Vargas Mayorga Conference Call Quotes
01.11.07 - Boxing fans that have purchased over $1 million in tickets to see two-time world boxing champion “El Feroz” Fernando Vargas (26-4, 22 KOs) and three-time world champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga (27-6-1, 22 KOs) in what is anticipated to be a street-style brawl at STAPLES Center will get their chance when the two meet on the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 23.
Article posted on 02.11.2007
Back in July, the combatants barely made it through their promoters’ announcement of their match, which was to have taken place in September, before taunting erupted into a dais-clearing fight with punches being thrown and landed—and some blood from a cut under Mayorga’s right eye.
Just two weeks before their scheduled meeting Vargas was forced to re-schedule the match to Nov. 23 after doctors learned he was suffering from an iron deficiency.
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 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT domestically at a suggested retail price of $44.95, which is being distributed by SHOWTIME® PPV.
Also featured on the domestic pay-per-view telecast will be International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Kermit Cintron (28-1, 26 KOs), from Reading, Penn., making the second defense of his title against Jesse Feliciano (15-5-3, 9 KOs), from Los Angeles, and former IBF 154-pound champion Roman “Made in Hell” Karmazin (35-2-1, 22 KOs), from St. Petersburg, Russia, now fighting out of Los Angeles, taking on former two-time World Boxing Association super welterweight champion Alejandro “Terra” Garcia (25-2, 24 KOs), from Tijuana, Mexico, for the WBA intercontinental championship.
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.
Hopper: Hello, everyone. This is Alan Hopper from Don King Productions and thanks for joining us for today’s conference call featuring two‑time world champion “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas and three‑time world champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga. These two will square off in a fight dubbed “The Brawl” at a special day and time—the day after Thanksgiving on Friday Nov. 23—at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and on SHOWTIME Pay‑Per‑View beginning at 10 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT at a suggested retail price of $44.95.
A world championship fight and an inter‑continental championship will also be televised in addition to the main event when International Boxing Federation welterweight champion Kermit Cintron makes the second defense of his title against Jesse Feliciano. Former IBF 154‑pound champion Roman “Made in Hell” Karmazin, who was to have faced Luca “The Bergamo Bomber” Messi when the event was scheduled to take place in September will take on Mexican knockout artist and two‑time World Boxing Association super welterweight champion Alejandro “Terra” Garcia for the WBA intercontinental championship.
This event is being promoted by Main Events and Don King Productions— in association with AEG, STAPLES Center, and Vargas Entertainment Productions.
“The Brawl: Vargas vs. Mayorga” was announced in July and boxing fans gobbled up nearly one million dollars worth of tickets to see the event live at STAPLES Center on September 8. However, Fernando Vargas’ doctors discovered an iron deficiency on August 25, which caused this great event to be re‑scheduled to the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23. Amazingly, boxing fans purchased another $16,000 worth of tickets during the brief period of time during which the fight was rescheduled, and tickets continue to sell—a testament to the fact boxing fans believe this is going to be a great fight to see live and in person.
In addition to the fighters, joining us on today’s call are Kathy Duva from Main Events, Chris DeBlasio from SHOWTIME, Gladys Rosa from Rosa Public Relations and Juan Gonzalez from DKP translating from Spanish to English for Ricardo Mayorga.
Right now I’d like to turn you over to the moderator for today’s call, Ed Keenan from Event Marketing and Communications.
Keenan: Thanks for the introduction. We have Fernando Vargas on the call first. Fernando, how are you doing?
Vargas: Doing great, thanks.
Keenan: You want to tell us how everything worked out for you?
Vargas: Everything worked out fine. I mean, I got cleared by my doctor, Dr. Phelps, and he did a subsequent test, a urine test, a blood test, and everything came out great. My hemoglobin levels are back to normal, and I'm excited about resuming back to training. I was still doing some light walking, even though my doctor, Dr. Phelps, told me not to do anything strenuous. It wasn’t strenuous, I was just walking. I wanted to capitalize on the condition that I've had. I'm in great condition right now. I’m feeling great and looking forward to November 23.
