Boxing


Arturo Gatti Talks About Floyd Mayweather

15.06.05 - Arturo Gatti: Itís going to pay off for me again this time. My boxing skills. Thatís what everyone forgets that I can do. It was very important for me to win that title. And it was very hard also. Not knowing my opponent and not knowing how he was going to come out. I hurt my hands in that fight and it didnít go as I planned. But I was happy the way it turned out and I was happy to win the title and be a two-time world champion..

What do you see in Mayweather?

Gatti: He didnít bring out the best in me. Thatís just who I am as a fighter. I only bring the best of me and that is great. My ability to box. Everything on that night, I learned and had accrued in the last five years with Buddy, and I knew that for a fact, which is why I am very excited about this fight.

I think that Buddy and I work great together. I won a lot of my fights by listening to Buddy in training camp and I bring that to the ring. Mayweather likes to talk a lot, but his chin is suspect. However, weíll see what he says on the 25th. That's all I have to say.

Who do you think is most similar to Mayweather that youíve fought?

Gatti: I have mentioned to Pat, Buddy and Carl, that he is like Eddie Austin, and thatís who I compare him to. Is he overconfident? Yes, I think he is, but heís not a stupid guy, and the people that handle him are not stupid, either. They might talk a lot of crap, but they know what they have against them. I think he will come prepared. I want him to be at his best anywayÖbecause, I am.

Will there be a point in the fight where you want to try and rough him up?

Gatti: The fight will be exciting, and I'm going to explode on him. I am going to use my hands and listen to Buddy. We know what we are going to do and thatís how Iím going to do it in this fight.

Gatti: He never did (have to dig deep) and weíll see how much balls he has. I know I have a big heart and a lot of balls. I donít think he has that and I think heís going to need them on the 25th.

Do you consider Mayweather a step up in competition?

Gatti: I have been boxing all of my life. I have boxed the best. I boxed against professionals as an amateur. Heís not the best I have ever fought, not at all.

Who is the best you have fought?

Gatti: I used to spar with Pernell WhitakerÖfor about 4 or 5 years. I think he is better than Mayweather, and more intelligent. Put it that way.

If he wants to fight Arturo Gatti, that is my turf and thatís where we are going to fight. Once you are in the ring, it doesnít matter where you really are. But to be honest with you, what I am going to do to him on the 25th I would do anywhere else.

What did Buddy do for you between Gatti-Ward I & II?

Gatti: Just spending time in the gym and drilling it into my head that Iím a good boxer. Donít worry about my power. The power is there naturally. Donít try to punch hard. You just punch hard. You donít have to think about punching hard. You have it. Throw combinations and I have good legs. He drilled that into my head and Iím staring to like it. I really like to fight the way I fight now.

Is the hand trouble behind you now?

Gatti: Well, you know the hands, they are always going to hurt. But many times I have broke a hand but itís not going to stop me on the 25th either.

Gatti: Experience is always important when the fight gets tough. I have it and Iíve learned a lot. I have more experience than him and Iíve been around boxing more than him. Iíve been in tough fights and I came out of them a winner.

He has had it easy because he is a good fighter. He has great ability so you canít say heís had it too easy.

Your last two fights were short, how does that affect you?

Gatti: That was the proof of my ability. That was the proof of Buddy and I working together. The 25th will just be another fight and more proof. Because I am getting better is why those fights were so short. It lined me up for a great fight against Mayweather.

I was waiting and I signed the fight. I was in and I was waiting for him. Then one day I got tired. I told my manager to forget about it. If heís not signed, Iím done. I postponed it - then he signed.

Mayweather has mentioned he would make this a fightÖ

Gatti: I donít know if it will make it easier. I do know one thing that when I clip him in the chin and he doesnít get knocked out, he will run. I am going to do what I am supposed to do and you will see on the 25th. Buddy is determined about what we are going to do in the ring. I could do both.

Do you expect Mayweather to come after Arturo?

McGirt: This is how I see it. The closer to the fight we get, the reality is going to set in on Mayweather. He can talk all he wants, but once he gets in there and gets touched, he is going to have to switch tactics. He can do whatever he wants, but we do what we have t do to win. I donít care what he tries, it is not going to help him.

I believe in my heart that Arturo is going to win this fight easier than people think. I donít see it being, and everyone is saying ďFLOYD IS THIS AND Floyd is thatÖĒ we are going to find out. They underestimate Arturo. They underestimate him a whole lot. Thatís what is going to make it more exciting. He is a much better fighter than they think he is. Arturo rises to the occasion of his opponent. He know he is going to rise for Floyd and he knows that what we worked on he is going to do. If he does that, Iím telling you, itís not going to be as hard as you think.

Gatti: Can I take hi punch? Of course I can take his punch. I can take pretty much anybodyís punch. Iíve been down and I got up and finished the fight. Talent-wise, I think Mayweather is one of the most talented fighters I have fought. But Iíve been in the ring with a lot of really good fighters.

