Boxing


Mayorga-Vargas Conference Call Quotes

mayorgaIn one of the most highly anticipated grudge battles of the year, two-time world champion Fernando Vargas faces three-time world champion Ricardo Mayorga at a catch weight of 162 pounds on Saturday, Sept. 8, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on SHOWTIME PPV. Kermit Cintron will defend his IBF welterweight title against Jesse Feliciano, and Roman Karmazin faces Luca Messi for the WBA super welterweight Intercontinental crown in other 12-round bouts.

Tickets priced at $300, $150, $100 and $50 are on sale online at Ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (213) 480-3232 or (714) 740-2000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers including Wherehouse Music, Robinsons-May, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations. Tickets are also available at the STAPLES Center box office and the box office at TEAM LA at Universal CityWalk.

Leaders from two of the most successful boxing promotional firms in history—Don King from Don King Productions and Kathy Duva from Main Events—have joined to promote the event in association with AEG & STAPLES Center & VEP. The event will also be televised live beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT domestically at a suggested retail price of $44.95, which is being distributed by SHOWTIME® PPV.


Opening Statement

Vargas: Training is going great. I'm with my vice president of Vargas Entertainment Productions. We're watching my training. We talk about business. We basically make the time fly – because there's not enough time. So we talk about my company and this fight and continue to move forward. I'm excited about the last fight. I'm at 170, only have to lose eight pounds. I did 10 rounds yesterday. We'll do 12 next week and bring it down. I'm working hard, and I'm looking forward to stepping into the ring with Mayorga. He’s (made for) me. So I'm excited about it. I'm looking forward to this.

Question: So where are you training?

Vargas: Santa Clarita, California.

Question: This is your final fight, regardless; is that correct?

Vargas: That is correct.

Question: What's motivating you more, this being your final fight or Mayorga’s usual antics?

Vargas: That is my final fight. But he (has) definitely (added) wood to the fire and (is) going to make it more pleasing. I got one over on him one already. So I'm going to finish the rest come Sept. 8, because at the press conference he tried to backhand me to no prevail. And that's when I landed -- first hand did not land. The second one landed very well. And then he tried to pull my coat (my tuxedo on my suit coat) over my head and tried to pull an old school one (trick) and kind of blind me. Then I ripped him with two left upper cuts. So, regardless, he ate it up. He had to eat up that embarrassment. I got him. You know what I mean? He didn't want to look at me in New York. And there was some Plexiglas between us. Just look at the cameras, please. I'm like, see, I got him. Now I'm working hard and I never side-step or slack in my training. I always work hard. You're going to see a great performance from me, and I know I'm going to knock him out. He can't take this heat. He can't take it.

Question: Your career has been spent with Main Events. What has your experience been like with them?

Vargas: Right now I'd rather not talk about Main Events. I think it's been a mutual relationship. They made a lot of money. I've made a lot of money myself. But that's all I'm going to say. This is our last fight and I'm going to make sure that everything is there, is correct and we dot the Is and cross the Ts and everything.

Question: Fernando, you won two titles, had a lot of big fights and, like you said, made a lot of money. Can you reflect on your career? Do you feel you accomplished all you could? Did you do more than you expected? Can you sum it up because it's been such an exciting career that so many fans have played close attention to over the years?

Vargas: I think I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to become world champion. God blessed me to be the youngest ever in the history of professional boxing. Gave me a shot. I only had 14 fights.

Question: Middleweight champion?

Vargas: Yes. Beating (Yory Boy) Campas. He was a champion. And I went out there and took the title away from him in Atlantic City. Then I (fought Jose Alfredo “Shibata”) Flores and beat him. I'm (a) three-time (champ); everybody says it. My family says it. I am three-time world champion because I beat Javier Castillejo. He was the WBC champ, 154 pounds. And he got stripped because of politics. There's not going to be (a title at stake against Mayorga). But the titles don't make the fighter. We make the titles. I'm going to make sure that he's going to come to LA and he's going to get hurt Sept. 8. (After that), I'm going to still be involved in boxing (as a promoter).

