One On One With Rico Hoye

By Al Mermini


One On One With Rico Hoye

On Thursday September 16, 2004 IBF #1 Rico Hoye will face IBF #2 former champ Montell "Ice" Griffin in a 12 round eliminator to secure the IBF mandatory position to the winner of the upcoming Roy Jones-Glen Johnson title fight. Boxingtalk was able to get the low-down from Rico on his training and motivations, his plans for the fight and what he sees's in his future in the sport.

AM: How's everything going for you man? How's that heat down there in Phoenix?

RH: Everything is going real good! Training is definitely going good. Oh it's cool man, you know I live down here so you know, I aint gonna say I am used to it but I like it. You know!

AM: So you guys are getting ready for sparring today, how has that been going for you in camp?

RH: Yeah, I been sparring with a guy he has been giving me some pretty good work. The first day that we sparred I had wore this Under Armour shirt and the heat it was so hot up in the gym it was messing with me a little bit. So I didn't perform like I wanted to. But I came back and had a couple good sessions after that.

AM: I got some news you have been hurting some people in the gym, any truth?

RH: (laughing) Yeah, I don't know, the first day we sparred they said I was kind of a little worn out, so we stopped after 4rds. The next day I just came back and was just trying to work on some things and uh I was working the body and I thought I might try and stop him with some body shots.

AM: I hear were going to see you a little bit bigger for this fight with Montell.

RH: Hey I mean, I think so. I am a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger just cause now we got a strength & conditioning coach and he's been schooling me on the supplements and getting me prepared on getting in shape. Not losing any muscle. We want to maintain the muscle and just get rid of the fat for the fight. I look bigger I mean I am small but I look bigger than what I normally do this time before a fight.

AM: So how has it been with a guy like Fernando Vargas around your camp for the last few weeks? Does it motivate you are distract you at all?

RH: Um, Fernando is just now getting back into the gym. The thing I see that I like about him is Fernando's work ethic and desire to learn. That motivates me a little bit, knowing that regardless how you come into the gym, outta shape or in shape I mean you gotta put I the work. And dude is definitely trying to put in the work! But I do me! I do my own thing to make it in this business. I know what I want out of life. I am just doing everything that I gotta do. I come into the gym and I do the work regardless I don't care if Muhammad Ali or Ray Robinson around, I'm gonna do me!

AM: You and Montell were training at the same gym in Vegas for a while did you guys ever become friends I hear there could be some bad blood? Do you think because you know how he trains that will make this fight easier for you?

RH: I leave the fight plans up to Rick Griffith and Danny Smith and Team Hoye. When I was working out there in Vegas I didn't pay any attention to Montell. Like I say when I come into the gym, I do me. I am trying to eat I cant be concerned about what everybody else is trying to do. I gotta make sure Rico is in shape! So really, I never paid any attention to Montell when I was in Vegas. I ain't gonna say that I don't like the guy but we don't talk! We come into the gym and we barely nod at each other. He has a funny attitude about himself. I don't dislike him but I got a job to do!

AM: This is another SHOBOX card for you will it end the same as the last one (KO)? And knowing that you need to win this fight to fight for a title in your next fight does that put any added pressure on the team for this one?

RH: I am always looking to get the full 12 and no added pressure for as far as me. I just go in I do my job and take care of my business. I am just going in to get the W. So if I get him outta there early that's cool. If not I'm prepared to go 12, 15 whatever!

AM: Montell is a much shorter guy! How do you prepare to fight a guy like that? Short, elusive, and lots of experience...

RH: I am damn near 6'4, Montell is 5'7 so what we look at is keep that distance and range, find the guy with the jab. Run our shots off and get up out of there. You know I aint looking to do know banging, cause all the KO's I have ever had they just caught the guy at the end of the punches. I never go in there trying to force a KO! I think like you say if we just go in there and maintain the distance I don't think he'll be able to hit me.

AM: So what is on the minds of Team Hoye after this one? What are you looking at?

RH: Oh man spirits are high! Obviously, fight for a World title. Whether it is Tarver, Jones, that other guy Zsolt Erdei. We get to pick and choose after this. I am looking at get past Montell and im gonna be the mandatory challenger for the IBF. I believe they got a time limit 6 months. So I am gonna be fighting for a title in less than that.

AM: Who would you most want that person to be RJ, Tarver?

RH: To be honest I would want it to be Tarver and then Roy. Cause Tarver is the champ and Roy is the #1 contender now. That's as far as the Ring championship. I am trying to look at history not just becoming champion I wanna wind up at Canastota! That's my real goal! I want to fight the guys that make me "THE BEST IN THE WORLD" not guys that make me #1 or #2.

AM: Rico thanks for you time brother. See you back here in Vegas in a couple days.

RH: Thanks Al, I appreciate all you do for me man!

Members look forward to a Video with Rico, coming at ya soon!!!