Peter Graham – World Heavyweight Boxing Champion

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How does it feel to be the heavyweight world champ?

Now it’s sunk in a bit, good. To begin with, it was surreal. When I first started kickboxing, everyone said, ‘Wait ‘til he takes a punch.’ Then you go to MMA, people say, ‘Wait ‘til someone tries to take him down.’ Then, the boxing fans say, “Boxers will just knock him out.” People have a lot to say; it’s good to keep going forward.

How did you pull up?

Pretty good. I got opened up by a headbutt, but the stitches healed quickly. My body was fine, except I was a bit stiff around the shoulders and arms. A fight is like a really, really hard workout.

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How do you rate your opponent?

Incredibly frustrating because of his height, but also the way he fought. Head down, rabbit punching, Julius was a frustrating guy to fight. He’s seven foot one; I literally had to jump off the ground to hit him. Seriously, you want to bring the stool in after the second round. It’s a long way up. His muscle mass is all in his upper body. He weighed in at 138kgs. I was about 112.8.

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What was the experience of the fight like, in comparison to your Australian title against Bangin’ Ben Edwards? As I remember, that was a very hard fight.

Julius was a much more difficult opponent; stronger, taller, more experienced.

Have you spoken to Lucas Browne yet?

Yeah, a few times. People are calling me to get in touch with him! I think it’s really happening for him, which is great.

How long have you guys been sparring together for?

A couple of years. Yeah, we’re good friends. It’s such a small community, you’re either helping someone out or you’re going to miss out on quality sparring partners. I work with the guys I can in Sydney. Lucas and I became friends when he was doing MMA.

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What about a unification fight? How do you think that would affect your relationship?

It wouldn’t affect it at all. I fought Mark Hunt two times and he’s my mate, Jason Suttie five times and he’s my mate. I’ve fought lots of guys that are still my mates. We’re pros; business is business. Once you get in the ring, I try to tear your head off, you try to tear my head off; any less, I’d feel like he was disrespecting me. I’m sure he feels the same.

When do you start back training?

I’ve already started. I love training. I did BJJ the other day; karate the other day. I’m always doing something. I love training; it’s what I do in my spare time, and it happens to be my job as well. For fun I go and train. I’ve also got to do things that aren’t so fun, like watching my diet. I never physically stop, though. If I can do it, I’ll do it.

Is it hard to shift from boxing to kickboxing to MMA?

No. That’s like asking a swimmer who is 75 meters into a 100 meter race if they feel like changing stroke. You don’t say, ‘You know, breaststroke could be easier.’

‘John’ Wayne Parr told me that a fight is a fight. Do you think that’s true?

I couldn’t agree more – there’s no better way to say it.

Where to from here? Have you got any offers for either MMA or boxing on the table?

There’s lots of offers. People are asking me to go different places to do different things, but for now, I’m working on boxing, for a few reasons. I’m enjoying it, but I feel that it could be the most lucrative as well. When you fight for this long, you want to get to the end of it and have something. I appreciate everything I have, but why not have a lot – that’s even better!

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