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Biofile: The Ricardo Mayorga Interview

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By Mark Scoop Malinowski

Status: Former WBA/WBC Welterweight Champion.

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 147

Born On: October 3, 1973 In: Managua, Nicaragua

Childhood Heroes: “My mother and father because they worked so hard to raise our family. ”

Hobbies/Interests: “I like speed. I like everything fast, especially cars. I enjoy drag racing. ”

Favorite Meal: “I love chicken, made any way…fricasee, fried, smothered, grilled, barbecued or roasted. ”

Favorite Ice Cream: “I love good vanilla ice cream. ”

Favorite Movies: “I like many kinds of movies, mostly action movies. I like Sylvester Stallone, he played a lot of good roles like Rocky and Rambo. ”

Musical Tastes: “I love Salsa music. I really liked Celia Cruz, who just passed away. She was great. ”

Childhood Dreams: “To be able to help get my family a better life. Life was so hard here in Nicaragua. I’m helping my small town get electricity. So that is part of my dream – to help people. And if you don’t have the money, you  have to make tough choices? ”

First Job: “Selling bread in our family bakery. It was hard work in the bakery and long hours, but we did it to survive. ”

First Car: “Was a broken down old Chevy. I would keep tinkering with it, just to keep it on the road. ”

Early Boxing Memory: “Watching Roberto Duran, Muhammad Ali and a little later – Sugar Ray Leonard. Of course, we all looked up to our countryman Alexis Arguello.”

Pre-Fight Feeling: “I just think positive. I’m a very confident person. I can’t see how anyone can stand up to what intensity I bring to the ring with me. ”

Pre-Fight Meal: “I might have some chicken with rice and maybe steamed vegetable. But not something difficult to digest like corn and not fried chicken. I drink plenty of water though. (Do you really smoke that much?) Yes, I smoke a lot, but I also run a lot, box a lot and train a lot. If you noticed in the second Forrest fight – I was almost as strong as I was in round one. ”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Was the night I met Don King in Venezuela at the ‘KO Drug Games,’ sponsored by the WBA. I was fighting an undefeated Venezuelan fighter (15-0 Adolfo Salazar in Turmero, VZ in December 2000). It was a fight I took at the last moment. I knocked him out in the first round for the FEDELATIN title. And Don King was there and was impressed enough to sign me that night. I had one fight with DKP (TKO 3 Elias Cruz in Las Vegas, Feb. 2001) and then was in for the world title with Andrew Lewis (five months later in June 2001). Another great moment was having both of my parents there to watch me win the unified world championship by knocking out Vernon Forrest in California. They had never been there together to watch me fight before and that meant a lot. ”

Most Painful Moment: “Was having the first Andrew Lewis fight stopped because of an unintentional headbutt early in the fight. I just knew I was going to knock him out but he got cut and I couldn’t finish it. I got him in the rematch though. ”

Worst Injury: “Was in training for the first Andrew Lewis fight. I caught a thumb in the eye training and I couldn’t spar for about ten days leading into the fight. I was very worried that I wouldn’t be in top form. But it wasn’t the case. ”

Favorite Boxers To Watch: “I loved watching Roberto Duran and, later, Sugar Ray Leonard. Their fight in Montreal (in 1980) was such a great fight. Both men showed great determination, skill and strength. ”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “Hey, I don’t really vacation. But when I’m in Managua – that’s my world. I love being there. ”

People Qualities Most Admired: “I like people who shoot straight and tell the truth. Like Don King has always done what he said he would. He also relates to the common people too. That’s what I always try to do. ”

Funny Boxing Memory: “I laugh about it now, but then it wasn’t funny. When I would come off the street to take a fight. Just because I needed some money to eat. I would really take a fight the day of the event…even if I wasn’t training. Just to fight. In thinking back on it, I realize that I probably would not have lost had it not been for me taking fights on just a day or two notice. And sometimes no notice [smiles]. ”

 

Scoop’s new book “Muhammad Ali: Portrait Of A Champion” is available at amazon for $9. 99.

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