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ASM: So you are going to defend you Title can you tell us who you are going to be fighting and what are your prospects are in that fight.


Leonard: I will be fighting against a French guy … he is called Ismail el Massoudi and he is an ex- champion an ex interim champion he is actually very good and he will be coming to try and get my belt, but I am going to try my hardest to keep my belt and defend it and hopefully I will try and get a shot at the world title sometime soon, but I have to take it one step at a time and so I am focused on my upcoming fight this Saturday and I hope everything goes well for me.


ASM: It is a wonderful accomplishment to be the European Champion in the Welterweight category and I think it is an awesome achievement. Even before I continue to ask you questions in this inter- view I will like to commend you for what you have accomplished. This is really really a wonderful thing you attained in your life.


Leonard: Thank you, thank you …


ASM: So what are you aims and ambitions, I know you have just talked about going up for a World Title shot, but besides the World Title do you have any other specific target out there say like a May- weather or a Manny Pacquaio … or you know like other guys like an African fighter … say like a Joshua Clottey, you know guys like that or do you have any specific target in mind.


Leonard: well for me it will be nice to fight another African fighter especially in Africa, and you know that will be like another Rumble in the Jungle. But you know when I started boxing my goal was to at least reach the European Title and now I will be defending it for a third time and I feel like after over- coming the last fighter I am ready for a bigger chance now. But I will like a shot at the world Title it will be a great thing for me to get a shot at it. As for Mayweather and Pacquaio those guys are big names but if it happens that will be a dream for me to get a shot at them. Currently I am number 8th in the WBA and 6th in the WBC (December 2012 rankings) in the world ranking so I know I can have a shot but anyhow I am just looking to get a shot at the World Title against whomever is willing to.


ASM: Now let’s go away a bit from boxing and talk about your Sierra Leonean heritage, so since you relocated to Italy have you ever been back to Sierra Leone.


Leonard: No I have never been back since 1991 when I left, but I really have to go visit. I really would like to go visit, but I have two young kids and they are really young, one of them is 2 years old and my wife has asked that I wait till they grow a little older. Anyway I still have a lot of friends and lots of family from my father side over there and I do talk to them. We communicate and everybody is waiting for me but it’s just a matter of time for me to go back to Sierra Leone. I really have to, I miss Sierra Leone. When I initially left I did not miss anything at all but now after a lot of time over here I really want to go back.


ASM: So what part of Sierra Leone are you actually from?


Leonard: I am from Freetown, from Aberdeen, I used to live on Aberdeen road and that’s my area and I have lots of friends around that area. I have never been back for 20 years now and I want to go back and visit there sometime since that’s my home.


ASM: Now back to boxing …. Your next title fight is coming up next Saturday (December 1st 2012) so what is going on in your mind at this stage as you get ready for a third Title defence.


73


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