Question: What's the name of the company?

Vargas: VEP.

Question: What does it stand for?

Vargas: Vargas Entertainment Promotions.

Question: Putting aside the fact that you think you're going to beat Mayorga, what do you think was the biggest, most important victory in your career? Campas? Winky Wright?

Vargas: I have a number of them. Campas, Ike Quartey, (Raul) Marquez, Winky Wright (who I beat on (my worst night). (I had to eat) hard-boiled egg whites (which is what I eat) and (take) Nyquil to make weight.

Question: If you could only take one videotape or DVD of your top fights, which one would you hide away and pull out every now and then?

Vargas: Man, that's going to be a toss up between Campas and Quartey. Or the Marquez fight; the way I felt like that before inside the ring. Like I peaked that day in that ring. I felt so good. Could have fought 15- 20 rounds, I felt so good.

Question: What was your most disappointing loss? Felix Trinidad? Oscar De La Hoya? Shane Mosley?

Vargas: All of them. I'm a born winner. And anybody that's a competitor like I am hates to lose. I hate to lose at checkers. That's why I don't play.

Question: You've had a lot of hard fights. You're a young guy. Do you feel you've taken too much, or you have other things you want to do with your life, or you feel like you've made enough money? Why did you decide to make this is the farewell fight?

Vargas: I have a lot more other things to do in my life. This fight is for pride. I'm built for pride. There's some other things going on. I don't need money. I'm very thankful to my manager for putting me in the right hands of showing my where money (goes and) what my money does, where my real estate is at, what my stock portfolio is doing. (I am going to concentrate on) my promotion company. And I signed with ICM, Innovative Creative Management, Chuck Gilarde. Just finished doing a movie, "Stiletto." I get killed in it. (I am a) gangster type. And I have a movie after this fight in Thailand that I'm going to be filming with Oliver Stone.

Question: So, it is more or less just time to move on?

Vargas: Yes, (but) it will never be enough. I want to be the one that says, OK, I want to retire, I'm going to retire. Not people say retire now, you should retire (like some fighters) like (Muhammad) Ali and (Evander) Holyfield. I'm going to retire when I want to retire. And I'm going to do it on my own terms. And I'm pleased with everything God blessed me with. I'm moving on to a different chapter of my life. I'll still be in boxing with VEP. I promise my fighters I will get them and I will show them how money is made in boxing. That way they can see how it's made and how business works and how they can get stolen from, how people can steal from them. And if they want to go with somebody else, cool. There's enough money to be made in boxing doing it the right way instead of like taking it from fighters. That's wrong. You don't do that. People put their life on the line. And numbers don't lie. So sooner or later people at the end of the day, there's a surprise development.

Question: Mayorga has had only one knockout since moving up from welterweight. You're the naturally bigger man. How much do you think is going to play into that?

Vargas: Not just that but I think I'm the better fighter. He's a stupid fighter.

Question: Do you feel you are a way better technical fighter, too?

Vargas: You have to be intelligent and smart to win the game. Yeah, I could be stronger, but I'm not going to go in there and go crazy. I'm intelligent. I like (Miguel) Cotto and Winky Wright. Raul Marquez fights like that, that's how you fight intelligently. Then you stop them and then you finish them. I'm going to fight intelligently, but I'm going to make him commit. I'm going to make him make a mistake. And then come Sept. 8 I'm going to finish it and ride into the sunset happily. It will be where I feel good and then I can change the things in boxing and I will never come back. I promised my family. First of all, my mother, second of all, my wife, both of them together, my wife is my rib and my mother, I come from my mother and I love my mother. They're telling me just, please, we don't need to fight any more. We don't need to fight no more. This will be my last fight for pride. At 162, he's going to see how fat I am.

Question: Most of the times you have been knocked down, they have come from left hooks. Do you think he's going to be looking to land that shot; and, if so, are you going to be looking to block that one shot?

Vargas: He can look at any shot he wants to. He can look at any shot and bring his A game. Because his A game will never be as good as mine. He's a stupid street fighter, and I'm going to capitalize on the mistakes on Sept. 8.

