Buddy McGirt, Antonio Tarver Workout Quotes

29.09.05 - Antonio Tarver: For all you fans that donít have tickets, youíre running out of time. I donít know if any are available or not, but, check ticketmaster. This fight means everything for Florida, you know. With Roy, we have history, ever since thirteen years old weíve been competing, and, you, know weíve soared above the rest, you know but we need to find outówho era is this? We need to find out whoís the best fighter ever to come from Florida. So, you know, the winner on October 1st will have those bragging rights, regardless of how you want to manufacture the guy and make him, you know, supreme to all. I mean, I made a quote the other day and I really belieómean this with all my heart. If it was Sugar Ray Leonard, if it was Marvin Hagler, the great Thomas Hearn that was the light heavy weight champion when I came up, the same thing would be true. The guy just happened to be Roy Jones Jr. Itís not my fault. But I gotta take care of my business. And uh, thatís all I want the world to understand, that when I was a child, I had aspirations and goals, and they didnít stop at Roy Jones Jr. They went far beyond..

Reporter:: first time was obviously a decision, second one, a second round knockout, what do you expect this time?

Tarver: I expect a victory. Thatís what we train hard for, no matter what the media says, no matter what the experts may say, weíre not taking this guy lightly. Now, if any of you was fortune enough to see this little shake-loose, you can contest to that. Iím ready, Iím hungry, and the fire still burns, so, Iím expecting an electrifying night.

Reporter: whatís it been like being at home? Distractions? Everything cool as far asó

Tarver: Iím a professional, so I wonít let that happen. Thereís been no distractions. This is part of the business, you know, this is a big fight. We gotta let the people know, we have to reach them, and uh, so they can get involved, so the fans can be a part of something truly, truly great. And uh, this is what this is all about. Itís happening in my adopted home, Tampa, which I love truly and Iíve gotten all the support a man could ask for so I want to give back. I want to give back to the fans. I want to show them what all the talk is about. Theyíll get to see it for themselves, against what is noted as one of the best fighters to ever don the ring. So when you do the comparison, when itís all said and done, thereís no excuses. I want to make sure that Iím compared. When Iím compared, thereís no comparison.

Reporter: Physically, is this right where you want to be as the fight approaches?

Tarver: This is the best training camp weíve ever had. Iím the best fighter today that youíve ever seen. And uh, weíve trained for Goliath, anything less than that, somebodyís ass is in trouble.

Reporter: how much are you looking forward to fighting at home, in front of such a big crowd

Tarver: You know what? Fans are fans. I mean, Itís gunna be great just to have the people, the locals, be able to say that they witnessed it for themselves. But other than that, itís a big fight, and so Tampa should get excited about it. Itís the Superbowl of boxing, and thatís what it is you know. You look at two guys that have gone on to achieve great things as far as Olympics, medals, we both got robbed, and then we went on to great professional careers, you know. This is the pinnacle, you know. But the roles have been reversed, I must add. You know, once upon a time, he was that guy, that king lion on top. Now Iím that king lion and heís trying to knock me off. So Iím gunna defend my turf and my territory, and my territory is Tampa, Florida.

Reporter: have you talked to jeff about the environment, and how different it is fighting in your hometown, as opposed to being on the road

Tarver: When youíve had the vast amateur experience as Iíve had and traveled the world in guysí country ..Iíve fought right here in Atlanta, at home, you know, during the olympics I mean, itís great, you know. Iím here to tell you, that donít be surprised if, you know, Roy Jones has a great, great crowd that shows up to support him, because this very well could be his last sighting.

Reporter: you were talking about role reversal. What was it like last time you fought here, when you were on the undercard for Roy Jones main event?

