ANTONIO MARGARITO / SUGAR SHANE MOSLEY
CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT
January 15, 2009
Monica Sears: Thank you. I’d like to welcome everyone today to the Margarito and Mosley conference call. We have a great site lined up for next week and at this time I’d like to turn it over to Chief Operating Officer of Golden Boy Promotions, Dave Itskowitch.
David Itskowitch: Thanks a lot Monica. Thank you everyone for joining us. Again, January 24 at Staple Center we’ve got a great fight which will be live on HBO is World Championship Boxing, 10 pm Eastern Time, 7 pm Pacific. If fan interest is any indication of what kind of a fight this is going to be, it’s going to be a great one, tickets are going fast. I urge you all if you’re going to write about the fight to tell everyone to get their tickets as soon as possible because they’re moving quickly and they start just at $25.
It’s great again to be working with Bob Arum and Top Rank and of course Cerveza Tecate, our title sponsor for the show. Without any further ado I’d like to turn it over to Nazim Richardson, trainer of Shane Mosley to say a few words about how things are going in camp. Nazim?
Nazim Richardson: How’s everybody doing? I’d like to thank everybody for having Shane and again I’d just like to point out from early ongoing that working with Shane there have been no surprises. It’s just been a pleasant confirmation on the fact that the things I assumed about him turned out to be true. That his work ethic is exceptional and his knowledge of the sport is staggering.
It’s just been pleasant working with this guy because everything you ask of him he produces or he makes his best attempt at it until he gets it the way you want it and you have to appreciate that from an athlete. And for a guy to have such a world of experience and knowledge, for him to still be so open he just made camp a pleasant experience and I look forward to the fight next week.
David Itskowitch: Thanks a lot Nazim. As Nazim alluded to Shane Mosley is a champions champion, he’s a people’s champion, one of the great fighters of our era and without any further ado I’d like to turn it over to the four time world champion in three different weight divisions, Sugar Shane Mosley. Shane?
Shane Mosley: I’m definitely excited for the fight; ready to go in great condition. My camp has been great. Nazim has been great. Everybody, the sparring partners are great, everything is running according to plan, according to schedule and the only thing left now is to get in the ring and fight. So I’m ready to go and I’m excited and let’s get it on.
Q: I’ve noticed that guys either forget to or they’re unable to attack Margarito’s body. Now from you we haven’t seen quite as much bodywork over the years. How will you address this on fight night?
Shane Mosley: If Margarito’s body is open and he’s giving it to me then I’m going to take it. We definitely worked on that, and when you fight guys like Margarito you have to work on everything, you can’t just work on boxing and movement, you have to work on punching as well, and targeting different spots of the body, different parts of the head, different parts positioning. I think that’s what Nazim is very good at — pinpointing different spots of the body and (giving me shots). So I think it’s going to be, well I know it’s going to be, a great night.
Q: You ended the Mayorga fight quite spectacularly. I’m sure even you’d admit to maybe looking a little sluggish prior to the knockout. My question is, why were you sluggish in that fight and what can you do to prevent that in the Margarito fight?
Shane Mosley: Well the first thing I’ll do is make sure that I have the proper shoes on and I won’t have blood blisters on the bottom of my feet. That’s what happened in the Mayorga fight, from about the fifth round on I was swishing around and my blister on my right foot. And also you know, when Mayorga, he’s kind of a great to have a fighter where you don’t know where the punches are coming from.
He was like ten pounds heavier than me and I was basically fighting him out of my weight class — I’m 147 pounder –, kind of gave him the advantage to kind of wrestle me a little bit and I wrestled back with him so, it will have to put a stop, a lot more snappier, more crisper, a lot more like the the old Sugar Shane that everybody used to see.
Shane Mosley: I’m great man.
Q At this stage of your career to bring a new trainer in, and you’ve got the fundamentals down, what does Nazim bring or what could he do in just lone training camp to help you?
