Willie Monroe Jr. Interview Transcript

Artie Pelullo: Hi, guys. Hello. Good morning to everybody. I guess the opening statement that I would like to make is I would like to thank Gennady Golovkin and Tom Loeffler for giving Willie Monroe this opportunity. As we all know, Willie is number two in the world, and the reason why we’re here is because of how well he did in 2014 by winning four fights in a row, including the tournament that ESPN had the ability and the foresight to put on called Boxcino. And then Willie came back and then won a unanimous decision after winning the tournament against Bryan Vera, which now has put him in the status to challenge the best middleweight in the world, and it’s going to be a very interesting fight.

It’s a fight that we believe we can win. Most people don’t think Willie can win the fight, but we do; that’s why we took it. And it’s going to be a terrific fight, and I think Gennady is going to be in for a very difficult fight with a very good fighter who can do things that nobody who’s fought Gennady has done before.

So, I just want to say thank you to Gennady because it’s a voluntary fight, and he said he wanted to fight a tough guy who is a southpaw and this is the best southpaw out there. And Tom Loeffler’s a very good guy, a friend of ours and mine, not ours, mine, and has been able to make this deal rather quickly.

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I want to thank HBO for also for putting the fight on because Peter Nelson who buys the fight for HBO realized that this is going to be a very compelling match, and back then to my opening statement. I want to thank everybody. Bernie, you’re doing a good job, and then now what Bernie. I guess, where’s this—is Willie on the line?

Willie Monroe Jr.: Yes, I’m here.

Artie Pellulo: Go ahead, Willie.

Willie Monroe Jr.: I’m just grateful. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Thanks to Banner Promotions for putting me in the position to fight for the middleweight world championship against the greatest middleweight in the world at this time, and I’m blessed. So, thanks to Banner Promotions, and ESPN Boxcino and HBO. Thank you.

Artie Pellulo: Tony, would you like to say a few words?

Tony Morgan: Yes. How you all doing? I just want to say we’re glad to have the opportunity. Thanks to Tom Loeffler, Banner Promotions, HBO for giving us this opportunity to do what we do. Thank you.

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Q. Hi, Willie. In your opening remarks, you referred to Gennady Golovkin, saying you’d be grateful to fight for the middleweight championship against the fighter known as the greatest middleweight of his time. I just want to know if you believe that Gennady is the best middleweight out there today.

Willie Monroe Jr.: I mean, what he’s done is he’s proven himself. And he’s widely known as the best middleweight out there, so you can’t argue with it, and obviously, I’m up there around two or number three, so that’s why I’m thankful for this fight. So, I can’t chop the man down. I won’t sit up here and chop him down because once I win, then I’ll be chopping myself.

Q. Right. Okay. Do you believe there’s any fight that you’ve had, leading into this, that can prepare you? I mean, obviously, Gennady’s better than everyone you’ve fought, but is there any particular style that you’ve faced that prepares you for what to expect next Saturday?

Willie Monroe Jr.: I think my whole career from the amateurs all the way up to now has prepared me for this opportunity. I mean I had 142 amateur fights, I’m a three time national champion.

I fought in Boxcino—I mean, Gennady is a little bit of a mixture of everyone I fought in Boxcino all the way up to Bryan Vera. So I think this is the pinnacle, and it’s my job to go in and do what I do best.

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Q. Hi, guys. Thanks for taking the time to do the call. Appreciate it. The question is for trainer Tony Morgan. Tony, you were in the news recently, a slight misstep it looks like. I’m not sure the situation and specifics, but I’m wondering has there been any interruption in training, and has that affected things at all, and how’s the relationship with you guys? And, how’s training going?

Tony Morgan: Flawless. We don’t have any issues. Everything is in the hands of my attorneys with my situation. The situation here is just training camp and that’s—we’re going to go through and do what we do, and put the pieces of the puzzle together, and solve the puzzle that nobody seems to be able to do.

Q.: Hi, Tony. It’s also the question for the trainer. We all think that this fight will be about speed versus power, and power on the side of Gennady, obviously, and the speed, which is supposed to prevent him to knockout his punches will supposed to be the number one most important thing for your fighter, for Willie. How do you see the fight? Are we wrong? Are we right? Give us a little bit, a glimpse of what we can expect from Willie in this fight.

Tony Morgan: I think the fight will truly be won by ring intelligence. I think what we bring to the table is something Gennady’s never seen and realistically can’t prepare for. I mean, there’s really only one Willie Monroe. There’s two guys, maybe three that mimic his style that is very fast, very elusive.

Willie had a lot of knockouts in the amateurs, not saying Willie always goes in there to be a big puncher, but I think people are going to be surprised as they were with Bryan Vera. I think it’s going to be a big surprise for a lot of people, not for us, but for everybody else.

