Erik Morales Media Conference Call Transcript

08.11.06 - BOB ARUM: Hello everybody. Iím looking over the box office report as we talk. There are more than 13,000 tickets that have been sold so far, there are less than 4,000 remaining. Weíre on pace to sell this fight out. Maybe even a couple of days before the fight. This is really something that boxing used to be -- a fight thatís captured the imagination of so many people; a fight where people clamor to buy tickets. This is a fight that belongs on pay per-view. Why? Because both of these guys come to fight and itís going to be an interesting entertaining fight.

Let me talk to you just a little about the under card. We have a WBC light flyweight championship fight between Omar NiŮo and Brian Viloria and also a 140 pound WBO championship fight for the vacant title, between Ricardo Torres and Mighty Mike Arnaoutis.

So, this is a tremendous card. Itís going to be an entertaining fight, itís going to be bombs away and we are so pleased that we can present to the public in the United States and all over the world a great warrior like Manny Pacquiao who will be facing our champion Erik ďEl TerribleĒ Morales, who has always performed so brilliantly in the ring and given his all.

So let me turn it over to the pride of Mexico. Erik "El Terrible" Morales. Erik.

ERIK MORALES: First Iíd like to thank Bob for those kind words and Iíd like to say that Iím getting ready and I am ready now. We worked real hard on everything -- technique, conditioning, everything, and weíre ready to go. I canít wait for November 18th.

DAN RAFAEL, ESPN.COM: Erik, do you believe that your career is on the line with this fight because you have lost three of your last four and not quite sure where you would go if you were to lose this fight also.

MORALES: You know I like to think that Iím going to get Ė Iím ready to win but this fight it is a tough fight, itís a difficult fight, but itís one that Iím going to win. And thatís really, thatís all thatís in my mind. After November 18th, maybe Iíll answer the same question differently.

DAN RAFAEL: You fought Manny twice so far, you won the first fight and you lost the second fight. What will be different in this fight to make it more like the first fight?

MORALES: I think that thereís really not much to change. Itís just a question of being ready to go 12 rounds, a hard 12 rounds, and have the condition to do so and I think I do have the condition to go 12 rounds with him. You know whatever it needs to go with the intensity level that I need. I think that Iím ready to go those 12 rounds and that I will show you that I can still be at the top level.

DAN RAFAEL: Can you just talk a little bit about the process of trying to drop the weight now that youíre working with a professional conditioner as opposed to doing it on your own more or less over the course of your career.

MORALES: Yes, working with Velocity has been a real good thing to do. I think, you know, that we took a lot of time to get ready for this fight for the weight, to make the weight, and I feel real strong, and I think thatís going to be the key. Not only lose the weight but be real strong after it.

KARL FREITAG, FIGHT NEWS.COM: Erik what do you attribute the different results from the first and second fight to?

MORALES: You know, at the first fight I needed to win. I was with an urgency I needed to get credibility back in my career after coming off a tough loss and you know, I think I was ready. I prepared myself as well as I ever have for that first fight and it showed.

For the second fight, you know, I just made so many, just make too many changes in my routine from my camp, on everything. Just make too many changes that I shouldnít have done. I should have just stayed with what I had and I mean you learn and I think thatís the big difference.

For this fight; I think Iím going to be 100 percent. I know Iím going to be 100 percent. I feel real good. I think Iíve worked real hard for the last three months and Iím ready. Iím going to be as ready as Iím ever going to be for a fight.

KARL FREITAG: Is this the most pressure you have ever felt to win for a fight and in the event that youíre not successful in this fight would this be it for your career. Is this fight that important?

MORALES: You know, to the contrary. I feel very good about this fight. Thereís no pressure, I feel no pressure. I know what I needed to do to get to this fight, to win this fight and Iíve done it. I feel like Iíve done everything I needed to do and that I donít see why there should be any pressure for me in this fight as long as I did my work, which I have done, and be ready for this type of fight.

KARL FREITAG: Question for Bob. Thereís a huge buzz there seems like just around for this fight. Do you think this could to a million buys or a half million buys, what are you shooting for?

BOB ARUM: Whatever the buys are is determined by the public. There is a huge buzz for this fight. Iím not in the predicting business anymore. I want to be surprised. Iíd like to Ė last fight we did I think 370,000 buys, something like that and I hope that we do more for this fight.

The public will decide. You know the public has been buying into a lot of pay-per-view fights that frankly it turned out to be garbage. Barrera and Juarez; Mayweather and Baldomir. Those werenít scintillating fights, but the public knows that theyíre going to see a real fight on Saturday.

A really classic battle and hopefully theyíll buy it in the numbers like you say. I mean if the fight does a million buys Iím going to do a party for the boxing media like youíve never seen before.