Question: Where is the gym where you're training?
Vargas: I train at Big John McCarthy's gym in Santa Clarita. I took myself out of the element of being home, as you guys saw, for the countdown. My kids are crazy, and I can't focus at home. You have to be involved in the day‑to‑day life of your son, your kids and your wife, and then everything that involves being a father. So I wanted to isolate myself, and I continue to do that here in Santa Clarita. The vice president of VEP Promotions, Joe Pecora, and I are here Monday through Saturday, and then I go home for the weekend and come right back up on Monday. I'm able to at least see my family for a day or two, that's enough. Then I come back and I do what I've got to do and continue being in training camp.
Question: How has the layoff affected your motivation toward ending your career against Mayorga?
Vargas: It was just three weeks that I had to just chill and just relax and do nothing to make sure that I got healthy. Maybe you don't understand, hopefully you do understand now, how this happened. I was taking aspirins and what have you for my aches and pains, and evidently I was taking too much and I was bleeding in my stool. I lost the equivalent of two pints of blood.
You know, the doctor, they went in there with the endoscope, and they saw that I was bleeding. It stopped because they advised me not to take anything, no vitamins, nothing, I didn't, and then they went in with the endoscope so they could attribute that where I was bleeding from was a leakage. They said it was like if you got a cigar and burned the outside of the lining of my stomach, and that's where I was bleeding from. It stopped because I stopped taking all the aspirin and stuff like that.
I feel good now, I feel great, I feel strong. I'm lifting and I'm looking forward to November 23rd, finishing my career, knocking out Mayorga, and going on with my life.
Question: So this is it, this is your last fight; are you sure?
Vargas: It is.
Question: It's no secret to anybody and doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the fact that this fight is not going to go the distance. You being the bigger and the stronger of the two fighters, how far do you think the fight will go?
Vargas: You've got to understand, I’m more talented, also, because Mayorga is a stupid fighter, you know what I mean? He's the type of fighter that he comes in with stupid shots, and that's perfect, because the sparring partners that I have are coming in with blooping, wide, crazy shots, and they mix it up. No, it's not going to go 12 rounds. I'll pull my punches together, and when I pull my punches together, I'm going to be intelligent. He thinks I'm going to run. I'm not going to run. I'm going to be right there waiting for him in the middle of the ring. You've got to be talented, and that's what I am. I'm thankful to God for everything that you're going to see on November 23rd that I'm going to put on him. He's going to be done. He's going to feel it.
I know certain things he doesn't like. He's going to feel it, and we're not going to talk about it, but I'm looking forward to November 23rd. I’m looking forward to having a Thanksgiving. It's going to be great, going to be good. There's ways you can still enjoy yourself, and I'm going to do that, and then we'll have a Mexican style Thanksgiving after I knock out Mayorga.
Question: My question is how much do you weigh right now, and did you change the weight that you're going to fight him at? Is it 166 or 162?
Vargas: I'm five pounds over right now, and I'm excited about fighting and making sure that he gets to see how strong I am at this weight, 166. I'm looking forward to stepping into the ring and being strong. You should see how strong I look right now. I'm five pounds over right now, and I feel great. I'm looking forward to November 23rd to capitalize and beat Ricardo Mayorga.
Question: How is your sparring going? Have you done sparring with the intent to box him in some later rounds, or are you sparring with the intent of knocking him out?
Vargas: I'm sparring with the intent of knocking him out, but I’m also an intelligent fighter. He can't wait for me to be in the middle of the ring. I'm going to wait for him right there. But I'm an intelligent fighter, you know what I mean? He's a stupid street fighter.
Question: Do you think you're ready to fight however he wants it?
