MMAPrime.tv got the chance to sit down with boxing heavyweight contender Mark “The Dominator” de Mori to talk about his favorite fighter, James Toney signing with the UFC and the disappointing fight between Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins.
Ryan Justason: Your last fight was in July. Can you tell us about that fight?
Mark de Mori: I was fighting in Perth which is my home town. I was fighting a guy that I knew couldn’t beat me. Basically for me, it was what they call a “keep me busy fight.” To keep me focused and get that ring experience. It wasn’t a good time for me because I’m ready for world class fighters.
RJ: You have said before that James Toney is your favorite fighter. Can you tell us why that is?
Mark de Mori: As a boxer, I just like him because he comes to fight. He likes to stand there and trade. I think he’s got incredible defense and an incredible chin. He’s never ducked anybody. He has fought from middleweight to heavyweight and has always fought the toughest available. I love watching his shoulder rolls and moves from the hips.
RJ: What do you think about James Toney fighting in the UFC?
Mark de Mori: Well, first of all, I don’t think he will ever be a UFC champion. How well he would do depends on the weight class he fights in. I think he should be at 185. 205 might be ok but I think at heavyweight, he would be horrible. He really is a small guy who is overweight. He’s got to lose that weight. I also don’t know who would stand with him. He’s got to focus on the ground game and kicks. He’s been boxing for most the years of his life. He can’t change his style. I mean, you can’t lean on your front foot and in the zone like that. These guys have different methods that they can use. He’s a stubborn person and I just can’t see him changing and adapting well enough to be a serious competitor.
RJ: Have you ever considered fighting MMA?
Mark de Mori: I do follow the sport and I like it but there is just too many things that I would have to learn. I don’t know how to kick. I know some basic jiu jitsu. I’d have to change my boxing style. There are so many things to change that I just don’t have the dedication. So unless it was a small local competition, you won’t see me in MMA.
RJ: You signed with Don King. Is he as bad a guy as everyone says he is?
Mark de Mori: Whenever people hear the name Don King, people are like “what are you doing with him for?” All I can say from my experience is that it’s been good.
RJ: A study concluded that out of all the countries in the world, Australia is the place to go to have the biggest chance of sleeping with a woman on the first date. Do you think that’s accurate?
Mark de Mori: Well, from the things I hear from the guys I know, it doesn’t really surprise me. From my personal experience, I wouldn’t know because I’ve been in a long term relationship. It doesn’t really surprise me about Australian women. It’s a big drinking country so I think that contributes.
RJ: Any advice for people trying to get into the fight game?
Mark de Mori: Unless you like fighting as a passion, don’t even think about it. Some people think they can make a good living from it and not have brain damage from it. Unless you love it, live it and breath it, you won’t be able to train. The other thing is that they don’t see all the behind the scenes and injuries. The after affects of a fight create problems later in life. Unless you love it with every bone in your body, your going to give it up.
RJ: Is it true that you were recently injured days before your fight?
Mark de Mori: Unfortunately I was supposed to fight this weekend and the last training session . . . I injured my back and it was my fault. I was too late to do my proper warm up.
RJ: Are there any fighters that you want to fight?
Mark de Mori: I’ve always wanted to fight whoever brings the most spotlight possible. So whoever that is. Whether it’s the world champion or whether it’s somebody who doesn’t even get ranked. Whatever brings the biggest stage, the biggest platform, money and audience is who I want to fight. But two of my heroes are Evander Holyfield and James Toney. If they’re still fighting, I’d like to fight them because it would be an honor for me.
RJ: What did you think about the Roy Jones Jr/ Bernard Hopkins fight?
Mark de Mori: I thought it was an embarrassing joke of a fight. I think Jones was happy to go the distance. I think Hopkins, who is Mr. Tough, Mr. Old school acted like a complete baby. He was looking for any excuse to get points taken off Jones. The fans were cheated. I think if you bought that pay per view and it was your first boxing pay per view, that you would never buy a fight again. I’m a huge fan of Roy Jones Jr but I was disgusted with the whole fight. I’m glad I didn’t pay the money for it. How are you going to get new people into the sport with a fight like that?
RJ: Some skeptics have said that boxing is on it’s way out and MMA is the new boxing. Do you think that’s the case?
Mark de Mori: No. Boxing still has the highest pay per view buys and the larger gate audience than MMA. MMA is doing well in America, Canada, UK and Australia but worldwide, I think boxing outranks it. I’m not this boxing vs MMA guy but I think they are two totally different sports.
RJ: Any sponsors you would like to thank?
Mark de Mori: I’d like to thank Alan Burns at http://www.AlanBurns.com.au .
MMAPrime.tv would like to thank Mark de Mori for his time. You can check out Mark on twitter http://www.twitter.com/markdemori , facebook http://www.facebook.com/markdemori and at his official website http://www.MarkdeMori.com