Shane Mosley: Well, he’s not trying to change me or trying to switch up, just recreating all the stuff that I already know. You know with Nazim, he trains fighters that are amateurs and professionals. So he has both backgrounds and sometimes when we turn pro we start forgetting different things about some of the things that got us to where we were at as the champions, to start lagging on different things.
And I think that with his knowledge of training fighters on both sides of the spectrum he has a broad view of everything. He sees a lot of different things, he watches a lot of films, watches a lot of fighters fight, like I said amateur and professionally. So I think that kind of rejuvenated me, bringing me back to life.
Q: And speaking of changing trainers, obviously you went with Nazim and you left your dad as the trainer in terms of the training and you went with Nazim and then you, I know you’re not going to talk about this, but you have the steroids thing and maybe some other personal things. It seems like that there are a lot of distractions right now from the outside. Is that the case? And if so, how are you dealing with that?
Shane Mosley: I don’t really pay attention to what’s going on outside of boxing, you know, if you do what I’m doing right now as far as my fight’s concerned then that’s what I’m going to do. The other stuff I’m not really paying attention to it until after the fight and I just block it out. (Unintelligible) it’s all about training and winning the fight and being the best.
Q: Nazim. what can you bring…you come in for one fight, what is it that you try to do in such a short period of time?
Nazim Richardson: My thing is I stay in my lane and I understand the fact that our job is not to teach Sugar Shane Mosley how to fight. He already knows how to fight, he’s known how to fight at an exceptional level for years.
My job is to point out flaws in Antonio Margarito’s arsenal and to help Shane to devise a plan to exploit those flaws in the fight. I stay in my lane and I focus on that task at hand. I help him break down Antonio Margarito and hope to exploit those small mistakes that he makes.
And Shane being a student of the game he adjusts, he adjusts so quickly so it’s not about trying to change him or have him do a bunch of different things.
Q: Did you see the Cotto fight and what did you think of the way he fought Margarito.
Shane Mosley: Yes. I (unintelligible) pretty good, I mean the first was (unintelligible) he fought pretty good and he was landing shots and stuff and actually was leading in the fight he just I think had a little mental break down the fight and Margarito caught up to him. He was dinging him with some body shots, caught up to him and sealed the deal in the last two rounds, so I mean he fought all right. He was winning up until that point.
Q: What is it about you and your style that makes you think you’ll be more successful in surviving his constant pressure than Cotto was?
Shane Mosley: Cotto was not familiar with what Margarito brings to the table and I’m familiar with it because I’ve been brought up in California where I fought a lot of Mexican fighters and I know that type of style. I know how to pace myself, how to win rounds. I’m basically a California fighter myself, I’m basically a California fighter, I know how to go to the body as well.
So you know, Margarito (unintelligible) get body shots itself, so you know, maybe if he’s (unintelligible) myself then we’ll both (unintelligible) first, perhaps with a thick coat I know how to fight, you know, I don’t just box I can fight too.
Q: Would you say that’s the number one challenge, being able to stay away from his constant pressure?
Shane Mosley: I’m not particularly trying to run away from his pressure, I’m trying to get my shots in too. But when I want to get them down, not when he says oh, you know, we want to fight now. Maybe I don’t want to fight in that second, maybe I want to turn the corner and then fight again.
Q: I was talking to your father not too long ago and you know, your dad is still as you know, one of your biggest fans.
Shane Mosley: Yeah. And I talked to him yesterday.
TK Stewart: Do you talk to him much about the fight and about strategy, about strengths and weaknesses that Margarito has, I mean you guys have those conversations, or have you had them?
Shane Mosley: Yeah I mean you know, we’ll say a few things here and there about the fight and what he believes I should do and some of the things, I mean a lot of things that, you know, what’s great is that Nazim and my father both have the same type of philosophy basically, in the training. So it’s not far off…using jabs, controlling with the jab, I mean just different stuff that Nazim says and my father probably says pretty much the same thing and they’re not even in the same room.
Q: And then in terms of your future boxing career, do you have the sort of long-range plan as to what you’re going to do or are you just kind of taking it on a fight by fight basis right now?