Vargas: Well, he's going to fight the way I want him to fight, but I'm going to dictate the pace of the fight. He's going to see that. He's going to think that I'm going to box. I'm not going to box, I'm going to be intelligent. I'm going to wait for him, but I'm going to catch him, and then when I catch him he's going to feel it. When I put my heat on it, when he feels the heat, believe me, he's going to be like, oh, man. If I keep on standing up, he's not going to be able to keep on standing up. It's going to be a short night once he starts feeling the heat that I got.
Question: There's been a lot of trash‑talking leading up to this fight, mainly from Mayorga. I just want to get your opinion why you think he does that, the insults that have come out?
Vargas: He's a jackass. He doesn't think about what he says. He just spews things, whatever comes out of his mouth and whatever comes up to his head, and it's stupid. But I'm going to remind him. When I knock him down I'm going to tell him to get up. I'm going to tell him to get up, and remember what he said. Remember all the stuff you said, that he's going to do this and he's going to do that? People are going to be crying, and he's going to be crying. He's going to feel it November 23rd. I feel great, I feel strong. I'm looking forward to this fight. I think it was the best thing that could ever happen. I have like two counts in a row, so I've been working out for a whole year lifting and running. I'm excited.
Question: Did the layoff and the illness have anything to do with the weight being increased to 166? I understand the original date the fight was going to be at 162. Now it's four pounds higher.
Vargas: Well, the doctors, they're the ones that advised it. I'm not going to argue with doctors, and if I can get some more pounds, why not? I'm strong, you know what I mean, You're going to see how ripped I am and how good I look and feel. If I don't have to keep on getting down in weight, I can keep on eating and being stronger and stronger. It's going to be over for him.
Question: You mentioned you did a lot of your training at Big John McCarthy's gym. Is he going to be at the fight?
Vargas: I'm definitely going to invite him. John and the family are great people. They've always been very courteous to us in whatever we need, and I want to thank him for the hospitality. It's just been a great facility to train at. It's a boxing gym, it's an MMA gym, and it's a great atmosphere. I love it. I love working out there.
Question: Along the trash lines a little bit, have his antics caused you to change your game plan in any way?
Vargas: Not really, because I'm an intelligent fighter. I'm back with Garcia, and it makes me happy because he told me I don't want you to worry. He made me. Danny Smith told me ‑‑ I don't take nothing away from Danny Smith, either, but he said when you get a fighter, you get him from a kid. You take him from a small kid and you do that, and they learn to do that since they were a kid. It’s not like somebody can teach you right away and switch your style in a few months, you know what I mean. He said, now you're back and you're a fighter of talent. You're very intelligent, and he brought it out of me again. He was telling me I'm back now. I'm excited about it, and I feel great. He's happy with my sparring. He said now you're back, now you're intelligent and you're picking up shots. You're putting it on them, and that's something that I'm looking forward to displaying November 23rd.
Question: Even though you're a bigger fighter and you say you're looking for a knockout ‑‑
Vargas: You're going to see me get intelligent. I understand people are thinking he's not going to beat him because he's hoping he'll box. No, I'm going to be intelligent. He thinks I'm going to run. I'm not going to run, I'm going to box him, then I'm going to punish him and then I'm going to take him out of there.
Question: In the press conference leading up to the first fight, you said that you were sparring like 10, 11, 12 rounds, and that was followed up immediately by pulling out and having anemia. I'd like you to explain to me how that adds up. It doesn't seem like a guy who's suffering from anemia can be going 11, 12 rounds a day.
Vargas: You've got to understand that people can't live in my world. The same thing Dr. Phelps told me, Fernando, how were you training like this? Your hemoglobin levels are low, and you lost the equivalent of two pints of blood. I said, Doc, they can't live in my world. I make myself do stuff like this. People don't understand I'm intelligent and that's the drive I've had since I was a kid. Garcia keeps saying, Fernando, I know you and I believe it. Hey, that's part of what makes me like this, that I was still able to train. I make myself work like that. I make myself do that. Now you're going to see on November 23rd what I'm going to do because Mayorga comes to the STAPLES Center not doing the double counts like I'm doing right now.