Question: What if should you look great and feel great on Sept. 8? Would you consider another fight?

Vargas: I will never, I don't care if it's for $100 million. I don't care if it's with anybody that didn't want to fight me before or gives me a rematch. I will never fight after this fight again.

Question: Do you think the feeling fighters are being taken advantage of is the reason they are starting more promotional companies?

Vargas: I personally feel fighters are opening their eyes (and seeing) that people are making a lot of money off of them. And fighters are opening their eyes (to see that this is not) a rocket science project. This isn’t like launching a space shuttle. You get your site. You get your casinos. You get your sponsors. You get your TV. Everything. There's a lot of money that goes into the pot. So a lot of fighters end up with nothing. The fighters that are going to be sent to VEP are going to know how boxing is done. If you want to do it yourself, do it. But you have to have capital at least to start up. But I'm going to make sure that the way we treat all our fighters -- there's so much money to be made the right way instead of doing it the wrong way. People think that you forget. That's wrong.

Question: Do you think loyalty works both ways, as far as the promoter and fighter, as far as the promotion that leads to the fighter becoming a big name?

Vargas: I think that a fighter (should feel) comfortable and happy with the job that the promoter has done and that he wants to continue to have that relationship with them. I think it should be a mutual respect.

Question: What do you think is the main reason why you've always had such a huge fan base?

Vargas: I think my fans know that I don't know how to back down. I don't know how to even if I'm lost, dead and beaten. I don't know how to say no. I think Mexicans and fight fans in general respect that from any human being because there are guys out there that are just dogs. (With me, I think fans are like) I dig that cat because you just see eye to eye with that person, about how he is, what type of individual he is. He's willing to take it to where other men say they will, but they don't. And I honestly am humbled by the fact that everywhere I go my fans are with me, win, lose or draw. This last fight (coming up), you watch how crazy insane it is. You watch the crazy Mexicans, Mexican Americans and white and black fans I have there. It's insane. I'm just humbled by everything. I'm humbled by it.

Question: What do you think of Mayorga’s particular type of trash talking, where he continually crosses the line and brings family into the mix?

Vargas: That's being a jackass. He's a street fighter. He has no fundamentals, no intelligent fundamentals. He just comes out winging shots, anything to get caught. I'm going to make him apologize to my mother. Watch when I see him. I'm going to make him apologize to my mother. And just thinking about that the other day, when I knock him out, I'm going to make him apologize to my mother in front of the world.

Question: Are you prepared to end your career and what will you miss most about boxing?

Vargas: I am definitely, absolutely 110 percent ready to end my boxing career. But I'm going to miss my ring bell. I'm going to miss when they call my name when they're introducing me. (I am going to miss) them taking about what I've done in boxing, my titles, etc. But I'm going to soak it in real good for this last fight. So that's something I'll definitely miss.

Question: When did you realize that it's time for you to end your career?

Vargas: After my last fight with Mosley. I take nothing away from Mosley, a great, talented, intelligent fighter. But I mean getting down to 154 pounds, I (couldn’t) do that. That's not me. I went to the Olympics at 147. Then shortly after that moved to 154. I was 18 when I went to the Olympics and 21 when I won the world title. I've been staying that way for 10 years. I can't do that. (But for) this fight I still have to work. My people around me have seen what I have to do, and they can't even believe it. It's not even about money. It's about me fighting and winning. That's what it's always been about for me. And I just feel that after this fight, that's it. (After the Mosley) fight, the guy in my head kept messing with me for two months. (Finally) I said I can't go out like this..

Question: Are you satisfied with the way your career turned out?

Vargas: I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish in boxing: Three-time middleweight champion of the world, only one in the history to do so. I made a lot of money and I still have my faculties and I still have my family. Everything is fine with me. My health is fine. I did everything I wanted to do in boxing.

Question: Is there anything sentimental or nostalgic about wrapping up training for your last fight; like, this is the last time I'm going to be two weeks out before a fight or this is going to be the last time I spar or hit the bag? Is any of that crossing your mind?