Shane Mosley: Yeah, I kind of take it on a fight by fight basis, but I can see myself going for another four, maybe five years….2013, 2014, something like that.
Q: So you’d be 40-41 years old.
Shane Mosley: Around 40 years old, 39, 40, somewhere in there.
Q: I was surprised to hear the answer to that last question, kind of caught me a little off guard. You want to fight another four or five years?
Shane Mosley: Yeah, I feel great right now. I feel good and I’m ready to go. And if I’m feeling like this from my fights, you know, the way I feel right today for my fights then I can go on for more.
Q: Wow. Okay. I just remember earlier in your career I heard you say many times you wanted to have a long career and a hall of fame career, accomplish all kinds of different things, which you have done certainly, but that you would maybe not want to hang around into your 40s.
But you hang out with Bernard Hopkins and you see how he fights and now you’re working with Nazim, his trainer and you see the old guy Bernard, who’s going to turn 44 I think in a few days still at it and fighting in a very high level. Does that enter your mindset when you think about where you are in your career and how much longer you may be able to go?
Shane Mosley: Well you know first of all Bernard’s I think birthday was maybe two weeks (unintelligible) he was 44 but…
Q: Actually you know, what, today is Bernard Hopkins’ birthday, January 15.
Shane Mosley: January 15, yeah. So yeah you know, he’s 44 but that really has not crossed my mind, it’s the way I feel. Everybody’s different, everybody fights different. Bernard’s different. I’m different (unintelligible) I mean everybody feels a different way. Fernando Vargas is barely 30 and he’s retired because his body just doesn’t feel good anymore and you have to feel good when you get in the ring.
When I start feeling good I felt something, oh my god this is a chore, I can’t really do it. When (counts) start entering my mind then that’s when I’ll start thinking about retiring. I don’t really like to, because a lot of people a lot of times you know, you start listening to, you know, the media and different people around, oh man when he get like 31, 32, oh you know, you’re getting oh, you need to start retiring.
I’m listening to I’m watching some of these Sportscenter games and you know, down in that, (unintelligible) now says he’s 32 years old and he’s talking about he’s getting old and there’s another guy that’s 37 that’s the quarterback for the Falcons or no for the Cardinals and you know, they’re saying that he’s getting old, you know like wow. But they’re still playing, they’re still both getting ready to go to the Super Bowl.
Q: Exactly. The other thing I wanted to ask you about if you take a look at the records of Antonio Margarito, here you have a guy who beat Cotto and knocked him out, stopped him. Cotto has a win over you. I’m sure he’s aware of that obviously.
And there’s the fact that maybe he’s celebrating that huge victory that he had, that really big, that you know, his victory against Cotto sort of did for Antonio kind of like what your first victory against Oscar did, you know, even though we all knew that he was a good fighter and won titles, put him on the map so maybe he’s a little bit been celebrating about that. And then of course it took him a little bit of time to finally come around and make the deal for this fight. A lot of people thought maybe he didn’t really want to fight you.
I wonder do you think that there’s a chance that because of all the things I just said, you know, plus you know, it was mentioned earlier you look a little bit sluggish even though you scored a spectacular knock out against Mayorga, that maybe Margarito for whatever reason might be just taking it a little bit lightly?
Shane Mosley: That could be the case, I mean that could be the case. I don’t know. I don’t really take it for granted. I don’t, I’m not training where I think oh he’s just taking me for granted and I’m going get a victory. If he does that’s his problem, that’s his loss and maybe he might just get hurt in there if he takes it lightly so you got to be totally prepared, I’m ready to go.
But you know, a lot of times, you know I really don’t worry about what the other fighters thinking or what the trainers are thinking and what they’re thinking about doing or what I’m going to do and I’m going to execute. So whatever he’s thinking that’s totally on his side.