Question: Is Robert Ferguson in your camp for this?
Vargas: Ferguson is in my camp right now.
Question: How is your back doing?
Vargas: My back is doing a lot better. I still have a bulging disk, but there's some strength exercises ‑‑ like if I do too many abs, then I have problems in my back. But if I keep it together, if I do my abs and I do my back, then it doesn't act up. I still put on some Icy Hot deal before I go to bed, and I sleep on a Tempur‑Pedic®. Whenever I'm not at home, I have this half of the mattress that goes up out of the bed so I can sleep on it like that, so that's how I stay on top of it.
Question: Is there anything in Ricardo’s last two fights that you think kind of put out a blueprint or a game plan for any other fighter out there who has the hard power punches and is able to box? Does that show how easy it is to beat him if you just combine the two?
Vargas: I'm going to definitely combine the two because you guys have seen me against Ike, with beautiful combos against Raul Marquez and against Winky Wright. I can box and be intelligent and win fights like that. But he's going to feel the heat, he’s going to feel how strong I am. I know certain things that he does not like, and nobody likes them, but certain fighters don't like them more. And I'm going to be working on him come November 23rd.
Question: Is there any chance that you'll get back into the ring given that there are going to be some opportunities for you out there?
Vargas: If you're talking about money, this is about pride. That's how this fight is built, on pride. I want to make sure I talk to everybody and they know that it's for pride. I wasn't happy and I wasn't myself after my last fight with Mosley. I would have wanted that to be a winner and I would have walked away then. You know, it got to me that way. I take nothing away from Shane Mosley. He's a great fighter, and I guarantee he's going to beat Cotto. He's going to kill him. Watch, Cotto is just one dimensional, super one‑dimensional, and Shane is such a talented fighter.
I wasn't happy, and I called Garcia up and asked him if he would train me. He said, "Fernando, you still want to fight?" He goes, "Man, you know why?" I go, "why?" He goes, "your pride. Your pride won't let you be alone, be happy, Fernando." So that's why this fight is built for pride.
When I decided to do this, I wanted to talk to my two queens, my mother and my wife, and they didn't want me to fight. I said, I promise you that this will be my last fight. Even if you guys don't support me, I'm still going to do it. They go, do you promise this will be your last fight. I go, I promise you that. This is it. You guys are going to see me knock him out, and I'm going to look great doing it and feeling great. Garcia told me I'm back and I'm excited because I feel it too. November 23rd will be my last fight, and I'm going to look forward to grabbing the mike and saying something to the crowd and to everybody. I'm looking forward to that. So this will be it.
Question: What's it like being in training camp knowing that this is it after all those years, including your amateur years? What's the feeling like knowing that this is it?
Vargas: It feels great. Garcia says, that's it, Fernando, after this one, just go rest. He goes, when is it going to be enough? It will never be enough, Fernando, for anybody, and I'm glad you said this is your last fight. He knows there's money when I fight, and he doesn't care about that. He goes, when I'm going to be like Eddie Futch or barely be able to walk getting up to the ring? I don't want to be like that. And I understand that, you know what I mean? I'm happy when I'm training, I'm looking forward to it every day when I'm training, but come November 23rd, it will be my last fight, and I'm looking forward it.
Question: And then what's next for you?
Vargas: I've put my business on hold for this time and continue my empire. I've got my promotional company, VEP Promotions, and I will still be amongst my boxing fans. I want to get them all together and I want to make sure that fighters have an opportunity to become world champions and to make sure that they get their money. And I'm going into the restaurant business, which at a later date I'll discuss with you guys, the franchise. Come November 23rd I'm looking forward to putting on a great show and I’m excited to walk out a winner.
Question: In your career what fight stands out for you? What fight do you remember the most and what would you like people to remember you the most for?