Tarver: You know what? It was a great fight. I had just come off a loss with Eric Harding. I think I stole a little bit of the thunder because I had a devastating knockout that night. Thereís very few fighters that have come back from defeat to fight a guy that at that time was 17-0, with 14 knockouts, being labeled as a killer. But I stepped up. I wanted to show the world that, you know, itís about the man within. And I knocked the guy out, in a dramatic fashion. And then I remember running down the hall saying ďWhere are you Roy Jones? Itís my time, baby!Ē But, you know, it fell on deaf ears. But you know, like I said, itís been great the way weíve come together. Weíve given boxing some of the most memorable nights. And who will ever forget, you know, the moment before, after Jay Nady asked if I had any questions: Are there any excuses tonight, Roy?

Reporter: do you have any plans this time?Ē

Tarver: You gotta be there, and you gotta buy Pay-per-view in order to see that. I canít let that out the hatch. But remember, Iím the magic man, so anythingís possible.
Tarver: Roy Jones has everything to prove Saturday night. I have proven to be the best. Itís up to him to knock me off my throne.

Reporter: ÖWhat other areas do you plan to exploit, if there are any other weaknesses in Jonesís technique?

Well, you know what? Buddy McGirtis is one of the best trainers in the business, and you know, weíre not going to be foolish enough to think we can walk in here and throw a left hand and knock this guy out. That would be benign almost. We train hard. Weíre in great shape. We gunna break this guy down if it takes that. Dig hard to the body. We worked on my right hand to set up the power. I mean, youíre gunna look at a complete fighter Saturday night. From A-Z.

Reporter: Do you think that the two consecutive KOs have affected Jones, and will a knockout occur Saturday night?

Tarver: Weíll see. Thatís to be determined. You know, but Iím not gunna go in here thinking that Ďok, this guy is susceptible to a knockoutí. I gotta go get my work done.

Tarver: Weíll see. I donít know what to expect Saturday night. But expect the bestófrom me. And whatever Roy Jones shows up, you know, thatíll be just, you know, hopefully heís the best Roy Jones because if he is, I trained for the best Roy Jones, and if he is, it will be an unbelievable night of fully, I mean, action-packed boxing. And uh, you know, thatís what the fans pay their money for.

Reporter: as far as the being for the, what IBO championship is it?

Tarver: This is for the world recognizable light heavyweight champion of the world, universally recognized. You know, the ring championship and you know, everybodyís champion. I am the peopleís champion, right here from Tampa, Florida. So I represent the masses.

Reporter: does it matter that the all four sanctioning bodies donít recognize it? Does it matter at all?

Tarver: Theyíre the only four thatís not. Because the whole world will be watching, including the sanctioning bodies.

Reporter: Do you think enough is being done for boxing safety?

Tarver: My heart goes out to [Holyfieldís] family and all the people that have unfortunately passed away in this tough sport of boxing. You know, you just gotta, just stay on the ground and you know, because every time you step in that ring thereís a chance of that. And thatís the reality of the sport. Thatís why people need to understand what we go through. Itís a major, major sacrifice. If the contenders didnít open up some peopleís eyes to why we do what we do, you know, so that we should be respected more. I think the sport of boxing right now is in a revitalizing state, but it is revitalizing. You know, just as if we have to rebuild New Orleans. And my heart goes out to all the people that wasóhave lost in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. You know, we have to rebuild boxing, and so people can truly love the great sport that it is. The legacy goes, you know, as long as we can remember. So you know, and it will be here for the end of time. But my heart goes out for those that are lost.

Reporter: Do you think youíre more of a natural light heavyweight than Roy Jones is, in terms of this being your prime weight?

Well you know, Iíve been a light heavyweight for about as long as my amateur boxing career so you know, Iím naturally here. But people wonder, how have I been able to maintain the weight? You know, a lot of people, they get lazy and they donít want to work as hard anymore to make the weight. You know, itís hard foróitís a hard sport. I must admit, but you know, thatís why I get up the morning, because I truly challenge myself. My team has challenged me and, you know, youíre going to see the results of hard work Saturday night

Reporter: You think Roy is more a natural middleweight?