Q: This fight is going to be at Staples Center. It is the site of your greatest victory in your career. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. You have a lot of good memories I bet going back to that arena to have this big fight. You are the underdog here but do you feel, how comfortable do you feel about going back to a place where you had the greatest win of your professional career?
Shane Mosley: You know I probably even feel more confident and comfortable than I did when I fought Oscar the first time. I feel comfortable and I’m confident that I’m going to do my job. I’m confident that I’m going to look spectacular. I’m confident that I’m going to be at my best. I’m confident that the fans around the world are going to be surprised and they’ll be shocked. So I’m just very confident and I’m trying not to be too confident and trying to keep my level head before I get into the ring.
Q: There’s a lot of talk that Margarito can face Miguel Cotto in the summer in a rematch. Do you feel that’s disrespectful to you? If you win would you like another chance at Miguel in the future?
Shane Mosley: I don’t think it’s disrespectful to me because it just lets me know how great of a fighter I am where people just really don’t want to fight me. And Margarito thank God he stepped up, I can get this victory on Margarito and then after, you know, after we fight then if Miguel Cotto and Margarito want to fight that’s fine with me, maybe I, you know I stepped too, you know, Pacquiao and you know, Ricky Hatton, I mean see what happens with them.
So there’ll be somebody out there to fight and I just want to keep myself busy. I want to have a terrific year in 2009 so I consistently train and keep myself in great shape until the next victim comes along.
Q: You would like another chance at Miguel?
Shane Mosley: Of course. Yeah after the fight when I fought him the first time I wanted a rematch but it didn’t happen so maybe the rematch will happen sometime in the future. But like I said, I’ll be the one victorious when I fight Margarito but if they want to fight each other first and (unintelligible) the two fights next that’ll be great too.
Q: I was just wondering why you decided to make the change switching, trainers, why you decided to switch from your father to Nazim?
Shane Mosley: Oh I just needed a different look and me and my father were butting heads a little bit. I just needed a different change of pace and stuff and I think that has worked out very well.
Q: Do you feel that you’re sort of refreshed with a different trainer, that you hear maybe a different sounding voice and the information sort of sinks in a little bit better?
Shane Mosley: Oh, I mean that could be the case. (Unintelligible) it’s just a little, it’s a different twist, different change and I think it’s refreshing. I believe that it’s working out very well. I’m looking good, looking sharp.
Q: I was just also wondering, you said that with all the distractions and everything you just sort of put them aside and for, you know, for most of us that’s just sort of difficult to do. How do you do, I mean how do you put that aside? How do you put all the stuff that’s going on aside and just concentrate on boxing because it’s a 24-hour day, you’re not, you know, you’re not involved in boxing 24 hours a day?
Shane Mosley: I’m in Big Bear 24 hours a day so I keep myself away from all the drama.
Tim Smith: Yeah but the drama sort of also invades you though…
Shane Mosley: No.
Q: I mean you’re getting phone calls from people you’re…
Shane Mosley: No. I don’t get phone calls from people. I don’t do that. I put them in the box and shut them out and that’s it. I don’t mess, I don’t think about that, yeah. I’m that type of person where I don’t really you know, the calls they have something that’s on the Internet or something that’s going on, I don’t look at the Internet, I look at (unintelligible) fight post and stuff, I don’t do that. When I’m focusing (unintelligible) on the boxing it’s strictly boxing. I’m in, I watch fight films, I sit and stretch, you know, everything is about the fight and I kind of put everything else aside.
Q: So all this stuff with steroids you haven’t, you haven’t…?
Shane Mosley: No. Actually I put that stuff aside since 2004. People want to bring it up and I don’t even listen, I don’t listen to it I put it all aside. Judd [Burstein] doesn’t even call me about any of that stuff. You know if I have to sign something on that that’s it, but I put that in my shelf, that’s somewhere in another field. I don’t even, actually I don’t even know nothing about what’s going on right now about that, I don’t even listen to it. My whole thing is Margarito, I don’t even care.