Vargas: For me, you know, winning the youngest junior middleweight championship in boxing history, I had 14 fights. At that time I was 76 and 2 with 62 knock outs and nobody and their money gave me an opportunity to win it. Garcia goes, you know, you're a talented fighter. You're smart. And then he goes, you look like used car that looks real nice, that's clean, but I have a lot of miles. And you watch, you're going to box and box and you're not going to get anyone to call you to come fight. He said, no, you're going to be smart and tap your head. And everything he said happened.
I beat some great fighters, like Ike Quartey, Raul Marquez, Winky Wright. The great fighter that beat me, I was in the fight from the beginning to the end, and it was back and forth.
I want to thank God for everything he's blessed me with. I've got my faculties and I've got a lot of things I'm going to do after boxing. I signed with ICM, Innovative Creative Management and Jack Gilardi. I just finished doing a movie with Tom Beringer called "Stiletto." I get killed in the movie. We're at a restaurant and we get in an altercation and we come back and shoot up the place, mobster‑style, and I'm the last one to get killed. So that's great. That's stuff that's going to keep me in the gym. I like it now. I like being in the gym.
After a fight I would never be in the gym. Now I'm ready after a fight to be in the gym because I've got time, I've got a lot of time, and when you've got money and fame, those are not good elements to have. So I keep myself busy, with my family, with the gym, with the companies, and I'm trying to leave my kids an empire. And as a father, my kids are stars, they play football and basketball. As long as they don't want to be in boxing, that's all that matters to me. I'm very blessed and humbled by everything God has blessed me with.
Question: This question is directed to Kathy if she's still around. Just wondering why the fight was put on on a Friday as opposed to the usual Saturday. Was the STAPLES Center booked for that particular day?
Duva: Yeah, the STAPLES Center on short notice was booked for just about every Saturday for the rest of the year, except for maybe right on Christmas. We had such a huge box office and so much interest in the fight. We were afraid if we pushed it into next year we were going too far with it, so we had to go to a Friday if we wanted to stay at STAPLES. If you look at all the Fridays that were available, we came to the conclusion that doing it on Thanksgiving weekend was the best Friday that we could find because it is like a Saturday in some ways.
Keenan: Also, the Clippers, Kings and Lakers are all in season and everybody wants to play there.
Duva: Everybody when they're done shopping they can put their feet up and rest and watch a great fight. You know, back in the day actually fights used to be on all kinds of nights, Thursdays, Fridays, Mondays. People came to see them no matter when they were, so we expect the same will happen here. This will be such an exciting, tremendous event.
Keenan: We thought there were some positives with the holiday weekends. People can get together with their families, and there you go.
Duva: It's a great night for concerts, the Friday of Thanksgiving, it always has been. So it's traditionally a night when people are looking for some entertainment.
Hopper: Fernando, thanks for joining us.
Vargas: I want to thank everybody, my team, VEP team, everybody involved with this fight. Now you guys can listen to ‑‑
Keenan: Fernando, let's keep you on for a couple minutes.
Vargas: I've got to go because I'm ready to train. So now you guys are in for the jackass antics later on.
Mayorga: No matter what, I’ll fight you at 180. He keeps changing the weight class to fight. So no matter what weight you come, I'm going to knock you out, you fatass.
Keenan: Is that the opening comment?
Mayorga: That's what I was trying to tell him before he left the call.
Question: Was having the hole in your training a detriment, and what did you do in between? I'm sure we all understand that training for almost two fights back‑to‑back without a fight in between, but having that long of a training camp, how is that working out for you?
Mayorga: I'm not worried about it. I train, and I just took a couple of days relaxing, and now I'm training back even harder. Who should be worried is Vargas because he's the one that is going to get knocked out, and they're the ones that have to deal with that, not me.
Question: How much will your style affect the outcome of the fight?
Mayorga: My style is enough to beat Vargas. It's really a shame that I have to keep changing my contract on the way from 162 to 166. It doesn't matter to me what way he comes, I'm going to beat him no matter what.