Vargas: Yes. It's tough because I work hard and I'm thinking about (how) I did it many, many times. I got one last (fight) and I'm going to enjoy the suffering a little bit. This is the last time I need to make weight. Shrink down my 5-foot-10 inch body to 162 pounds or whatever it will be. When it gets a little hard, I push myself and I find strength in God. I thank God for everything he's done for my family and I. I know he's going to help me in this last fight and I'm going to be successful and be strong. I know it's tough. But I get the strength through God.

Question: Why did you pick Mayorga for your last fight and not a rematch with Trinidad or a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya, something bigger that would be more money?

Vargas: First of all, it's not about money. Second of all, it's for pride. Mayorga said that I was scared of him in Chicago. I was going to fight to win the WBC world championship. That's why we picked Mayorga, because I wanted to fight him and he's a stupid fighter and it's a great fight for me to capitalize on my boxing career and finish it.

Question: You say it's about pride and you wouldn't come back for a rematch. But say if De La Hoya offered you a rematch, wouldn't that also be about pride?

Vargas: No, that would be -- what else would that be for? This one is for pride. This is my last one for pride. That wouldn't be for pride.

Question: How do you feel at 162 pounds and does your power carry up to that weight?

Vargas: I feel strong. Been working hard with Robert Ferguson, I've been training since January. Everything has been a work in progress. I haven't just been in camp for two months or six weeks. I've been working since January, Monday through Friday. We’ve just been working. Everything is coming together for the last one.

Question: How is your body adjusting right now? Will you be able to take off those eight pounds easy enough?

Vargas: I have to do it. It's crunch time. You have to crunch it.

Question: Since you've been working since January, why did you pick 162 than 160?

Vargas: Because I feel 162 is better for me.

Question: Do you feel like you were rushed a little too soon? You got your title when you were 21 years old. As far as getting some of the other bigger fights in your career, did you ever feel like those were set up a little too quickly? Would you have liked more time?

Vargas: Absolutely not. I fight. Every fighter who has beaten me knows what they went through to do it. (It was) their toughest fight. I take nothing back. It's made me who I am.

Question: You have a couple of sons. If one of them were interested in fighting …?

Vargas: I definitely don't want to encourage that. But my kids are athletes, star athletes, basketball players, football players. They always want them on the teams. Top scorers. But I'm just glad none of them have (ever said they wanted) to box. But I have to support them in whatever they do, whatever they want.

Question: Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time? More acting work?

Vargas: Yes, more acting. (Spending) more (time) in the gym. After this fight I get to go eat whatever I want. Whatever I want I'm going to eat. If I want to drink a little bit, I drink a little bit. But (for) now I like it; it's for your health. I know now the fact that my body has been so used to doing something since I was 10 years old. Every day I used to do something at the gym after school. (I got the fate gene from) my biological father. I needed to stay in the gym, Monday through Friday and through the weekend. But, now, if I want to let loose a little bit, I'll do that. But other than that I’ll be keeping my shape for my health, and looking good for my wife and doing movies and staying in business.

Question: When you fought Oscar, there certainly was a huge promotion, a lot of contention. A lot of trash talking. Obviously that was one of your big disappointments. How is your relationship with him now and would you consider working with him as a promoter?

Vargas: I think we have to (if) we're going to have to work together. This is mutual respect. There's no disrespect on my part. I said there's no disrespect on his part when we see or run into each other. It's not like I will (initiate) any confrontation or anything of that manner. We do business together as professionals. So I look forward to doing that in the future with him, with whomever it might be, in the promoter business.

Question: Kathy Duva, when the question came up about Main Events Fernando seemed a little cool. Maybe that's just my interpretation. Does his contract with you run out after this fight? Was this (last fight) his idea or your idea or how is your relationship?

Vargas: I think we should move on from that conversation.

Duva: We're in complete agreement on that.

Vargas: Thank you for respecting my decision on that.

Question: Ending on good terms?

Vargas: We are.

Duva: Yes, as far as I am concerned. How about you Fernando?

Vargas: Absolutely. Maybe we can do something together in the near future.