Q.: And one more question, this time for Willie. All those talks, all those bets around Las Vegas and all over the world from 60:1 to 80:1 for Golovkin is just bulletin board material for you? Do you need extra motivation? Do you use this as extra motivation or are you just pushing this all information about you being basically—you basically lost already before you went into the ring? You just don’t pay attention to it?

Willie Monroe Jr.: I mean, after this fight is over, and I’m the new WBA champion, I will tell you guys a little story, and give you guys a little insight on my personal life, but I say that to say this. I’ve been the underdog since I was conceived in my mother’s womb, and I mean that literally; that’s not a figure of speech. I mean that literally.

So, being an underdog is what I relish because those are the moments where I rise to the occasion and do—sometimes I surprise myself with how good I do, so I’m in my element. If I was the favorite, then I’d be a little worried, but being the underdog is what I actually relish because it motivates me to do what I need to do.

Everybody’s different. Some people need to be encouraged and told that they’re the best, to be the best, and some people need to be told that you can’t do it, so they can go out there and prove that they can. And I’m one of those people that’s always looking to prove people wrong.

Q. Alright. So, of course this is the biggest fight of your career and being the fact that boxing has probably been in the best shape that it’s been in quite a while, how do you feel about being part of boxing’s future, going forward?

Willie Monroe Jr.: It’s a blessing. This is something that we’ve said since I turned pro. My trainer’s always said I will resurrect boxing; I will bring back the true essence of boxing and being articulate, inside as well as outside of the ring.

Well now, I think the timing is perfect. I mean, it’s a blessing for me. I’m blessed, and I’m elated to have this opportunity and this is just the beginning.

At the end of the day, it’s all about what I do. I mean, it doesn’t matter the pedigree or where you come from or what the name is, it’s all about how you apply yourself and what you do in the ring and what you do in training camp leading up to the fight. So, I really try not to live off what my dad and my uncle did. I’m creating my own legacy, and my own right, and as of right now, I’ve made it further than both of them already.

So, it’s really nothing for me to do me and be me.

Q. Alright. Thanks for taking my call. This question is for Willie. From looking at you, you are a boxer, a very slick guy, and a lot of technical skill. Who did you look up to? Who do you pattern your style after, in terms of as a fighter?

Willie Monroe Jr.: My two favorite fighters, premier fighters are the champions, Roy Jones, Jr., and Sugar Ray Leonard. Anybody who was fast and very elusive and could do things physically that other fighters just can’t pull off, and do it in such a pretty fashion. Those are the guys that I look up to.

Hector “Macho” Camacho Sr., Pernell Whitaker, all of those guys that were special, physically and mentally special. So those are the guys that I like to watch all the time and emulate.

Q. Thank you very much, and hi, everybody. Willie, it was right before you were going into training camp, you were on with myself and Gerry Cooney. You said you were very confident about this fight. How did training camp go and how do you feel?

Willie Monroe Jr: Training camp’s good. Training camp’s great. I’m more confident now that we’re in tiptop shape, but I mean everything is good. Everything is good. This is the fight I’ve wanted. This is the fight I said I wanted right after Boxcino.

A lot of people are insinuating that oh, you must be getting paid a lot of money. I mean, this is the fight I asked for. When all the blogs and different interviews, they asked me what middleweight would you like to fight? I said Gennady Golovkin. I mean, he’s the best. So, you either go hard or go home.

So, I mean, everything’s good. Camp is great. I’m having fun. I mean, just ask yourself who is my trainer, then you know how good training camp is going. I got the best trainer in the world.

Q. Okay, and let’s see, let’s go back to upsets, Leon Spinks over Muhammad Ali, Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson. This is really going to be looked at because GGG is certainly in the top two or three pound for pound in the world. If you win this fight, it’s going to be one of the biggest upsets over the last 30 years or so. How do you look at it?

Willie Monroe Jr.: I look at it the same way, and you have to. I mean, look what he’s accomplished as a fighter; 19 straight knockouts. He made his American debut in 2012, and he’s knocked out everybody thus far. And I mean like why wouldn’t you want to take that cloak of invincibility from somebody? And, I mean, I’m the one that can do it.

But, I mean, once the bell rings, and on May 16th nobody can get in there and fight for him, nobody can get in there and fight for me, it’s all about what we apply and what we adjust to that night and may the best man win.

Q. You got it. Final question. Were you disappointed in the big fight the other night, Mayweather and Pacquiao?

Willie Monroe Jr.: Not really because I knew it was going to be like that. It’s one of those stylistically matchups where you just kind of know what’s going to happen, and I’m glad it’s done and over with, so people can stop talking.

