Antonio Margarito Conference Call Transcript


Antonio Margarito Conference Call Transcript

Lee Samuels:     On behalf of Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, welcome to the Antonio Margarito - Joel Casamayor media conference call.  Antonio Margarito wants to make a statement – that he’s back. He’s got a big fight November 10 on “Fast and the Furious,” which features Miguel Cotto against Sugar Shane Mosley, Saturday, November 10, at Madison Square Garden, live on HBO Pay Per View. Antonio Margarito’s scheduled to fight Golden Johnson; it’s really a big fight. -- a 12 round fight in the welterweight division.


                              Antonio’s very excited for this fight. At this time I’d like to turn it over to Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.


Bob Arum:          It’s not usual in the sport of boxing that an outstanding – truly outstanding main event is joined with such terrific undercard matches as will take place on November 10.


                              Antonio Margarito, who’s here with us now, is a fearsome welterweight champion. He lost his title at least in the eyes of the judges on a very close decision earlier this year to Paul Williams.


                              But he’s a crowd pleasing favorite, a terrific fighter, and we’re putting him on this card for a reason. He’s fighting Golden Johnson who’s on a winning streak and is a former NABF welterweight champion.


                              And if Antonio comes through in this fight he’s certainly right in line to fight the winner of the Cotto-Mosley fight – the main event on the card.


                              So it’s a pleasure to turn this over to Antonio Margarito.


Antonio Margarito: I just want to tell everyone that I will be ready for this fight. I’m very happy to be included in this big show and I’m looking forward to fighting and getting a victory.


Q:                          How have the fans reacted to your loss to Paul Williams? How have they been treating you?


Margarito            The fans have been great to me. They know (unintelligible) pressure to win the fight; I won the fight – they’ve been very supportive. And I think also Bob Arum has shown he believes in me by putting me on this big card and fighting on this important November 10 card.


In Golden Johnson I see a guy who likes to fight. I see a guy that comes to you and will be great – it will be great for me; it’ll be a great fight. There’s no other place for me to go but getting me a win and I need to get a win and that’s what I expect to do with the great preparation, the great training (unintelligible) that I had. I expect to come out a winner.


Q:                          In looking back at the fight with Paul Williams I know it was a very close fight; a very good fight. Do you believe that you started too slow and gave away too many of those early rounds you know, didn’t get into your rhythm until maybe midway through the fight and do you regret that?


Margarito:           Yes, without a doubt, very regretful the way I started so slow. After watching the tape I noticed how slow I started. The guy was throwing punches that were not effective; they were just a lot of punches.


                              So all I have to do is do the same thing – come out from the first bell on and then start throwing punches no matter where they land or how they land.


Q:                          Do you think you won the fight or do you acknowledge that, you know, even though it was a really good fight and close fight that Paul Williams was just a little bit better than you on that night?


Margarito:           Yea, at the time when I was fighting the fight I thought I was doing very well and I thought I was well ahead in the fight. But once I saw it on tape I can see where people would say, you know, maybe, you know, the first few rounds I lost because he was throwing a lot of punches; not that he was doing any damage with them but he was throwing a lot of punches.


                              And I can see where the judges would be impressed by that and I got into a hole which I didn’t know I was in. I can see why he did (unintelligible) think he would win the fight. I have no problem with that.


 Q:                          Okay and also I’d like to know obviously you’ve got Golden Johnson in front of you on November the tenth. But I wonder it’s got to be in your mind that you are one of the favorites to get a shot at the winner, Cotto or Mosley.

I know you were supposed to fight Miguel Cotto and opted to take the Paul Williams fight instead.


                              How much do you think about the prospect of a big, big fight winner with the winner of a main event and if that is motivation or distraction?


Margarito:           I’m very motivated.  I’m very motivated knowing that if I win this fight, what’s out there for me. I know there’s a title fight waiting for me out there. So yes, I’m going to go real hard.


Q:                          Bob Arum mentioned that you’re up for the winner of the Cotto-Mosley fight. Are you interested in getting even with Paul Williams? I would think that would be a goal of yours.


Margarito:           Without a doubt that’s something that I hope to do one day; fight him again. It would be up to Bob. Whomever he puts in front of me that’s who I’m going to fight. And if he thinks that’s who I should fight next I have no problem with that.


                              He had won the big fight and I would like to fight Paul Williams down the road.


Q:                          You chose Paul Williams over the Cotto fight before. What was your reason at that time?


Margarito:           Well, the main factor for me was the title. I earned my title in the ring and I didn’t want to lose it like that. I had to fight this guy with my mandatory and I know I had to fight him to keep my title.


                              And maybe I should have gone straight to Cotto. There’s nothing I can do about it now


                              I was very confident I could beat Paul Williams. Things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. But I’m right back in track so I’m looking forward to this fight and then fighting the winner and maybe Paul Williams down the road.


Q:                          What did you learn from that fight against Paul Williams that you can now do better?


Margarito:           You always learn from every fight. It’s always different things to learn from every fight.  I now know that I have to start fast, that I have to throw a lot of punches, and that’s what I intend to do in my next fight.


Q:                          They talk about you fighting Cotto or Mosley. Is your preference either guy which one would you like to fight?


Margarito:           I don’t really think about that.  I just hope that the winners give me the opportunity to fight.


                              I know that Golden Johnson’s going to be a tough fight. I know I have to get through that first, get the win, and then get the opportunity – I don’t care whoever wins, that’s who I want to fight.


Q:                          Bob, I’ve been noticing lately whether it’s just Top Rank or whether you’ve been co-promoting with Golden Boy that some of your last cards have actually had some pretty good undercards. And that’s something that we have seen relatively in the early nineties (unintelligible) and we actually had some pretty good undercard fights. And it’s something that has been missing in the last few years.


