Boxingtalk's Ivan Montiel continues to interview the best boxers from Puerto Rico exclusively on Boxingtalk. This time, Ivan talks to 115-pound contender McWilliams Arroyo (17-3) who recently got a career-best win when he shook off two years of inactivity to defeat former WBC champion Carlos Cuadras.
Ivan Montiel: Congratulations on your win last month over Carlos Cuadras. It was a fight which I believe you won most rounds although some judging the fight thought differently [it was scored a majority decision]. But in my opinion, the right guy won. Talk to us about it.
McWilliams Arroyo: Thanks. It was a good fight. From the start, I did my job and thanks to God everything went smoothly. Cuadras did land some good shots but I was able to absorb them.
IM: Boxing always brings great rivalries between Puerto Rico and Mexico and this fight I believe could very well be a candidate for fight of the year! You sure caught peopleís attention, so I'm sure boxing fans want to see more of McWilliams Arroyo. Whatís next for you?
MA: Before this fight there was talk about Cuadras fighting the winner between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai versus Juan Francisco Estrada.[Sor Rungvisai won by majority decision and retained his WBC 15-pound championship]. Now I am willing to fight either of those guys but as you and I know, in boxing nothingís confirmed. I am willing to sit down for negotiations to fight anybody in my division. As the world of boxing saw I was able to do well at 115 pounds [previously, Arroyo fought at 112 pounds]. I had no trouble making weight.
IM: You looked like you were having lots of fun in there and that was coming off a a two-year layoff.
MA: I went into the ring with the right set of mind and I always keep myself ready in the gym.
IM: You seemed to abandoned the body work though. Maybe if you would have kept working the body, Cuadras wouldíve gone down?
MA: Perhaps but letís not forget Cuadras was still dangerous fighting back. He was still strong and trying to fight back. Cuadras looked lost but we had to protect ourselves and as you can see I boxed him well.
IM: We have to give a mention to your trainer Anthony Otero, who must have done a fine job getting you ready.
MA: Yes, credit to him. We have a good chemistry respect to Anthony Otero.
IM: Now letís say you are not able to get a fight with Rungvisai or Estrada... maybe you can try avenging that 2016 loss to Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez?
MA: Of course I wouldn't mind fighting Chocolatito again. He still has many fans and I am sure many of them would love to see that rematch. If not, I am willing to fight the best in my division, whoever is willing to fight me.
IM: Weíve seen Puerto Rico boxing suffer a lot, of course by getting hit with Hurricane Maria, and in boxing there havenít been too many champions coming out of Puerto Rico lately. At least not like before, so itís good to see you getting a big win for the island of Puerto Rico.
MA: Yes, unfortunately Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico hard but I donít let that affect me I actually got motivated by it. I go into that ring thinking strong. You noticed the crowd was cheering for Cuadras. I didnít let the crowd get into my head, I just thought about Puerto Rico and that the victory had to go back home with me. I thank God, my family and I am glad to be back home.
IM: Yes, once again I am glad the right guy won because sometimes in boxing the crowd can persuade the judges.
MA: Exactly. I believe I outboxed Carlos Cuadras and he looked frustrated in there.
IM: Thanks again for taking the time to talk. I sure hope you get those big fights youíre looking for.
MA: Thanks Ivan much appreciated.