RingTV.com: Do you agree with referee Steve Smoger’s ruling that the cut in the third round was from a punch?
DA: No, that was from a head butt. Not a punch, but a head butt. No excuses. It happened early, but I said, “okay, I’ll put that in the back of my mind.”
I learned from the Timothy Bradley fight, put it like that, to put that cut in the back of my mind. No matter what happens, no matter what you go through in a fight, or whatever you’re doing, you have got to grind it out.
You’ve got to be a warrior in there, whether you have two cuts, three cuts or four cuts, you know, you’ve got to stay in the fight and go for the victory. I did that. I forgot all about the fact that I had a cut to get the victory done.
RingTV.com: Was there a point in the fight where you felt that his power was not what you thought that it would be?
DA: One thing that I learned from the Matthysse fight is that a guy can have a lot of knockouts. A guy can have a whole lot of knockouts on his record.
But that doesn’t mean that he has the dominating power that his record shows. Going into this fight, I knew that Maidana did have power, and I knew that he could hurt a guy and get the guy out of there.
But, you know, I didn’t think that he was that strong like people were believing. He’s overwhelming opponents and wears you down after a while and hurts you that way.
But it’s not like he is going to come out and just — Boom! — knock you out. So, you know, I went into the fight knowing that he does have power and to watch out for it. But I wasn’t really worried about his power at all.
RingTV.com: What punch do you think hurt him the most in the sixth round, and why weren’t you able to finish him off?
DA: My coach and I thought that I was pressing the issue, but that I should have gone to the body more instead of the head and that I should have relaxed more.
But it’s something that I’ve got to work on. When I hurt a guy, I need to relax and set the tempo and set the power punches up instead of just going out there and winging, and winging, and winging punches.
So, I think that was the case with me in this fight. I think that I should have settled down and set up my punches. That’s the difference in me not getting Maidana out of there.
DA: Of course, I wanted to find my spots where I could hurt him, so that I could hit him with the left hand and maneuver to my left. I saw that my left hand was definitely hurting him.
I definitely felt stronger in the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds, and I was definitely trying to put some hurt on him. I wanted to see what I could do as far as getting him out of there.
But he definitely did not like it to the body, and I was trying to go a little more to the body. I wanted to get him out of there, but, you know, I was just pressing the issue too much.
If I would have set him up more for the shots that he didn’t see, then I would have gotten the knockout and I would have gotten him out of there.
RingTV.com: Were you at all surprised at the ease with which you won the fight versus your pre-bout expectations?
DA: Of course. Every time that I fight, no matter who I’ve fought, I always think that I could do more than I did in the ring. I’m my own worst critic. I could knock a guy out and still say, “Oh, man, I could have hit him with this,” or, “I could have hit him with that.
“I always think that I can do a little better. I don’t know why I’m like that. That’s just the type of person that I am. I just definitely think that I could have done way more than I did.
You know, I could have calmed down more and I could have definitely set some more shots up. I really believe that I could have gotten him up out of there, but, all in all, it was a great performance.
RingTV.com: Who do you want next?
DA: The sky is the limit. There’s a lot of people out there who are eating a lot of crow right now. People were doubting me and saying, “aw, man, he’s going to get killed by Marcos Maidana.”
People were saying, “he’s going to get hurt,” and, “he’s not going to be able to compete,” and that, “he’s not one of the elite guys out there.”
So, I mean, it was crazy how everybody was doubting. But the sky is the limit. Coach Kevin is working on all of that right now. So we’ll just have to see what’s next.
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org