By Dan Emicus


"I need to focus, train like the elite and make sure I am prepared for that moment when I am in the trenches. That's when all of my heart, desire and ability will be put to the test, and that moment will be the difference between obscurity and world title fights." Mark de Mori sat down with SylvanaBoxing a few days before his fight. Check it out!

DE: A few months ago you seemed slightly jaded about being deprived of opportunities, but anyone who has a glance on your Twitter timeline would see more than a semblance of optimism. You recently Tweeted "Boxing is fun again, I should have come here years ago" What's different for you right now?  

MDM: Australian boxing has always felt like Plato's Cave to me, so whenever I am in America or now Europe, possibilities and opportunities seem to come much easier. I am in the right place for a heavyweight boxer trying to score the big time fights. I am enjoying my training and fighting regularly. I have always enjoyed fighting on the road and especially in countries where I need to learn a new language, that makes it even more fun.

DE: You crammed in 3 fights within the month of April! Was that spontaneous or was it planned from the outset?  

MDM: Each fight I improved, although I did not taper till the last fight. I was exhausted for the first one having only arrived after 25 hours of travelling, then fighting just 3 days later. These were fights for me to improve, make new contacts in Germany and see what happens. The risky plan to turn up in a foreign country with gloves and my wife as trainer worked perfectly and now I have great contacts all over Europe.

DE: What has it been like working with Luan and Agim Krasniqi? Also, has it been a case of them refining your style, or adjusting it? 

MDM: Agim and Luan are definitely trying to make me more aggressive and also to use a more European guard. Having people I respect pushing me at the gym is what I need. Luan said I have all the speed and power I could want, we just need to get me a conditioning trainer for 12 round fights and get me in the ring against opposition that can push me into the later rounds. Meeting Luan and Agim is something that happened only because of my plan to turn up and see who I could meet and they have been a great addition. Luan advises some top fighters, so I am lucky to have his experience and knowledge working for me.

DE: Having immersed yourself in the German boxing scene recently, how have you been finding it?

MDM: It is great to meet all the fighters and officials, everybody has been really friendly and helpful so far. I am really happy to be in a country that loves boxing and really supports its athletes. I am a huge boxing fan, so just being a boxer meeting my idols, travelling and training is a really great experience.

DE: What would you say distinguishes you from other contenders out there? 

MDM: Explosiveness. Many heavyweights have strength, not many have the speed also. I see lots of good heavyweights that are very methodical and classically trained that I believe you can predict, whereas I have the ability to explode and create a knockout from nowhere, even when I'm tired. I have been told many times that I remind people of Tommy Morrison, who was similar in that whatever was happening in a fight, he could dig deep and produce explosive fight ending punches.

DE: How is training going?

MDM: I am loving it. I have to thank my sponsors Alan Burns, Buel and Corfields for supporting me on this journey. Thanks to them I am able to focus on training and throw everything at my boxing goals. The focus at the moment is maintaining my speed and power and developing my conditioning for a 12 rounder. That world class level requires full time training and a professional team.

DE: What were your thoughts on Wladimir Klitschko vs Francesco Pianeta?

MDM: It was obviously what everyone thought it would be and that was a mismatch. Not because Pianeta can't fight, but because right now Wladimir is boxing with confidence and with the ability of a champion, a class above the rest. Predictable and conventional fighters like Pianeta really have no chance vs Wladimir Klitschko.

DE: Is it true that you got a call about the possibility of being David Haye's opponent when it looked as though they weren't going to agree terms with Manuel Charr? What kind of fight do you think it would have been if you had got it?

MDM: I got the call and the next day they announced Charr, so I'm not sure why they called. David Haye is a classy boxer and a huge puncher, but he needs a certain pace to be comfortable and if you can take him out of his comfort zone, you can land and he can be hurt. On paper, Haye's resume is in a different league to mine with his world title wins, but paper is paper and when the bell rings, I know I produce my best when I am scared and nervous, which I would be vs Haye. Fights where I'm not interested are always my worst.

DE: You accepted an invitation to participate in the WBC world cup heavyweight tournament a while ago. Is that something which would still interest you? Do you think there should perhaps be more tournaments of this nature organised by the world sanctioning bodies? 

MDM: One thing I have learned in my boxing career is don't ever think plans will work out when there are external factors and always deal in reality, not maybes. With that in mind, I've kept to my own plan, but with the decision that if the WBC world cup happens, I will definitely consider it. If the tournament gives exposure and opportunities at the top level, then I think it is a great idea.

DE: There has been talk of you possibly getting a WBU title opportunity in the future. Do you feel that's a title which you can use for the betterment of your career progression? 

MDM: This Friday I will fight for the WBU World Title in my wife's hometown of Pozega, Croatia. I am excited to fight for the title, but my goal is also to win one of the more recognised titles, so this is a great stepping stone for me.

DE: Hypothetically, if such things as promoters and tv channel deals weren't factors and you could test yourself against anyone, who would it be and why?

MDM: Wladimir Klitschko, he is the best and he keeps knocking people out, but there is that part of me that doesn't believe any of the contenders are in there to win. It seems many opponents are happy to fight him and get paid well, but when someone is hungry they can unsettle and surprise even the elite. Look at his first fight with Lamon Brewster, when Brewster refused to quit, continually walked up and refused to back down, and eventually broke the much more skilled Klitschko.

DE: What's currently on the agenda for you and your team and what do you hope to achieve by the end of the year? 

MDM: I am currently WBC #15 and WBA #14. The goal now is to plan some tough fights where I can put my name out there and prove I am not just an early round KO fighter. We have a big show planned where we have a good budget, so right now, I need to focus, train like the elite and make sure I am prepared for that moment when I am in the trenches. That's when all of my heart, desire and ability will be put to the test, and that moment will be the difference between obscurity and world title fights for big money.

DE: Any final words or shout-outs?

MDM: I have fought all over the world and I was never a natural boxer, so I am thankful for what boxing has done for me and how it's put me on this adventure where I can make some money while meeting my heroes and seeing the world. The boxing business is something most don't understand and now that I understand it, we are finally making it work for us. We will see if the guy who trains himself in his garage in Perth, Western Australia, the most isolated city in the world, can mix it with the best if he has the right team around him. Win lose or draw, I am enjoying every second of it.