Home News Roman Martinez-Orlando Salido, Gonzalez-Oquendo discuss upcoming fights on Mayweather-Berto undercard

Roman Martinez-Orlando Salido, Gonzalez-Oquendo discuss upcoming fights on Mayweather-Berto undercard

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Credit: Esther Lin / Showtime

Two of the Mayweather vs. Berto pay-per-view undercard fights include the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry, with Roman Martinez and Orlando Salido in a rematch, and Jhonny Gonzalez facing Jonathan Oquendo. All four fighters discuss their respective fights here.

Jonathan Oquendo
I want to thank the press. I want to thank everyone for this opportunity. I’m very excited. I’m very focused and looking forward to the match up.

L. Ellerbe
Next up I’d like to introduce a very very exciting fighter from Mexico City, Mexico. He has won world championships at 118 and 126. One of his most memorable fights is his fight against Abner Mares in a very very exciting fight he ended with the first round KO to grab the WBC featherweight title. He defended it twice because eventually losing to Gary Russell Jr. Jhonny Gonzalez comes in with with a 58-9 record with 49 big KOs

Jhonny Gonzalez
I’m very happy for this opportunity. I’m extremely excited for the chance to fight on such a big stage that is important to fans around the world and I’ve really picked up my training and I’m extremely focused and looking ahead towards September 12.

Q
Jonathan, why did you accept this fight at this stage of your career?

J. Oquendo
I feel like this is a great opportunity. I want to be a great champion. I want to go ahead and showcase my talents on the card that Floyd Mayweather is headlining because there is a lot of attention when he fights. I feel that the training and that we’ve been doing in camp has been fantastic and I do believe that I have enough to defeat somebody of the caliber of Jhonny Gonzalez.

Q
Jhonny, what do you expect out of Jonathan Oquendo?

J. Gonzalez
He is very complicated and difficult to fight. I know that for Jonathan it’s a great opportunity. I’m awaiting a very stiff and strong challenge and I believe that Jonathan will bring his best coming up on September 12.

Q
Johnny, you just fought earlier this month. Did you already know that this fight was in the works if you won?

J. Gonzalez
I’m very happy that I took the previous fight and came out fine and it’s allowed me to just keep up the same training. I feel terrific at 130 pounds. I understand how important this is for all the Mexicans to be able to celebrate during this time on September 12 and during the month of September. At the end of the day I want to come out with my hand raised on September 12.

Q
How important is it to you to keep up the tradition of always fighting on or near your birthday, which of course is also the Mexico Independence Day?

J. Gonzalez
It’s very important for me to fight during this time of the year. I have had the opportunity to compete during this time of the year on various occasions and also more than anything I’ve learned from my defeats. Sometimes I’ve came up short but I have looked back and figured out the reasons why. And at the end of the day, most importantly, I want to go out and I want to fight for one more world title.

Q
Jhonny, do you believe you’re done at featherweight or would the right opportunity prompt you to drop that kind of weight?

J. Gonzalez
No, I’m done. My days are over fighting at 126. My focus is strictly on 130 pounds. I want to fight for a world title and I want to fight the best at 130. I get that opportunity to do so on September 12 against Jonathan Oquendo.

Q
This question is for Jhonny. Are you going to put on another action-packed fight or will this be a more conservative Jhonny?

J. Gonzalez
I feel that the face that I’m back with my father will make me better than ever. I feel better at 130 instead of at 126 and my mindset is more to focus on boxing and that ability to focus on boxing, is going to allow me to land harder shots against Jonathan Oquendo.

Q
Do you plan on making a title run at 130?
J. Gonzalez
I want to put on exciting fights, but I also want to focus on my campaign at 130 step-by-step. I feel that I will be ready to fight for a world title if the opportunity presents itself, but I’m more focused on handling things one by one and step-by-step.

Q
Having been through the process of rebuilding after a loss, do you feel more comfortable going through it?

J. Gonzalez
I always learn from my losses. I’m going to come back stronger and my mindset is to fight for a world title at 130 pounds. I understand the adjustments I need to make and I’m going to put that on display against Jonathan Oquendo.

Q
Jonathan, how do you feel fighting at 130 pounds?

J. Oquendo
I’m in excellent condition right now. I understand the opponent that I have against me in Jhonny Gonzalez and I think I’m going to be totally fine conditioning wise and physically against Jhonny Gonzalez.

K. Swanson
Great. Thank you so much. Okay, now we’re going to transition over to Orlando Salido and Rocky Martinez.

L. Ellerbe
This next bout, which will be the second part of this great Mexico versus Puerto Rico rivalry, we have a very exciting fight. It’s a fight that the fans are really looking forward to and I’d like to introduce first Roman “Rocky” Martinez. He comes to us with a 29-2 record with 17 KOs and he’s fighting out of Puerto Rico. He’ll be making the first defense in his third stint as the WBO Junior Lightweight champ. He survived a desperate late rush to unanimously out-point Salido in a hard fought action packed fight this past April and it was a classic Puerto Rico versus Mexico battle. Roman, would like you to say a few words?

Roman Martinez
I’m very prepared. My team has done a terrific job in training camp. I want to put on an amazing fight and I’ve worked extremely diligently to be able to defend his title on a spectacular card like this one that is headlined by Floyd Mayweather.

