"I never knew what I wanted to be growing up. It was not like I intended to be a boxer. Like, I thought about being a fighter. It just kind of pushed through, little by little. Most kids, they start at eight, ten years old. They already have a dream of becoming world champion one day. I never had that.
"To be a world champion, to really be at the top of your game, you also have to want it a lot. Because you can have the best team around you -- the best management and the best trainer -- but if the fighter doesn't want it, it's not going to happen. The trainers, they can do all they can, but that they can't give you.
"The fight is easy. Training is hard. I gotta do it, I know I need to do it to get to the fight. It's what we look forward to, because we know after that, we're done. I just gotta try to make sure that I do everything I can every single time. Sometimes, yeah, you're not gonna be 100 percent. But you have to give everything you have.
"I have good power in both hands. I can turn up the fight at any moment. It's exciting for the fans to watch me because I do everything very well. Very technical fighter, but with a lot of power behind the punches. I've been able to please the fans without brawling like that. They want to see some accuracy, they want to see some precision. They want to see methodical, breaking down the opponent like I do.
"I still give them the knockdowns, I still give them the knockouts. I still drop my opponents and hurt them. They get pleased by that, too.
"Being recognized as a world champion is definitely the biggest right now for my career. The way the fans are treating me, the way the fans are recognizing me, the way the reach out to me, that's the biggest for me. That's where I get more satisfaction from. People call me 'champ' or whatever, and that's cool. That's nice. But if you know me more personally, or if you become my friend or we hang out, I'll actually tell you, 'Don't call me Champ. Just call me Mike.'
"I'm not anybody big. I'm not thinking I'm bigger than anybody or better than anybody. You see me, and that's what I am."