                              So lately I’ve been noticing that you guys have been trying to – whether it’s inadvertently or on purpose try to put some strong undercards. Is that something we can expect from you to continue in the future?


Bob Arum:          Yes, it’s certainly on purpose; not an accident. Because the reasoning – at least with Richard Schafer and me – was people are spending money to watch boxing. Now they’re paying to see the main event. But they’re paying and therefore everything that’s presented to them should be quality.


                              And that means every fight that’s on the card that’s shown on the telecast has to be and should be a quality fight. And I think if all promoters endeavor to do that the business of boxing would be a lot better.


                              And it’s only fair – it’s only smart business if you want people to continue to pay money to watch an event on television. They’re there for three hours, three and a half hours, entertain them with the best possible boxing for those three hours.


                              Now some people say that we learned this from the UFC because as much as I dislike that mixed martial art that they show at least you can’t tell every fight seems like it’s the same as the other fights. In other words there’s no fall off – particular fall off in the fights. There may be fall off in name value but not in the competition.


                              And that’s what – that’s helped them build a franchise. And I think boxing – at least as far as Golden Boy and ourselves are concerned – see that as a way to encourage more customers.


Q:                          Antonio what do you know about Golden and what kind of a fight are you expecting.


Margarito:           I’ve seen about three videos of him. I’ve seen the fight that he had with Shane [Mosley.]  I saw the fight that he had with Hernandez, Freddy Hernandez, and I saw his last fight.


                              And it looked to me that he likes to come to fight. He wants to win just like I do. And I think that will be a great fight because we’ll both be coming at each other; be an entertaining fight. And I think the fans are going to enjoy our fight.


Q:                          His style is different than Paul Williams. Do you think that Golden’s style fits you a little better?


Margarito:           Without a doubt. I think our styles will match up a lot better than I did with Paul Williams. Paul Williams was just throwing a lot of punches – pitty patting punches not really hard. But I think Golden’s going to stand his ground and he’s going to throw hard punches and I expect that from him.


Q:                          Do you respect Golden? It’s not just a tune up for you?


Margarito:           No.  I would never get into a fight or expect an easy fight. I never underestimate anyone or anything in the ring. In the ring anything can happen. He wants to win just like I want to win – he wants to win.


                              And no, I’m surely going to be ready for him. It’s a big fight for me and I need to win it.


Q:                          The last time we saw you out here in the East Coast you had – we knew you were coming in with some injuries when you fought Joshua Clottey. How do you feel for this one? Are you hurt? I know you had the wrist injury after the fight. How do you feel now?


Margarito            It’s feeling great. I haven’t hurt myself. My wrist has been real well. I was a little hesitant about my wrist going into the Williams fight. But I came out great and I feel good. It’s been a real good training camp; no injuries, nothing.


Q:                          You had a hard time getting anybody to fight you for awhile there. You think the loss will actually help you get more fights than the fights that you want?


Margarito:           Yes. Obviously it has been difficult for me to get the fights that I want. Maybe there’s a silver lining after this loss and I will get more opportunities, more fights, now that everybody thinks maybe I’m beatable. Maybe I will get those opportunities that I’ve been seeking.


Q:                          Mr. Arum, you had said that Margarito’s in line to face the winner of the Cotto-Mosley fight.


Arum:                   Yes.


Q:                          Not to say that, you know pending a victorious outcome on Cotto’s part, not to say that the Cotto-Margarito fight wouldn’t be a great fight because it would. But I think the boxing public would be looking to see if maybe, you know, Cotto would fight Floyd Mayweather…


Arum:                   Well I think the question should be phrased differently. Would Floyd Mayweather, the dancing star, fight Miguel Cotto or Shane Mosley? And I think the answer there would generally be in the negative.


                              Mayweather’s only fighting guys he can beat.  Mayweather never would fight Margarito, you know that. He won’t fight Mosley – you know that. He won’t fight Cotto. So forget Floyd Mayweather.


Floyd Mayweather has a choice. He’s made an awful lot of money and he can take the $100 bills and keep throwing them away to the public in night clubs. That’s his choice.


Q:                          Before you fought Paul Williams you were the WBO welterweight champion for quite awhile. Are you disappointed that you didn’t get an immediate rematch or an immediate opportunity to fight Paul Williams again?


Margarito:           You know, it’s up to Paul. If Paul wants me to do the rematch with him I guess that’s what we’ll do. But right now we’re talking about November 10, getting a big victory, looking good, and then go see what we can do about fighting the winner.


                              Paul Williams will be there down the road and I’m sure if Paul wants to make a fight we’ll make that fight.


Q:                          How much do you know Golden Johnson?  Is there anything about Golden Johnson that you think will be challenging or to a certain extent do you think Golden Johnson poses any type of threat to you?


Margarito:           I don’t think it’s an easy fight by any means. I think his experience is going to be key. I know he knows how to take care of himself in the ring. And we’re going to have to work real hard for the victory.


                              But there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m going to beat him.


Q:                          Will you be paying attention to the fight between Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto? And who do you think wins and why?


Margarito:           I really have no choice. I’m going to watch the fight with interest. I hope it’s a good fight. And whoever wins I just hope they give me the opportunity. It doesn’t matter to me which one of those two guys win as long as I get the opportunity to fight them next.


                              The only thing I guess I would have a choice would be if Cotto wins because that’s always been the greater rivalry has been fights between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. And I think in Mexico and Puerto Rico and everywhere else it’s be something that people would expect to be a great fight.