O. Salido
I’m very happy and it means a lot for me to be included on such a great card like this that is headlined by Floyd Mayweather and I want to prove to everybody that I still have a long career in front of me and I want to go out and recapture the world title.

Q
Orlando, what will be different in this fight coming up?

O. Salido
I’ve been training with guys that are very mobile that like to move a lot and I know that Roman is going to constantly be on the move, but the difference with this fight is that during his last fight in training camp I did not spar with guys that are very mobile and moved around the ring. But in this fight I’m very focused and prepared to go head and seek Roman Martinez in every single corner of the ring.

Q
For both fighters, what is your mentality of going back into the ring immediately with an opponent you just fought in what was a very very hard, physical, tough fight. How do you mentally prepare yourself for that knowing you’re probably going to be standing across the ring from a guy who is going to put you through another 12 rounds or maybe less of all out warfare?

R. Martinez
My training has been excellent. To be able to come out and put on a show on a card like this, I want to not only look good, but I want to look spectacular. The difference is that I’m going to use my intelligence more. I know Orlando is a terrific fighter and is going to leave it all inside the ring, but I’m going to use my brains more in this fight compared to the last.

O. Salido
Training has been going very well. I understand that we went toe-to-toe in our last match, but honestly, mentally I feel fantastic. What I’m looking at in this fight is not to leave anything behind. To give it my all and he understands that Roman Martinez is a great fighter, but I want to go out and recoup the title for all of Mexico on September 12.

Q
Roman did you think at any point that you could finish him in that fight and did you think that because you were able to drop him two times that perhaps this time you could finish him off in the rematch?

R. Martinez
I understand in the first fight I feel like I didn’t start as strong and in this fight I’m going to fight with pressure of from the outset and I do have a lot of confidence understanding that I could hurt Orlando Salido, but in this fight it’s all about starting faster and stronger and really going ahead and putting the pressure on Orlando Salido early. I definitely feel I can go ahead and finish off Orlando Salido. Orlando is a very valiant fighter and very courageous, but if I have the moment and I have the opportunity, if it is there then I will certainly oblige and finish off Orlando Salido.

Q
Leonard, could you talk about how this fight ended up on the undercard of Floyd’s show?

L. Ellerbe
We’re always looking to put on exciting fights on our undercards and this was the best fight out there that we could make. I’m truly excited, not only as the promoter of the event, but as a fan to be able to witness another great fight. We know the first fight was a hardcore fight and I suspect nothing else in this fight. I went out and I tried to make the best fight I could on the card and that’s what we got.

Q
Roman do you believe that you have the advantage mentally heading into the rematch?

R. Martinez
Orlando is a veteran. We had an amazing fight back in April, but I’m not going to get over confident because Orlando Salido is a dangerous fighter and I understand I must bring 100% and my absolute best on September 12.

Q
Orlando did you want the rematch immediately?

O. Salido
The first fight was in Roman’s backyard out in Puerto Rico. I did not fight well, but I craved an opportunity to regain my title and I will do so for all of Mexico.

Q
Orlando how do you feel being able to fight very close to Mexican Independence Day and all that it represents?

O. Salido
It’s such an honor to be fighting so close to this day for the Independence of Mexico. I am so just overjoyed by the opportunity to be able to regain my title for all of Mexico during that time of year.

Q
Orlando do you think that this is the last time you will be fighting for the world title?

O. Salido
I do not know whatsoever. You can’t tell and you can’t know for sure. Anything can happen in the ring. But what I do know is that I am focused and coming up on September 12 I will, once again, regain my world championship for all of Mexico.

Q
The first fight that you had was very close and a lot of people felt that real difference in the decision was the two knockdowns. What happened with those knockdowns and how are you going to work in this fight to prevent something like that from happening again?

O. Salido
Mentally I feel great. Roman hit me with great shots, but the second knock down he hit me with an amazing show. In the first fight I lost the fight mentally and in this fight everything is different mentally, spiritually. I just feel so much better and I thought that in the first fight that everyone was for Roman. This time everything is different and I think that the results will be different as well.

Q
Roman, could you tell us what led up to the knockdowns and how you will try to repeat that in the rematch?

R. Martinez
The first fight, it was just an amazing matchup. I went ahead and I saw an opportunity. I took advantage of it. I’m training very hard to go out there and get the finish that I was looking for in the first match up.

Q
In the back of your mind have you thought at all about a trilogy?

O. Salido
If the fans want a third fight after I am victorious then so be it. Let’s make it happen. But in my mind I’m coming out only thinking about this fight. That is my only focus at the moment. I want to come out and fight an intelligent fight. I know Roman is going to be at his best, but when he steps inside the ring on September 12 I want to put on a spectacular performance for all the fans and everyone watching on Pay-Per-View.

R. Martinez
I know it’s going to be a great fight and that if the fans want a third fight then I’m willing to oblige, but it will have to be on my point because I’m going to be victorious yet again over Orlando Salido. So if it is another great fight where I am victorious it will certainly be up to me and I would be willing to go ahead and consider the option of fighting a third time against Orlando Salido.

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