Casamayor/Marquez Interview Transcript

Dave Itskowitch: Thank you everyone for joining us today. As Iím sure you all know Casamayor vs. Marquez is a 12 round light weight championship fight for Casamayorís Ring Magazine title. Itís taking place September 13 at the MGM Grand Garden Area in Las Vegas. It will be distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 6:00 p.m. Pacific, and at a suggested retail price of $44.95..

Tickets for the event are still available and very reasonably priced at $300, $200, $125, and $75. This fight is happening on a very important weekend, which is Mexican Independence Day weekend. Itís a big fight on a big weekend for Mexican fight fans and theyíll get to see one of their own Juan Manuel Marquez challenge for another world title, moving up in weight, challenging Joel Casamayor for his Ring Magazine and universally recognized world light weight championship.

The fight is called ďThe ChallengeĒ and itís aptly named because itís a challenge for Marquez to move up in weight and itís a challenge for Casamayor to take on one of the all time greats in Mexican boxing. The show is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Romanza Boxing and also sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, Cazadores Tequila and Southwest Airlines.

Immediately prior to this fight, there will be another world championship fight featuring the rematch of Vernon Forrest and Sergio Mora for Moraís 154 count world championship. Appearing on this telecast, which again begins at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Pacific, will feature Baby Face Garcia against Yori Boy Campas. And we just recently announced that an exciting young prospect Victor Ortiz will also be fighting on the show.

To get things started, Iíd like to introduce you to a fighter that itís a pleasure and honor to work with. Heís a three time world champion at two weight divisions. Heís coming off of an incredible fight with Manny Pacquiao, which most people, you know, or many people had him winning, that observed at ring side. Before that, he took on Rocky Juarez, before that he beat Marco Antonio Barrera. Heís the pride of Mexico City. He is the former three time world champion in two divisions with a record of 48 4 in1 with 35 KOs, Juan Manuel Marquez.

Juan Manuel Marquez: Well first of all I would like to invite everyone not to miss a great fight that is going to take place in September 13th in Las Vegas.

Dave Itskowitch: Okay. Defending his title on this show against Juan Manuel is another fighter thatís widely considered to be an all time great. He won an Olympic Gold Medal in1992, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters ever to come out of Cuba.

He is best known for his epic battles with Diego Corrales of which he emerged victorious in. His record is 36-3-1 with 22 KOs, but anyone who saw those three fights knows that he could have an undefeated record right now.

A lot of people think he should have an undefeated record right now because of the fights that he did come up short, but of the smallest of margins.

Heís coming off of a fight that was on a lot of peopleís lists for fight of the year against previously unbeaten Michael Katsidis. He knocked Katsidis down twice in the first and he was knocked down later in the fight and came back to score a big tenth round knockout in a very, very exciting fight. Joel is here to show the world that heís still the man at 135, heís the guy to beat and heís ready to take on the challenge of Marquez.

Without any further a due the Ring Magazine World Light Weight Champion with a record of 36-3-1 and 22 KOs, Joel Casamayor.

Joel Casamayor: First off, itís going to be a great fight between two great champions. Marquez and I are two great fighters. Itís going to be a very big weekend, not only for Mexican fans, but for myself. I just want to make sure everyone goes out and watches the fight. If you canít make it out there make sure you get on pay-per-view and check it out, itís going to be a great fight.

Michael Woods, Sweet Joel, it looked to me like not too long ago, between 2006 and 2007 that maybe you werenít having a great time boxing. Maybe it was because of political matters or werenít able to secure the fights you wanted. And then there was the controversial win against Jose Armando Santa Cruz on November 2007. Is it fair to say that you werenít enjoying boxing at that point? And what is different now? Are you reinvigorated and enjoying the sport that much more now?

Joel Casamayor: Not really. I take every fight serious, every time I get in that ring is something serious, I always train hard. The one thing is just not the mentality like youíre saying. Remember for one year I was the 135 pound champion and I didnít get a fight for an entire year.

Then I was a little rusty in the Santa Cruz fight and there are no excuses for that. All we can do is move forward and my mentality is different in this camp when you know you are in a big fight and you need to win this huge fight to get to the next level. You have to get yourself prepared not only physically, but mentally and I think for this fight Iím prepared more mentally then I have ever been in my entire life.

Michael Woods: And this question is for Juan Manuel Marquez. Was this fight the fight you wanted? Or did you more so prefer another fight with Manny Pacquiao?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Yes definitely, I wanted us to fight with Manny Pacquiao because I wasnít happy with that decision. But, now I can tell you Iím happy with this fight, I mean Iím going to put everything on it. Obviously by taking this fight Iím looking forward to fighting bigger fights, bigger fights and I will fight the best in any division.

