Exclusive Interview: Vivian Harris

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Vivian Harris

"I'd take Cotto to school, pick him apart and then knock him out!"

GL: What did you think about Cotto's performance? "I'm going to give Cotto some props for being knocked out on his feet and coming back to win the fight. That was great, but I think if he was in there with a real fighter and a real champion he wouldn't be able to come back. Corley played with him after he hurt him and he should have never done that. I don't know what went wrong with Corley after he hurt him, but he came back and that was great because now it sets up a big fight with me and Cotto on June 18."

GL: You went to Puerto Rico with the hopes that the Cotto fight could take place after he took care of DeMarcus Corley. But now that Corley almost knocked him out, how concerned are you that they try to put him in another meaningless fight before stepping him up to your level?

Vivian Harris: "I'll be honest with you, I'm very, very concerned and I'm thinking like that too. The same thing happened with Floyd Mayweather. He got hurt by Corley and they never looked my way. Now that Cotto got hurt they might want to keep putting him in easy fights. But I think Cotto should stand up like a man and like a true Puerto Rican champion and fight me."

GL: If you were Cotto's handlers would you think it's a good idea to put him in with Vivian Harris right now?

VH: "Yeah. Why hold him back? They need to put him in there and see what he could do with the best before he can't make the weight. He might have to go up to 147 in a very short time so he needs to be out there with the best at 140 and guys who could bang. Otherwise how will they know if he's ready to fight at welterweight if he hasn't fought someone at 140 that could punch?"

GL: What did you think about that stoppage?

VH: "The referee should have never stopped the fight, Corley could have kept on fighting and he wasn't really hurt. I think it was a bad stoppage."

GL: Top Rank might be reluctant to put Cotto in there with you. If they come at you with some short money would you turn it down to give them they out they could be looking for, or would you capitalize on the opportunity?

VH: "I want to fight Cotto because the people deserve to know who the best junior weltwerweight in the world is. I expect them to come with a good offer. We're in America and if they offer me good money to fight out of the country, they should offer me the same amount or a little bit better to fight Cotto wherever he wants to fight. When two top guys fight they should both make good money, especially when I'm willing to fight Cotto at the Garden, in Puerto Rico, at his Garden, it doesn't matter to me. I want to fight him, HBO wants the fight and I know the boxing world wants the fight, so now it's up to his people to see how much they want the fight."

GL:HBO has been putting on a lot of garbage at 140 pounds. Mayweather-Corley, Mayweather-Bruseles, Gatti-Branco, Gatti-Dorin, Gatti-Leija, Cotto-Bailey and Cotto-Corley. With Gatti-Mayweather finally looking like it's going to happen, do you feel HBO will take advantage of their chance to redeem themselves a bit by airing Harris-Cotto the following week?

VH: "I think June will be a great month for the junior welterweight division. I love HBO and I think they're going to make sure that the two best junior welterweights match-ups they could make this year will happen. If Miguel Cotto wants to fight Vivian Harris, June is going to be a spectacular month for the junior welterweight division."

GL: Would you move up to welterweight to fight Zab Judah if the opportunity presented itself?

VH: "No, because I fight at 140, I'm very comfortable at 140 and I want to be undisputed at 140. Brooklyn is going to be holding 140 and 147 down for a long time. And if Zab gets the fight with Oscar De La Hoya and comes in focused, he's going to knock De La Hoya out. That could be a dream fight down the line, but right now we're not thinking about each other and we both got big plans for this year."

GL: Does a fight with Vivian Harris and Miguel Cotto go the distance?

VH: "No, no, no. You should know the answer to that question. He'll never last the distance with me. I was sitting there watching the fight talking to your guy from Puerto Rico and I was telling him all of the mistakes that Cotto was making. If Corley would have settled down he would have stopped Cotto, and if gets in there with me, I'm going to pick him apart, take him to school and then knock him out!"

GL: Did you know that HBO opened its telecast by saying there's not too many 140 pounders that want to fight Miguel Cotto?

VH: "I heard about that and I think that was wrong. They shouldn't be lying to the public like that. I don't want to put them on blast, because I love HBO, but that's not right they need to tell the people the truth. I've been ready for Miguel Cotto since he fought Ceballos to become my mandatory. I was at that fight hoping he would fight me, but then he ran the other way and decided to fight for the vacant WBO title against Pinto instead of fighting me for the more meaningful WBA belt."


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