CHICAGO, IL (August 9, 2005) – The fighters for Don King’s “Global Glory” hit the United Center for a final workout and media Q & A in preparation for their showdowns Saturday night. This is what they had to say.
HASIM “The Rock” RAHMAN
“Monte has been my longtime friend, but he won’t be Saturday night when I knock him out.
“I have never fought my friends but I did fight my siblings when I was growing up.
“I want to be the undisputed champion but for that I have to beat Barrett and get to Klitschko, who has held me up all year by denying me the right to fight him. I don’t know if his injuries were legit and I’m not saying the man is a liar. But I do think he might be a great actor. I don’t know how an injury goes from your toes to your back.
“I obviously want Klitshko, but Monte is first, and I have to look impressive to get that far. I can’t take any shortcuts now. It’s time to set up a heavyweight tournament and get an undisputed champion. The winner will be the ultimate champion and the fans will follow him. Right now, it’s just so confusing.
“I think a tournament is not to far from being a reality since Don King has three of the four titles.
“I think Monte is risking a lot by fighting me. He should be called the black Arturo Gatti, and I should knock him out. That’s what I have to do. Some experts think that the longer the fight lasts the stronger Monte will get, but I am ready to take him out late if I have too.”
MONTE “Two Gunz” BARRETT
“Every camp I train harder than the last camp. I’m like Bruce Lee. I’m from South Jamaica, Queens along with 50 Cent, Run DMC and Russell Simmons.
“I’ve got muscles coming out of my knuckles.
“I get cut all the time. Jimmy Glenn is my cutman. I’m not getting cut Saturday. I’m doing the cutting. They’re going to call me ‘The Chef.’ I’ve got BSP. Black Star Power.
“This is a business. I don’t hate Rahman and I don’t hate anybody. I use targets as motivation. The only thing I’m concentrating on is the green belt. The green belt represents money and land.
“I love fighting in Jordan’s house. I’m a big fan of Michael Jordan’s character. When I was coming up, there weren’t that many role models, but we all looked up to Michael Jordan on and off the court.
“I’ve learned from a lot of greats. In camp, I spent some time with Larry Holmes. His struggle really inspires me. Michael Jordan, Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali … their struggles are inspirational.
“I started amateur boxing at 21. I entered and won all kinds of tournaments and the NY Golden Gloves. I didn’t have any stress because I had a good construction job and my wife worked too.
“I’ve been a fighter all my life.
“Arthur Dennis spent seven weeks in my camp as body guard, chauffeur, cleaning man and chef. He lost 22 pounds during my camp trying to keep up.
“The motto in my camp was I Am Bad: Intelligence, Anticipation, Movement, Balance, Angles, Defense.”
RICARDO “El Matador” MAYORGA
“I plan on taking him out early. If it doesn’t happen, I won’t be disappointed because if it takes longer. I will keep going, continue to keep apply the pressure and get the same results as I would have gotten earlier—a knockout.
“The tapes show me that he has no strategy and he is very stupid when he fights. And, he’s really shown his stupidity by taking this fight with me. I don’t think he really thought about what he was doing even if it is for a belt.
“My trainer Luis Leon has been studying the tapes and tells me what adjustments I need to make for his style. This guy stands straight up and lacks his own defense. He gets hit with a lot of punches. I will have better defense too.
“I am going to win Saturday night and then I want to fight Fernando Vargas.
“I want Vargas to win against Castillejo and then we can fight each other. Trust me, I will hold together my side Saturday night and I need him to carry his end. Then we can make the fight happen.
“I never thought much of him anyway and now he is really getting on my nerves talking so much. I think he has always been a coward and when he gets hurt he doesn’t even know how to recover.
“I know who’s been saying this fight shouldn’t be for the title—the Vargas people. I don’t listen to them because come Saturday night I will have the belt and then Vargas knows what is going to happen next if he wants to be champ. They can talk all they want, but after I win, let Vargas come in the ring and try to beat me.”
“If I wasn’t sure that I could beat Mayorga, I wouldn’t have come to the U.S. to fight.
“I do not think Mayorga respects me. We trained for everything. In the ring, I’ll see what to do. I expect Mayorga to spend the first three rounds trying to knock me out. I’ve prepared to go 12 rounds. “
OLIVER “The Atomic Bull” McCALL
“I was already in shape to be a substitute for Golota because I was expecting to fight this month. I love to be in my hometown of Chicago and Saleta will have to work real hard to beat me.
“This is a great opportunity for me and I will take full advantage of it.
“Saleta does not have the experience. He lacks the power and the ability to do anything to me.”
PRZEMYSLAW “Chemek” SALETA
“I started training on July 10th in Miami. Miami kept me away from the usual distractions I have in Poland, and also I was able to find great sparring partners to help me prepare.
“I lived and trained with Angelo Dundee for four years. He is a great man and has tremendous boxing knowledge. He knows how to treat fighters. Boxing is an individual sport and each fighter is different. Angelo understands this. Trainers in Poland treat everyone the same from flyweights to heavyweights.
“I’m a good technician. I see a lot in the ring. I’m always looking for opportunities to hit someone with the right punch.
“Golota has said many personal, nasty things about me. I was disappointed that Golota was out. These things happen in boxing (injuries). I just had to make a decision on whether I wanted to face a different opponent. The fight with Golota was very personal. It was to be the biggest fight in Poland. It was to be history. But I had been training and didn’t want that work to be a waste of time.
“I was afraid Golota would pull out. I don’t think he’s as injured as he says. I think he’s burnt out and I doubt I will ever have the chance to fight him unless there’s a lot of money in it for him. For some people, money is the motivation. Golota wasn’t happy with the money. I wanted this fight, no matter the money.
“McCall is different. He goes forward and is unbreakable. This may be a tougher fight than Golota. I hope he is mentally prepared. No one has ever stopped McCall. I expect to win a decision.
“I beat Luan Krasniqi in Germany and he’s fighting WBO Champion Lamon Brewster in Germany. I think Krasniqi will win a decision. A win over McCall may put me in line for a rematch with Krasniqi.”
“I feel great and I am like a caged tiger, I can’t wait until the fight takes place. I am excited to perform in front of so many people. I fell like this is my own concert.
“I will give Gonzalez a boxing clinic. I will look for all the possible opening to break him down.
“My training camp went great. I spent two months in Atlanta and the more time I put in the more confidence I got. I am in great shape and I am very excited to defend my welterweight title for the first time.
“Gonzalez was a great champion. I can’t take nothing away from him, but it’s my time.”
MIGUEL ANGEL GONZALEZ
“This fight is my final test. If I don’t beat Collazo then I am out of boxing for good. I have done a lot in my career. I have defended my titles 10 times. I have fought the best in my category. But I want to see if I am still capable.
“Collazo is a young kid but he never faced a quality opponent like me. He is ten years younger than me, people think that he is young and too strong for me, but they way I see it is that he doesn’t have all those years of experience.
“This fight is for all my Mexican fans, the people that remember me when I was champion and want to see me on the top of the sport again.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV