CHIP MITCHELL: How’s training coming for your upcoming fight?
TY BARNETT: Training is going great right now. It’s been a non-stop process for real because I haven’t been active in a long time. I’ve been in the gym every day. Training is going good.
CHIP MITCHELL: I see names in your stable such as Anthony Peterson, Lamont Peterson, and Fernando Guerrero. Do you ever have an opportunity to spar with these fighters and if so, any stories to share?
TY BARNETT: Aww man! I’ve been sparring with Anthony and Lamont for over 10 years, since the juniors (Junior Olympic National Championships). Fernando came along a little later on. We work every day. It’s top notch work in our gym. Going into the fights, there is no need to look for any outside sparring partners in. We got our hands full at home!
CHIP MITCHELL: You are from Washington, DC, correct?
TY BARNETT: Correct
CHIP MITCHELL: For those on the outside, it is viewed as our Nations capital. But for those who know a little better, DC has some very tough sections. How was it growing up in the DC area?
TY BARNETT: Oh its rough man. I know you’ve heard the stories. You know I come from one of the toughest parts of DC, in Southeast. You’re surrounded by a lot of temptations. You can easily become a product of your environment where I’m from. Many of us have strayed down that road and made negative decisions in life. I’m fortunate enough to be one of the ones who made it out of that jungle and did something positive with myself.
CHIP MITCHELL: Who are your favorite boxers, past or present? How did you start?
TY BARNETT: I’m a big Pernell Whitaker fan, a big Trinidad fan, Roy Jones and Sugar Ray Leonard. Boxing is something I always wanted to do ever since I was a kid watching Mike Tyson. That’s all I knew as a kid was Mike Tyson. Then I became a student of the game and understood what boxing was all about. He is a good fighter to me still, but he’s one dimensional to me.
CHIP MITCHELL: Okay, let’s get down to the business at hand. You have a big fight coming up against Juan Santiago. What do you know about your opponent?
TY BARNETT: Actually I don’t know anything about him. I saw his record; he has a pretty decent record at 9-2-1 with 6 knockouts. He’s been real active this year, fighting every other month or every month. None of that will matter come Saturday in the fight with me.
CHIP MITCHELL: How do you envision the fight playing out?
TY BARNETT: Being as though I don’t know what style he has or what strategy he fights with, I’ll just try to make adjustments early in the fight. Hopefully its not ring rust there and if so I’m going to shake it off early and get down to business. I don’t think this guy is bringing anything to the table that I haven’t seen in previous fights or my experience in boxing period. I see it all in the gym training with world class opposition.
CHIP MITCHELL: For fans that haven’t seen you fight, please describe your style.
TY BARNETT: I’m more so what you say a boxer-puncher. A lot of people compare my style to Diego Corrales. I like the knockout!!
CHIP MITCHELL: I noticed your last fight was in the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas with Jorge Arce, Nonito Donaire, Julio Caesar Chavez, Jr. and Vanes Martirosyan on the card. Any pre-fight jitters from boxing at such a large venue with those big names on the card?
TY BARNETT: Nah, not really because it’s not nothing new to me. My first couple of fights I fought on a Mike Tyson card and a couple of other big cards. There are hardly any fans in the audience when the preliminary bouts are going on in the big shows, so I’m used to it.
CHIP MITCHELL: You have fought as low as super bantamweight in your debut to as high as junior middleweight. Any reason for the jump? If not, what weight(s) are you most comfortable?
TY BARNETT: I’m a natural 135 pounder. The highest weight I fought is at junior welterweight. I’m a natural at 135 and at the time we just took those fights. At the time I wasn’t a signed fighter and the fights you get you can’t complain, you gotta take ‘em as they come, you know? I’m strong enough to beat those 140 guys at that level, but average elite 140 pounder walks around at 160 or 170. My natural walk around weight is no more than 147 pound. I’m out of that league when it comes to the elite fighters but those guys coming up the ladder I can handle them. In order for me to be solid at 140 I need to pack on a little more muscle or little more weight.
CHIP MITCHELL: Okay. Last question Ty. Do you have anything to say to boxing fans all across the world who are reading this exclusive interview online?
TY BARNETT: Just keep your eyes and ears open. Ty Barnett is sure to be a household name, sure to be buzzing in your area. I’m pushing toward those titles. First we gotta get these NABO titles and get ranked in the Top 10 or 15 in these governing bodies. Hopefully somebody picks me out of that Top 10 and gives me a shot and I’ll get my opportunity to be a world champion man!
CHIP MITCHELL: Thanks a lot Ty. Best wishes to you
TY BARNETT: Thank you.
Thanks to Matt “The Catalyst” Yanofsky.