Posted by Press Releases on Jun 14, 2011
Interview with cruiserweight Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley

Interview with cruiserweight Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley

By Pattee Mak

On June 25, 2011 professional boxing will be held live at The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, 70 Nick Cosmos Way, Holyoke, Massachusetts. This “Homecoming” event is presented by American Fighting Organization. The main event will feature two Massachusetts residents, Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley (24-25-3, 11 KOs) of Holyoke against Adam “The Hitman” Harris (10-4-0, 7 KOs) of Worcester. I had a chance to speak with Whitley concerning his upcoming match, his training and everything else in between.

Pattee: First of all thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak to me. It is my understanding that you are working a full time job, own a boxing gym and on top of that now you are training for your upcoming fight on the 25th. Usually I see you ringside working someone’s corner and now you will be in the ring. Can you tell me how this bout came about since your last fight was over 4 years ago?

WHITLEY: The fight came about because I train a heavyweight by the name of Tony Grano at The Lions Den in Middletown, Connecticut. The people who kept seeing me training and sparring with him kept telling me that I should get back in the ring and that I still look good. I’ve always thought about it and then Joseph “Chip” Perez’s father was talking with me and telling me that they were going to do a show in Holyoke and telling me who was going to be on the card. While Chip and his father was with Chip’s manager, the manager called me and left a message on my cell phone to see if I was interested in fighting in Holyoke. I couldn’t do anything but chuckle. I ended up calling them back and asked them if they were serious and they said yes and that they needed a main event. I thought about it and said why not. It’s my hometown and I’ll go out with a bang.

Pattee: What can you tell me about your opponent, Adam Harris?

WHITLEY: First they were going to have me fight Richard Hall and I don’t know much about him but he’s a world class fighter. Now they have me fighting Adam Harris. I don’t do the research nor go on youtube to study my opponent. I just train 100% for any fight. As long as everything is mutual, whoever wants it will take it. I’m going in to win. I know the basics and I’ll get in and get out. I’m gonna adjust to who my opponent is.

Pattee: Your opponent is a few years younger than you and has less professional fights than you. Do you feel that he has any type of advantage over you because he has less wear and tear on his body?

WHITLEY: No I don’t think he has any advantage over me because of my experience and who I’ve been in the ring with. The only thing I believe he has an advantage of over me is his age.

Pattee: How are you preparing yourself mentally for this fight?

WHITLEY: Mentally I just don’t let anything bother me or stress me out. I just try to stay relaxed. I can’t have anything thrown at me. I’m doing housework around the house to keep my mind occupied. I’m also a laser technician at Ebtec Corporation so during the day I’m focusing on work.

Pattee: A few months ago we chatted and you were training Tony Grano for his upcoming fight. Now you are the one being trained. Who is training you?

WHITLEY: My twin brother, Darrin and Bret are training me.

Pattee: How long have you been preparing for this fight?

WHITLEY: It’s been over a month and a half.

Pattee: The venue is going to be held at the Boys and Girls Club in Holyoke. There is a TON of boxing history there. What particular boxing event stands out in your mind at the Boys and Girls Club?

WHITLEY: I heard about Mike Tyson and Willie Pep fighting there. I fought in 1994 and 1995 in the amateur division. I won the most spirited boxer in 1994 and 1995 I won the most courageous boxer.

Pattee: How are your friends and fans responding to you getting back into the ring?

WHITLEY: Some people were saying are you serious. Aren’t you a little too old for that. I just responded you’re as old as you feel but once you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything you want. There were some that were really excited about it and glad that I’m coming out of retirement. The ones that were the most excited were the amateur fighters that I train on a daily basis.

Pattee: Would you prefer to be training someone or to be trained?

WHITLEY: I like them both. Now I can see what we put our amateurs through. Now that I’m being trained I feel what they are feeling. Sometimes I’m frustrated but I know what it means to push myself.

Pattee: How did you get the ring name “Double Impact”?

WHITLEY: It was from the movie that stared Jean Claude Van Damme. They also call me the “Gate Keeper” because I fought a kid from Brooklyn, New York who was a young kid who was undefeated and an upcoming prospect. His name was George Walton. They were saying that both fighters were ready for this fight. We were both young fighters and they consider me to be the gatekeeper and it’ll be an interesting fight. In the 6th round I dropped him, but it ended up going the distance. In the end, the judges scorecard read unanimous decision.

Pattee: You started your professional career at the age of 27. What is your amateur record?

WHITLEY: I was 16-2.

Pattee: How did you get into boxing?

WHITLEY: I got into boxing because my twin brothers and me have always been into martial acts and my father was a master in Tikido. My oldest brother got his black belt from my father and past it down to us. After martial arts we got into kickboxing and we trained in East Hartford. After kickboxing we used to train with Eddie Chase and I started boxing at the age of 21 at amateur level. Although I started late in my boxing career, I had a martial arts background.

Pattee: What should your fans expect from you on June 25, 2011?

WHITLEY: I’m a tough fighter and it’s going to be an exciting fight. I’m going to bring boxing back to Holyoke,

Pattee: What would you like to tell all your fans?

WHITLEY: I would like them to come out and support me and give me more inspiration.

Pattee: You fought 52 professional fights, who would you ultimately like to fight?

WHITLEY: I would like to fight Roy Jones because it’ll be an interesting fight or any world class fighter.

Pattee: Tell me about the gym you own. Where is it and is it mainly a boxing gym?

WHITLEY: Whitley’s Fitness Center is located at 384 High Street, Holyoke. We have a cardio class, weight training area and a ton of boxing equipment. We have about 30 amateur boxers that train out of gym. We also travel to Portland, Maine, New York, Boston with amateur fighters for tournaments.

Pattee: Besides yourself, who else is fighting out of your gym on the 25th?

WHITLEY: Noel Garcia. I’ve also prepared Jose Torres for this event.

“Homecoming” will also feature on the card Joseph “Chip” Perez vs. Kevin Carmody, Jair “Da-Bully” Ramos vs. Joel Alarcon, Pedro “Tyson” Gonzales vs. George Perez, Reinaldo Graceski, Jose Angel “Yayo” Ortiz vs. Noel Garcia, Nate Green vs. John Lowery, Jose Torres vs. Covon Graham. All bouts and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets are priced at $40.00, $50.00 and $100.00 and can be purchased by calling the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke at 413-534-7366 or by going on line at www.afomma.com. Doors open at 6:00 pm. The nonstop action begins at 7:00 p.m.

Again I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to speak to me along with a special thanks to Bob Trieger of Full Court Press for making this interview happen.

Should you have any comments or suggestions feel free to comment below or contact me directly on facebook under Pattee Mak.

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