PATRICK KEHOE: Erik, do you feel youíre still a patient fighter in the ring? And if you feel you still are, why have you sort of tended to mix it up a little more, I donít know, recklessly maybe than you used to?

MORALES: I think you know as most fights are different. It depends whoís in front of you. I think sometimes you have to do things because of circumstances (INAUDIBLE). And sometimes, you can do whatever it calls for. I just think that sometimes you just have to do what you need to do with the opponent to win the fight.

PATRICK KEHOE: To sort of follow up on the third question that Dan had to do with his diet. It seems like thereís almost, thereís a need certainly when you turn about 30 years old, thereís a need to understand the science of eating and calories and dietetics and that sort of thing.

How closely have you been working on that now and do you find that thatís really more important Ė is it the most important thing youíre doing almost?

MORALES: I think the key to everything is, you know, I always Ė everybody knows that I always had trouble making any weight, so yes I have always been well aware of my nutrition and my diet and what I need to do.

Obviously as we get older you have to do it probably a little more. Conscious, conscious, be more conscious of it and thatís what Iíve done. Iím more conscious of it. I think thatís why Iíve taken so much time for this fight, to get ready. That all comes hand in hand you know. The diet and the preparation, the training the nutrition. .

EVGAR CHAVEZ, ADELANTE: In the first fight you seemed to box him real well. In the second fight you probably went at him a little bit more. What do you think youíre going to do the second fight?

MORALES: You know Iím going to try to do the best I can. whatever I need to do Iím going to try to give everyone a good show. Iím not going to be ever booed off the ring. No oneís ever booed me off any ring and itís never going to happen to me.

So, you know, Iím (INAUDIBLE) Iím going to do the best I can to give everyone a great show

-- thatís what Iím preparing for thatís why I worked so hard. And I hope the other guy also has worked very hard to get ready for this fight because you know I heard that theyíre saying something about Iím not going to make 130 or whatever but let me tell you, as far as Iím concerned thereís going to be a fight and itís going to be a real good fight and I hope theyíre ready for it.

EVGAR CHAVEZ: Did the WBC make this an elimination bout for the winner to fight Barrera?

MORALES: Iím not worried about that right now. All Iím worried about is November 18th and once that fightís over then we can look at things and see whatís going to happen.

BOB ARUM: Yes, let me just say one thing. You know I respect the WBC. We didnít contract with the WBC to make this an elimination match, weíre not interested in making it an elimination match. Weíre not going to pay a sanction fee like itís an elimination match. It is not going to happen. This is a fight between Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao. Twelve rounds, the Grand Finale. It is not an elimination match.

ROBERT MORALES, LA DAILY NEWS GROUP: Erik do you believe that Ė that at least in your own mind, that you have to win this fight in order to remain an elite fighter?

MORALES: Yes, we thought about it. You know this is a very important fight. I know that I need to win, thatís why I -- we work so hard, you know, I have a lot of help here. I have a real good team, Top Rank that helped me a lot. To do everything that I can to do this. Iíve taken this fight very seriously and yes itís very important to win it.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: Erik, what went wrong in the second fight with Manny Pacquiao because just about a year earlier you had defeated him and yet you got stopped in the second fight, and what went wrong and what can we expect different this time?

MORALES: I think, you know, just before the second fight there were just too many changes. I just make too many changes in my preparation for that fight. I it was a mistake to have done all those, all those changes at one time, but we went back to basics. You know, my dad is back in camp with me. We put a real good team together. You know everyone knows what their job is. Technically we work real hard in boxing and we also work in conditioning, (INAUDIBLE) been great, and I just feel great. Itís been an excellent preparation and I feel great. Iím very happy with where weíre at and Iím ready for this fight.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: As Iím sure everybodyís aware, a number of people have written that they think that you are passed your peak that the loss to RAHEEM and the loss in the second fight with Pacquiao meant that youíre taking too much punishment in the ring to still fight at a top level. Iíd like to get your response to that.

MORALES: You know, anybody can write or say whatever they want. It is just words. Yes, I care about all of that and I also heard Pacquiao say is that Iím an old man, that Iím done. Weíll see November 18th. Thatís why we go up in the ring, to prove our worth and Iíll prove what I am on November 18th.

DAN RAFAEL: You mentioned a moment ago about that you had made a lot of change prior to the second fight with Pacquiao and that one of them was your father left the camp. Can you just talk about what itís been like to have your dad back? I know he just missed the one fight but whatís been the difference having your father back in the camp and what was the reason for the short split in the first place?