Q: Nazim, one of the things that I’ve looked at, looking back at Margarito and his fight with Joshua Clottey and one of the things that really stood out for me was watching Clottey’s speed be a factor in that fight, even, well obviously before he injured his hands. Is that something that you think will play out in this fight or can play out in this fight?
Nazim Richardson: Well one thing you have to take into account is that when you’re dealing with Shane Mosley speed is always going to be a factor. You know I don’t care who you face is they’re going to have to deal with the speed of Shane Mosley. But the other thing is that people have a tendency to be fast but it’s how you use your speed and where you use your speed at what times. So that’s some of the things we had to concentrate on, but yeah I think Shane Mosley brings several weapons to the table and he’s going to be (unintelligible) to find an answer to deal with all of those weapons whether he’s using them properly.
Q: Margarito has pretty good height for a welterweight. Are you prepared to deal with that and having, and what other fighter can you say hey they had that kind of height advantage and how will you be able to deal with that?
Shane Mosley: Well Margarito I think (unintelligible), when we did the first press conference if you’ll notice we’re both looking eye to eye and that’s not just the picture, that’s really us being the same height. My arms are well, they say on the record that they’re a little longer than his so (unintelligible) think we’re pretty much maybe the same height.
He’s going to come in there you know, he is a little taller, maybe I think an inch and a half taller but that’s not very much. Oscar de la Hoya is the same way, he’s like an inch and a half taller than me too. So I don’t see any problems with that.
Q: One of the things that he seems to have problems with is hand speed, especially guys with fast hands who are busy. Is that something that you think you can make him have to deal with and adjust to?
Shane Mosley: I definitely can exploit him on that. Some people have good hand speed and don’t have good foot speed. I do have good foot speed. So I’m going to exploit him with the hand speed and the foot speed, I’m not saying I’m moving away from him and running and trying to get away from him, I’m not trying to really get away from him, I’m trying to you know, like I always do, I try to get my shots in.
Q: When you’ve broken down Margarito, I mean was it something that you saw immediately that let you know that you were going to match up well against this guy or is it something that has happened during the course of training?
Shane Mosley: Oh man, I’ve seen him fight many times and I knew his style, I know it’s a difficult style and you have to be in great shape, in tremendous shape to fight him and you have to be on top of your game to fight him but it’s a style that my style can beat, you know, be on top of my game. Go ahead.
Q: And obviously it sounds like you’ve got great plans for a long career, but you know, as you’ve seen, I guess you’ve seen it from both ends with Bernard, you know, at 44 it looks like he’s got a couple fights left in him at least. With Oscar after his loss it looks like he may be finished. If you lose, worse case scenario, have you thought about, has that entered your mind and what you would do if that scenario plays out?
Shane Mosley: Actually I haven’t thought about losing, so I don’t know. But it could happen.
Q: Shane if we compare Paul Williams and Margarito’s fight, Margarito’s fight with Cotto, we can analyze that (unintelligible) two different fights you know, because certainly we look at Margarito’s more nice shots against Cotto, more briefly that Williams fight so definitely I think it’s obvious that the fight body to body to Margarito is not the way to win a fight against (unintelligible). What has been about that two fights Williams and Cotto fights against Margarito?
Shane Mosley: Well honestly (I haven’t) seen the Paul Williams, Margarito fight. I’ve see seen the Cotto, Margarito fight. But I would think that you know, with Paul Williams I can’t really equate that to me that he’s 6’4”, 3”, whatever, arm span of a heavyweight and it’s just a different type a fight.
With Cotto, I mean he did very well. He just broke down the last couple rounds and he let Margarito accumulate too many body shots early on in the fight where he couldn’t sustain it and (unintelligible) to fight to 12, but before then I think Cotto was ahead, but even watching the first couple of rounds I felt in my head that Margarito was going to get him because of the way Cotto was fighting him, he was rushing the shots and he was throwing a lot of punches and he was on his heels a lot giving Margarito (unintelligible).
With Paul Williams you know, he’s tall so he’s probably was sticking his jab and you know, keeping Margarito at bay and turn twist and turn them some. That’s probably why he got the victory.
