Boxing


Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey Conference Call Quotes

23.11.06 - In 2006, SHOWTIME continued to live up to its billing as Americaís No. 1 Boxing Network by televising the most compelling championship fights on the first Saturday of every month. The memorable 20th anniversary year of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will conclude in sensational style on Saturday, Dec. 2, with an outstanding world championship doubleheader.

The telecastís opening bout on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) will feature exciting, hard-hitting Antonio Margarito (33-4, 1 NC, 24 KOs) defending his WBO welterweight title against dangerous WBO No. 5 contender Joshua Clottey (30-1, 1 NC, 20 KOs). In the second half of the co-featured main events, Puerto Ricans Miguel Cotto (27-0, 22 KOs) and southpaw Carlos Quintana (23-0, 18 KOs) collide for the vacant WBA 147-pound crown. The event will be promoted by Top Rank, Inc., and take place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City..

Clottey: I want everybody to know that I am ready for this fight and that I am ready to do whatever I need to do to win the fight.

Margarito: I have been preparing well, like I always do. I am always looking forward to the big fights and I think this is going to be one of them. I am well prepared to give you a good show.

Begin Press Questions.

Question: Antonio, can you tell us what we can expect on Dec. 2?

Margarito: I always go into the ring with the mentality that I have to go forward throwing punches, and if the strategy has to change because he tries to box, then we will do that. It is always going to be forward. I think in this fight both of us will be going forward.

Question: Antonio, for a long time your name has been linked to that of Floyd Mayweather. Is this an opportunity to showcase yourself and prove you are the best welterweight?

Margarito: I think Floyd has seen enough of me to know how good I am. I have proven myself more than once in the ring. As always, I am going to try to do the best I can, but I think Floyd does not want to fight me and I am through asking him to fight me. I am done with that. I am moving forward. If he decides to fight me, fine. If he does not, that is fine with me, too.

Question: Joshua, what is it you bring to the ring that is different than the other hard-hitting guys Margarito has faced?

Clottey: Like I said, I always am going to thank Margarito for giving me this opportunity. I know he is a good champ. Margarito thinks he is going to beat me to fight for the big guys. I have a big surprise for him. I am training hard. He is coming to fight, but I am also coming to fight.

Question: Antonio, there has been so much talk about people not wanting to fight you. Do you believe that is so much the case or are you just talking about Mayweather?

Margarito: In my championship reign, I have always expected to fight the best fighters. I was always hoping to make big, entertaining fights for everyone with the champions or whatever and no one ever accepted my challenge or wanted to fight. I am just looking to go forward. I want to fight the best fighters in the world and show everyone what I can do. It is not a question about them ducking me. It is just a question that no one has ever taken the fight with me.

Question: Antonio, Bob Arum mentioned the possibility down the line of you facing the winner of Quintana-Cotto. Is that a possibility and would you like to do that fight?

Margarito: I always talk about unifying. I would not mind fighting the winner of that fight. That would be unifying titles. But the last word is from Bob Arum. Whatever he decides he wants to do, I am willing to do. Whatever he says is what I am going to do.

Question: How is the injury to your ankle?

Margarito: I am fine. Thank God, everything is. At the time it happened, I was really afraid I was not going to be able to fight. But everything worked out nicely. I will be 100 percent Dec. 2.

Question: What is your take on the fight with Cotto and Quintana?

Margarito: I think they are both excellent fighters. Cotto has proven himself to be a great champion. Quintana has proven himself to be a good boxer. I think it is just going to be a great fight. Like I said, I would not mind fighting either of those two guys.

Question: Antonio, you and Eric Morales are both from Tijuana. Do you expect that you might gain a little more recognition with Eric no longer being so active?

Margarito: I think right now is my time to show what I can do. Eric was a great champion, but there has to be a successor to the king and that could be me. I have been working real hard to get to this point and this is an opportunity for me to show now that Eric is gone.

Question: Now that Kermit Cintron is a champion, would you be willing to fight him again?

Margarito: I do not see why not. I would be willing to fight him any time he wants.

Question: Antonio, what do you know about Clottey?

Margarito: He is a guy that likes to come forward, throws a lot of punches and is very aggressive. I am ready for that. Everyone knows I am going to do the same thing. It should be a great fight.

Question: Antonio, do you have a prediction for this fight?

Margarito: I never give predictions. I am prepared to go the 12 rounds. I am just well prepared to win.

Question: Joshua, why has it taken this long for you to get this kind of high profile fight?

Clottey: Because when I came to America, my trainer did not want to push me. But Bob Arum is now pushing me and I am getting this opportunity. It is very good to show my talent to everybody and for everybody to respect me and know who Joshua Clottey is.

Question: Joshua, Antonio said he expects you to be throwing a lot of punches and coming forward. Does that sum up very briefly what your style is?

Clottey: This fight is going to be very exciting. I respect Margarito a lot. I love the way he fights. It is the way I fight. So I think it is going to be a very exciting match. I know definitely he is going to throw punches like I am going to do. But I think we all know that only the strong survive. So if he is the strongest, he is going to survive. If I am the strongest, I am going to survive. Definitely, I am going to throw punches and he will throw a lot of hard punches.

Question: Joshua, do you want to make a prediction for the fight?

Clottey: No, as he said. He respects me a lot and I respect him a lot. That is why nobody is going to give any predictions. We all prepare for 12 rounds. Whatever comes, it comes.

Question: Joshua, you have been fluctuating between welterweight and light middleweight in your last couple fights. Are you having trouble making weight at welterweight?

Clottey: No, I do not have a problem with welterweight.

Question: Joshua, if you do beat Margarito, and given that Pretty Boy Floyd is retired, would you move up permanently to 154?

Clottey: Bob Arum is smart. I am very happy dealing with him. So whatever Bob says I should do, I am willing to do. Whatever comes up, I will do that if he thinks it is a good idea.

Question: Antonio, who have you faced to show that you deserve a fight with Mayweather?

Margarito: I have been fighting at welterweight for a long time. I have fought some of the best that wanted to fight me. It is not a question of me not wanting to fight him. It is him not wanting to fight me. I have proven that I am the best at 147.

Question: Joshua, how frustrating was it during the years you struggled to get recognition?

Clottey: It was very frustrating because I thought my first trainer was going to push me. They kept giving me fights that I did not like, but I kept winning them. I give thanks to Bob Arum for changing things.

Question: Antonio, what was your impression of the Mayweather-Baldimir fight?

Margarito: It just showed that Floyd is very smart by fighting a guy that is too old, a guy that is past his prime, a guy that was not going to do anything to him. Floyd did not want to fight anyway, so he just boxed around him. Baldimir did not have the tools to chase him and bring him down, and I think that was a smart choice to make for him if he did not want to lose a fight.

Question: Antonio, at the time of the injury to your ankle did you feel that you were going to have to cancel the fight?

Margarito: At that point, yeah, I did. But once I went to the doctor, they told us it was just a twist, to stay off the foot a couple of days, and once I did that, I have come back real strong. I thank God for the opportunity because I am fine now. .

Question: Antonio, are you bothered by the fact that you have to share billing with two guys that have never been champions at welterweight?

Margarito: Not at all. It does not bother me. Those guys are good fighters. I am going to go out and give it my all like always. People will know who the best fighter is that they see that night.

Article posted on 23.11.2006



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