Antonio Margarito Interview
Antonio, is this your biggest fight? ANTONIO MARGARITO: I want to thank Bob for giving me this opportunity against Cotto and it is the biggest fight of my career. I am preparing myself very well for this fight and cannot wait to get up into the ring. Sometimes you think things are not going to come your way. I did not want to leave my title on the table. I wanted to defend it. Things did not go as well there as I had expected, but the opportunity is here right now, itís been a long road and now I am here.
Article posted on 19.07.2008
What type of fight do you think this will be?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: I am not sure what strategy Cotto will have for this fight. I know that I am the type of fighter that throws a lot of punches and puts a lot of pressure on my opponent and weíll see how he comes out and how he reacts to it. But I can tell you right now that it is going to be a great fight..
We know you can fight, but do you feel you may need to box against Cotto and will you be able to?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: I think my strength is my power and my stamina and to be on top of him all the time. Boxing is going to have a lot to do with me winning the fight.
What about the bright lights/big event?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: When I was going to fight Sanchez a couple of times, they mentioned the same thing. They thought I would be nervous for those fights. For this fight, I only have to worry about one thing, Miguel Cotto. I have to worry about when I get in the ring. I donít worry about the people and I donít worry about the press. It will be just him and me in the ring.
Ever since I signed this fight against Cotto I was very aware that is was Mexican against Puerto Rican and that makes it a very important fight. A special fight. But right now I am just looking at him as another opponent. I am glad I am getting another opportunity and it will be another chapter of Mexico vs. Puerto Rico.
Do you think Mayweather will be watching?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: I am sure heíll be watching. He will want to see how real fighters fight. I am sure there will be a lot of guys that havenít wanted to fight either one of us that will be watching.
Have you watched video of Cotto?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: Of course I have watched a lot of video of Cotto, but I have also seen him fight live since we have been on the same card quite a few times. I am not worried about what his weaknesses are; I am worried about what I need to do. My confidence and my ability to win this fight will be because I have trained very well for this fight.
A prominent trainer said the difference between Mexican and Puerto Rican fighters is that Mexicans have more heart and are willing to die in the ring Ė can you comment on that?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: I know what heís talking about. All of the Mexicanís when they get up into the ring are going to give it their all. They are going to do whatever it takes to win even if they have to die in the ring. But Iíll tell you one thing, I think Cotto can fit into that same category.
Will the Cintron victory help you in this fight?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: During that last fight I had been telling people all along that I wanted to become a champion again and as far as I am concerned that is what the fight against Cintron proved. Cotto is a totally differently thing and that is all I am focused on right now.
Do you think your height will be an advantage?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: The advantage depends on how he fights. If it is a close in fight, it wonít matter how much height or reach advantage that I have. But if he boxes and tries not to come to me I will have to use my reach and height to make him fight.
We have been on a couple of cards together and I have watched him fight. He has gotten better every year. He had a really good run at 140 and now 147 and he has turned into be a very good fighter.
What does the rivalry mean to the Mexican people?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: The fact that there has been great fights in the past and the way they fight each other. There has been so many great fights that everyone gets so excited about it and everyone wants to see it. I am looking forward to the fight. I am not looking it as being against Puerto Rico. I am just looking at it that it will be a great fight. Every opponent is different and you will see that when we get into the ring and you will see what I can do against him.
What is the difference between you now and when you fought Paul Williams?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: Every opponent is different and everyone fights each opponent differently. We canít fight the same. We have to have a different strategy for each guy. Against Paul Williams I had a bad night and then I won the championship again and Iíll win it again on Saturday.
Do you think this would be the biggest fight of your career?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: Without a doubt, I think that winning this fight will move me to another level, as a Mexican fighter and as a Mexican idol. I think it will fulfill some promises in my career.
What do you think you could do different than Mosley or Judah?
ANTONIO MARGARITO: I feel that I will be pressuring him a lot more. I have a lot more power and I can do a lot more things as far as power is concerned. And I know I have a bigger heart than both of those guys combined.
I have waited a long time for this type of fight and I know that I am hungrier than he is and I want it more than he does and Iím going to go get it.
BOB ARUM: In both countries they love the sport and it is a major attraction. When you have that many passionate fans as those in Mexico and Puerto Rico. And when you have two great fighters, you are going to get that type of a reaction. Itís the same as when we had Italians and Irish and the Jews fighting each other in New York. It went on for years. There were fierce rivalries and fans loved to watch those fights. It was natural. Now, a lot of people donít have a rooting interest in one or the other fighter. When Leonard and Hearns fought it was Washington, DC against Detroit and when Hagler fought it was New England against Detroit. They were popular and they had a lot of fans. We donít have matches now where fighters have big followings.
Now we have a top fighter from Puerto Rico, Cotto, and a top fighter from Mexico, Margarito, so that rivalry is rekindled so it adds tremendous buzz and spice to the match-up.
This fight is something special. Anyone that cares about boxing or anyone that follows boxing is going to want to see this world championship event. Both fighters are entertaining and give everything they have in the ring and it will make boxing proud. At the end of the day, that to me is more important than who wins or loses the fight. This is something that boxing can really be proud of. Two gentlemen conducting themselves out of the ring like superb gentlemen and I am really proud of both of these young men and I think they are the best of what boxing has to offer.
Remaining tickets, priced at $700, $500, $300, $200 and $100, can be purchased at the MGM Grand Garden Arena box office and at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smithís Food and Drug Centers, Macyís West at the Fashion Show Mall, and Ritmo Latino.) Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000 or MGM Grand at (800) 929-1111. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com
The Cotto vs. Margarito pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Cotto vs. Margarito fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.
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