Q: Can we expect the same style from you in terms of boxing in your fight (unintelligible) with Margarito?
Shane Mosley: Well I mean I’m not going to stand around in front of (unintelligible) basically expect me to be throwing a lot of fast shots, snappy and fast shots and you know, I definitely will have you know, I have good punching power so there’s going to be some fire on some of those shots too as well.
Q: Since 2001 you’ve had two bouts every year. If Margarito had signed any earlier do you think this bout would’ve taken last year? And since you only did have a single bout last year are you okay with that going into this one?
Shane Mosley: I’m definitely okay going into this one because what happened was I was getting ready to fight Zab Judah before and it fell through like in May, so I was in training camp for a long time and then I fought, and then I went back to training camp to fight Mayorga and now I’m back in training camp. So I was actually training all the time. I wasn’t really laid off.
Q: Do you have anything good to say basically about Margarito going into this?
Shane Mosley: Oh yeah, I mean Margarito he’s definitely a tough fighter, he’s a warrior and everything that he’s got he’s earned. He’s fought very hard all through his career to get this type of respect and to get this type of claim and finally he achieved it. He took the long road up, the hard road up. He fought everybody he could and battled everybody. But he’s definitely a tough competitor.
Q: Yeah, you just mentioned that you think you have the right style for
Margarito. Could you maybe get a little bit more specific? What is it about your style that you think makes this a good match up?
Shane Mosley: Well it makes a good match up because I have good hand speed, good power, hand speed, power and I’m very durable. I take good shots and I can go, I can stay in the fight when it’s tough. I don’t have to move around, move away and be afraid of being in an exchange. I think some fighters, they’re just fast.
Some fighters are just strong and some fighters are fast and strong but they can’t take a punch, they can’t take it in the inside. They just can punch hard.
I have experience, I have everything. I’ve got the total package for somebody like Margarito. Margarito is one dimensional where he comes right at you and he throws all these shots and punches but he throws them hard and he breaks a lot of guys down with his heart and his will, but I have a big heart and big will too so you’ve got two guys with a big heart and big will, but one’s a little faster and one hits probably a little bit harder and can move better.
Q: What was Cotto lacking then? What was the missing ingredient for Cotto?
Shane Mosley: The grit, I mean what happened with Cotto I think, and maybe that’s why Cotto wants to fight Margarito again is for all his career, the whole career, he’s been used to going forward and walking guys down and for somebody to come and do the same thing to him it kind of rattled him I think a little bit in the later rounds, it rattled him and he started getting hit with shots and he just couldn’t take the pressure then, but I think that him being in the ring with Margarito he knows what to do so it might be a different fight the next time they fight.
David Itskowitch: All right. Thank you everybody for joining the Mosley portion of the call. Thank you Nazim. Thank you Shane. I’m going to turn things over now to Lee Samuels of Top Rank so he can continue on with the Margarito portion of the call. Lee?
Lee Samuels: Great call. Thank you Shane. Thank you Dave and Monica from Golden Boy, really appreciate it.
Lee Samuels: We have the champion on the line with us. He’s been training in California for weeks getting ready for this big fight at the Staples Center and my boss, the Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is on the line as is Sergio Diaz, the co-manager of Tony and we have Ricardo Jimenez with us also.
So I’m going to turn it over to Bob and he has some remarks and we’ll introduce Tony. Bob?
Bob Arum: Welcome all to the call today. I’m not needed at this point to really sell anything because the fight has been sold out for about a week now. We’ve opened the balcony and those tickets are going extremely fast and they’ll be sold out probably by the end of the week, beginning of next week.
So essentially this fight is a huge, huge box office success and demonstrates how vital and alive boxing is. If you give the public the right kind of matches at the right prices and this championship match between Antonio Margarito and Sugar Shane Mosley is something that has piqued everybody’s imagination. The celebrity turn out is going to be enormous being of course Los Angeles, and everybody is excited including myself.
