Arturo Gatti, Buddy McGirt Interview Transcript

01.04.05 - What is your reaction to what Floyd was saying?

Gatti: Number one, heís got no class and thatís the way he is. I just canít wait to see him on the 25th when he sees me across the ring from him.

What do you think he brings to the table besides speed?

Gatti: Thatís the only thing he brings. What everybody forgets is that it runs in the family. They all have glass jaws - chins. Thatís why he moves so good, because he canít get hit. Roger, his father, everybody. And they all have big mouths. I donít like to say that but thatís a fact. Like Buddy says, it runs in the family. They have glass jaws and thatís the one thing you canít have against me. Iím a very hard puncher at 140.

Moretti said you didnít need this fight, so why did you want it?

Gatti: This is a fight for myself. I want to be the best and I want to be recognized as the best.. Iíd make the same amount of money for anybody else. So this is for me and my own achievement.

Was there anyone else you wanted to fight?

Gatti: This is who I want to fight. Styles make fights and heís going to walk right into my punches.

Can you explain your absence from yesterday?

Gatti: I feel much better. I apologized to the guys that I didnít make it. From what I read in the paper, Iím glad I wasnít there yesterday.

I feel much better now. I read those things in the paper and Iím glad I wasnít there yesterday. I would have done and said some things I really donít do or say that would make me look as bad as he did.

He called you a punching bag, a C fighter and a bumÖ

Gatti: Actually it doesnít bother me at all. Anything he has I can do better. The only thing he has over me is speed. Speed cannot make you win fights when you fight guys like me. Heís going to fight someone that is going to fight back. Iím not afraid of him. I have nothing to be afraid of.

Iíve been in a lot of fights, but Iíve never been in a fight where my opponent was talking like he was. He has no class. To speak about another fighter or a professional athlete like he does, just shows the type of person he is.

Did you think after it was off that you would be fighting?

Gatti: It was because of me. I pulled out of the fight because I think he was playing around or he was just not to sure of himself. The contract was supposed to be signed on January 29 and it wasnít. It was signed a couple months later. I kept going over to my managerís office. I said, ĎIs it signed?í He said not yet. Then one day you know what? I said Pat, you know what? Iím out. Iím not fighting him anymore. And that made him sign the contract.

Do you know what took so long to be a main event on PPV?

Gatti: Everything happens for a reason. Iím happy to be on PPV at this stage of my life and they are going to find out how popular I am. On the PPV, we will find out how many people are interested in buying this fight. Itís definitely on me whether it will sell or not. I sell the tickets. Mayweather has to give tickets away when he fights.

Did de la Hoya help you prepare for this fight?

Gatti: Not at all. Two different styles. I was a little weak for him. Right now I am de la Hoyaís size, so Iím kind of glad he is coming back down to 147.

Who has been the fasted guy you have faced?

Gatti: To be honest with you, I canít tell you the fastest guy I fought was. I can tell you one thing, I sparred with Randy Hopson and Hopson was like lightning. I had a hard time sparring against him. I was a sparring partner of Pernell Whitaker. Iíve learned from the best. Maybe I will have a little bit of trouble in the beginning, but we are going to have some good sparring. We are going to bring in some fast guys and Iím going to be ready for this fight.

What will you do about distractions, being this is on PPV?

Gatti: I think every Thursday we are going to take a couple of hours and talk to the press. Iím going to training camp tomorrow. Iím not going to be traveling anywhere. It will just be on the phone so it wonít bother me.

Who will be your cut man?

Gatti: Joe Souza.

Why do you think you are so popular in Atlantic City?

Gatti: Itís not because of my looks. Itís my ability to fight. People love to come see me fight. They know they are not going to be upset. Itís all well worth it. Iím an entertainer in the ring and thatís why I am popular.

I donít know if it gives me an advantage, but itís nice to have the crowd behind you. When you come out of the dressing room and the crowd is rooting for you, itís good. Once we get in the ring, thatís it.

Itís a very competitive fight, but I donít know how tough itís going to be. Iím ready for anything. He brings a lot of speed and I will neutralize that. Not problem.

Buddy McGirtÖ

He seems like a better boxer, but does he need to turn this into a brawl?

McGirt: No. Everyone think itís going to turn into a brawl, but I donít see it that way. The bottom line is we will do what we train to do, then in the middle rounds when we get Floyd in the deep waters we will see if he can swim.

Why do you feel he doesnít have to turn it into a brawl?

McGirt: We donít need to turn it into a brawl. We know he can fight. When you take Floydís speed and you nullify it, what do you have? What else does he have besides his speed that is so great? Thank you. You canít answer it. We know Arturo can make it a dog fight if he has to. We know Arturo can box if he has to. When it comes down to putting your nuts on the line, Arturo can do that too.

Floydís never been there. Weíve been down this road. The question is,,,what happens when you nullify his speed? What does he do? Thatís the question heís got to ask himself. We know what Arturo can do. If we say, ĎArturo, now look. You need to go in there and turn this into a brawl.í He could do it without hesitation. In the blink of an eye. If I say itís all or nothing in this round, he can do it. Can Floyd do it?

What does Arturo bring to the table the the other guys donít?

McGirt: They donít bring a plan. I think the weight killed Corrales. The weight was too much for him for being as tall as he is. I donít know how he does it. I think he had the wrong plan with Floyd. We have a totally different strategy.

To me, he is a phenomenal defensive fighterÖ

McGirt: Yes, because he tucks his chin. But he canít protect that spot right behind the ear. He canít protect that. I told him at the press conference he can protect his chin all he wants, but he canít protect behind the ear.

Did what Floyd said have any effect on Arturo?

McGirt: Itís going to make him work harder. As far as his mindset in the ring, it is not going to offset that. Itís just going to make him work harder. Itís not going to work.

If not this fight, what was Arturoís toughest fight?

McGirt: Floyd has his speed, yes. But if you take away his speed, what do you have?

But a lot of guys have tried thatÖ

McGirt: They tried the wrong way. There is a solution to every problem. If there werenít a solution, there wouldnít be a problem. No one ever came up with the right solution. Iíve been in my laboratory for a long time.

What will Floyd have to do to take Arturo out of his game?

McGirt: Heís trying by talking but itís not going to work.

Heís the one that puts the asses in the seats. No matter where he goes, he fills up the arena. Floyd Mayweather needs him. In boxing itía all about how many asses you put in the seats and how many buys you get. Arturo Gatti has the name. Arturo Gatti is the draw. Itís not like he needs Mayweather. He wanted Mayweather.

In order to be the best, you have to fight the best. So who do they think is the best? They think Floyd is.

I do have one request. I request that Larry Hazzard be the referee. Heís the commissioner. I think that Larry should be the referee because Larry Hazzard is fair, he knows both fighters and most of all he knows boxing.

Take your time. Get your mind and body right. This is nothing new for him.

Article posted on 01.04.2005

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