Question: Do you think that you're the stronger of the two at 166?
Mayorga: In any weight class I'm stronger than him. This is all about the hormones that you have in your body, and I have too many men's hormones in my body, and he doesn't. He has some girl's hormones in his body, so I'm stronger than him no matter what.
Question: Most of your memorable fights have ended in the early rounds by knockout. Are you expecting to surprise Fernando on November 23rd?
Mayorga: I think the fight won't go more than three rounds. I know as soon as he feels my pressure, he's going to get knocked out.
Question: After your fight with Fernando, do you have your eye on any other fighters in the middleweight division?
Mayorga: Yeah, I want to beat Vargas, and then I want to come down to 154 and I want to be a world champion at 154, and of course everybody knows who is my son. I just have to go in the ring and tell him give me my title.
Question: Do you thing that all the talking for this fight will affect the outcome of the fight?
Mayorga: It doesn’t matter. He's doing this because he wants the money. He's not doing this for any pride or anything. He's just doing it because he needs the money. And Vargas knows that, that he's broke. He's just doing this to get money, and he's not going to retire, he's going to keep doing this just to get money.
Question: I wanted to ask you, many people in the community are opposed to Mayorga in this fight. They're going to be cheering for Vargas because of a lot of the antics that have gone on outside the ring, and I'm wondering how you feel about it.
Mayorga: I have to respect everybody's decision to cheer for whoever they'd like. I just say what I think I have to say at the moment. I say what I think is true. I just recommend Vargas to get a big truck of eggs to he can eat a lot of eggs to see if he has a power to fight me on November 23rd.
Question: What is it that makes you think that you're so much stronger than Fernando, especially at the weight of 166?
Mayorga: I am stronger than him in any weight class, man. I walk around at this weight class, and at more than this. I have to lose weight to make this weight class, too. I already told you guys about the hormones. He has women's hormones. He can never be stronger than me.
Question: You're obviously very confident going into this fight, predicting a knockout by the third round. Have you watched tapes of Fernando Vargas' last fight and have you seen anything there that makes you so confident of a knockout by the third round?
Mayorga: I just feel that I know I'll knock him out. I feel very strong. And about the tapes, I don't watch tapes, not even when I fought real fighters and real champions before and better fighters than him I didn't watch tapes. I don't think it's important to watch tapes to fight him, either.
Question: A lot of the comments you've made seem to show that you really do not like Fernando Vargas as a person. What is the reason for that?
Mayorga: I don't like the guy. I really don't like the attitude of the guy. I really don't like him. I am going to knock him out, and even his wife is going to come up to the ring and have pictures with the real champion, and that is going to be me.
Question: The question was are you going to show up at 166.
Mayorga: Right now I was thinking of showing up at 164, which is what I was training at, and around that is what I was weighing with all the training, but who knows from here to the fight. But it doesn't really matter what weight I arrive. I may arrive less. Vargas is going to feel my hands. That's the important part here.
Question: Due to what you have said earlier, that you don't really consider Fernando Vargas as a serious opponent to you, does that mean that you haven't had proper training for this fight and that you think you don't need proper training to really defeat Fernando Vargas?
Mayorga: I said that he's not a usual opponent for me, but no matter what, I don't take anybody lightly. I've been training very hard, especially for him, because I want to hit him as hard as I can hit him, more than any fighter I've fought.
Hopper: Ricardo, do you have any closing thoughts that you haven't been able to say on the call?
Mayorga: I just want to say thank you to everybody for being on the call, and I want to say to all the fans to go and watch this fight. No matter what, this is going to be a fight. I'm going to show everybody everything that I said, that I'm very strong and I'm going to knock this guy out. I'm going to knock him out and I'm going to show everybody that it's Ricardo Mayorga for a long time. Thank you.
Hopper: Thank you for joining us on the call and thank you for letting your listeners and readers know that this event, Vargas vs. Mayorga, is moved to the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23. Thank you very much for taking part in the call.
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