Marcos Maidana Q&A: "I have unfinished business with Robert Guerrero"
By Anson Wainwright (Jan 10, 2013) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Ramón Cairo and Fenix Entertainment)
Argentinean wrecking ball Marcos Maidana waged war with Jesus Soto Karass on
the night of 15th September
supporting the Saul Alvarez-Josesito Lopez card on Mexican Independence Weekend,
he stated he wished to return to action before the end of the year. When his
promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, failed to deliver the opportunity, Maidana
dually took things upon himself and fought in front of his adoring patrons at
the world famous Estadio Luna Park in his nation’s capital, Buenos Aires, where
he battered hapless Angel Martinez into defeat in three rounds. The win furthered
“El Chino’s” title claim at welterweight having previously been a two-time WBA
light welterweight champion. The 29-year-old, who boasts an impressive 33-3 (30)
record with an 83% KO ratio, is reportedly in the running to face WBA 147-pound
kingpin Paulie Malignaggi as soon as April, though he’s clearly
willing to face anyone, craving big fights.
Anson Wainwright - You stayed
busy beating Angel Martinez recently. Can you tell us about the fight?
Marcos Maidana - Well, after the fight against
Soto Karass last September 15, I was willing to do one more fight in 2012
‘cause I was excited about getting back on track. Right after we came back from
Las Vegas, we consulted Golden Boy Promotions whether there would be a big
fight for me before the end of the year. There was nothing available, so we
decided to stay busy. It was good for me to have a few rounds and to get a nice
knockout win before my people who always support me.
AW - That fight took place at the Estadio Luna
Park in Buenos Aires, it's one of the most famous boxing venues in the world. Can
you tell us about it and what it was like fighting there?
MM - Fighting at the Luna Park has always a
special flavour since all the legendary fighters from Argentina and abroad have
fought there. It is like a myth for boxing. You can only compare it with
Madison Square Garden. It was my third time fighting there and it felt great.
AW - Early in 2012, you fought Devon
Alexander. It wasn't your best performance. I wondered if you had lost some of
your edge as a fighter having moved up in weight. However, you looked like your
old self again when you stopped Jesus Soto Karass. Can you tell us what changed?
MM - See, I hate making excuses. That’s not for
fighters. But the real story is, that night, I fought with an intestinal
infection. It’s not that I’m taking anything away from Devon who beat me fair
and square but it wasn’t me in ring that night. I barely could move. Most
people said that I couldn’t fight as a welterweight but myself and my team were
convinced that it had only been a bad night. And I think I proved that I can
still punch against a tough guy like Soto Karass. It was very important for me
to have Robert Garcia as my new trainer ‘cause he’s teaching me some things
that I believe are very important.
- What are your plans for 2013? Who are you targeting?
MM - Right after the fight against Soto Karass,
Golden Boy Promotions’ [CEO] Richard Schaefer told me he wanted me to fight for
a world title next. The fight had been a WBA eliminator, so it made sense. The
first name that came to mind was WBA welterweight champion Paul Malignaggi but
in the last few days, I’ve read that, for some reason, they are planning to put
Paulie against Shane Mosley. The other fighter I feel we have unfinished
business with is Robert Guerrero, the WBC [interim] welterweight champion with
whom we had a fight signed in 2011 but he had to pull out from only one week
before the fight. I’m still expecting him to face me. When I was the champion,
I accepted his challenge. But now that he is the champion, he doesn’t seem to
pay me [respect] the same way. Let’s see. There are other names out there like
Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, Andre Berto, Josesito Lopez, even Lucas Matthysse and
AW - Who are the key members of your team,
your manager, trainer and promoter? Also where do you train in America and
while you’re in Argentina?
MM - My trainer is Robert Garcia; my physical
conditioner is Cecilio Flores. My advisor is Sebastian Contursi. When I’m in
America, I train at Robert Garcia’s Boxing Academy in Oxnard, California and I
have no particular place to train when I’m at home.
- Can you talk to us about your youth growing up in Santa Fe?
MM - We were a poor family from the country
fields, living in the middle of nowhere. Those were tough conditions but we
always had a plate of food on the table. I was like any other kid from around
trying to get my future. Then all of a sudden, I started to box when a guy came
to town and organized a local competition. I looked good as I rapidly started
to knock all my opponents out, so they took me to the city of Santa Fe, which
is a big city. Then I was called up for the national team, so I had to live in
Buenos Aires, definitely a major city. My memories about my childhood are happy
ones. Except from a few stupid things that I did and landed me in the local
jail for a few days, I can say that I was a happy boy.
- What are your thoughts and comments on the current welterweight division and
its champions, the WBC’s Floyd Mayweather, the WBC’s interim titlist Robert
Guerrero, the WBA’s Paulie Malignaggi, the IBF’s Devon Alexander and the WBO’s
MM - They are all great fighters. Obviously, I
feel like Floyd is a few steps ahead the rest and I’d love to face them all.
Those are fights that you can either lose or win but are the kind of challenges
that I like. Hopefully, I’ll face some of them very soon. That’s what I expect.
AW - I appreciate he's still at 140 and
you're at 147 now but one fight I'd like to see personally more than any other
in boxing is you against Lucas Matthysse. That has the makings of Marvin Hagler
vs. Thomas Hearns. What are your thoughts and comments on that fight?
MM - People have been asking me about that fight
all the time. Personally, it’s not like I’m dying to face Lucas because we
started together in Santa Fe. But we already faced each other four times in the
amateurs. I beat him three times and the other was a draw. All of them were
great fights but, of course, we’re pros and if that’s the fight people want, we
have to deliver it. I’m willing to fight him in a catchweight. I could drop
four pounds and he could move up three pounds and make it at 143 pounds for
instance. We all know that it would be a great bout.
- You were a pretty good amateur back in the day. Can you talk about your
amateur achievements and what titles/tournaments you won? What was your final
MM - I did like 84 fights and won almost 70 if
I’m not wrong. I won national title three times including a great tournament in
which I beat both Matthysse and Hector Saldivia. Then in a pre-Olympic
tournament in Tijuana, I felt like I was robbed in a fight against a Mexican
when I was on the verge to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games. But definitely the
Olympic style was not for me, so I wanted to become a pro.
AW - Your brother, Fabian, is a top amateur
back in Argentina. Can you tell us about him? Is he going pro? What current
prospects/amateurs do you believe will come through and represent your country
one day like you have?
MM - Fabian is a great fighter, more intelligent
than me and more skilful. I think he will remain as an amateur for a while. To
be honest, I don’t see great amateur prospects right now in Argentina but there
are a few great promising guys in the pros like Jesus Cuellar (featherweight, 22-1
(18)), Maximiliano Marquez (featherweight, 16-1-1 (7)), Brian Castano (welterweight,
2-0 (2)), etc.
AW - Away from boxing, what do you enjoy
doing with your free time?
MM - I am a simple guy who loves to spend time
with my family in my native little town of Margarita. Once a fight has finished,
I like to travel there. It’s an eight-hour drive from Buenos Aires. I enjoy
myself hunting, playing cards, fishing, things like that. And I like to spend
time with my son, Yoyo. The love for tattoos has been there since I was a kid.
They have different meanings for me. In fact, these days, I’m covering a few
tattoos from my childhood that I really hate. So I’m covering those.
AW - In closing, do you have a
message for your fans?
MM - Just want to thank all my fans all through
the world but especially those in the U.S., Mexico and Argentina who always
cheer for me. They’re great people. I hope to give them more exciting fights in
2013 as that’s exactly what a boxing fan always wants, a good fight in which
boxers give it all. Also, I want to wish everybody a Happy New Year.
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