MORALES: You know, I really donít, you know, he is whatís in there for my next fight, thatís all I can tell you. There are just things that happen between people, but all I can tell you is that Iím happy to have him back. We didnít really even talk about him not being there the last fight. All we talked about is getting ready for this fight.

And he knows me real well. He knows what I need to do; he knows my weaknesses; he knows my strengths and he points them out to me. And I think weíre able to better some things and I think that was what we wanted to do I think. Iím very happy with what weíve done in camp and I think he is as well.

DAN RAFAEL: One of the things about making the deal for this fight was there was really some exorbitant penalties in there financially for you if you didnít make the weight. Does that motivate you every time you think about maybe taking a little extra bite that if youíre even the slight bit over you may cost them . $5 million or even $1 million depending how much overweight you are? Do you think about that and were you agreeable to do that because you were so confident that you would make weight and had so much desire to make it?

MORALES: You know, to me, the way I looked at it is just part of doing business. I mean, you know I know whatís been going on in Las Vegas lately with the over-weights so I know that they had to do this. I mean, theyíre just covering themselves which is fine. Iím fine with that. You know, Iím very confident Iím going to make the weight and Iíve prepared myself to do so, but thatís neither a motivation or something else. I mean itís just there.

DAN RAFAEL: I have one quick question for Bob. You mentioned a little while ago about -- somebody had asked a question about the WBC calling this an elimination fight and you said you were not interested in that and not paying fees or anything like that. While I applaud your notion, Iím just curious what has changed you mind, to do it like this?

BOB ARUM: Nothing has changed my mind. I mean, I found out for the first time today that the WBC wanted to call this an elimination match so as to get a sanction fee. And the last fight we allowed them to call it WBC International where the total sanction fees were $5,000 and thatís fine, but shit nobody is Ė I mean they have nothing to do with this fight, nobody wants this fight as an elimination, neither fighter, and certainly Iím the damn promoter. Nobodyís even talked to me about it and there is no way, there is no way, that Iím going to let these two fighters who are hard working fighters who bleed in the ring, who come with everything pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for bullshit.

DAN RAFAEL: So youíll let him call it an eliminator as long as the money is not being taken from anyÖ

BOB ARUM: He can call it whatever the hell he wants. He can call it whatever the hell he wants but heís not extracting hundreds of thousands of dollars from these kids. Period.

DAN RAFAEL: I just, you know Bob, not to belabor the point but we sort of went through this a little bit with the Judah/Mayweather fight and a lot of people were on their case about it because they called it a title fight and these guys were paying sanction feesÖ

BOB ARUM: Yes. So I mean Mayweather wanted that fight to be a title fight for the IBF championship so he paid the sanction fee and the next day gave up the title. I mean, thatís crazy.

DAN RAFAEL: I got you. OK.

BOB ARUM: Let me just say one thing and then you get back. I want to follow up on Dan Rafaelís question. It seems to me that in the last promotion I did, a pay-per-view with Rahman and Maskaev, a fighter named Humberto Soto fought on that card, right? Fought on that card and paid a sanction fee for an elimination bout. Thatís the same weight as these guys, 130. So how is it (ph) another (expletive deleted) elimination bout. I mean Iím really, I mean this is a (expletive deleted) disgrace. Iím sorry, go ahead Robert.

ROBERT MORALES: Thatís okay. I like that kind of stuff. Erik, in regard to the Personal Velocity training, how difficult was that in comparison to any other kind of training youíve ever done?

MORALES: You know it really hasnít been hard. Itís just been, you know, a little tiring because itís a lot of work to do. Itís been a lot of work that has to be done and itís getting a little tiresome but other than that it hasnít really been hard. Itís just something that you do and itís different so you kind of enjoy it most of the time.

ALEX STONE: Erik, youíve been through 52 fights and a couple of epic wars pretty much. Youíre 30 years old and we know youíve had trouble making weight. How much more can your body take and how much longer do you see yourself in this sport regardless of the results of this fight?

MORALES: You know, without a doubt Iíve been in a lot of fights. Thereís been a lot of tough fights along the road, but you know I think a lot of my problems have been with making the weight. And I think thatís been a lot of reason that itís been maybe been the hardest part for me. Getting in on the weight for this fight. But for this fight I feel really good and I not only feel very good, I look very good. You know, I look very good in the gym, what Iím trying to do and I think itís been an eye opener for me. So I donít know how many more fights Iím going to have but believe me I feel real well and after November 18th weíll find out how good I am, how good I feel, how good I am and then weíll go from there.

ALEX STONE: Thank you and just one more question. if you continue to struggle to make weight Erik, will you move up in a weight class?

MORALES: You know I really donít know. Letís fight on November 18th. Letís see how I look on November 18th after all this work and then weíll decide what we need to do.

Article posted on 09.11.2006

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