"Manny Pacquiao has that work ethic that a lot of boxers don't have these days and a lot of people are jealous and a lot of people are trying to make something of it because they don't know what hard work and dedication is and Manny Pacquiao displays that every time he's in training camp. He displays the will to win; the desire to fight, it doesn't matter. I witnessed him go 26 rounds nonstop hitting the mitts. That's phenomenal. He just strives to be the best. I don't ride nobody's coattail. I'm a fan of Manny Pacquiao's and a fan of Freddie Roach and I love the atmosphere. The thing is when someone does good, there is always somebody that tries to bring you down," stated former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Michael Moorer as he set the record straight regarding Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Teddy Atlas and much more. Check it out!
PC: It's an honor to speak to you Champ. How is it going?
MM: Everything is great Percy. It's a New Year and I'm trying to do some new things; a new start in life.
PC: You are back in Florida. How is it going out there as far as you training guys?
MM: I enjoy training, but the best atmosphere as far as training is where I was, out there in California at Freddie Roach's gym. That's the best atmosphere for boxing and that's the atmosphere that I like to be around. There are all different types of people there and you can help people train; some of the good people like Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan. I like working with people like that.
PC: You cornered Andrei Arlovski before in a Strikeforce bout. Are you a fan of MMA and what do you think of heavyweights James Toney and Shannon Briggs wanting to fight in mixed martial arts?
MM: I am a fan of MMA. I like combat sports. If Shannon and James Toney want to do it, that's their prerogative. I don't have nothing to say about it. They are grown men so if they feel they can make the adjustment, then go for it.
PC: You and Teddy Atlas are very close. Some feel you may be the source that he was referring to on Friday Night Fights regarding the emails that were supposedly sent from the Pacquiao camp to the Mayweather camp.
MM: Being his source for the email situation about what?
PC: Teddy Atlas was asked by Brian Kenny if Mayweather's request for blood testing held any grounds. Atlas said that a reliable source put him on to some emails sent from Pacquiao's camp to the Mayweather camp, asking if a positive test could be kept secret to save the integrity of the fight
MM: (Cutting in) I didn't hear nothing about that. Well, Teddy and I are very good friends, but let me clear the record up. I don't go behind peoples back and start any shit. If you're going to ask me a question, I'm going to be honest about it and tell you the truth. People will say things, but I don't worry about things like that. Those are words. I'm a part of history, so I don't worry about that. They can say whatever they would like, but I don't go and badmouth nobody. I don't make accusations towards anybody. If anyone wanted to say something to me, they can come to me as a man to my face and talk to me. It's not good that someone assumed or someone is making assumptions that it's Michael Moorer. There are a lot of people in boxing who Teddy Atlas is friends with. It's not just Michael Moorer. Just because I worked in the camp with Manny Pacquiao doesn't mean that I'm the source. Manny Pacquiao, to his credit, knows how to work hard. He works his ass off. Alex Ariza, his strength and conditioning coach, works Manny out very very hard. Manny Pacquiao has that work ethic that a lot of boxers don't have these days and a lot of people are jealous and a lot of people are trying to make something of it because they don't know what hard work and dedication is and Manny Pacquiao displays that every time he's in training camp. He displays the will to win; the desire to fight, it doesn't matter. I witnessed him go 26 rounds nonstop hitting the mitts. That's phenomenal. He just strives to be the best. I don't ride nobody's coattail. I'm a fan of Manny Pacquiao's and a fan of Freddie Roach and I love the atmosphere. The thing is when someone does good, there is always somebody that tries to bring you down. If there are people that really understand boxing like they say they do, don't go by what people say. Believe nothing that you hear and half of what you see. People who know me and my demeanor know that I don't run my mouth, talk behind somebody's back or disrespect nobody. If you have something to say, you come see me and come talk to me. They know that.
PC: Being that you were in Manny's camp before, do you feel he had the tools to dethrone Mayweather and give him his first loss?
MM: I believe so. I haven't been in camp with Floyd Mayweather, but I feel that Manny Pacquiao would give Floyd Mayweather that one loss. I'm a fan of Floyd Mayweather. I love boxing. I held the mitts one time for Manny Pacquiao. The guy is so strong and so dedicated to his sport and he has the desire to win. If you look at every weight class, that's the only person in boxing today that I believe that trains the hardest. I have been there and I witnessed it. I see these guys that half-ass fight and some of them down here in training, they half-ass train and that's not how I was brought up. You gotta go out there and do it and do it the right way because you only get one shot at it.
PC: Saying Manny is the hardest worker you have ever seen is a major statement from you being that you have been around the sport for so long.
MM: I've been around it for 30 years. My grandfather started me off and he worked me out. He worked my ass off and that's the commitment that I had when I was fighting. I did everything the right way in the gym, so when my fights came, I knew that was the easy part because I was always in shape and that's how Manny is. Manny Pacquiao works his ass off. Now they want to talk all of this drug stuff and I don't know the demeanor of Floyd Mayweather and his camp, but just to go off and run off at the mouth like that over something I mean, look at it, Floyd is this is a major fight for him if he was to fight Pacquiao. Floyd has a chance to end up losing this fight and I don't understand why he just won't take the fight and shut the critics up.
PC: How bad would it be for the sport of boxing if these two don't fight at the pinnacle of their career?
MM: It's going to come off. It's going to be the highest grossing fight in the history of boxing, so if they want to make the money they are going to fight. But Manny Pacquiao, well, it's not Manny, it's probably Freddie and Bob Arum, they are not going to sit around and wait and let Floyd Mayweather dictate. That's just not the way it works.
PC: I have a 2-part question for you. What would you say to the fans that say, "why don't Manny take the test and fight for that kind of money," and on the other side, what would you say to fans that are saying, "why is Floyd asking for something that's never been done in the sport?"
MM: For the first part, if I was Freddie Roach or training a fighter, I wouldn't let them give blood 48 hours out from the fight. They would not draw blood from any of my fighters that close to fight time. And on the second part, why would he ask? Because he's throwing a monkey wrench in the game. I don't know his gameplan or what he's trying to do, but obviously there is a reason and I don't know what that reason is. Only Floyd can answer that question.
PC: It sounds like you want to go back out to the West Coast and do some training. Is that what we can expect from you in the near future?
MM: You never know what life brings you these days. I train guys and it's so hard to train guys at times because they don't know how hard it is and the sacrifices you have to make to be the best. They don't understand that I'm not going to yell at you. I'm just going to tell you the right way to do things the way that I was taught. This game requires dedication, sacrifices and it requires a lot and these guys don't understand that. It doesn't even go back to me being a heavyweight. It goes back to me being a light heavyweight. I came from light heavyweight to heavyweight champion of the world. When you do good, people are always going to talk. There was times where people said I was on steroids. When you know you're not doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about because there is always someone trying to bring you down so that they can get some recognition. I don't let words affect me. You put your hands on me, then there is going to be problems. That's just the way I think. I'm a private investigator down here. I'm a body guard and a firearms instructor. I'm always cautious about things, like where I drive and where I go and who I'm with. I carry a firearm and I watch for everything. If I was one of these guys out here to protect the United States, I would be the perfect candidate. That's what I love to do.
PC: It was a great pleasure speaking to you. I respect your honesty and I wish you the best of luck. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
MM: I thank all of the fans who have supported me and been in my corner, but for the grown folks out there, believe nothing you hear and half of what you see unless you know it for yourself.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]