Question: You fought a lot of top-level fighters at a very young age compared to other fighters, and you're retiring at a very young age compared to most of the fighters who have been at the top world championship level. Looking back, do you think that you were moved along too quickly into these kind of fights?

Vargas: I'm the one that picked out the fights. I'm the one that wanted to fight top-notch fighters right away and I said I was going to leave by the time I'm 30. I'm doing that. I'm 29. And I'll be 30 Dec. 7th. So I said I'll never be fighting after 30. And I remember saying that, even as a kid. That's too old to be fighting. I'm glad (for the fighters that are top-notch fighters) who are 30 or over. But that’s not me. I don't want to do it. My body won't let me any more. My body is tired of all these ups, downs, ups, downs. I want to stay healthy for myself, for my wife and for my kids and continue doing that.

Question: You mentioned about your promotional company, Vargas Entertainment Promotions, VEP. Do you see doing something in both boxing and mixed martial arts?

Vargas: Definitely, I'm going to do martial arts. Wait for a show to be up soon with VEP.

Question: Anything differently you would do as a promoter from what you've seen in general?

Vargas: I'm going to bring the entertainment aspect of it and you'll have to wait to see that when it unravels.

Question: Aside from the personal feelings, are you happy with the fact that Mayorga has the type of style where you're going to be able to showcase all your abilities – that you'll be able to outbox him and then when the time is right you'll be able to bring back that macho and knock him out in the fashion that's one of your trademarks?

Vargas: That's perfect, (you hit the) nail on the head. That's exactly how I'm approaching this fight. I'm going to be intelligent. But when he feels the wrath, he's not going to be able to take it. When I catch him, I'm definitely going to finish him. But right now the only thing I'm thinking about is working hard and being focused and thanking God every night as I go to bed on my knees praying and thinking about all the things he's done for me and my family. I say that with no embarrassment that I pray on my knees before I go to bed. I'm humbled by everything God's blessed me with. This will be my last fight. And that's exactly how the fight is going to pan out.

Question: Would you like to see more fighters walk away while they still have something left?

Vargas: Absolutely. I feel fighters should do that. There are other things you can do in boxing. But I just felt I never was going to be one of those fighters that they say you should retire. I'm going to retire on my own terms. I made a lot of money. I'm looking forward to capitalizing on this last fight and leaving on my own terms, God willing.

Opening Statement

Mayorga: I'm going to show you, Vargas! Hello to everyone, (this is) Ricardo Mayorga with Don King Productions. I'm the one and you're just a fat guy that wants to come down and fight me. I want to thank God because my health is good. I want to thank Don King Productions and SHOWTIME for all the interviews and everything they've been doing for the fight. My training has been 100 percent great and I'm ready to knock out Fernando Vargas.

Question: Vargas has been saying 162 is the big weight class for you, Ricardo, that you're a stupid fighter; you don't know how to fight, you just come to the ring and throw punches and he has the advantage to knock you out. What’s your reaction to that?

Mayorga: First of all, Vargas is out of his mind. He doesn't even imagine how much power I have. He doesn't even know that I'm the fighter that is going to hit him harder (than he’s been hit). I'm going to hit him as hard as I can. I'm going to knock out that fat guy from Mexico, that is Vargas. I'm in better shape than he is.

Question: How do you feel about the fact that Vargas keeps referring to you as a stupid fighter?

Mayorga: The world is just full of crazy people and stupid people. I'm going to show him who is stupid and who is the one that is going to beat him in the ring.

Question: Fernando says he has the confidence to beat you because of what happened in Los Angeles where he felt he did a number on you. What's your response to that?

Mayorga: I don't know why he said that because he hasn't won anything from me yet.

Question: Why do you feel the need to bring people's families into your trash talking?

Mayorga: First of all, he was the one that mentioned my family. And then I kept going with that flow. But he was the one that started it. He made me go in, and now I'm going to beat him; and as soon as I beat him, no matter what his family, no matter when I fight, if I'm going to fight somebody, I don't really like their families either.

