Lucas Matthysse vs Erik Morales Interview Transcript

Richard Schaefer     

We are very excited to have these two great fighters on the call today for Star Power. A little bit over four weeks to go. I can't wait. It clearly is one of the most entertaining cards I can remember having ever been put together; really exciting fights in the ring, three of which for world titles, and then the opening bout with Jesse Vargas and Josesito Lopez. A little over four weeks to go and really we're counting the days here. I know so are those two fighters.The fight we're talking about today, Morales vs. Lucas Matthysse, is a 12-round world title fight for the vacant WBC Super Lightweight Championship. It's promoted in association with Erik Morales' boxing promotion business, Box Latino Promotions; and Mario Arano Box Promotion, who is our partner and co-promoter for Lucas Matthysse. I want to thank Mario for getting this fight done and we are really excited about the match up.There is very little I can say. There's nothing I can really say about Erik Morales you guys don't already know; an amazing 18 years; really defines the heart and skill of a Mexican warrior. He's the five-time world champion in three divisions; super bantamweight, featherweight and super featherweight. He is the last man to defeat Manny Pacquiao. And those of you who were fortunate to see him perform and entertain in his last fight, which was a very disputed majority decision against Marcos Maidana that many people call an early fighter of the year candidate, they know that Erik El Terrible Morales is back and he is ready to go and face another big, big challenge here in this world title fight against Lucas Matthysse. It's a pleasure now to introduce to you the five-time world champion in three divisions, Erik El Terrible Morales, who is joining us from Mexico City from his training camp there.Erik Morales Good afternoon to everyone. How is everybody? I'm very happy and very excited to be fighting September 17 for the WBC Super Lightweight title. And I'm very excited to be doing it against a very good, very dangerous, very strong fighter like Lucas Matthysse, and one thing's for sure that together, we will provide fireworks. We will give you a very good fight.Schaefer       Okay. So, now I'm going to introduce Lucas Matthysse and then we are going to open it up for questions. Lucas Matthysse with a record of 28-2 from Trelew, Argentina is clearly one of the hardest punchers in the sport. Ninety-three percent of his fights, he won by way of knock out. His two losses are disputed losses. I'm happy to hear that Lucas is coming back to the United States, even though his first two experiences weren't all that pleasant and I think left a bit of sour taste in his mouth. But here to have an opportunity to fight for the WBC world title, he immediate jumped at the opportunity and facing a legend like Erik Morales is obviously the kind of fight Lucas Matthysse has always dreamt about.It is a pleasure now for me to introduce to you Lucas Matthysse.Lucas MatthysseGood afternoon to everybody. Hello. Hope all is well. I'm very happy. We're very happy here in Argentina that I'll be fighting on September 17 against a better opponent, which is Erik Morales, such a big name, and I'm very excited.Schaefer       Okay. Thank you very much, Lucas. We're going to open it up now to the media for questions.QErik, what made you decide to make training camp in Mexico City? Is it the altitude? And how important is it to become a fourth world champion?Morales       Yes, change is always good and we're making adjustments and changes between my normal training camp in Otomi and Mexico City. The altitude is good. We're preparing very well and looking forward to the fight on September 17.QNow, Lucas, the question is to you. You've had two tough fights with Zab Judah and Devon Alexander, but this seems to be graduation. Now you have a legendary opponent in Erik Morales. How are you preparing yourself and how are you mentally prepared?MatthysseEverybody knows that those two losses were bad decisions against me. I was robbed in both of those fights. We're very happy right now to be fighting Erik Morales. We're preparing ourselves. We're fighting for the world title and we'll be ready.Q      Erik, do you believe that you surprised a lot of people with your very good performance against Marcos Maidana?MoralesWell the odds were seven to one. Everybody thought I was going to get mashed and walked over, but I was always motivated. I always knew in my mind what I had to do in that fight and to win it.Q      Lucas how difficult has it been for you to deal with those two split decision losses that you got here in the United States and were reluctant to come back and fight here again because of them?Matthysse    No, it wasn't difficult at all because I know I won those fights. People know I won those fights. And