Michael Woods: And what do you think is going to happen in the fight Pacquiao versus De La Hoya?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Well, I mean thatís a fight that everybody wants to see, everybody is talking about it now. So, obviously I support the Mexican. I support Oscar. Oscar is my promoter and obviously Iím behind him. But, I think it will be a great, great fight.

Dan Rafael, Juan, was one of the motivations for you to take the fight with Casamayor sort of to make a statement that you will beat Casamayor and then force Manny Pacquiaoís hand to show that youíre chasing him up the ladder and really trying to get that third fight with him?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Well first of all I can tell you that Manny Pacquiao knows that on the second fight something strange happened in the decision.

But, I can tell you that while Iím fighting at 135 pounds, Joel Casamayor is one of the best 135 pounders. Iím going to prove it to the people and Iím going to prove it to myself that I can do better things in higher divisions. And obviously, if I get the victory on this fight Iím going to prove it, Iím going to keep proving that Iím good in any division.

Dan Rafael: I mean I know that its an important fight onto itself, Casamayor is obviously a heck of a fighter, but Iím wondering if it was part of your mindset, let me take the fight against a number one light weight and one up Manny who just won a belt but against a fighter that was good, but not considered the best in the division.

Juan Manuel Marquez: Yes, I choose to fight Joel Casamayor, which Iím telling you he has won the title of the best 135 pounder. Yes fighting him and getting a victory over him, I just wanted to prove that Iím fighting the best like you mentioned. Manny Pacquiao fought David Diaz, he was a champion yes, but not a top fighter in the 135 pound division. But Iím going to prove it, Iím going to prove it to myself, Iím going to prove it the people that Iím the best 135 pounder out there.

Dan Rafael: Joel what was it that prompted you to seek this particular match as opposed to any of the other potential fights? The light weight division is so loaded and Marquez has never fought in that division and I know there was a lot of discussion about the possibility of maybe a rematch with Nate Campbell who had all the belts and Casamayor of course had the lineage and the ring title.

What was the motivation for this particular fight as opposed to that one or any other of the fights that could have been made potentially in the division?

Joel Casamayor: You know me Dan, I fight the best. Juanís a great fighter; heís won several weight classes championships. Itís not only a chance for him, but itís a chance for me mentally because itís also Mexican Independence Day. Remember weíre going in September 13 as the underdog and itís important to a lot of Mexican fans.

Itís going to be a great fight because Juan is a great fighter and everyone knows Iím a great fighter. And not only is Juan a fighter but heís also smart in the ring just like me, itís going to be a challenge, its going to be a great challenge, its my fist Paper View event that I feel is long over due. And Iím very excited to fight on Mexican Independence Day against a great Mexican fighter. What other fight is better for me?

Dan Rafael: Well, I was just going to ask you, do you believe, and no disrespect what so ever to Juan Manuel Marquez, but do you believe that in the light weight division that Juan Manuel is a better fighter than Nate Campbell who has proven it by winning all those belts and beating a hot young fighter like Juan Diaz?

Joel Casamayor: I believe it 100%, not only better than Nate Campbell, but on Juan Diaz and a lot of other guys in this weight division and higher.

Santos Perez, Miami Herald. Joel, was there motivation coming out of the Santa Cruz fight? And also did you hear that from a lot of people that maybe you werenít in the plan and needed to prove something in that fight against Katsidis that there were people in the business maybe phasing you to the side as an opponent?

Joel Casamayor: Iím an all time fighter I stand up in big fights. Sometimes Iím not an under card fighter. I hadnít fought in a year and I was a little rusty. I heard all the whispers coming from the outside, but as a fighter you know what you got inside and your heart doesnít lie.

And I know when I lose my vision, I lose it hard, I havenít lost it all. But, Iím a great fighter and great fighters stand up in great fights. And thatís why I needed a great fight to stand up. I showed everybody what I had against Katsidis and now Iím going to show everybody that Iím still the best at 37 years old, on September 13.

Raphael, Univision Radio. Joel, how are you feeling right now that youíre finishing wrapping up your training for the 135 division, your first fight in that weight? How do you feel with those five extra pounds that you had to gain for this fight?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Iím feeling great, when you prepare yourself the way I prepare myself, you donít feel that weight. I have had exceptional training. I had the right training. I feel great.

Raphael: Juan Manuel do you feel like any pressure that you got to win this fight in order to get a rematch with Manny Pacquiao, how do you feel?

