BoxingScene.com spoke to trainer and former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer about his pupil Mariusz Wach's (23-0) upcoming fight versus Jonathan Haggler (23-3). The fight takes place on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey. Moorer talks about his training style, this era of heavyweights and also touches on a potential fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather and more in this exclusive interview.
BoxingScene.com: How has training camp been for the upcoming fight with Johnathan Haggler?
Michael Moorer: Training camp has gone good. We are ready. He (Wach) has done everything that I have asked of him and that is all I can expect. I am looking for a victory.
BoxingScene.com: What made you decide to take Wach under your wing and train him?
Michael Moorer: It was through Brian Young (of Prize Fight Promotions). He gave me the opportunity. He mentioned it and I went out and met with him and Mariusz Kolodziej up in New York at Global Boxing and we all came to terms and I am the guy.
BoxingScene.com: Give us some insight into your style of training. This is your first fight with Wach. Do you study tape on what your opponent does and come up with a game plan off of that or do you develop a fight plan for Wach and make your opponent adjust to him?
Michael Moorer: I don't watch tapes. I never did even when I was fighting. The thing I have with Mariusz is that if I teach him he will be able to face anything that is put in front of him. There are stages and steps that we go through but I don't see any problems.
BoxingScene.com: Wach is a very big heavyweight at 6' 7 1/2" tall and 260 plus pounds. Do you think with the proper training time with you that eventually he will be ready for one of the Klitschko brothers? Was that part of the intrigue in you deciding to train him?
Michael Moorer: No I am not going to jump the gun with that. I just want him to be able to learn the American style and not fight the European style which he was so accustomed too. Thats all.
BoxingScene.com: What type of time table do you think he needs to be able to pick up the American style that you are teaching him?
Michael Moorer: He is picking up things pretty well now. I don't see any time table yet. That is a little premature. I think you need two years to develop a guy. Maybe a year and a half if you get him the right fights. You gradually guide him up to the big fights where he will be prepared and ready both mentally and physically.
BoxingScene.com: The upcoming fight is in Newark, New Jersey where there is a pretty big Polish population. What type of crowd are you expecting Saturday night?
Michael Moorer: I am not sure. I am not familiar with that area up there. I expect a lot of people up there to come out though.
BoxingScene.com: How often would you like to see Wach fight? Do you have a plan set with his promoters?
Michael Moorer: We don't have a plan yet. We are going to get up there and talk to everyone together. I think that I am going to try to set it up where he fights every other month so he is in boxing shape and people start getting to see his face and see that he is doing things the right way.
BoxingScene.com: How many people would you like to train right now? What is the optimum number to have in your stable?
Michael Moorer: It really doesn't matter. I can always adjust. I can give the guys a 2 hour time frame. I don't mind staying in the gym.
BoxingScene.com: You worked in Manny Pacquiao's camp a while back. As you know he takes on Shane Mosley in May. How do you see that fight playing out?
Michael Moorer: It is really hard to go against Manny Pacquiao being that I was in his camp and that I saw him train. I don't see anyone that can compete with that. He is a different type of fighter meaning that he fights the way we used to train back in the mid 90s and late 80s. He has that work ethic. For him to do stuff like that as far as the training a lot of people in boxing don't understand that style anymore. They just want to try to go out and try not to get him but he will go out there and hit you with different angles and I think he will be successful against Sugar Shane Mosley. Not to take anything away from Sugar. I am a fan of both of them.
BoxingScene.com: Being that you said it would be hard to go against Manny does that mean you would favor him over Floyd Mayweather?
Michael Moorer: Absolutely.
BoxingScene.com: And his desire to win and his desire to train are the main reasons you would pick him to beat Mayweather?
Michael Moorer: Desire to win and desire to train and me seeing how Floyd got hurt when Sugar Shane hit him in the second round. He can be hit. I think with the different styles. See Manny Pacquiao goes in there and punches and he doesn't worry about getting hit while Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn't want to get hit and he fights real defensively.
BoxingScene.com: Do you think Floyd's defensive style plays into Manny's favor in that he won't have to worry about has many punches being thrown back at him while he goes inside?
Michael Moorer: I agree with you on that for sure.
BoxingScene.com: How do you compare today's heavyweights versus your time? Now you have the top guys in the Klitschko brothers and David Haye. Then there is a big drop off in the second tier of fighters. In your time you had Holyfield, Tyson, Foreman, Lewis and others at the top and the second tier was strong as well. You competed with the best of them and beat some of them. Do you ever wish that you were fighting in this era where there is less competition?
Michael Moorer: I am glad that I came along at what I feel was the right time. I accomplished so much. I am not going to take away from that. What I have done is part of the record books and I am happy with that.
BoxingScene.com: Do you have a message for the fans?
Michael Moorer: I appreciate all the support I have gotten from all my fans over the years and I think in June I will be inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Hall of Fame so that is a big thing for me. I like that.
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