Smith: No More Wars for Vargas

By Ray O. Campbell Jr.


Smith: No More Wars for Vargas

RC: So Danny word is you'll be training Ferocious as he is set to make his comeback in 2005, is it official?

DS: Yeah its official about Fernando and I, we began training last Wednesday and we clicked right away. I started showing him things that made him laugh because he has never seen before. It made him laugh because he is happy; he told me he hasn't been this happy since he was an amateur.

RC: What's his weight looking like walking into the gym?

DS: Well I didn't put him on the scale yet because I wasn't concerned about his weight. I was just concerned about making sure we had chemistry, making sure he still had the passion to learn again, and to check him out to see if he was teachable, and he had it all. He is going to comeback 160lbs so it is not going to be a problem, and whenever his manager and promoter decide they want to put him in the ring to fight again, we are going to be ready.

RC: How soon would you say before he probably gets back into the ring?

DS: I would probably say somewhere between early February, late march somewhere in that area.

RC: What would you like to tell the people out there?

DS: I really don't have anything to say, I am just really appreciative of Fernando giving me this opportunity, and that he had enough confidence in me to scout me out and look for me personally, it made me feel real good. Shelly Finkel also, I want to thank him for being a part of everything and he is going to be world champion again.

RC: What type of timeline would you say before he becomes world champion?

DS: We are going to take it slowly because he is moving up in weight, we are going o have him fight a couple tune ups with some credible middleweight and see how everything goers and then we will go from there.

RC: How did the meeting come about between the two of you?

DS: Fernando told me that when he wanted to come back and when he came back he wanted me, so Shelly Finkel called me October of last year, and I said okay no problem. This was right before he fought Tony Marshall. I was in camp with Rico (Hoye) and I told him after that fight it would be okay. So Fernando called Buddy McGirt himself and thanked him for the things that he did for him and for being there, and told him that he felt he would want to learn a lot of things from me. Some more slick movements, some more reflexive movements. Some tricks, so you know that is what he is doing. We have been together the last few days and Fernando has been doing the right thing.

RC: Where are you guys going to be training?

DS: We are in Phoenix

RC: Is that where you guys are going to be training?

DS: Yeah, we train at the same gym (Central Boxing Club) Mike Tyson was training at.

RC: Why Phoenix over anywhere else?

DS: It is a hot spot, when he walks into the gym he starts perspiring right away. It is going to be easier for him to lose weight in this hot temperature rather than being in Big Bear where it is cold and he has to go running early in the morning, having to wear ten pounds of clothes to try and break a sweat. We don't have to do that here.

RC: Who does your current stable of fighters consist of?

DS: For now I am just working with Ishe (Smith), Rico (Hoye) and now Fernando.

RC: Rico has a fight coming up; tell us a little bit about it?

DS: We are fitting to do something terrible to Montell (Griffin). He is fighting September 16th in Michigan in an eliminator on ShoBox.

RC: What do you anticipate it being like working with not only Fernando, but his trainer and father figure Eduardo Garcia who he said will always be in the picture, what roll will he play with you coming into the picture? And how does that make you feel coming into the picture, can that cause any conflicts or confusion?

DS: He will also be in the corner with me, and I have the utmost respect for Eduardo because he told Fernando to listen to me and learn everything that he can from me just like he did from him when he was a kid, and to pay close attention to what I am saying. So there are no problems at all, no conflicts there is no nothing. This is a great opportunity for me and a big blessing.

RC: How does that make you feel that Garcia accepted you with open arms and gave Fernando his blessings?

DS: It makes me feel real good to know that, because he only has one thing in mind and that is the best for Fernando. He cares about him, he loves him, he will do anything for him, so whatever decisions Fernando makes he respects it and he is going to support him, so he got a loyal cat in Eduardo, I wouldn't get rid of him for nothing.

RC: Are you at all concerned about having to rebuild his image after the steroid wrap that took place after the De La Hoya fight?

DS: I haven't even thought about any steroid wrap. He has been cleared already; he done had two fights after that incident.

RC: Well rather the stigma that might be attached?

DS: ooh no, no. I am not concerned about anything like that. He came to the gym, we worked out and I couldn't believe how quick he was at that weight he is in. He is extremely fast; it is like we bonded immediately. I really really have a great deal of respect for Fernando. He is a true man, he is a warrior he is a dog for real.

RC: What are your thoughts on his last performance against Tony Marshall where many felt that he got hit entirely too much unnecessarily by a guy that many felt shouldn't any where on the same level as Vargas?

DS: I didn't see the fight, I can't really comment on it because I didn't see it, but I am quite sure Fernando had in his mind "hey I am going back to war again" without the proper elusive teaching that he needs, without the type of communication in the corner that he needs. So he got tired of that and contacted me, and you won't see that with him anymore. I told him that he has hundreds of thousands of fans out there and they love him, he doesn't have anything to prove. He doesn't have to go to Vietnam no more, we are going to let Vietnam come to us, and we are going to let pick people off. No more going to war.

RC: What can we expect from Fernando with Danny Smith now in his corner?

DS: You can expect to see, just as an exciting fighter that he has always been, but a lot more slicker, defensively more sound and happy to be back in the ring with a true team, so he knows he is not out there making up his own game plan, and all of the decisions will be made together and we are going to war together with strategy.

RC: Many believe that after taking the punishment that he took in the Trinidad fight, it really took a lot out of him, what do you feel you'll have to do to erase that? Or better yet show the people he is not?

DS: You know it is a lot of people, it had a lot to do with their team, and it had a lot to do with personal lives and those types of things. Fernando is a super star fighter, he is financially stable. He is happy, he has a great team now and that's not even in the picture period. With Trinidad he just stayed there, anybody can get hurt if they get caught right, anybody can get knocked out. He was beating Oscar after losing to Trinidad until he got caught late, and got tired.

RC: What do you feel Fernando did wrong in that fight?

DS: He gave up distance and allowed Oscar to fight him at rage which is best for Oscar. As long as Fernando was closing the gap and keeping it tight Oscar couldn't do anything. So he isn't showing signs of being shot to me.

RC: You mentioned earlier that Fernando will not be going to war anymore, indicating that you probably want him boxing a little more, might it be a little too late in the game for you to switch his style up?

DS: Nah man, this guy has been so happy he has been doing everything I ask

RC: Right...but as you know fighters can do what they are asked to do in the gym, but once he gets in the ring and gets into a couple of exchanges that dog fight instinct in him might comeback out, do you think it will be very hard for him to stick to what he just learned in the gym? And how do you try to control the fighter from going back to what he is use to doing?

DS: Well he is going to get caught up in a war because like you said it is his instinct, but when he does he is going to be moving his head, picking off shots and counter punching along with going to war, not just standing there going blow for blow and not caring if he gets hit. It is not like I am changing his whole style and he is going to be running around the ring. He is still going to be a beast; he is just going to do it smarter and slicker. He is not going to stand straight up and walk in with no jab and all of that, this time around he is going to do it behind his jab, he is going to do it behind the faint, he is going to throw more combinations, that's all, and keep doing what he normally do.

RC: Being that you have been with Fernando for the last few days, why don't you tell us how the people have been treating him?

DS: Man they show Fernando love, wherever we go, he gets nothing but love. The people love him, he is the truth and they are always going to love him. I mean autographs, pictures, he is real people he doesn't hide from anybody he don't walk around with bodyguards and all of that, he shows his fans a lot of love.

RC: Is their anything you would like to say in closing?

DS: Thanks to Fernando and his people, thanks for his management, his promoter and everybody agreeing to accept me and that is basically it.


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