Question: Fernando said after he knocks you out he's going to make you apologize to his mother in front of the world. What is your response to that?

Mayorga: I'm a man, and I guess I'll sustain my words. If he's willing to do the same thing, I'll do it and he can make the bet right now. But he has to go back and apologize to my mom, too, because he said it first. If I lose, I say it. If he loses, he says it.

Question: Where are you calling from?

Mayorga: Don King Production offices in Deerfield, Florida.

Question: What's training like and are you still chain smoking and having a shot here and there?

Mayorga: I basically have been doing the same thing because that's my style. I like to drink and smoke. (But) This time a little less. But it doesn’t matter. I'm going to fight a bum that is going to get knocked out.

Question: You have a tendency to do a little bit more than trash talk and you seem to really get under your opponent’s skin in most cases. Is this something that you're doing to throw them off their game, or do you just really develop this hatred for them?

Mayorga: This time it's not to just take the guy out of his mind, it's because this guy I really don't like. What I want him to know is after the fight when I knock him out, when I hit him, he's not going to even recognize his mother when he goes home.

Question: You seem to be the “opponent of choice’’ on many occasions. Why do you think you're chosen and is there something about you that makes fighters want to use you?

Mayorga: They chose me because I'm No. 1 and I've been a three-time world champion. I've been losing to the best, not to anyone. They know I'm a great fighter. And, win or lose, they are going to remember me forever.

Question: Ricardo, do you feel like you have to win this fight?

Mayorga: I'm going to win the fight no matter what. But after this, I want to beat really big people. I'm going to beat Vargas easily.

Question: Why is it you decided to fight once again at middleweight, at 162 when you feel your best weight is welterweight at 147. Why risk another fight at such a high weight?

Mayorga: I had my chance, fought with (Felix) Trinidad and all these guys. For pounds, I'm just not going to say no to a fight because I know he's just a fat guy from a barrio in Mexico. I took the fight because I know I'm going to beat him. Make sure he brings his mother to the press conference after the fight so in front of his mother he apologizes to my mother, who is going to be there, too. He has to do it in front of them and then I will apologize to his mother, too, because she doesn't deserve to have that. It's just he started this.

Question: Should you win and go back down to welterweight, who would you like to fight?

Mayorga: I'm going to come down for (Miguel) Cotto, Mosley and anybody who wants to fight. I'm ready for them. That's my weight class. I'm doing this to knock out this guy and go back to my weight class and beat anyone that’s there.

Question: What was your motivation for throwing a punch at Vargas at the press conference in Los Angeles?

Mayorga: I just threw him a punch. I didn't hit him. I threw it to scare him. Then he just went back and wanted to fight.

Question: Are you training differently for this fight?

Mayorga: I haven't done anything basically different from other fights. But I have a picture of him in my room. Every morning I wake up to run, I hit the picture of Vargas. I hit him every morning in the face just to remind him that I'm going to knock him out.

Question: Are you looking forward to having your own promotional company?

Mayorga: No.

Question: Is this a must-win situation for you?

Mayorga: I'm not going to lose. Don King has been really great to me. And he's just putting this fat boy there for me to knock him out and keep going to win money. He's been great with me.

Question: Is there one fighter in the lighter weight classes that you would like to fight?

Mayorga: Floyd Mayweather is the one I really want to fight. I take Cotto off the list because Mosley is going to beat him. If not, I will beat him after. But he's going to beat him. I'm taking him out of the list.

Question: Do you see fighting Vernon Forrest again?

Mayorga: Vernon? That one I haven't thought about it – because, first of all, he’s my son. I send my son to win the title. Now that he got it, I just have to show up and knock him out again and get my title back. That's an easy one. Whenever he wants to do it.

Closing statement

Mayorga: I want to say hi to my friends in Nicaragua, let them know I'm back and I'm going to win this fight. To the people that are going to bet on the fight, bet for a knockout, don't bet for a decision, because that's not going to happen. And thank you everybody. Thank you for the interview and we'll see you soon. And say bye to Mayorga, the bad boy.

Article posted on 23.08.2007



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