By James Slater: Recently, “regular” World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight ruler Julio Cesar Chavez Junior and challenger Peter Manfredo came face to face at a press conference to promote their November 19th fight. Set for The Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas, the fight has many fans excited, with a number of experts also anticipating an all-action battle.
30-year-old Manfredo, known as “The Pride of Providence,” rose to prominence in the popular “Contender” T.V show, yet he feels his entire career has been leading up to this moment. Manfredo, 37-6(20) overall and unbeaten in his last six, says he is ready and willing to put everything he has into next month’s fight.
Very kindly taking the time to speak with me last night (U.K time), the WBC challenger had the following things to say:
James Slater: It’s always great to be able to speak with you, Peter! The fight with Chavez Junior is officially set now – you must be thrilled?
Peter Manfredo: Yes, I am thrilled. It’s taken three years to get back here, to this level, and after all I’ve worked for this fight, this is my last chance and I know that. That’s why I’m going to give it all in the fight. This is it. I’ll leave it all in the ring in this fight.
J.S: The fans know that about you, Peter, and that’s why they both like you and feel you will win. Another reason is because they don’t seem to think Chavez is the real deal – at least a lot of fans don’t seem to think he is. Do you think Chavez Jr. is as good as his hype suggests?
P.M: Well, he’s a good fighter, but he’s not a great like a Joe Calzaghe or Sakio Bika; the guys who beat me. He’s definitely beatable in my opinion and I’ll prove it when we fight.
J.S: You’ve worked hard and steadily for this fight; you told me way back ( at least it seems way back), in April or May of 2009, that you were not going to rush in your middleweight campaign. Has this fight come at the perfect time for you?
P.M: Yes it has. I’ve worked two months for this fight. My weight is good, I feel great. I’m definitely in 12-round shape. At the very least there is one great fight left in me, and this fight will be it. Lose this fight, and I’ll be hanging up the gloves; I’ll fight no more. I have worked hard for this chance – I don’t have a world famous father behind me, who has allowed me to feed off certain opponents. I came up the hard way and I’ve earned my shot. I’ll pay my house off with this fight.
J.S: There’s no doubt you‘ve earned it! Do you see a great slugfest, as many people do?
P.M: I think his people feel this will be his best win so far, and it will definitely be my biggest win, so we both agree on that. The thing is, he’ll know he’s in with a different class of fighter when he’s in with me; the best since he’s started out. He’s tough, as a Mexican, and I think he’ll be able to take a lot of punches. I mean, the best thing, the smartest thing, would be to box this guy and make him miss. But I wear my heart on my sleeve, as does he, and when he waves me in I’ll think ‘f**k it!’ and start to trade with him. The fans will be the real winners in this fight.
J.S: Are you happy with the venue for the fight?
P.M: I am, yes. I wouldn’t want to go to Mexico to fight him. But I was in Houston yesterday, and it seems a nice place, a nice fight town. I’ll also have a lot of friends and family there to cheer me on. I think I’m a harder hitter then he is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no one-punch KO guy, but I hit harder then he does. Compare me and him against Matt Vanda (Manfredo WU10 in Jan. 2010, Chavez Jr. WS10 in July 2008 and WU10 Nov. 2008) – I gave Vanda a beating and he barely got past the guy. [John] Duddy also rocked him, and I’m better than these guys.
J.S: I’ve taken up enough of your time so close to fight night. You must be raring to go now, Peter?
P.M: I feel great. I worked out last night and people said I looked sharp – a whole lot better than I looked a couple of weeks back. I think I’ve peaked in time. I’m angry and I’m ready to fight now.
J.S: Best wishes for the fight. It’s been great speaking with you. For my final question: do you see a KO win or a decision?
P.M: Like I say, he’s tough and I think he’ll be able to take a lot of punches. I’m not thinking about a KO. If one comes that will be the icing on the cake. I’m ready, mentally and physically, to go 12-rounds.