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SERGIO MORA: "I PLAN TO DO THAT...FIGHTING MARTINEZ AND SNATCHING THOSE TITLES"

By Mike Juhas | April 28, 2010
SERGIO MORA:

"I have nothing negative to say about Martinez. I congratulate him and wish him well and hope he can prosper as a middleweight. He's had years in the game. He's been a contender for a long time and finally he's the man of the division. When I won the title from Vernon, he was the number one mandatory. We were supposed to defend it against him, but I didn't know we were obligated to fight Vernon Forest right out of the gate ASAP. My choices were to fight Martinez and get stripped or fight Forrest with the chance to keep my title and have to pay off Martinez. I was stuck in a bad spot after winning that championship. So now that he's the champion and I'm the contender, I'm hoping to get a crack at him," stated former jr. middleweight champion Sergio Mora as he talked about his strong desire to get another shot at a title as he targets newly-crowned middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. Check it out!

MJ: Tell us how things have been going?

SM: I had my Golden Boy debut. I fought Calvin Green and stopped him in the seventh round. It was a good fight. I was a little disappointed that I didn't fight January 30th because I did want to get another fight by April or May. We weren't able to do it because of the Haitian crisis and my thoughts and prayers go out to them. I was happy to get this fight. Golden Boy is really happy and I'll try to get back in there in June or July.

MJ: Who do you like in this week's super-fight between Mayweather and Mosley?

SM: Both guys are good friends of mine, but I'm a Golden Boy fighter, so I have to stick with the Golden Boy fighter and say Mosley.

MJ: How do you think he's going to be able to do it?

SM: Body shots! I think if he and Naazim come out with the right strategy, which I'm positive they will because he's one of the best trainers out there right now, I think they're going to concentrate on the body. In order to beat Mayweather, you can't just pressure him like every other fighter does. The fight has to be tactical, somewhat of a chess match, like Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones did their first fight. Let Mayweather come at you; make him do something he's not accustomed to doing. Use body shots, because punching him in the head will be next to impossible. Also hit him on the shoulder, rough him up and jab. De La Hoya was controlling Mayweather a little bit with the jab, but Mayweather's speed and conditioning came through in the end. I feel that Mayweather and Mosley will be close and good. I'm looking forward to it.

MJ: Tell us about the switch to Golden Boy. How different is it than working with The Contender?

SM: Well, after the Kelly Pavlik thing fell off last year, we had agreed to fight Pavlik in March, but when it was postponed until June 27 because of his staph infection, I was really dispirited. I felt that the world had collapsed on me. I blamed everyone: Pavlik's people, The Contender people; I blamed them (The Contender) because they had not gotten dates and did not keep me busy enough. They didn't give me enough time to defend my title properly versus Vernon Forrest; I was only given five weeks notice. There was a big chip residing on my shoulder and it was getting bigger and bigger. After the second Pavlik fight fell through, I was done with The Contender. I wanted to stay loyal all the way to the end, but I had to get into legal terms. My buddy helped me find a lawyer and reached a settlement. With Golden Boy, so far, I'm happy. I know they have the dates; that's one thing where I had a problem with The Contender.

Jeff Wald is a hard working man and I do respect him and value everything he did for me, but when you don't have the political pull with the dates, networks, and people wanting to work with you, it can be hard to move a fighter. I met with every big promoter. I literally sat down with Dan Goossen, Gary Shaw, Bob Arum, and Golden Boy. When it came down to it, Golden Boy was the best fit for me, being that I'm a L.A. based, Mexican-American fighter. They have a lot of dates and they really don't have just that one guy that they invest all of their time into like every other promoter.

MJ: With your fame coming from The Contender, do you think that boxing needs more fighters to try and go the network or cable television route to get exposure?

SM: They should, as long as they know, going into it, that if any kind of TV will put you on, they're going to sign your life away. Get ready to sign away four or five years of your life and everything is going to be on their terms, because they're giving you a lump sum of money and a crack at worldwide exposure. It comes with a big commitment and a big contract, kind of like American Idol.

MJ: That kind of sounds like a UFC contract.

SM: It's not as bad as UFC contracts because they [the UFC] don't pay. At least Contender fighters get paid handsomely. NBC and Mark Burnett have the money to do so. I think it's much different with UFC fighters; they get paid next to nothing while making millions for Dana White.

MJ: As far as your weight class, will you be staying at 160 pounds or will you go back to 154? Where will we see you campaign in the future?

SM: Wherever the opportunity is. I think 160 is my natural weight; it takes a couple of weeks for me to make 154. For the first Forrest camp, I had ten weeks. With the rematch, I only had half that time. It was draining and I was sapped. Given enough time, I'd like to fight a junior middleweight in the right fight. If not, I'll campaign at 160 for the rest of my career.

