Exclusive Interview with Miguel Angel Jimenez

By Will Vickers on November 6, 2017
Exclusive Interview with Miguel Angel Jimenez
“Joe Calzaghe was a high-volume boxer, with no power and a low boxing IQ.” (Getty)

When asked if boxing was his way out of poverty, Jimenez said, “No, I was in college, but I had nothing else to do. Plus, I wanted to quit cigarettes…”

Miguel Angel Jimenez retired from professional boxing in 2003, and has been kind enough to take the time to talk about his career with Boxing.com. Jimenez fought for a decade, and his career statistics come in at 23-3-0, 10 KO’s. His most famous opponent was Joe Calzaghe when they fought at Cardiff Castle in 2002. Calzaghe won in a unanimous decision 120-107.

What originally got you into boxing?

I was a tough kid in a rough area of Puerto Rico, with not much to do.

Was prize-fighting a way out of poverty for you?

No, I was in college, but I had nothing else to do. Plus, I wanted to quit cigarettes as I smoked two and a half packs a day. My father was a mechanic for Thermo King, so we were well off economically speaking.

What was your personal greatest achievement in the sport?

I won the gold medal in the North American Championships. Obtained a silver in the Pan American games, and competed in the Barcelona Olympics as an amateur. I won the WBC FECARBOX title in the light heavyweight division and the WBO Latino Title. And to top it all off I KO’d Segundo Mercado in five rounds.

Why were you nicknamed “The Russian”?

There was one kid at a boxing show watching me whilst I was in the amateurs. He saw me and called me Drago from the movie Rocky.

You fought Joe Calzaghe in 2002. How highly do you regard him? And would you say he is one of the all-time greats?

No, when I fought with Joe I only trained for fourteen days to lose the weight. I was number three in the world at that point. Edwin Jeffrey called me, offering the fight to replace David Telesco. I originally said no. My manager called me the next day and said you are fighting Joe Calzaghe for fifty thousand dollars. I said that I wasn’t, and told him that they had called me yesterday offering seventy-seven thousand dollars and I had already said no. So, I called Jeffrey and told him to make the fight. I will say that Joe Calzaghe was a high-volume boxer, with no power and a low boxing IQ. He was always in great shape, but not a Sugar Ray Leonard or Roberto Duran type of boxer. At the end of the day he was in good shape, so he won.

What would you say was your greatest ever victory?

When I beat Raymond Downey, 1988’s Olympic bronze medalist in the amateurs. In the pros it would be Segundo Mercado.

Your opinion on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight earlier this year?

Mayweather vs. Conor was a scam. It is not good for boxing.

So, do you think the fight was fixed?

I think Floyd carried him up until the tenth round, and should have KO’d him in two rounds. Floyd cons everyone including Conor.

Do you think the referees and judges were in on it? As in on Mayweather’s side?

No, the Nevada State Atlantic Commission is very strict, at least when Mark Ratner was President.

How does Floyd Mayweather con people?

He sold something that was not real. He was never going to be in any kind of danger against Conor. Mayweather made it look real; come on this guy was a genius in the ring. You see me, I couldn’t do something like that, I will KO in one, not a chance in hell I will carry anybody.

Are you still involved with boxing?

No, I am not involved with boxing anymore. I love it, but I have a family and have go to work for a living. Boxing is a great sport and the British fans are the best in the world. I would love to have fought for you guys, but my nationality is Puerto Rico.

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  1. William Vickers 11:56am, 11/07/2017

    Hi Bruno,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    It was a clean interview, and whatever anybody says Miguel went the distance with one of the greatest British fighters to have ever stepped onto this earth.

    All the best,

    Will Vickers

  2. Bruno Schleinstein 12:47pm, 11/06/2017

    Joe won every minute of every round…. all three scores 120-107 for Christ’s sake….whipped his ass to a frazzle and all these years later he’s talking revisionist horseshit just like Archie Moore did about Rocky all those years later in San Diego! As far as Mayweather’s scam…. anybody with an IQ above the moderate retardation range of 70-80 IQ points (the average range for boxing nuts, witness the booing at Barclays when the Lipenets decision was announced?!) knows it’s true! Yet cockeyed, halfassed boxing writers here at Boxing.com still have the unmitigated gall to assert that all things considered it was good for boxing!

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