"There are a few names of people who have been calling me out or mentioning me and I'm open to fight anybody; it really doesn't matter. A true fighter is willing to defend his title against up and comers and the big names and the other champions, and that's what I'm all about. I will fight anybodyÂ… I told everybody it was going to be our time and now it is and I will continue to show everybody that I am the best featherweight in the world," stated WBO featherweight champion Mikey Gacia, who gave us an update on how his broken nose is healing, his future plans, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on the huge win over Orlando Salido.
MG: Thank you!
PC: What's the timetable on the broken nose you suffered?
MG: It's healing now. I had surgery on Friday. I have a stuffy nose right now, kind of like I'm going through a cold kind of thing, but it's fine. I go to the doctor next week for a post op visit and he will let me know how it's healing and how long I will be out for. But after the surgery, the doctor said it was fine and it went well.
PC: You reacted to the headbutt right away. Did you know as soon as it happened that something wasn't right?
MG: Yeah, I definitely felt something, but I didn't know it was broken or how bad the damage was. I definitely felt the headbutt and the pain right away. I blew my nose and some blood came out and then some was in the back of my throat, so I knew it wasn't normal, but I didn't know the extent of the damage until the doctor and the referee came in and saw it and confirmed it was broken.
PC: I think Robert did an excellent job of not only finding out the extent of the injury, but making sure it was going to the scorecards, which you were well ahead on. A lot has been said about the way the fight ended. How do you feel about the conclusion of the fight?
MG: Well, I think I showed everybody who the best fighter was in the ring. I showed I have more skills than people realize and I proved to be the better fighter. The way I was performing there shouldn't be a doubt in anyone's mind that I was the better fighter. It just happened to get stopped with a foul, but I was clearly winning every single round in every way possible.
PC: I don't know if you have watched the fight since, but the commentators seemed to think the headbutt was intentional. He was getting a little rough in there, but do you feel he intentionally headbutted you?
MG: You know, it's hard to say. He did use some rough tactics, like you said, but it's hard to call it. I thought it was accidental because he came in and landed with his head, but it's hard to say if it was unintentional or intentional. But it doesn't change the fact that it happened and that it broke my nose, so I leave that to the ref to decide and he called it the way he saw it.
PC: You worked with Darryl Hudson before the fight and given the amount of pressure Salido was applying, it came in handy. Were you surprised a little bit that he came forward so much and so aggressively or did you guys expect that?
MG: We were expecting it and we practiced for that in the gym. We practiced that a lot and that's why I was able to be so affective because we did practice for that. I was not surprised. I knew that he would be coming in stronger and throwing more punches, and like I said, I was ready for that. I was prepared for it. And even though he was throwing more punches, they were being blocked or somehow being avoided and not landing. I was sliding to the side to avoid them, so I knew exactly what to do.
PC: It seemed like everything you hit him with was putting him down. At what point during that fight did you sense it was going to be your night?
MG: I felt like that from the first round or two. I saw that I was able to hit him fairly easy and able to connect and move away before he was able to retaliate or counter with anything, so I felt comfortable right away and I knew if I could just keep it up, I would win every round.
PC: You built a very comfortable lead and several 10-8 rounds, but you weren't necessarily playing it safe. You were still in there throwing with him. Is that just your mentality or were you really wanting to stop him?
MG: We were there with a game plan to stay ahead of him and be atop and I didn't want to slack off in any round. Even though we were ahead in the fight, we know he's a dangerous fighter, so we never let our guard down for anything. I just stuck to the game plan and stayed focus all night long. Whenever he tried to pressure or press, I would just come right back; that way, he wouldn't feel like he was getting in the fight or stealing the momentum of the fight. I just had to show him that I was the better fighter.
PC: He has since said that he knew he wasn't winning the fight, but he felt you were wearing down. Do you think he's just reaching for anything at this point?
MG: Yeah, he definitely has to say something and come up with something to sell to the fans and the media, but everybody saw the facts. In the last round, or 7th or 8th round, when he was supposedly coming on, like I said, he might have been throwing more punches than the first few rounds, but he was not connecting with any of those punches. I was still hurting him and landing the more effective punches. He might have been throwing more than the previous rounds and they saw a little more activity from him, but he wasn't landing or doing any damage. I was landing the more effective damage and I was hurting him several times; even in that last 8th round, I still hurt him several times.
PC: Your name is the hot name right now at 126. Obviously you have to deal with your nose situation, but after that, will it be the rematch with Salido or are you looking into another direction at this point?
MG: Right now, we gotta get the nose healed up properly and then we will go from there. I have said it before, I am open to fight anybody. I'm willing to fight or defend my title against any up-and-coming fighter that deserves a title opportunity, or unify the titles with any of the champions. There are a few names of people who have been calling me out or mentioning me and I'm open to fight anybody; it really doesn't matter. A true fighter is willing to defend his title against up and comers and the big names and the other champions, and that's what I'm all about. I will fight anybody.
PC: You got a lot of headlines for calling out Yuriorkis Gamboa. Are you willing to move up or have him come down and face you?
MG: We are definitely interested in it. If he wants to come down to 126, then I will put my title on the line and we can do that. If he says he can't make 126, then we can fight at 130. I will move up to 130 or if he wants to do it higher than that, I will move up to 135; it really doesn't matter. I will still be considered the best in the division whether the fight takes place at 130 or 135. Even people still recognize him as the featherweight champion from a few years back. He vacated the title when I was his #1 challenger, so I think that's a fight people will still kind of see as a featherweight showdown, even if it's at 130 or 135.
PC: I gotta let you speak on your brother Robert, who I think has done a helluva job with you guys. He deals with so many different styles; yours, Brandon Rios and Nonito Donaire just to name a few, and you guys are all different fighters stylistically for the most part and he doesn't skip a beat. What does that say about your brother?
MG: He's a complete trainer. He can understand the needs of each fighter and adjust to each fighter and he has the ability to do that and work on the things that his fighters need and also improve on their strengths. He was a fighter himself, so he knows what it's like to be in the ring and be a world champ. He's a complete trainer and he knows talent and pays attention to detail and it just shows the results are there. Everybody can see the results for themselves.
PC: Congratulations again on capturing that title, I hope you have a speedy recovery so we can see you back in there soon. Is there anything else you want to say before I let you go?
MG: I just want to thank everybody for their support. I told everybody it was going to be our time and now it is and I will continue to show everybody that I am the best featherweight in the world.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]