Q & A with Antonio Margarito
07.11.06 - by Jaroslaw "Yaras72" Drozd, translated from the excellent Polish boxing site www.bokser.org - Jaroslaw "Yaras72" Drozd: Tony, you're barely 28, and already have been a pro boxer for more than twelve years. Aren't you bored with this yet?
Article posted on 07.11.2006
Antonio Margarito: Bored? Not at all, in fact I'm anxious to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine, to become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world.
JD: Just kidding with that first question. Tell me, though, how come Antonio Margerito became a boxer, and not a football or basketball player, for instance? When did you make the decision?
AM: I was never much of an athlete. You can ask me about any other sport and I'll have a difficult time giving you an answer. I once did a tv interview on a sports program that talks about soccer the majority time it's on.. I kept praying I would be asked any soccer questions, just when I thought I was free and clear, the soccer question was asked. I was really embarassed, I'm Mexican and live in Mexico, and could not answer a simple soccer question. I knew I wanted to fight from the first time my father took me to a boxing event. I was very young, I told my father to sign me up.
JD: You only fought in 21 bouts as an amateur (with 18-3 record). Is there anything particular about your amateur period that you'd want us to know?
AM: No, not really. I had to become pro at an early age because I had no choice. It was difficult to find fights, but mainly because I was very poor and I needed to make money.
JD: Who was your boxing idol at that time? Were you perhaps emulating someone?
AM: My idol has always been Julio Cesar Chavez. It's very difficult to emulate anyone. I believe Chavez had his unique style and I have my own, but I am aware of what worked for him.
JD: How did it happen that you had your pro debut as a kid, not yet 16?
AM: It was difficult to find bouts and most importantly, I needed the money. Growing up very poor, I either had to make money the right way, or the wrong way. I chose the right one.
JD: After the first 12 pro fights, you record wasn't very impressive (9-3). Were there any moments during your career that you felt doubt as to the chosen way of life?
AM: No, not at all. I was a kid fighting full grown men. From those three defeats, I felt I was robbed twice. I knew I had what it took tom become a champion, all I needed was the opportunity for someone to believe in me.
JD: Your first major pro success came when you KO'd David Kamau. You went on then to victories against many other fine fighters. Which of your to-date fight do you consider the best, and why?
AM: Defeating Antonio Diaz, I won my world title. Winning the title has given me the things I dreamed of.
JD: And who's the boxer (or boxers) you would like most to contend against in the ring?
AM: Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and someone they call Fraud Mayweather.
JD: Give a shortest possible opinion of each of the following welterweight and junior middleweight boxers. Floyd Mayweather jr.?
AM: I have no respect for Floyd as a fighter. He talks about taking the fights that make business sence, but he turned down 8 million to fight me?
JD: Shane Mosley?
AM: Shane has much respect from me. The only fighter man enough to announce he wasn't ready to fight me.
JD: Oscar De La Hoya?
AM: Should retire with a bang by fighting me. He's keeping big fights from happening by misleading people. He needs to decide if he's staying in the game, or is he leaving it.
JD: Fernando Vargas?
AM: Should retire.
JD: Ricardo Mayorga?
AM: Never dedicated.
JD: Carlos Manuel Baldomir?
AM: Right place at the right time.
JD: Zab Judah?
AM: Bad for boxing.
JD: Arturo Gatti?
AM: Needs to retire.
JD: Ricky Hatton?
AM: Exciting to watch.
JD: Kassim Ouma?
JD: Roman Karmazin?
AM: He's with a bad promoter.
JD: Sergey Dzindziruk?
AM: Don't know him.
JD: Kermit Cintron?
AM: Hope he wins the IBF Title.
JD: Carlos Quintana?
AM: Deserves the opportunity.
JD: Paul Williams?
AM: Two positives, tall and southpaw.
JD: You seem to have poor luck against Daniel Santos, you've already fought with him twice and never won. How come?
AM: Cuts. The first time we fought, I got cut in the first round. The second time we fought, I got cut around the fourth.
JD: You were born in California, but your permanent residence is in Tijuana. How did it happen that you chose to reverse the popular trend? How do your compatriots see it?
AM: Yes, I was bor in California, but I've been in Mexico from the first week I was born. I guess my mother crossed the border just to have me, then crossed back to raise me. I'm Mexican, just born in the other side.
JD: How was career and of course your whole life, impacted by the death of your brother?
AM: I really wish my brother could be here with me to share what I have. I was once asked, "if you could bring your brother back by giving everything back, would you do it?" I definitely would do it. I always had my brother with me, he was suppose to be with me in Texas, but the promoter of the event only gave us three flights and my
brother was not able to attend. My brother is always with me inside and out of the ring.
JD: Tell us a bit about your nearest and dearest. How do you find the life in Tijuana?
AM: My wife is my biggest supporter. She is a big driving force, and is as tough as the opponents I fight. She is well aware that the sacrifices we make now will reward us later. I love Tijuana. I really don't think I'll ever leave.
JD: It would seem that in the next WBO defense fight you will face Joshua Clottey, a tough boxer with good record of previous fights. How will you prepare for that fight?
AM: I never take anyone lightly, and I definitely don't take anyone for granted. I've seen Clottey fight, he a tough fighter who deserved this opportunity years ago.
JD: Do you have any associations regarding Poland and Polish people?
AM: I'm sorry I don't. I'm a person who usually keeps to himself. Don't get me wrong, I'm friendly, but a bit shy.
JD: Have you noticed any Polish boxers?
AM: Andrew Golota.
JD: Many thanks for the interview, also on the behalf of our website's readers. We wish you many further spectacular successes and we trust that you'll keep dazzling your fans (including the Polish ones) with your aggressive and spectacular style.
AM: I want to thank you very much for this interview and I want to let all my fans that I will not let them down and I will carry them to the top with me.
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