Boxing

Paul Spadafora: "It would be an interesting fight with Mayweather and it would be definitely worth watching.Ē

by Geoffrey Ciani - Last weekís 106th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with former IBF lightweight champion of the world Paul Spadafora (45-0-1, 19 KOs), whose name recently made headlines when Floyd Mayweather Senior mentioned him as a possible opponent for his son on the previous edition of On the Ropes. Spadafora spoke about his career, his future, the prospects of a potential showdown with Mayweather, Mosley versus Pacquiao, and much more! Here are some excerpts from that interview:

On his last performance when he stopped Alain Hernandez in the fifth on November 20:

ďOh that felt great man, you know. I felt really good. I felt like I just overwhelmed him. He wasnít in the same caliber as I was. It wasnít a great fight, but on the same token it was the same thing that I always loved to do, go out there and fight.Ē

On whether he is ready to step up his level of opposition:

ďWell Iím just waiting on the promoter. Whenever they give me the date, whenever the guy comes forward, Iíll be there! All you got to do is tell me when and Iíll be there.Ē

On which weight class he feels he is best suited for:

ďI think right now Iím probably best at 147 pounds.Ē

On which welterweights he is most interested in fighting:

ďIím trying to see if I can get a fight with Mayweather, anybody in that weight classóMayweather, Pacquiao, anybody. You know obviously everybody wants to fight the big name guys, but if I have to down to 140 pounds Iíll do the same thing, too, if I have to. Whatever one shoots first, thatís where Iím going to go. Iíve been fighting at catch weights at 143/144 pounds and I make weight really good. I feel healthy, I feel strong, and I feel way better than I did at 135.Ē

His views on his well known sparring session with Floyd Mayweather Junior and how that came about:

ďI just remember sparring everybody in the gym. I was sparring Stevie Forbes, James Crayton for like five weeks and my trainer asked me if I wanted to spar Floyd Mayweather. I was supposed to spar on Wednesday, right, and it was a Monday. My trainer came back on Monday night and asked if I wanted to spar and I said yeah. I had to get some work in anyway, regardless. I just think of it as a workout. I never really made a big deal about it, but it is what it is. We sparred.Ē

On whether he believes he got the best of Mayweather during that sparring session:

ďYeah, I definitely believe that. Iím sure his team will say that he was out of the gym, and this and that, but I look at it like youíre not going to go in there unless you have total disrespect for a world champion, then youíre not going to go in there not in shape and not ready to fight. Youíre thinking youíre going in there and itís going to be an easy night, an easy day, and thatís it. But you know whatósparring is sparring and when the lights come on, thatís what itís all about.Ē

On whether he treated his experience with Mayweather more like a real fight than a sparring session:

ďI treated it like a sparring session. You know what I mean? Thatís what it was. Iím sure the best of him wasnít there that day and I know the best of me wasnít there that day. I mean I just treat it like it was a sparring session. Thatís what it was. One thing about it though, you canít make that up what happened. Iím not the one. I didnít bring a video camera to the gym. I never told my trainers to make sure they video-taped that. No, I wasnít with that, but somebody from his camp or somebody else did that. Thatís what it was. You canít make it up. It is what it is.Ē

His views on comments made by Floyd Mayweather Senior on the previous weekís show when he said, ďSpadafora can get that fight. If he needs the money, he can get it. If he needs a whopping, he can get it and a whopping heís going to get because if he takes the fight thatís whatís going to happen. But with that fight heíd be more than glad to take it. We will oblige him with that fight. Iím going to tell you this right here, thereís no question, no doubt about itóSpadafora would get stoppedĒ:

ďFor real, I think thatís a beautiful thing. Thatís a great opportunity for me to fight this guy. Everybodyís got an opinion. There ainít nothing heís going to do that someone else didnít do. Thereís nothing heís going to say that someone else didnít say. Iíve been fighting my whole life. Iím 35 years old. I got a lot of amateur fights. I got a lot of pro fights in me. Regardless of how you look at the competition and whatever is, Iím a real person. I look at things as real as it is. If thatís his opinion, if thatís what he thinksóI mean me personally, I think the total opposite. I guess thatís just being a fighter, you know what I mean? So I would love to have that opportunity to prove everybody wrong and win another title. When you get an opportunity like that even with Pacquiao or any of these guys that are great, if you get the opportunity to fight one of them and you beat them and you do what you do. Iím just going to do exactly what I do, box. Iím going to do exactly what I do and I believe I would win the fight, and now you win the fight and everything changes. Now theyíre talking about you instead of him, period!Ē

His views on what he would need to do to be successful in a fight against Mayweather:

ďI would just have to be myself. Thatís the only thing I would have to do, just be myself. I canít be anybody else. Iíd just do exactly what I do and do it with my A game and thatís going to overcome. Thatís what I feel. I mean Iím not going to change the way I fight. This is what I do best is box and make guys miss and thatís it. I feel thatís enough right there in itself to win the fight.Ē

On how many more fights he believes he would need to be prepared to fight somebody like Mayweather:

ďIím ready right now! I really felt when I first came home from boot camp that I was ready right then and there. You know what Iím saying, but I took the time. It could be right now, right this second. Of course Iím training for a fight in late February/early March, but whenever it would come about thatís what Iím going to do. Of course I would pull out of the fight if I was going to get a fight like Mayweather, but hey! Thatís it.Ē

On whether he believes the fans would be interested in seeing a fight between him and Mayweather:

