match either. But it will be one of the most anticipated heavyweight fights in recent time. It will be very physical and both fighters will want to present their dominance inside the ring. Both fighters are the biggest in their separate circles. Tyson Fury is the biggest person in his gym, Wladimir Klitschko is the biggest in his gym. This is going to one of the most physical fights in heavyweight history. It makes for a great fight!
(Click play on the player to listen to the Johnathon Banks interview in it’s entirety)