By Lem Satterfield
Lightweight contender, Urbano Antillon, of Maywood, Calif., spoke to BoxingScene.com concerning his May 7, rematch with WBC lightweight champion Humberto Soto, to whom he lost December's narrow, unanimous decision in what was considered by many to be the Fight of The Year.
The 30-year-old Soto (55-7-2, 32 knockouts), of Tijuana, Baja, Calif., Mex., made the successful third defense of his title against the 28-year-old Antillon (28-2, 20 KOs), whom he will meet, yet again, on the under card of a Top Rank Promotions, Showtime pay per view televised WBO welterweight belt defense by southpaw, 32-year-old eight-division king Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) against 39-year-old Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) that will take place at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
A loser on the judges' scorecards, 114-113, twice, and, 115-112, once, Antillon will try to end a nine-fight winning streak that includes four knockouts by Soto.
BoxingScene.com: Can you put us in the ring against Humberto Soto on that night?
Urbano Antillon: Unbelievable. As soon as I was in there, you know, there was a lot of intensity from the opening bell. I never thought that I would be tested like I was that night. I never thought that I would be tested like I was in that fight. You go through so many emotions.
So many questions. Do you want to conintue? Do you not want to continue? But that was just the heart that we both had. I think that you have to understand that it takes a special breed of fighter to react like that. It takes a special breed of fighter to be a part of a fight like that.
BoxingScene.com: Was there any rationale that could have been made for this fight not to have been a rematch?
Urbano Antillon: There had to be a rematch. There was no other way. There was no reason for either of us to go anywhere else. This was a fight that we both wanted for a long time, and we got it.
It was helluva fight. It was the sort of fight that reminded me of Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales, or Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez. I felt like I had been a part of a great fight like those.
You know, it's fights like that that really make boxing what it is. It was so great to be a part of something like that. And now, to have the rematch, you know, it's great. That's what I'm looking forward to, and I'm going to work hard to make it just as memorable as the first one.
BoxingScene.com: Is there anything that you could have done differently the first time around to get a different result?
Urbano Antillon: I didn't feel like a loser of the fight, but there's nothing too much that I could have changed. Well, maybe, one big change. I could have put more pressure on him instead of letting him steal some of the rounds over the last 10 seconds of the round like I think that I allowed him to do.
When I was winning some of those rounds, if they were close rounds, the last 10, 15 seconds, I might have let up and he would pretty much be stealing the rounds at that point. Humberto was good at throwing a lot of punches at the end of the round, and that's one thing that I've learned. That's something that I'm looking to change this second time around.
BoxingScene.com: The couple of times when you threw him to the ground and roughed him up, do you have any issues with the calls where the referee allowed him time to recover?
Urbano Antillon: I mean, well, when he went down, you know, I thought that they were a little shove or whatever and he would fall onto the floor. But I thought that a couple of people sort of laughed at it, you know? But the low blows that they called against me, you know, I thought that he threw a couple of low blows as well.
There was one that they called on me that I thought was a little borderline and I didn't think that it was low. I thought that I was maybe winning that round, and with that low blow, I think that cost me that round.
But I didn't think that it was a three-point swing. I thought that I was winning the round big and that the round should have been maybe scored a draw. If you go to the scorecards, I think that they made that a 10-8 round for him, but I thought that I was winning the round and that it should have been called even.
So, if you think about it, the fight was so close in the end that maybe that call was what may have ended up costing me the fight. But, you know, we'll go back to the drawing board and we'll work on the things. We'll go back and we will take a good, long look at what we need to work on and we'll come out of this next fight with a victory.
BoxingScene.com: Do you chalk up Humberto Soto's trips to the canvas as being part of his veteran experience?
Urbano Antillon: Definitely, I think that that's from his veteran experience. I mean, you could see, just from those few extra seconds that he was down there away from the action that it helped him. When he's down on the floor, yeah, you know, he's coming up with some recovery time for himself. I mean, I'll admit, I had never been at the level that he took me to.
So it was definitely a big learning curve for me. But, you know, going into this next one, we have a lot of more things to work on and I've learned a lot and I'm going to do better in this fight. But I was coming on, and it sort of threw me off.
I mean, you know, he was complaining a lot of head butts. I've seen his other fights, but, you know, he's never complained as much as he did in this fight. I think that to a degree, the pressure was really getting to him. But I mean, like I said, that was due to his experience and he's a tremendous fighter. In the end, those were veteran moves, and you can't really blame him for that.
So, you know, this is a fight that everyone wants to see again. You can't go anywhere else. Even [Top Rank Promotions CEO] Bob Arum said that this had to be done again, and that's what has to happen.
BoxingScene.com: If you happen to be victorious on May 7, do you see a trilogy happening between the two of you?
Urbano Antillon: The pay day is going to be nice after I win this next fight, but, you know, we're not just here for the pay day. We come in knowing that we're going to win. We're here because we both think that we can win, and we're here for the fans. Being in a big city like Las Vegas, fighting on the same card as Manny Pacquiao, it's going to be a great night and a great fight.
To the fans, I mean, don't miss this fight, it's maybe going to be the Fight of the Year again.