Itís not about Roy Jones Jr. anymore, sir. Itís the Antonio Tarver hour, baby. You know what I mean. I donít want to hear anymore questions about him. It donít matter what he do. After October 1st, heíll be an afterthought. Okay? So let him linger in your memory. But Iím looking, Iím looking to destroy whatever shows up Saturday. Itís Antonio Tarver Time. I am the champion. The peopleís champ

Reporter: Talk a little bit about this week Antonio. Whatís your routine? Any superstitions?

Tarver: No superstitions. You know, my God is Jesus Christ. Thereís no superstitions. Iím prayed up. Iím anoint from head to toe, and Iím gunna let his blessings, you know, take place on Saturday night. Its not superstitious, I believe in God.

Reporter: What do you do to avoid I dunno, peaking too early?

Tarver: No, weíre not peaóweíre ready.

Reporter: But what do you do to avoid that?

Tarver: For the first time in camp weíve tapered down. Two weeks. Two weeks, weíve been tapering down, doing what you saw today, just relaxing a lot of rest, I mean, drinkin a lot of water, havenít missed a meal, weíre ready. Weíre prepared 110%. No excuses from team Tarver.

Reporter: What do you think of the press conferences tomorrow, having them separate, I mean, do you like that? Does it matter to you?

Tarver: You know what? He could see me now or he could see me later, but rest assured, heíll have to see me. You could run, but you canít hide, baby. So weíre gunna let him have his little bit of confortability right now, during the press conference. You know what? So be it. But on October 1st, he wonít have no where to run. Heís gunna meet the man, face-to-face. And all those fears that heís been hiding up until now will come out, and will be evident.

Reporter: So he wanted the separate conferences?

Tarver: I canít think for him. But all I said, Iím gunna let him have his little bit of comfortability, but all that comfort will be gone when we touch gloves.

Antonio, anything different youíve done than the previous fights youíve trained for?

Iíve worked harder, Iíve worked longer.

Buddy McGirt

Reporter: As a trainer, you were obviously involved in the Gotti/Ward trilogy. Are there any comparisons in terms of how you make adjustments for an opponent three times? Is there any way you can compare the two trilogies?

Yeah, what you do is like, in a way it is because Mickey Wards said that was going to be his last fight so we knew he was going to give it his all and I know that thisíll be Royís last fight and I know Royís gunna give it his all. But I just feel that, at this point, Antonio is the better fighter. So, you know what I mean, Roy is going to put up a much better fight. I think heís going to fight a more tactical fight, a more defensive fight. For his father, tactics are very defensive, you know what I mean? So his fatherís thing is for every offensive move, you gotta make a defensive move at the same time. I mean, thatís what he does. So, the key is to capitalize on it. And I think that once Roy sees that Antonioís gunna capitalize on it, or once he starts capitalizing on it, then weíll see what he does then.

Reporter: What about the perceived advantage making weight that Antonio has, the fact that Roy had to come down from heavyweight

For the first fight with Roy, Antonio came to camp at 215-220. The second fight with Roy, same thing. So, Iím not a believer that it was the weight, I just think that, you know, in certain sports thereís always a team that has your number. Always. I mean you could take in the 0-13 Chicago Bears against the 13-0 Greenbay Packers, itís gunna be a great game. You know what I mean? Itís gunna be a great game. So, Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver, thatís how I view it. I mean, Antonio has his number and itís always gunna be a great fight.

Reporter: Heís always going to have his number?

Yes, exactly. No matter what heís always going to have his number. It might be tough, but you know heís got his number at the bottomóyou know at the end of the night.

Reporter: Antonio has more of an edge about him than he usually does. He usually answers questions forever and he cut it short today. Is this a sign?

Iíll put it to you like this. Iím riding in separate cars with him everyday.

Reporter: Has there been a noticeable change attitude wise?