you know, hey, when I was offered this opportunity I was very happy to come back to the U.S., and what better way to be fighting for the world title? So right away it was not something even to think about. I'm very excited and ready to go.QErik, how much did facing Maidana, who obviously is from Argentina and also is a hard punching guy, help you to prepare for an opponent like Matthysse and do you see them as being similar?MoralesThe reason the Matthysse fight was decided was he's a very strong, very formidable, in many eyes, undefeated fighter, and we've always been of that. We've always liked challenges. We've always liked difficult fights. People always think they're going to finish me; they're going to end my career; they're going to know me out; and that gives me the hunger, the strength, and the motivation to prove them wrong and go in there and win.Q      Lucas, same question, I guess, to you. Erik's a boxer puncher, but the two guys you faced in Judah and Alexander, they're boxers. In any way did their style, could it help you to prepare for an opponent like Erik?MatthysseWhen the fight came up it wasn't something to think about. I mean it was an opportunity for a world title to fight Erik Morales. My promoter, Mario Arano; his trainer, Cuty Barrera; and myself all decided let's do it. It's a great opportunity and we're going there to win.Q      Who do you think is better when you looks at the two fighters? Obviously, you've been in there with Maidana, but is Matthysse different? Is Matthysse better? Being that he's younger, is he maybe more technical than Maidana? How do you compare them?Morales  Well, I couldn't tell you because I haven't been in the ring with Matthysse. If I say anything, it would be lying. Ask me when I get out of the ring. But what I can say is in comparison, Maidana was very strong, very difficult. Everything that they said was true; it was correct. But I also showed what was correct is that I can compete with them all, with all of them, and I'm ready. I'm getting ready. I'm getting prepared and I will be able to compete. On paper, Lucas Matthysse looks very good. He's had tough opponents. He's a very strong, very young fighter, but ask me at the end of the fight.QMatthysse, do you think that you're better than Maidana? And did watching Maidana fight Erik Morales help you in any way with your strategy being that you're a puncher and perhaps, in some ways, maybe a better boxer?Matthysse    Well, he is a world champion. At this moment, that's the only difference between him and I. But, in essence, yes, I am better than him.Yes, definitely we'll be watching the video this week. We'll be studying it and I do think that that video, watching it, is going to help me for the fight against Erik.Q      How and why are you better than Maidana?Matthysse    Well, when we're talking about Marcos, there's no doubt he's a big, big puncher, but his boxing, his style is ordinary. I am more complete in the boxing and cut the angles and use the ring much more. There's much more generalship and that's what the difference is.Q      Erik, what would you say to people who might say that you've kind of been ushered into this position based more on your past and your great background rather than what you've done lately? What would say to people who might have that criticism of you?Morales       If there is concern or people criticizing, you know what, I won't get upset. I'll take it as it comes. But if they are giving me this opportunity because of my past, because of my history, my past fights, then hey, I think it's a little valid. I mean I've had very tough fights. I've had everything but there's one thing for sure that in every fight I always give it my 100 percent. I'm always there to fight for the fans, and this is not going to be an exception.QHow worried are you as far as the judges for the fight? Erik, you've had two fights David Diaz denied you for that fourth world title and then the Maidana fight; and Lucas, the same, the Devon Alexander and Zab Judah fight. How worried are you about the judges getting it right?Morales                   Well, really, I can only worry about things that are in my hands; the training, the preparation, the dates, and all. I can't really worry and focus on things that are out of my hands. Did it bother me at one time about the bad decisions and David Diaz? Yes, it did. I can't deny that, but that's in the past and it's very of my style to look forward, look for the present, and be ready. I'm very happy with this opportunity that's been given and I'm going for it.Matthysse    I'm confident. I'm trusting the judges. I know that Vegas is very different. I hope it doesn't happen the same as in the past fights, but I'm concentrating on my fight and preparing and I'm okay. I leave it in the hands of the judges.QWhat do you see different in the two past fights between Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, and now the present fight against Erik Morales? Is there any major difference fighting Erik?Matthysse    Well, yes, totally different styles, different fighters. They box. They move backwards. Erik Morales boxes, but he moves forward. He comes to fight.QErik, what did your last fight with Maidana do for your confidence level knowing that not only could you plan a good strategy but actually be able to execute it at this stage of his career?Morales       No, it helped me tremendously. It helped me tremendously because I showed everybody that not only can I say it but I can still do it and I love it. I love proving people wrong, but obviously, the reality is that we're here to do things right and we're here to do strong things. People always say, Oh, Erik Morales is old, and I hear it and I hear it and I hear it, but one thing is true. When you do things right and you don't cut corners, things come out. The result is there and you'll see it on September 17.QRichard, going from the proposed Morales-Barrios fight to now switching it over to Matthysse, I think pretty much everyone that I've talked in the media there's been an increased buzz. Most feel that it's an obviously much better fight for the card, in general. I think the only criticism that I've heard thus far is the whole situation with the fight being for a vacant title and that whole thing. How would you respond to those criticisms regarding the WBC belt being up for grabs?Schaefer       Well, you know, the WBC ruled that the belt was vacant. That wasn't our ruling; that was WBC's ruling. I believe that Erik Morales, based on the tremendous performance he has put forward in his last fight, and Lucas Matthysse, based on the performances he has put forward, that this is certainly a fight which deserves to be fought for a world title. When these two fighters were presented with the opportunity by the WBC, they, of course, immediately embraced it.Now, the way I understand with the Timothy Bradley, he's currently in some legal disputes with his promoter and it looks like his career's currently on hold, but the WBC did not strip him. I think they gave him an opportunity that when he has resolved his issues that he would be having an opportunity to fight the winner or whoever is going to be the champion by then. Last I've heard, granted I was out of the country for a week, but I haven't read anywhere that Bradley's issues have been resolved, so those two guys are going to fight for the vacant title. So be it.QRichard, in regard to the card in general, I think you guys have been doing a pretty good job of trying to put together pretty good cards top to bottom. I think arguably this is probably the best card you guys have ever done on pay-per-view. Certainly, there's not a bad fight on the pay-per-view. Now, how motivated and how dedicated is Golden Boy to kind of continue this process of trying to put together top to bottom great cards though, obviously, we know that money is an issue?Schaefer       Well, I think if you look at the track record for the past few years and the quality of the cards we have put together top to bottom, I think that pretty much speaks for itself. Boxing is entertainment and people want to be entertained and I think if you look at this card here on September 17, there's no question about these are all potential toe-to-toe battles. Potential, you know, fighters go into the fights have an opportunity to become fight of the year because they are going to be toe-to-toe battles. You can't wait and here you have four of them on one card, so that's the kind of entertainment value we want to give to fight fans and sports fans period.But you're right, it's extremely expensive and I cannot really take full credit for that. I think a lot of credit goes to Mayweather Promotions and Floyd Mayweather for really requesting to put a spectacular card together, and that's exactly what you have here. I mentioned that at the press conferences, as well, thank you, Floyd, for being willing to make the investment in this kind of card. It is an expensive card. It is an expensive event, but we do believe the feedback we're getting from the fight fans justifies that and I hope that record pay-per-view numbers are going to justify that exactly these kind of cards can be put together in the future, as well. I have to tell you, based on the early indications; I have a very, very, very good feeling.Various revenue sources, from closed circuit to sponsor activations to the support we're getting in the industry from the cable distributors and Dish and DirecTV and the foreign TV channels into the foreign territories, all of those indications are ahead. I swear to you guys, and I'm not making this up, it's really the truth; they're ahead of Mayweather-De La Hoya. Now, whether the final result is going to be that the record is going to be broken, the 