Juan Manuel Marquez: No not at all, Iím not thinking about winning this fight to get a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. Iím taking this fight seriously and Iím thinking about Joel Casamayor only. My only concern is to win, to win my next fight September 13 against Joel Casamayor and thatís to prove to the people that Iím the best. Iím worried about them making this fight a great fight for the fans. Thatís what I worry about, I donít worry about Manny Pacquiao.

Raphael: Everyone keeps talking about which Joel Casamayor is going to show up? Is it the one from the Santa Cruz match or the Katsidis bout?

Joel: Donít worry about that, everyone is going to see that night September 13, we got a surprise for him, heís going to come with his knife in his hand, his knife in his mouth and his fighter in his hands, maybe heís just going to be sharpening up, but when it comes to September 13, your not going to see either. You are going to see the best Casamayor youíve ever seen.

Chris Cozzone, Fight News. This question is for both of you guys. Now, we know the light weight division is probably the hottest division in boxing right now. Where does the winner go after this fight? Looking past the fight on September 13, who does the winner prefer to face?

Joel Casamayor: Iím looking at as if I have no next opponent. I only got one and thatís Marquez, because I know if we donít get Marquez, there is no next fight. So, thereís only one Juan Manuel Marquez on my mind, Iím focused for him, Iím going to beat him on September 13, I guarantee that.

And then after that, we can see. I leave it up to my promoters at Golden Boy and I keep letting them move me however they want to. But, Iíll tell you one thing, Iíd like the chance at Pacquiao. I really like the 140 pound division, if itís not over here, Iíll fight him over in England. Itís not a big deal, first off while Iím against Juan Manuel Marquez there is no other fight if we canít get past him.

Juan Manuel Marquez: Well, thereís nothing else, but September 13. Iím just going to wait for the results with my fight with Joel Casamayor. And obviously I can tell you that maybe I would like to stay in 135, maybe go higher in another division, but I donít know. I need to see how I feel, maybe 135 is too much for me. Maybe Iím going to feel okay, I donít know. The only thing that I can tell you is that thereís no more but September 13.

Chris Cozzone: Joel, how much longer do you plan on fighting? And what do you have left to prove? You proved a lot already. What do you got left?

Joel Casamayor: Only God knows. I feel great. I still feel young and only God knows that time. I would like to stay around a couple more years, two years, three years, get five big fights in and just retire like all great champions do, winning, Iím a winner.

Claudio Coronal, Fox Sports. Joel, when you found out that Oscar De La Hoya was fighting Manny Pacquiao how did you feel at that time? Do you think Manny Pacquiao accepted the fight with Oscar De La Hoya because of the money or because of boxing itself?

Joel Casamayor: Well maybe it was more money than boxing. And I feel okay, everybody has their chance and now Manny is fighting Oscar De La Hoya. And probably in the future I might fight him again. But, Iím telling you, I am going to prove that Iím better then the kids and everything is fine.

Claudio Coronal: Are there any worries about Marquez?

Joel Casamayor: Thereís nothing to worry about. The only thing you got to do is just do your business, do your business in the ring. I mean, at this stage of my career at 35 years old the only thing you got to do is just get into the ring and mind your own business. I mean you have to fight, thatís it.

Juan Manuel Marquez: The winner September 13 is going to be me. Iím not worried about nothing. It comes on September 13, heís going to see what he has to worry about. So, thereís not nothing much to talk about. Iím going to win September 13.

Diego Martinez, Reforma News. Joel, what tactics are you going to have, everyone knows youíre soft and slick but can punch and take your opponent out with either hand. So, basically, what are your plans? What does it look like your going to use on Marquez?

Joel Casamayor: Iím going to go out right handed. Iím going to basically just take it round by round. And Iíve got a surprise for him in the fight, and take it round by round. Basically Iím going to do what I always do, break people down technically.

Diego Martinez Can you promise a knockout? Everyone is saying you will knock him out.

Joel Casamayor: No I canít guarantee a knockout. A knockout comes by itself, not just like when a baseball player hits a home run, heís not hitting for the home run, heís just swinging for a nice hit and then he ends up hitting it out of the park.

So, basically come September 13, I can say one thing, someone is going to get hit out of the park. Itís going to be a war and I just hope that God blesses both of us to come out good, because we both have families. And Iím just not going to let no one take my familyís food. But, come September 13 Iím going to be able to leave it all on the line.

