You upgraded your strength and conditioning program, and you did a lot of different things, and you're noticing the difference. What did -- cross-fit? What did you do?
"I did a lot of running in the morning, sprints. A lot of elastic bands, a lot of tippy-toeing, like soccer players, football players, I was doing all that so I won't be so flat-footed. I noticed that I was always flat-footed. I was heavy on my feet. This time I'm a little quicker on my feet. ... More plyometrics and outdoors and sprinting."
In the first fight, even when it looked like Mike got to you, it looked like he never hurt you, that anything that he did was maybe something of your doing, maybe being a little sloppy. Do you agree that the things that he was able to do well against you were your fault more than anything he did?
"Honestly, he came in, he tried to box me, he tried to keep me at the end of his reach. But you can only do that for a while with me, because I'm gonna keep pressuring you. I'm gonna keep at it. I'm gonna be right there breathing your breath, I'm gonna be on you, face-to-face. He had a hard time. He did a great job when he done it, but maybe for a couple seconds, then he had to go back and fight."
For this fight, I know you've sparred with a couple of your stable mates, does it mean more to you kind of having a brotherhood with those guys, that they're helping you get ready for a fight like this?
"Yeah, it's not only them helping me, I'm helping them as well. They get tremendous sparring. They're fighting four or six rounders, so they're getting great sparring. And not only that, but we had another Russian, I forgot his name, but he's a 147 pounder. Man, that guy is bad. Two-time Olympian, he helped me a lot. Very quick, fast, strong. Those Russians are no joke."
I read on BoxingScene you're working with Memo Heredia, what's the process behind bringing him to camp?
"He was the one helping me with all the lateral movements and everything. He was the one who brought the lateral movements, keeping me more on my feet and everything."
What are your thoughts on Adrien Broner fighting Paulie Malignaggi?
"It's a good fight for either one. What can I say? That's between them. (Broner) is jumping two weight classes to go up to him, so there's nothing I can say about that."
What were your thoughts on (Memo Heredia) before you started working with him and how has that changed now that you're working with him?
"What do you mean, what's my thoughts on him? I never knew the guy so I can't say nothing about the guy. I don't know who the guy was. I never heard of him before he started training with Marquez. What he did with Marquez, he made Marquez -- I'm not lifting weights, because there's no way in hell I lift weights. I'm not doing all that crazy stuff. Maybe a little bit of weights, but nothing crazy. But other than that, he's just a good guy, man. He helps me out. He got me more quickness on my feet."
What happens if you have to face Marquez sometime in the future?
"Hey, if we have to face Marquez, then we face Marquez. It's up to (Heredia). I'm not his boss. Whatever he wants to do, if he wants to stay with me, he can stay with me. If he wants to move, he can move. There's other trainers out there we can use. But hopefully he stays with me."
Is it frustrating for you knowing that there's so many good fights for you now that you're finally fighting at the weight you want, but that you can't get because of the politics in boxing?
"Pretty soon, you never know, they're going to have to make the fights. If there's not a big name at 147 for me to move up, I'll stay at 140. If there's no big name at 147, Golden Boy and Top Rank are going to have to make an adjustment and makes some fights."
But is it frustrating, though, from where you sit, that these fights can't get made?
"Right now, it's not frustrating, because we're still getting fights made. We've got Alvarado. We have to handle him first. After that, if there's no big name at 147 for me to move up, they have to make adjustments."
Seeing Tim Bradley get rocked in his fight with Provodnikov and dropped, does that maybe give you more confidence if you ever fight a guy like him?
"Bradley is a strong fighter, man. He came out with everything that day. He did a tremendous job. He came out and he shocked the world, (showing) he can fight different. What can I say? He done a great job. If the Russian couldn't knock him out, I think you gotta take a bat to knock Bradley out."
Mike Alvarado told us he's planning to try and box you this fight, but you have a way of imposing your fight on opponents. Do you think he can really do that?
"Like I said, and I'll say it again, and I'll say it again, and I'll say it again. He's a fighter. Once he fights -- he's never boxed in his whole entire career. Not even one fight I've seen he was boxing. The whole time he's a toe-to-toe guy. Once he gets hit, he's gonna go back to what he knows best, and that's to fight. So at the end of the day, me and him at the center of the ring, we're gonna be getting it on again."
You mentioned that you reviewed the fight, and you actually said that once you went back and looked, you were kinda surprised, you noticed some mistakes that you want to correct. What were the mistakes?
"Pulling back when I came out, I pulled back with my head. I was squared up. Some shots I should have blocked and moved more. We're going to be working on head movements, try not to pull back as much to leave myself open, and try not to square up. But I'm a warrior. I only know one way to fight. I might go back and forget everything. In the gym, we practice for days, we say we're gonna do that, we say aw, I'm gonna box, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna work my jab. But in the ring, it's a whole different story. You go back to doing what you know best, and that's to fight."
That first fight was a Fight of the Year, and everybody thinks they'll see a duplicate performance. Is there pressure on you to give the fans a show that they're gonna talk about for years to come, or is that going to take you out of what you do?
"There's no pressure. 99%, it's gonna be the same way again. There's no pressure at all. That's just the way we fight, and that's the way he fights. I'm pretty sure, 99%, it's gonna be the same."
When you had a chance to watch the fight as a fight fan, what did you think? Was it as good as we thought it was?
"It was fucking excellent. ... I was in my house, I couldn't believe it. I watched it at least three times a night. Today, I've watched it more than 400 times. I watch it every day. Before I wake up in the morning, after I go to the gym, and before I go to sleep again."
Would you say there are still things that you see and go, 'Oh!' Every single time you see something new?
"Yeah, it's like, man, I hit him with that shot. I could have countered with this one, i could have done this one better. Oh, man, i got hit, I pulled back. I could have dipped this shot, i could have dipped that shot. Every time I watch it, I see something new, and I bring it to the gym. I tell Robert, this is what I messed up on. And he says, OK, let's work on it.