2.5 million homes, I don't know; but again, the early indications from those other revenue sources certainly point to it.QRichard, it's a quick one regarding the card at the Staple Center. Obviously, I know Alvarez and Gomez will be on the pay-per-view, but in terms of any undercard bout, could you discuss any potential match ups or maybe a particular fighter you're looking to add to the card?Schaefer       No, I can't. I would have to talk to our match maker, Eric Gomez, who is basically going to put some of the local fighters we have here because remember, those people who are going to watch at Staples Center are going to be able to watch as well the live feed from Las Vegas. So, you're talking about maybe three or four early fights and then after the fights after the main event gets over, Los Angeles is going to continue to party. They're going to have two concerts in Staples Center; two of the most recognized Hispanic-Mexican bands are going to perform after the Canelo fight. Sorry, after the Mayweather-Ortiz fight.QErik, despite being a future hall of famer, the fact is you've lost 6 of your last 10 fights, why are you still fighting? Is it the money? Is it the love of the sport, or do you feel that you have something to prove?Morales       Well, I mean we've talked about this. We've brought it up. We keep mentioning the same thing, but tell me one fighter that's just rolled over me and with me being in moment, I mean no issues, no problems, and tell me, tell me one fighter, mention one name that you say, Okay, he's done, that you can indicate that I'm done.QI'm certainly not trying to saying that Erik Morales is done. I'm just wondering why he's still fighting. What is his motivation at this point?Morales       Well, the first part is because I know I can do it. I know I can. The second part is I love to do it. It's just something that, you know, I love doing now. At this point in my career, I'm doing things right. Everything's falling into place and it's the love for the sport. I love boxing.QErik, how much does it motivate you to pull off this victory and give it to your country of Mexico on a very important date like Mexican Independence and becoming the first Mexican to win four titles in four different divisions?MoralesIt's very important, very motivating to be fighting on this date and for the title against a very tough, strong rival like Lucas, but it's something that I do because I love it. It's in my heart, and come September 17, the Mexican people know Erik Morales. They know every time I step into that ring I step in 100 percent. I'm well prepared. I'm trained and I'm willing to give it all. I fight with my heart, dignity, and the love of the sport, and after the fight, I'm ready to celebrate with Mexico.Schaefer       Okay. I think that's it. I want to thank everybody. I want to particularly thank Erik Morales from Mexico City and Lucas Matthysse from Argentina for making themselves available for today's conference call. Guys, we can't wait because we know it's going to be a fight which might as well just steal the night. It's a card we're all looking forward to September 17 from the MGM Grand live on HBO Pay-Per-View, and we'll see you all there. Thank you very much.END OF CALL STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz is a mega-event taking place on Saturday, Sept. 17 from two world-class cities with three world titles at stake. Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz will face off in a 12-round fight for Ortiz's WBC Welterweight World Title from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Canelo Alvarez and Alfonso Gomez will do battle in a 12-round fight for Alvarez's WBC Super Welterweight World Title from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif.Also live in Las Vegas, will be Erik Morales vs. Lucas Matthysse in a 12 round fight for the vacant WBC Super Lightweight World Title and an opening fight featuring undefeated rising star Jessie Vargas against top contender Josesito Lopez.The mega event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWALT Tools and AT T.Alvarez vs. Gomez is presented in association with Canelo Promotions and Morales vs. Matthysse is presented in association with Box Latino Promotions and Arano Box Promotions. HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT / 5:00am BST (Sunday morning September 18).Tickets for Mayweather vs. Ortiz are priced at $1,250, $1,000, $600, $300 and $150, notincluding applicable service charges, with a total ticket limit of twelve (12) per person. Ticketsales are limited to ten (10) per person at the $1,250, $1,000, $600 and $300 price levels with aticket limit of two (2) per person at the $150 price level.To charge by phone with a major creditcard, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at or .Tags: Erik Morales , Lucas Matthysse , Morales-Matthysse , Morales vs Matthysse