MJ: What did you think of the Martinez-Pavlik fight a couple weeks ago?

SM: I won money on that! I put $1200 on Martinez. I've known Kelly since the amateurs when he was 17 years old and I've seen him fight against guys that move. I know that he's a strong puncher, knocking guys out, but I've always felt that he was a creation by the people. The only good, smart fighter that he fought and beat was Jermain Taylor. Bernard Hopkins is good and smart and beat him. Sergio Martinez has all the tolls, he's very confident, experienced, and coming off that brutal fight with Paul Williams and the Cintron fight. Those were two big guys, so we knew the height and size wouldn't be a problem. Martinez did what he needed to do. Congratulations to him.

MJ: Is that a guy you're hoping to get in the ring sometime in the future?

SM: Yeah, that's for sure. That's the reason I wanted to get a hold of you guys. Lewkowicz is the mouth of that organization; he's the one that got under my skin and said the wrong things. I have nothing negative to say about Martinez. I congratulate him and wish him well and hope he can prosper as a middleweight. He's had years in the game. He's been a contender for a long time and finally he's the man of the division. When I won the title from Vernon, he was the number one mandatory. We were supposed to defend it against him, but I didn't know we were obligated to fight Vernon Forest right out of the gate ASAP. My choices were to fight Martinez and get stripped or fight Forrest with the chance to keep my title and have to pay off Martinez. I was stuck in a bad spot after winning that championship. So now that he's the champion and I'm the contender, I'm hoping to get a crack at him. At middleweight, I'm a smart fighter who is just as fast and strong as he is. He's a southpaw, but with the right strategy, anyone can be beaten. In order to beat a guy like that, you need speed and you need to be ready to go twelve rounds.

MJ: If that fight isn't able to happen for you, considering Martinez has a mandatory rematch with Pavlik, are you going to look to Paul Williams or Kermit Cintron for your next fight?

SM: Kermit Cintron, for sure. I think that makes sense. I think Kelly Pavlik is not going to exercise his rematch clause. I think he'll have one or two fights first. His cuts were really bad and I don't think he'll look to get back in there with a slick southpaw like that right away. I'm going to be looking at Cintron and Williams very closely because I would love to fight either one of those guys. Williams is one of those guys that everyone wants to avoid, but I'd love to fight the winner. I'm in a position where the 24 rounds that I did with Vernon were something that no one could learn. It was amazing to go in there with someone like that and have the confidence, strength, and ability to go against the best. I know that now.

MJ: Have you thought about seeking a fight with Felix Sturm or Winky Wright?

SM: Winky Wright is a name that Golden Boy has thrown out there. They mentioned it to my manager and we said we could make that happen. We'll fight Wright for the right money; it's all good. Winky Wright is a guy that I know well; he's one of those guys that gives everyone trouble. Obviously, he's going to give me trouble, but would I make that fight happen? Absolutely! If so, I would like to fight a southpaw before I fight him, then maybe fight Winky at the end of the summer. As far as Sturm, I would love to fight him. That's another guy that's similar to Pavlik. He has a great jab and he's probably a little smarter than Pavlik. He's a guy that may not be willing to fight outside of his country. I'll say it right now, I'm willing to go to Germany. I wasn't willing to go to Memphis to fight Jermain because I wasn't going to beat Jermain in Memphis on HBO with him being the undisputed middleweight champion. Felix Sturm is a guy that's not active enough and doesn't throw enough punches. Unless it's a blatant robbery, I know the fight will end up going to a decision and I feel confident going into Germany and stealing the decision.

MJ: Another fight that could have ramifications for you down the road is the Chavez-Duddy fight. What do you think about that one?

SM: Aw man, yeah! That would be a great appetizer! I call that an appetizer because I feel that both of those guys are suckers for punchers. They have zero defense, but a little name going for themselves. When I won the title from Vernon, Chavez Jr.'s people came at me and asked if I was willing to defend against him. He was number four or five in the WBC. I said that I would go do it in his backyard any time. Chavez Jr. has nothing on me and Duddy has nothing on anybody.

MJ: Well, it was great talking to you. We'd love to have you on here again. Is there anything you'd like to say to the FightHype fans in closing?

SM: I appreciate the time and the fans. I basically just want to get my opinions out there. Lewkowicz has a big mouth and got under my skin. I don't know what's wrong with him; he needs to get his mouth shut. He's not the fighter. I plan to do that by fighting Martinez and snatching those titles off of him; that's the way I'll get back to Lewkowicz.

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