12.07.07 - By Brad Marchetti: Tony Margarito can flat out fight. Some guys have flashy handspeed. Others dazzle with fancy footwork. There are the punchers who can end a match in the blink of an eye. But some guys can just flat out fight. Mexican Tony Margarito is one of those guys. He doesnít do anything particularly special. He just comes forward and throws hard straight shots tucked behind a great chin until the other guy just mentally crumbles under his savage pressure. Ironically Margarito really doesnít look like a fighter.
When I met him at Thump Boxing gym in Miami for a promotional photo shoot for Gatorade, nobody really knew who he was or even had a clue that he was the W.B.O Welterweight Champion.
With a modest build and clean cut features Margarito is your everyman. But when it was time to do some light pad-work at the request of a local trainer, Margaritoís easy smile quickly disappeared and the killer within him emerged in a nanosecond. When itís time to fight Margarito is game. He likes the dog fight and it has earned him the respect of many contenders and champs (Floyd Mayweather) alike.
Margarito came up the old fashion Mexican way in the sport of boxing turning pro at the frail age of 15. Margarito trained hard and persevered against all odds. When Margarito meets fast rising contender Paul Williams, 32-0, 24 KOís July 14th, he will step into the fight as the underdog. But having won for so long as the underdog, Iím not betting against him.
BM: Surely there could have been easier fights out there after your last battle with Josh Clottey. Why take another very tough fight against Paul Williams right away?
This is a mandatory defense of my W.B.O title. I have to fight Williams or I give up my title. I donít avoid anyone.
BM: Williams is a tall fast southpaw. How will you fight him?
He doesnít like to get hit. Especially to the body. I will hit him everywhere and apply pressure.
BM: Williams has been doing a lot of trash talking are you looking for a KO?
Williams does like to talk but Iím the champ. I donít need to do any talking. I do my talking inside the ring.
BM: Any special preparations for Williams?
No. Just practicing moving to my left. We will use southpaw sparring partners to get ready. Nothing different than that though.
BM: How many rounds do usually spar total in training camp for a fight?
I spar 3 days per week. For six weeks. Usually anywhere from 4-10 rounds each session.
BM: What is your walk around weight?
About 171, 172.
BM: What is your favorite training exercise?
I like the hand pads. Most fun.
BM: You have come a long way financially since your first fight at age 15. What was the amount of your first professional purse?
Well since I wasnít allowed to fight in the US I was payed in pesos. The pesos amounted to $40 US dollars.