Q. Thank you very much. This is a question for Tony. Tony, I’m not going to ask you to give away any of your training secrets before the fight, but you did mention—there was a mention in the lead up that you’re going to be bringing something different to the fight. Let me put it in these terms. In watching Golovkin’s previous opponents, did you identify any mistakes that you think Willie can correct in this fight?

Tony Morgan: I think that Golovkin makes a lot of mistakes. I think he’s beatable. I think any guy’s beatable if you bring the right plan to the table, but yeah, we’re going to capitalize on his mistakes and I don’t want to say we’re going to expose him because he is a great fighter, but we’re going to expose Willie. We’re going to expose what Willie really is, and what he’s really capable of doing.

Q. And Tony, on your follow-up to the question, and that’s a great answer. The question was actually aimed at Golovkin’s opponents and their mistakes that you might be able now to avoid? So, have you looked and seen that the Geale’s and the Murray’s and the Macklin’s of the world, did they do anything that you think you and Willie can avoid?

Tony Morgan: One hundred percent, all of them are pretty much all flat-footed and all of them stand in front of Golovkin. Sooner or later, he gets people to stand in front of him. I don’t think he’s going to be able to capitalize on anything that he’s used to doing because he’s never fought anybody the caliber of Willie Monroe.

I’m not saying that we beat everybody who is out there. We don’t have a name like he does, but the style that Willie presents is a style that’s imitated by no one, really.

Bernie Bahrmasel: Artie, we’re going to go ahead and wrap up the call if you want to make your closing comments and have Tony and Willie join you, that would be fantastic.

Artie Pelullo: Sure. Listen, once again, I want to thank everybody for giving Willie the opportunity. I think Tony and Willie said it right, and we all know that it’s going to be a great fight. We’re going to win the fight, and that’s how much confidence we have in Willie’s ability. But if it wasn’t for Tom Loeffler and Gennady Golovkin and HBO giving Willie this opportunity, we wouldn’t be here.

So, I want to say thank you to everybody. We’re going to be out there off all week, so there’s a lot going on. Willie will be available to do interviews one on one, there’ll be an open workout, and just want to thank everybody for having us and it’s going to be a great show. It’s going to be a very good fight. It’s going to be much more than people realize what Willie can do, and it’s going to be a great show, and I think that Gennady Golovkin knows that, and I think he’s taking it very seriously.

So, once again, thank you, everybody, and I’ll turn it over to Willie and then Tony. Go ahead, Willie.

Willie Monroe Jr.: I’m just thankful for this opportunity and like Artie eluded to, you have to thank GGG and his camp for taking this fight and for giving Willie an opportunity, myself, Willie Monroe, an opportunity to tango with the best, and I’m happy, so thanks Tom Loeffler, thanks team GGG. And an even bigger thanks to my team for believing in me and putting in the work the last seven weeks. May 16th is show time.

Bernie Bahrmasel: Go ahead, Tony.

Tony Morgan: I just want to say thanks for all the support, thanks for GGG’s team for allowing us to get this opportunity, thanks for Artie, and Banner Promotions, and we’re going to go out and do what we do. We win, that’s what we do, so I just want to say thanks and thanks for the interview and appreciate the publicity.

Bernie Bahrmasel: Thanks very much, gentlemen. Again, this is going to be a tremendous fight. This is the best middleweight in the world against a fighter who’s truly earned this opportunity to fight him. And we look forward to seeing all the media in Los Angeles next week, and we look forward to everybody watching the fight on May 16th on HBO. Thanks very much, everyone.

GOLOVKIN VS. MONROE FIGHT INFO:
Gennady Golovkin vs. Willie Monroe is a 12-round middleweight world championship bout presented by K2 Promotions and GGG Promotions in association with Banner Promotions and the Forum. The fight will take place Saturday, May 16 at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. PT and the first bout starts at 4:45 p.m. PT., the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Golovkin, 32-0 (29KO’s) will be defending his World Boxing Association, International Boxing Organization and “Interim” World Boxing Council Middleweight World Titles against #2 ranked challenger Monroe,
19-1-0 (6KO’s).

Co-featured on the telecast is 12-round junior flyweight matchup between World Boxing Council Champion ROMAN “Chocolatito” GONZALEZ, 42-0 (36KO’s) and #2 ranked challenger and former world champion EDGAR SOSA, 51-8-0 (30KO’s).

GONZALEZ vs. SOSA is presented by K2 Promotions and Teiken Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions.

Tickets for May 16 – Golovkin vs. Monroe are priced at $300, $200, $100, $60 and $30, plus applicable fees and service charges, and are on sale now and available for purchase at the Forum Box Office (Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com.

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