Heís very, heís ready to fight, number one, and heís very upset about a statement Mr. George Foreman made on TV the other night. And heís out to prove, you know, his thing was, buddy, you know, thatís whatís wrong with boxing. You know, Foreman said on TV the other night that all Roy Jones has to do is stay away from Troy Browns and heíll get a decision. You know, Antonio said that was an insult to him. You know what I mean? So heís out now to, to, itís just adding wood to the fire basically. And so, heís very upset about that and heís just, you know, I mean Roy is playing all these games, you know, he donít want to have the same press conference, heís trying to get a separate weigh in, heís not doing nothing to help promote the fight, you know what I mean? Itís always been that way. And Antonioís like ĎLook, what do I gotta do?í So I said ĎLook, man, You gotta handle your business, and the rest will fall into place.í

Reporter: what do you make of al this, Roy not wanting to be in the same room as Antonio thing?

I think, itís only gunna be one of two things. One heís trying to play mind games. Or two, thereís sometimes you know, when youíre a kid and you get in trouble in school and your mother gets you on the phone and she says ĎIím gunna kick you ass when you get home.í And you just donít want to go home. You hope the bus breaks down or something because you know, you know when you get home, youíre gunna get your ass whooped, you know what I mean? And I just think that Roy can not be in the same room with Antonio because no matter what he does, Antonio has an answer for him.

Reporter: you said itís one of two things. You think itís the second one?

No, No. Iím not going to say that. Iím just saying, itís one of two things. You know what I mean? Thatís the only thing it could be if you really think about it. You know what I mean? Why else wouldnít you want to be in the same room with somebody? Okay, you had two tough fights but, I mean, if you could get Ali and Frazier in the same room, you should be able to get anybody in the same room.

Reporter: where does Tarver rate as far as guys youíve seen over the years when it comes to trash talking, getting under an opponents skin, I know Ali patented it and was the best, but Iíve heard people say, they think Antonio might be the best since AliÖ

Because Tarver speaks the truth! You know, Ali was just building the gate. You know. Antonio is telling you how he really feels. Thereís a difference. You know Ali was the best at it, you know what I mean. Ali knew had to get under your skin, I mean, but Ali was doing this, you know, to put asses in the seats. Antonioís doing it cause thatís how he really feels. Heís not trash talking. Thatís how he really feels.

Reporter: when he said Ďno excuses tonight, roy?í how surprised were you?

In the press room before the fight, he said ĎBuddy, donít put my mouthpiece in until after the referees instructions.í So I said to myself Ďwhat the hell is he gunna do?í Iím like ĎWhy?í He said ĎJust wait and see.í So during the introductions I was still trying to stick the mouthpiece in his mouth, and he was like ĎI donít want it. Wait until after the referee gives the instructions.í So I just put my head down. I didnít know what to expect. And when he did that I was like ĎOh my God.í And I looked up at Royís face and itís like all the fight left him right there.

Reporter: so you think it actually had an effect?

Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely. You know Roy, look, I like Roy, respect Roy, you know, I mean Iím friends with Roy and Iíve been to his house, you know what I mean heís treated me like family, but Antonioís got, heís got Royís number. And I think that Roy just donít want to admit it.

Reporter: You ever recall an instance where a fighter, Frazier still talks about the effect Ali had on him, all the trash talking, do you recall a fighter able to just almost dominate somebody with words?

I mean, I havenít seen anyone do it since, since Ali. Really, I mean, Ray Leonard had a way of doing things, but it was different, you know? Antonio, know what I mean, just has this thing that, you know, heís not been accepted for everything that heís done and every time he wins a fight or whatever thereís always something thatÖif he goes from three pegs, it knocks him down a peg and half. You know what I mean? And so, heís like ĎBuddy, what do I have to do?í I said, ĎLook, man. Just keep on winning. I mean, when itís all over, then tyey will appreciate you.í I mean, I told Antonio when I first started training him, I says, You know, in this game, some guys get it easy, some guys get it hard. Unfortunately, you fall in the class of the guys thatís gunna get it hard. But that can help you in the long run, cause youíll appreciate it more. Youíll understand what you had to go through to get here. And once you get there, youíll work hard to stay there. And you know, so, itís a good thing. Iím glad, in a way, that he has to come up that way, because it taught him a lesson in, about just, I guess life in general. You know what I mean? And he knows that once itís over, itís over.

Article posted on 29.09.2005

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