Greg Leon: How's everything going in preparation for your March 9th title shot vs WBO junior welterweight champion Maurice Hooker? Mikkel LesPierre: "On track and as planned. I'm a gym rat so I'm never really out of the gym. I was in shape already when I got the call, so I've been using the extra time that I've got to sharpen up and get the work in, get the sparring in and just prepare as far as the game plan is concerned."
GL: Have you done anything differently in preparation for your first world title fight?
Mikkel LesPierre: "Yes. Normally with all of my fights I work until the week of the fight and then I just take a week off. In this case my job was able to grant me a month off. They undestood and they support me so they gave me the time necessary to prepare and dedicate myself for this fight."
GL: I'm sure hoping that this becomes more than a month off because that belt around your waist is some life changing stuff right there.
MLP: "Definitely. When it's time to fight I'm going to go all out and go after what I want."
GL: What are your thoughts of Maurice Hooker as a fighter?
MLP: "He's a world champion and I can't take nothing away from him. He's a dangerous fighter and a good boxer, but I'm looking to go in there and show him that I'm the more technically skilled fighter."
GL: I actually thought he lost to Darelys Perez and was fortunate to get the draw in that fight, but since then he's been on a tear. How do you plan to bring his run to an end?
MLP: "I just have to execute the game plan and work on what we've been working on. It's got to be a flawless game plan and I'm working really hard to do exactly what my team is telling me to do. I'm training hard it to put it all together on fight night and that's that. I don't see it being a hard fight for me if I execute the game plan."
GL: You hear those words and the new WBO champion of the world. What does that mean to you?
MLP: "It's a dream come true. Every fighter chases that, they dream of being a world champion and they dream of that feeling where they get down on their knees and they're crying because they're in disbelief that they've achieved their goal. I'm chasing that feeling right now, I want to be able to cry on TV and express myself because it's been a long journey."
GL: What do you consider your biggest advantage coming into March 9th?
MLP: "I think my speed. I'm not big on power, but speed is power and once I'm able to execute it's going to play a factor. I have good speed, elusiveness and countering ability. I feel like I'm the better fighter."
GL: Other than victory do you have a prediction?
MLP: "Just to win!"
GL: Closing thoughts for the fans.
MLP: "I just want to say thank you for all the people who support me. I want to thank my team Dibella Entertainment, Josie Tavares, DAZN and Maurice Hooker and his camp for giving me this opportunity. This is a one time opportunity and I plan to make the most of it."
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