Most of my opponents are tougher than Mayweather. He has the ability. Tough? I donít know how tough he is. Iíll find out.

Iíve read several things. Mayweather, that is the type of person that he is. Heís good for pay-per-view, thatís for sure. I am coming to win the fight and the restÖI am concentrating on what Iíve got to do and Iím not worried about what he is saying about me.

Gatti: The only time we will be together is at the weigh-in. I am afraid I am going to back-hand him. I know at the weigh-in I just want to weight myself and get the out of there. He can do whatever he wantsÖhe can talk to himself.

How many pounds do you expect to put on between the weigh-in and the fight?

Gatti: Naturally, 15 or 20 pounds is just a natural thing for me to do. I donít look to do that. Do you know what I mean? It just happens, itís not a goal for me to come in at

Moretti: Heís not going to have nay more meals than he normally does.

Can you talk about the excitement of the fight?

Gatti: I love it and I think itís very exciting for me. I will finally be respected after I win this fight. This is an important fight for me because of who I am fighting against. This is my time. Iíve worked hard to be where I am and have gone through some tough times in my boxing career. I cleaned myself up and I did the right thing. Iím at the position where I want to be against a fighter who will make me be what I want to be.

I have worked hard to be where I am today and this fightÖa lot of people are going to have to apologize to me after this fight. A lot of people.

What about the 140 lb. Division?

Gatti: What I want to say, to be honest with you, once I move up to 147, there isnít going to be a 140. Everyone is going to be at 147. After this fight I would like to fight a ten-rounder at 147 to see how I feel, whether I will stay at 147 or go back to 140.

Did sparring with Whitaker help you today?

Gatti: It is al experience. He was pound-for-pound at one time and he was using me for his sparring. Of course I learned a lot from him.

The best thing about getting ready for this fight is that Iím in great shape and I know I have Buddy in my corner. Iím not worried about nothing. There is nothing out there that is going to touch me that night.

Is Micky Ward going to be in your corner for this fight?

Gatti: Yes.

Mayweather has referred to you and Micky as journeyman fightersÖ

Gatti: Mayweatherís got a big mouth. Mickyís the toughest guy I ever fought. Mayweather might be talented and everything, but he wished he had the balls that Arturo has. We are going to find out if he has that anyway on the 25th.

Camp?

Gatti: I did a little more with the weights and kinesthetic. And I did what Buddy wanted me to do.

Do you think Mayweather deserved his ranking in p4p?

Gatti: I really donít care. I mean, what is pound-for-pound? I really donít give a $#%^. The only thing I care about is that Iím going in the ring on the 25th to fight.

Itís not that I donít like the guy. On the 25th I am coming to fight and Iím going to prove to the world that Iím a good fighter. I donít like the way Iíve been spoke about. Forget about the ability I have as a fighter. I know Iím a tough guy with a lot of guts and I donít give up. Thatís all they talk aboutÖand they forget about my ability. I train hard for every fight I have.

Gatti: After the victory I will have the respect as being one of the best in the world.

What does a big KO feel like?

Gatti: It feels great. It feels good for me when I knock somebody out, actually. I like it. I get turned on.

Itís good to have good surroundings with you. When you have a good manager and good promoters that care for the manager, it definitely helps the fighter. When you are young and make a few dollars, you do stupid things, but when you have good people around you they can tell you to wake up.

Those three fights with Micky Ward were great fights. Thatís what people remember, but I had great fights before that in my career. But thatís what people want to remember me as.

Moretti: You know it takes more than brawling to beat Mickey Ward. You have to me immensely talented to do it and to do it the way Mickey did. Outside of brawling, those talents came out and thatís how he beat Micky Ward.

Fighting in Atlantic City?

Gatti: I think itís great. I love Atlantic City. What I love is that they were there for me in the beginning and even when I had three losses in a row they were still there cheering for me and supporting me and I owe it to them.

Do you feel strength and size will be a factor?

Gatti: This is the same camp I had and I actually lifted more for this fight than I did with Micky. My size and my strengthÖI am bringing that. Thatís what Iím bringing in the ring also. The longer the fight goes, the better it is for me.

The feeling is that if you can get t Mayweather you can stop himÖ

Gatti: Itís not ďIf I get him.Ē He is going to walk into it. Heís that type of fighter. People forget. He loves to throw fast hands, but he always opens up. He is always open. Donít worry - he is getting caught.

Will you be going to the body?

Gatti: Thatís the thing. Not too many people look to go to the body. I think I am a very good body puncher and we are definitely going to use that. I am going to take him down. Thatís what I am going to do. We always talk about how I am going to fight this fight. Forget about the head.

Heís trying to ruffle me, but that (stuff) doesnít work with me. Guys 6í5Ē donít intimidate me, so heís not either.

