Peter Manfredo Jr will step back into the ring on February 12th, 2006 at The Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence Rhode Island. Manfredo will face the very tough Scotty Pemberton (29-4-1), in front of what should be a packed house. Manfredo sat down with Boxingtalk this evening and brought us up to speed on his training camp, and he also touches on some Contender issues as well. BT - Peter you're back in camp and training with one of the greats in Freddie Roach. What does Freddie Roach bring to you more than anything else?
PM - Freddie Roach brings out the very best in me. I have so much respect for him, he's trained so many world champions. I look up to this guy so much that every thing I do I want to impress him. When I first came out here to train for my fight with Sergio Mora, I wasn't in the best of shape, and I was not sure if I was letting Freddie down or not. Freddie is a master trainer, and he knows what I have to do to win, and what I have to do to get sharp. I have to get my mind sharp, because at this level you need a sharp mind, Freddie will help me get back at a shot to be a world champion.BT - Peter, Sergio Mora and Scott Pemberton are two different fighters. What are the main differences you see between the two fighters, and what do you do as a fighter to make the necessary adjustments?
PM - Well I leave it up to Freddie, he's got the game-plan. With me and Scotty, he's the bigger and stronger guy so I am going to have to box him, and use my speed, and angles. I rely on Freddie to bring the game-plan, and I will execute it. The difference between Mora and Pemberton is that Pemberton is a much better fighter than Mora is. Pemberton is stronger, and he hits much harder than Sergio. Sergio isn't better than me, I proved to everyone that I was the better fighter last time we fought, but the judges thought differently. I beat Sergio Mora and most know it, it was a mental victory for me if anything else. Now it's time to move on, and I will take my positive energy that Freddie got me, and bring it to Scotty. I would like to stop Scotty, but if I just get the win that's fine too.BT - Is Scott Pemberton the best fighter you will have ever gotten in there with?
PM - Yes, I would think so. At this point, yea... He's the bigger guy, he's the biggest guy I will have ever fought. I have sparred with this guy many times in years past. Nobody knows how he fights more than I do, and same goes for him. BT - Peter, you and Scotty are friends but this fight is huge for you isn't it?
PM - Yes, it's very important. Scotty and I had our stare-down the other day, sometimes we laughed but sometimes we were dead serious. We are friends now but on February 12th we will be enemies, and on the 13th, we'll be friends again.BT - Peter, I have to ask this and I know you're sick of hearing it. Is there a Mora vs Manfredo rematch on the radar screen anywhere, anytime?
PM - Well he doesn't want to come to my hometown and fight. I came to his backyard, and got a bad break but should have won the fight. The Contender people want him to be the west coast champion, they are protecting him and want to make money with him. The only way I fight him now is if he comes to my hometown. I did enough in his backyard to show the people who the better fighter is, now it's time for him to come to me. BT - The Contender 2 starts soon, what advice would you give to the participants in The Contender 2 ?
PM - I would say to stay relaxed in the house. Stay comfortable.... when I was in the house I was a little worried, and tense. I think that was my downfall, if I had a little more fun with it, I would have probably done better. Just go in there and try to the best of your ability, it's 5 rounds. If you're better than your opponent you should beat them, and make it to the end. I think the prize is 500,000.00 this time.BT - Peter when you left for L.A. it was the first time you have ever left the training of your father, and your gym. What advice do you have for a Contender participant that has left their nest for the first time?
PM - The only advice I can give them is that you have to keep your confidence up like Alphonso did the first night. None of the other guys have their old trainers either, so it's a level playing field.BT - Peter how many more fights are you contractually obligated to with The Contender people?
PM - I don't know, I have to go back and look at the contract again. I think I am signed with them for 3 years.BT - So, it's not a matter of how many fights, it's a matter of how many years?
PM - Yes, but what I want to do is move up. I think my fight with Scotty should have been for some kind of title. But the Contender people didn't want that,they don't want it to be for anything unless it's a Contender Title. I kind of think that's stupid you know? I think especially after a win against Scott, if I get that, I should be able to fight for a world title. I want to be a world champion, and if The Contender people are going to stop me from doing that, I am not going to fight for them.BT - Peter I am not trying to send you into retirement too soon (laughs) but I am curious, what do you think you'll do after you retire from boxing?
PM - You know, I am not sure right now....but I think I would like to stay involved at the amateur level. It will be hard for me to stay out of the sport completely, it's like a drug. I will probably help my father down at the gym, and help the kids out. A lot of kids look up to me back home, and if I can help the kids out, that's a good thing for sure.BT - You trained with Jason Estrada (former US Olympian), he's currently undefeated as a pro, and slowly but surely coming along. How far do you see Jason going in the Heavyweight division?
PM - Jason and I started together since we were both 7 yrs old. Jason had a brilliant amateur career, and even though he messed up in the Olympics a little bit, he still had a tremendous amateur career, and now he's undefeated as a pro. Jason doesn't have massive knockout power, but he's got the speed where he can hang in there, maybe not right now, but in the future he will. It will take Jason a few years to get there, but if he keeps the desire, I believe he can be at the top of the division.BT - Peter you got the big fight coming up with Scotty Pemberton, talk to your fans, tell them what's on your mind right now.
PM - I just love my fans Brad, I appreciate them very much for their support. I am coming home February 12 at The Dunk! I am looking forward to giving my fans the opportunity to see me live, and if they can't see me live tune in to ESPN. I am going to give them a great fight, I am going to give them there money's worth, and they will have a treat on February 12th.
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