ďI donít know about that. I canít really comment on that because I really couldnít tell you about that. I donít know about all the fans in general, you know what Iím saying, because I havenít been out there. I havenít been out there for someone to say, ĎHow come you wonít fight Spadafora?í I could just assure you it would be an interesting fight with Mayweather and it would be definitely worth watching.Ē

His views on how good he is now compared to when he was at his best as lightweight champion:

ďI really, really believe that Iím a lot better, just because I live a better life. I do the right things. Iím a lot smarter. I have a lot of experience. I donít waste as many punches and when I put punches theyíre on time. Iím not just throwing punches. I feel that Iím better.Ē

On how he first started using the nickname ĎThe Pittsburgh Kidí:

ďWell my original trainer was called P.K. His name was P.K. Pecora. He was my original trainer. He passed away when I was 14-0 as a professional. I called his wife up and I asked his wife. I called Rachel up and I fought a week after he died, and I asked Rachel if sheíd be okay if I used ĎP.K.í as my nickname. It was never really meant to be ĎThe Pittsburgh Kidí. It was meant to be like P.K. Pecora. Thatís my trainer and he helped me out in life.Ē

His views on Manny Pacquiao as a fighter:

ďI think heís a great fighter. I mean thereís no doubt about that. I mean heís unbelievable. He punches at different angles, he mixes his speed up, he throws lots of punches, and heís clever, too. Heís clever, too. You have to give him all of the props in the world.Ē

On whether he believes Shane Mosley has a chance to beat Manny Pacquiao:

ďOh there is no doubt about it! You can never, ever sleep on Shane Mosley! I mean I know Iím not going to sleep on him. I know that. I mean thatís a great fight. Thatís a fight to watch. I think if I had to put my money on it, it would be 50-50 odds. Iíd have to go with Mosley. I would go with Mosley! I would go with Mosley because heís bigger, stronger, faster, and more experienced. Iíd go with Mosley. Thatís what I would do. Mosleyís a great fighter.Ē

On how it felt when he won the IBF lightweight title against Israel Cardona in August 1999:

ďIt was like a dream come true. Obviously winning a world title, Iím from a different type of neighborhood. Iím from a different type of family and it was like a dream come true. It was like I accomplished something for my family and it was a great thing.Ē

On his twelve round draw against Leonard Dorin in May 2003:

ďHereís what I can tell you, I can tell you thisóif I would have gotten a rematch I would have stopped him the same exact way that Gatti stopped him. It might not have been that early but I can promise you I was going to stop him. I fell in love with that moment. If I wanted to box and this and that, and I should have done that, thatís what I should have done. But even if I had the rematch with this guy, I was convinced because I hurt him so bad to the body that I was convinced I was going to stop him. And what happens? He said he was going to retire, but then he comes out of retirement and fights Arturo Gatti and gets stopped in one or two rounds, with a body shot at that.Ē

On whether he can comfortably make weight to compete against the best at 140 pounds:

ďOh, there is no doubt about it. I can definitely make that weight. Make no mistake about it. I can make that weight. Itís going to take a six to eight week camp. If I eat everything right and do the right things I can make the weight and be really strong at that weight.Ē

His views on the upcoming fight between Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander:

ďIíd go with Timothy Bradley. I just think he can adjust really quickly. He can adjust in a fight when heís been down and heís been hurt. Heís known to adjust and I got to go with Bradley just on that alone.Ē

His views on Amir Khanís victory against Marcos Maidana:

ďI watched that fight like about 50 time so far. I have HBO On-Demand, but what I thought about that fight was Khan showed a lot of, lot of heart. Heís very, very hard to beat. If he boxes the way he boxes itís going to be hard to beat a guy like that. Maidana obviously showed character, came off the canvas, backed him up, and had him hurt. I thought it was a great fight. Marquez and Katsidis or Khan and Maidana were fight of the year.Ē

On whether he believes Erik Morales has any chance against Juan Manuel Marquez:

ďI believe heís in a lot of trouble with this guy. This guyís a serious guy. Marquez is a serious guy. Heís going to be hard for anybody to beat and I think a guy like Erik Morales is going to have his hands full.Ē

On whether he would be willing to fight Amir Khan over in the UK:

ď100% no doubt. Hereís how I feel about myself. I feel that I could be in the ring with anybody. Do you know what Iím saying? I donít feel like thereís somebody who I shouldnít be in the ring with. Obviously styles make fights, this, and that, but I have a lot of experience. Iíve been in the gym so many years and I just think itís a matter of time for the right moment or the right guy. Itís going to make me do what I do and thatís win. I would be lying if I told you something different.Ē

On whether he has any idea who he might be fighting in March:

ďWhatever my promoter puts in front of me, whoever I can get, you know? I mean Iím ready. I want to be in there right now, right now with the best of them.Ē

His views on how far away he is from getting a title shot:

ďI have no idea. I just do boxing. I get up, go running, go to the gym, do the right thing, and let my promoter and my manager do all of that. I really couldnít tell you but I know itís going to come. It has to come. As long as I keep winning something is going to come. I had a belt for five years. I had eight title defenses. Iíve been on HBO four times. I mean I think that someone is going to give me a chance and thatís it. Itís just a matter of whoever gives me this chance and thatís it.Ē

On what he would say to Floyd Mayweather Junior if he was on the air:

ďI would have to say just be ready. Iím not one of those guys to talk crazy, but expect the unexpected. Thatís the perfect thing I can say to you. Like my Mom always told me, ĎExpect the unexpectedí. Thatís it.Ē

***




For those interested in listening to the Paul Spadafora interview in its entirety, it begins approximately twenty-three minutes into the program.

***

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Article posted on 06.01.2011



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