Tomorrow night, undefeated James ‘Keep’em Sleepin’ Stevenson makes his return to the ring in his toughest fight to date as he will be taking on 15-0 Samuel Vasquez in a 10 round bout that will be shown on Fox Sports 1. I recently had a chance to speak with Stevenson “On The Ropes” to get his thoughts on his upcoming bout and his career so far. James also talked about boxing stars Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, and how he feels he stacks up against them. Here is what ‘Keep’em Sleepin’ had to say.
Jenna J: You will be featured on the Fox Sports 1 card on August 8th against Samuel Vasquez. How do you feel about the opportunity you got ahead of you?
James Stevenson: I feel real good. I’m gonna whoop his ass, I’m gonna whoop it bad. I’m confident about this fight here coming up on the 8th. I’m ready to show my talent.
Jenna J: You’re facing an undefeated challenger, he’s 15-0 with 11 KO’s. What do you think about the opponent you have in front of you?
James Stevenson: I’m gonna kick his ass, I ain’t even thinking about him.
Jenna J: You will be getting an opportunity to be seen by a larger audience. What do you think fans are going to see from you?
James Stevenson: Oh man, they’re gonna be like, “Keep’em Sleepin, he’s about his name.” I’m gonna give the fans what they want to see and they definitely are gonna want to see me again, I guarantee you.
Jenna J: For fans who haven’t seen you in the ring, can you describe your fighting style?
James Stevenson: I’m all in one, I don’t have a favorite style. Whatever comes first, that’s what I do.
Jenna J: You’re 21-0, how do you feel about the road that you’ve taken so far?
James Stevenson: We took a tough road. I didn’t have a lot of amateur background experience. I started boxing late, at 21. I feel good, I learned on the role. I learned a lot and I’m ready to take it to the next level.
Jenna J: What are some of the obstacles that you’ve had to deal with to get to this point?
James Stevenson: I would have had a lot more fights. I took almost two years off. I had a lot of death in the family — my mother in law passed away, my father in law passed away, my father passed away, my uncle passed away. I had a lot of things going on that really kept me out of the gym, but I’m back and strong now. I’m ready to show the world.
Jenna J: You fight in the welterweight division, a very exciting division. What are your thoughts on Floyd Mayweather Jr?
James Stevenson: Real good fighter, good fighter. He hasn’t really fought anybody but he’s a good fighter.
Jenna J: That’s a big claim, what makes you say that?
James Stevenson: He hasn’t really fought anybody on his level. He’s always fought everybody on their way out. I wanna see him fight another A class fighter, someone who’s in shape and is on his level.
Jenna J: Who would you consider to be an A class fighter for him?
James Stevenson: Me.
Jenna J: So you see yourself fighting Mayweather one day?
James Stevenson: Oh yeah, I would definitely keep him sleeping.
Jenna J: How would you go about beating his style?
James Stevenson: Box him. Beat his body, beat his arms so he can’t lift them. Slow him down, beat him on angles.
Jenna J: Marcos Maidana tried to beat him that way. Do you think he has any shot in the rematch?
James Stevenson: I kind of do because he got a feel of Floyd the first time. When you fight somebody the first time and then you fight him a second time, you’re gonna have a little bit more insight on what they’re gonna do and how they’re gonna box. I think it’s up to Maidana if he’s gonna be in shape or not, or get better in sparring.
Jenna J: There’s another star in the welterweight division, Manny Pacquiao. What are your thoughts on Pacquiao?
James Stevenson: He’s too small for me, I’d knock him out too. Manny Pacquiao has done some wonderful things, he came up a couple of weight classes. The same guys that Floyd fought, he fought but he beat them easier than Floyd. Manny Pacquiao is a good guy, he can fight. Good little southpaw, good speed. He’s a good welterweight.
Jenna J: If you Mayweather and Pacquiao fought, what do you think would happen?
James Stevenson: I think Floyd would have to really knock Pacquiao out because I think Pacquiao would beat him on points. I think Pacquiao would be in shape to go 12 rounds also.
Jenna J: Going back to you, how far away do you see yourself from getting a title shot?
James Stevenson: First of all, I put everything in God’s hands. All I know is that if I train hard and do what I have to do, I don’t see nobody stopping me or beating me. I’d say probably about the end of this year or the end of next year I’ll have a title shot.
Jenna J: Is there anyone out there that you’re targeting?
James Stevenson: I want to fight everyone in the welterweight division. I don’t have any picks. If you’re the best, you got to fight the best. If it’s the right business then we’re talking. It’s all up to my manager and the promoters, but I’ll fight anybody.
Jenna J: What is your official prediction for your next fight?
James Stevenson: I’m just gonna come out and fight my fight. I know I’m gonna be the one raising my hand at the end. I’m ready to go 10 rounds, but they call me ‘Keep’em Sleepin’ for a reason. I don’t have it going past 6 rounds to be honest.
Jenna J: Any message to the fans out there?
James Stevenson: Tune in and watch James ‘Keep’em Sleepin’ Stevenson and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. You will be saying, “I want to see that guy fight Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao.”
Watch James Stevenson fight Samuel Vasquez on Friday August 8th, as part of Iron Mike Productions on Fox Sports 1