And I think it’s a tribute to the champion, Antonio Margarito that coming off this great victory against Miguel Cotto he has cemented his status as now being a big box office attraction which is wonderful for Antonio and it’s a real tribute to him. He’s a great fighter and it’s really an honor and pleasure for Top Rank to be promoting him.
Lee Samuels: Okay. Sergio, some remarks about Tony and his training and getting ready for Shane?
Sergio Diaz: Well first I’d like to thank Bob Arum for putting us in this position. The other day I was speaking to my partner Francisco on which promoter has sold out the Staple Center and the only one, Bob Arum. Bob Arum has done a tremendous job with Antonio’s career and we are happy, happy to be part of this Top Rank family and Antonio is proud to be defending his title here in Los Angeles and we’re looking forward to making Top Rank happier and looking forward to continue work with them in the future.
Antonio Margarito: I’m ready to get up into the ring. I trained very hard for this fight. I expect a difficult fight. He’s a very experienced fighter but I put in the work and I’m ready to go in there and put on a good show.
Lee Samuels: Great. And thank you Antonio and (Felicia) we’re ready for our first call. Would you give instructions please?
Q: We saw Manny Pacquiao defeat Oscar recently and he’s become kind of the talk of boxing, I just wondered if Antonio wins this would he like to fight Manny?
Antonio Margarito: I heard about the fights that may be out there for me but I’m not really that interested right now. All I’m thinking about is Mosley, beating Mosley and then Bob will tell me what’s out there for me. I’ll put my hands on what they decide for me to do.
If they think that’s a fight I should do then I’ll do it but right now my mind is just on Mosley and getting over that fight and winning.
Q: I wanted you to talk about what you believe is your ultimate advantage in this fight against Mosley. Where do you match up best? And then secondly do you see any signs that his skills are deteriorating through age or whatever?
Antonio Margarito: I really don’t see that I have any advantages anywhere against him, I just think that my preparation, the way I work, the way I always come prepared for fights, that will carry me over. I know what I need to do to win fights and I always come to do that. They say Mosley is old and all of this I really don’t see it. I think he’s a great champion, I think he’s a great fighter and I’m not going to underestimate him. I know what he’s done and I’m coming in prepared because I believe this is my moment, this is my time to shine.
Q: Antonio you were already a very popular fighter before you beat Cotto but I’m wondering in what way has your life changed just as far as your popularity, that kind of stuff because any time you come into a fight, like at the Home Depot Center, nobody even pays attention to the fight, everybody starts mobbing you and I’m just wondering if you have become even that much more popular since beating Cotto, especially with the Puerto Rican and Mexican rivalry.
Antonio Margarito: Without a doubt, you know everywhere I go now it seems like I’m coming up to people everybody wants my autograph, everybody wants to take a picture with me. I think it is more people coming up to me and I think you can see that reflection on my popularity with the way the tickets are selling. I think without a doubt I’ve taken another step in my career.
Q: Would you like to fight in Mexico, you really have done all your career in the United States. Would you be interested in fighting in Mexico some day due to your popularity, the way you are right now?
Antonio Margarito: If there’s an opportunity to fight in Mexico, it’d be great.I haven’t fought in Mexico in a long, long time so that would be something that I would like to do. if it comes up it’s great, if it doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t.
Q: There’s already talk about maybe you fighting Cotto after this.
Antonio Margarito: Right now I’m not thinking about anyone. I’m happy that people are talking about me, about big fights, but I’m just concentrating on Mosley right now and winning this fight.
Q: You fought Cotto when everybody thought he was invincible and now you’re fighting a future Hall of Fame fighter, how do you feel about that at this point in your career?
Antonio Margarito: I have always wanted to fight the best fighters in the world and I have the opportunity now to fight them and the important thing is to do well and beat Mosley. I know how important this fight would be to my career if I do win.
Q: Mosley has never lost to a Mexican fighter. His quickness, his speed is that something that concerns you?