Juan Manuel Marquez: Like I always said thereís no strategy and thereís no strategy to fight any fighter. Youíre getting into the ring knowing that youíre going to fight a great fighter always. And you have to wait to see what heís bringing to the table.

And you are trying to figure out what his strategy so you can counter him or do something to calm him down or to - just to calm him down or to win the fight. There is no business strategy, I donít like to do strategies or to plan any strategies. I just work in the gym for an opponent and thatís what I do. And just wait to see what happens that night.

Eddie Goldman, Secondsout Radio. Joel, I want to know if you saw the fight that Juan Manuel had with Pacquiao. And if there was something in that fight you saw that let you believe youíre going to definitely win this fight?

Joel Casamayor Iím just so confident because of how well prepared I am. Iím super prepared, not only physically, but mentally. Basically Iím a savvy guy in the ring, Iím not a guy thatís out there like a robot, someoneís robot or nothing like that. Iím a guy that gets loose in the ring. When I get in there, I invent, Iím the guy that dictates the pace. And basically, Iím very happy to fight Juan Manuel Marquez and Iím going to show everybody who I am.

Eddie Goldman: Can you also comment on the Santa Cruz fight, because before that fight most people expected him to win very easily. While he won the decision there were a lot of different people who had different opinions of it and you didnít look as you looked in other fights. Can you comment on what happened during that fight?

Joel Casamayor: Iím not interested in that kind of Santa Cruz stuff, everyone knows what happened, I hadnít fought in a year. Iím a better fighter than him and I donít want to talk about any other fighters. Donít ask me about any other fighters except for Juan Manuel Marquez.

Eddie Goldman: Okay. And for Juan Manuel can you tell us in going up to light weight youíre facing the light weight champion, which is quite a task. Tell us about what you expect to happen in this fight with somebody on this level when you have your first major fight at this weight?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Thereís a saying, you donít have risk or you donít take any challenges. I mean it is hard for you to gain something in life and thatís what I am doing here. Iím risking, Iím taking a challenge to fight the best, to fight the best in this division, light weight.

And Iím going to try it. Iím going to try it. I always said if you want to do something in life, you got to take this kind of a challenge or take a big risk. And September 13 youíre going to see it. Itís going to pay off, my risk, my challenge and my training; my training is going to pay off. Iím going to come up with a victory.

Eddie Goldman: And is this something that you see in Casamayorís recent fights? You can see this with Santa Cruz that gives him the belief that he is beatable?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Well, I can tell you that heís definitely a great fighter. Heís a great counter puncher and Iím a great counter puncher also. Iím going to do my job in the ring and just hope for the best. Thereís nothing else I can tell you. Juan Manuel, how does the Casamayor compare with the other opponents youíve faced recently?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Difficult, more then my other opponent that I fought. And I know this is a big challenge and he is a most difficult fighter out there.

But fighting and training in the gym makes it a little bit easier for me because I am getting used to it now. I have had many fights in the past so I feel comfortable fighting knowing that itís hard, that itís difficult. Juan Manuel you know that Manny Pacquiao made the decision to go off in weight and fight Oscar De La Hoya. What is going to be your decision? Will you stay at 135 pounds or move back down to 130 pounds?

Juan Manuel Marquez: I donít know, I need to see how I feel at 135 pounds. Maybe Iím going to make a decision to stay at 135 pounds or maybe go down to 130 or go into higher division to challenge the best, to fight the best. So, I just want to wait to see on September 13.

Fight Joel, youíve been looking for an elite fight for a long time and what does it mean for you to fight one of the Mexican legends of our time?

Joel Casamayor: Iím very, very happy. Iím like a little kid in a candy shop, Iím very, very happy and Iím honored to be fighting with the great Mexican fighter. I thought it was going to be Barrera, but I got Juan Manuel Marquez, who could be the next Barrera for Mexico. Everyone knows what kind of a fighter he is. And basically everyone knows who I am. So, September 13 is going to be a great day for me, because Iíve been waiting for this shot my whole life. And Iím going to prove it to the world come September 13. If you get past Marquez, would you be interested in fighting the winner of Nate Campbell and Joan Guzman to prove that youíre the best light weight in the world?

Joel Casamayor: Basically that we have to see, itís up to my promoters. I want the biggest fights possible, and that is Marquez right now. Itís just something we got to see in the future and if itís not the right fight for me at that time, than Iím not going to take it.

And I want to fight the biggest fights possible. I donít think thereís any discussion of who the best light weight in the world is. Iím recognized as the light weight champion of the world and the winner of this fight is going to be the best light weight in the world. And in my eyes will be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

Article posted on 08.09.2008

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