BT: Sergio, recently Raul Marquez made some comments directed at you and we wanted to give you a chance to respond. He’s making his first return to the ring since his loss to Jermain Taylor in June 2006, and has targeted you as a potential opponent. In our last interview together, you described the type of opponent you next wanted to face as a former champion, with a very recognizable name. Raul seems to fit that description perfectly, and he’s sought a fight with you both publicly and via contact by his manager to your team. He feels your lack of response and refusal to accept his challenge is unworthy of your Hispanic warrior mentality and questions “whether you are a real Mexican or not.” "
Well, ESPN gave us a list of fighters from which we could choose our opponent, and Raul Marquez wasn’t on the list. We did recommend him to them before, despite his being a southpaw, and us trying to avoid the “southpaw jinx.” They gave us a list and we ended up picking Archak shark attack on May 4th."BT: Archak TerMeliksetian is coming off of two straight losses, including one to your rival Sechew Powell in which he was nearly shut out. Is this the type of opponent you had said that you wanted to face after your last victory?
SM: Well, you know what, he is a tough hard punching guy, he’s tall, and he IS coming off of two losses to two undefeated guys, but it’s not like he got knocked out. But it’s ESPN that wanted him, we recommended other guys, and they declined them. Guys like from my hometown, Enrique Ornelas, we suggested Vargas’s last couple of opponents, and even threw Javier Castillejo’s name in there. I don’t really know the politics behind choosing an opponent for national TV. Basically they gave me a list and you know most of them were legitimate tough opponents. I ended up going with one who I think suits my style the best, and that’s Archak.BT: Raul is scheduled to fight April 29th at Cousatta Casino in Louisiana against Miguel “Macho” Hernandez from Chicago. Is he an opponent that you were offered?
SM: He’s short, like 5’7” from Chicago, right? Yeah yeah, we got a DVD on him. You know what, we watched it for one round, and we decided to take him. Real tough dude, but ESPN declined him too.So, like I said, in the beginning I had a big say in who I got to fight and it became a big headache, so in the end I just left it up to my trainer and they ended up telling me this last week-end that it was going to be Archak. And I said, yeah, I’m familiar with Archak. But yeah, instantly we wanted Macho Hernandez, we woulda beat him up badly. He’s short, he sits down on his feet, doesn’t have one punch power, but hasn’t ever been down.BT: But Archak now has a low ranking, it just doesn’t really seem to fit the bill with what you wanted to go after in this fight. You were looking for someone who was or had been top 10, who has a name that would be nice to add to your record.
SM: Yeah I guess so, but we did recommend Raul Marquez to them and we didn’t really pressure them, I wish we would have, but maybe next time we can.BT: Well, now you both have fights scheduled pretty close to one another so maybe that sets something up possibly in the future.
SM: Yeah, that’ll be good for Raul to get back into the mix instead of just commentating. But Raul is a tough dude, he comes to fight. He’s one of those tough southpaws, he’s gritty. He knows the game, back in the day he went to the Olympics, so he’s experienced. But his career hasn’t really blossomed like I’m sure he wanted it to, even though he became champ. It hasn’t really amounted to anything that I want to amount to.BT: So it’s going to be May 4th at the Aladdin in Vegas versus the Shark Attack. How’s your training going? Who’ve you been sparring with?
SM: Training is going well. I’ve been sparring with this kid, James Patterson from San Diego, he’s 5-0 as a pro, Kingsley Ikeke of course, and Jonathan Reid comes in this week. There’s always good sparring in LA.