Antonio Margarito I’m always going to fight the same way, I’m always going to try. I’m always going to depend on my training the way I train, the way I get prepared for fights, that’s what wins me fights.
Q: For this fight they said that you didn’t want to fight him, there was a release put out that you said that they said that you were afraid to fight Mosley and that you really didn’t want to fight Mosley that’s why you didn’t sign. What did you think when you saw something like that or you heard about it?
Antonio margarita: I just laugh. I knew that I’ve been waiting to fight Mosley for the last three years. The opportunity never came up, it just never happened but now that it’s here I’m going to take advantage of it and like I said, I’ve wanted to fight him for a long time.
Q: Some people think that the way that you beat Cotto and the way that Cotto beat Mosley that maybe you’re not taking this as seriously as you should. A challenge from Mosley they think that maybe you’re not going to be up for it.
Antonio Margarito: No. That will never happen to me. I’m not going to say it’s going to be an easy fight, I just know that how difficult it is. He’s got a lot of experience and I’m not going to underestimate him at any time. In the ring anything can happen and I’m going to be ready for anything and everything.
Q: Do you consider the Cotto victory the biggest of your career? And obviously you’ve had trouble with tall fighters, guys that can box. Do you think that that’s the problem you might have with Mosley like you had with Paul Williams and Santos fought you?
Antonio Margarito: I don’t think so. Without a doubt the Cotto fight was the best win of my career because he was at the time probably the best welterweight in the world. So my beating him obviously was the biggest fight because now I’m the best one. The other thing about boxing and speed and all that, that’s why we get ready for a fight. We get ready to fight. You prepare for all styles and the preparation is what will make you a winner.
Q: With your new found fame, new found popularity since the Cotto fight, has that forced you to adjust your lifestyle and are there any potential distractions because before the Cotto fight you were always one of the most accessible guys. I’m just wondering how much of a difference that has been for you and how much have you had to adjust to that?
Antonio Margarito: Obviously between fights there have been a lot of things to do, a lot of people wanting me to do things. But I always take two months for every fight, I’ve always done that. I stay away from everything for those two months and I just concentrate on fighting. That’s not going to change. When it’s my time to train that’s all I’m going to do, train.
Q: You have one of the greatest chins that I’ve ever seen quite possibly the best chin of this particular era. Is that just your belief that you can’t be hurt? Where does that come from?
Antonio Margarito: You know I think it’s something I was born with. I really don’t have any other answer other than the fact that I get prepared very well for every fight, that my preparation allows me to take some punches, not that I like to take punches. I’d rather not take as many …in every fight I really would like to take less but you know, I think that I do have a good chin and do prepare myself.
Q: Awhile back there was a I think it was on HBO on the 24/7 episodes they showed a picture of you and Julio Cesar Chavez and I was wondering if when you were a kid and now that you’ve grown up, so as a kid is being a champion everything that you thought it would be and is this life that you’re living the life that you always thought it would be?
Antonio Margarito: You know when I was eight years old when I started fighting, that photo that you saw was when I was nine years old and I never thought about that, you know, about being a champion, getting into boxing, I mean at that level I never thought about it. It wasn’t until I turned into professional and I started winning some fights that I even thought, you know, maybe my dream would be to win a championship but you know, the way I obtain and the ways things have developed I think it’s been great for me.
Q: Usually everyone figures that Mosley’s going to depend on his speed to beat you, would it surprise you if he came in and changed and was looking for a fight?
Antonio Margarito: I don’t know what his strategy is going to be, if he fights, boxes me, I’ll box with him, I’ll figure him out and I’ll get him. If he comes to fight well, that’s what we’ll do, we’ll just fight.
Remaining tickets, priced at $300, $150, $75, $50, and $25, are on sale now at all TicketMaster outlets, by phone at 213-480-3232 and online at www.ticketmaster.com, and at STAPLES Center Box Office.
Margarito vs. Mosley is promoted by Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. The 12-round world championship fight for Margarito’s World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title takes place on Saturday, January 24 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be televised live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
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