Mayweather is considered the best and I think heís a great fighter. What people think he is, thatís great. And for me to beat him, that will be a great achievement for me and heís the type of fighter that I need to beat to be where I want to be in life.

What is his biggest weakness?

Gatti: His chin.

Gatti: What I have I been studying on him? Nothing. I just listen to Buddy. I have the best corner. Heís been doing the homework for me and Iíve been doing the job.

Gatti: You couldnít have said it any better. We are going to break him down and weíll see after the 7th, 8th, 9th, thatís when the real fight starts. Weíll see if heís still there.

I notice Mayweather throws the forearm to the throatÖ

Gatti: I am going to address it with the same thing, so Iím not worried about his dirtiness. I can be just as dirty.

Who will be the cut man?

Gatti: Joe Souza. He never left. Only with Jesse James. Heís been there for me when I needed him most and heís a loyal guy. Thatís what I respect about him.

What type of fight would you like to have?

Gatti: Iím not sure. I would like anything. Whatever I need to do is going to get done.

Gatti: I think Iíve brought a good image to the sport for a long time. For me to win this fight, it will be great. It will be great for anybody thatís been with me and it will be great for the fans that really love me and that have been there for me.

What is the biggest compliment you have received from other fighters?

Gatti: I have a big heart and big balls. I canít say who told me that, but Iíve been told that many times.

McGirt: He wins all of his fights the same way. He canít hide is abul abugalla. He tucks his chin, but he canít hide his abul abugalla behind that. When he gets hit in the abul abugalla he wonít feel anything, but when he wakes up it will be all over. The abul abugalla is right behind the ear and he wonít fell anything. He canít protect it. I donít care how slick he is, but if he can protect that, he belongs in a circus, in a freak show. When he hits him there and he wakes up and theyíre sweeping the floors he is going to be wondering what happened.

How does it feel with 12,000 fans cheering for you?

Gatti: It feels great, donít get me wrong, especially when I have him hurt. When the crowd goes crazy, it definitely gives you a boost. I will get him hurt and it will be great. I love my fans and Atlantic City is a great place to be.

Prediction?

Gatti: Victory. I am winning this fight. I am winning the fight.

What do you think about Mayweather yukking it up with the TV guys during the fight?

Gatti: Heís never going to do that with me.

Moretti: Maybe it was a reflection on the quality of the opponent he was fighting.

Gatti: All of the cockiness, all of the talking he doesÖonce he steps into that ring, once he steps into that ring, once he gets to Atlantic City, his whole attitude is changing because he knows what he is going to face.

McGirt: The crowd was so small that he thought he was in the gym in a sparring match.

Moretti: The only way Lampley heard him was because there was no one in the audience watching him fight.

Gatti: There is no way in the frigginí world that he is going to (screw) around with me.

Gatti: After my victory, I have been fine at 140 for a while and itís hard, but I donít know. I would like to try 147, but I will sit down with Buddy, Pat and my promoter and talk to see what our options are. What is the best fight for me.

I noticed Mayweather freezes up after being hitÖ

Gatti: Heís not used to being hit, thatís why. Heís bringin speed, Iím bringing everything else.

When he tucks himself in there, people donít see a target and donít throw any punchesÖ

McGirt: The abul aboogala. Itís the truth, think about it. I rest my case. Magoola ablundala

Gatti: I work very hard and Buddy works very hard, but you know what, itís always a pleasure going into the gym and seeing Buddy. Iím being honest about that. I go in there with a bad attitude but as soon as I see him and he cracks me up and I feel like working. Thatís the best part.

What is you walking around weight?

Gatti: It depends. 170. Lately Iíve been walking around at 165, 167, 170.

How long does it take you to get down?

Gatti: If I had to get down in 4 weeks, I could. But thatís why I come to camp for three months. I take my time and I drop weight nice and easy and thatís why I am always strong.

What had people said about you when you were down?

Gatti: I was finished. I was shot. I donít have it any more. I screw around too much. The only thing that was right was I was going a little too crazy in between fights. Those days are over. Those things have changed and people wanted me to retire but I knew in my heart that I still had it. Look where I am today. I teamed up with Buddy and itís the best thing that happened.

What were the behaviors and how did you reinvent yourself?

Gatti: Number one, I think I got lazy a little bit, training wise. I decided I think I belong at 147 when I fought De La Hoya. I think I got lazy and it made me realize, even thought my trainer through the towel in a little early. But I felt I needed to recuperate and work harder and go down to 140 and start from there and thatís what I did.

Going crazy?

Gatti: Just having a good time, just going wild. Iím a wild guy, look a the way I fight. I canít be normal.

Heís never been in the situations that Iíve been in. I donít have to prove anything to anybody. Heís got a lot to prove. As much as he talks? Iím ready to die in that ring. His attitude in the ringÖI think I saw him fight a couple of rounds, but in those two rounds I could see his body talk. I know the way he is and I know when heís hurt. I know when heís vulnerable.

Article posted on 15.06.2005



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