A year ago, super middleweight Yamaguchi Falcao (24-1-1, 10 KOs) called out almost every top fighter in the division, hoping to land a significant fight and contend for a world title. Today, he's thisclose to getting the sort of opportunity to excel he's been craving, as we are three days away from the Gervonta Davis v Ryan Garcia card which features Falcao challenging super middleweight titlist David Morrell Jr.
Yamagchi, a Brazilian native who won a Bronze Medal in the 2012 Olympic Games, has been mildly successful as a professional. In a career now spanning nine years, Falcao had yet to land a significant opponent that would position him to fight for a world title. In 2022 offers were extended to Edgar Berlanga, Demetrius Andrade, Shane Mosely Jr., and others. They all passed on fighting Falcao. According to Yamaguchi, being a southpaw and a skilled boxer has deterred fighters from stepping into the ring with him. Undiscouraged, Yamaguchi took whatever fights he could and fought five times in 2022.
After a year of failed attempts to land a major fight, a major fight landed on Falcao. With only a week’s notice, the 35-year-old Brazilian finally got the call he had been preparing for his whole life. WBA super middleweight champion David Morrell Jr. was set to defend his title against Ghana’s Sena Agbeko. But, unfortunately, Agbeko withdrew from the fight because of a licensing issue with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. That’s when Falcao got the call of a lifetime and he will now challenge Morrell Jr. for his WBA super middleweight world title.
In an exclusive interview with NYFights, Yamaguchi Falcao tells us what it means to him to be finally fighting in a world title fight against the most formidable opponent of his career.
Please enjoy this Q&A with the super middleweight contender Yamaguchi Falcao.
NYF: Yamaguchi, thank you for being with us, how's it going?
YF: Thank you very much. I'm happy to be speaking with you again. I am thrilled with the news and will bring everything on April 22nd.
NYF: The last time we spoke, you were trying to land a significant fight to position yourself for a world title. You called out all Demetrius Andrade, Edgar Berlanga, and Mosley Jr. to name a few. Finally, the time has come. You got a phone call to fight the biggest fight of your career. How does it feel to finally fight for a world title?
YF: It’s been a difficult journey because nobody wanted to fight me. Guys like Berlanga and Andrade didn't want to fight me. But life keeps on moving and now my moment has arrived. And now in front of me, I have David Morrell. He’s a very good boxer. However, I’m a problem, they call me “The problem.” I’m really happy I got this fight. Let’s go!
NYF: You were only given a week’s notice to fight your career's biggest and most important fight? How are you feeling? Are you healthy? Are you ready to fight?
YF: Yes, I’m ready. I’m healthy. My whole life is boxing. I come from a family of fighters, so I am constantly training. You are never going to find Yamaguchi at the beach drinking. You're going to find Yamaguchi constantly training and motivated. I believe that you must always be ready for when an opportunity presents itself. If you're not prepared, it's going to be difficult. I'm always ready to fight. Morrell will see me right in front of him with a desire to fight and win.
NYF: David Morrell Jr. is the WBA champion and perhaps the best super middleweight in the world. Typically a boxer needs 8 weeks of training to prepare for a match. I understand that you are physically ready. But other nuances go into preparing for an opponent like David Morrell Jr. How do you train for the most important fight of your life in one week?
YF: I work really hard in the gym. My trainers and my team have prepared me very well for this moment. And I have a goal, a significant goal. That goal is to one day fight with Canelo Alvarez. I must talk well about Morrell because he is a good fighter and a world champion. But my dream is to fight Canelo, so Morrell will not be the one that stops me from achieving that goal. I have a greater path ahead and I will knock Morrell out, and the world will be shocked.
NYF: David Morell is a boxer who does everything well inside the ring. He knows how to box, has power, and has dominated all his opponents. Do you see a weakness that you can expose? What is your strategy to beat David Morrel?
YF: I won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Games. I defeated Julio Cesar De La Cruz, a Cuban world champion who was at his best. That was a great experience. The world didn't believe I could defeat Julio Cesar De La Cruz in the Olympics. So, when I beat him, I shocked the world. Therefore, I believe that fighting Morrell is the best thing that happened to me. So, when fight night comes, I will demonstrate that Yamaguchi is a problem for Cuban boxers.
NYF: No one expects you to defeat Morrell, what do you say to your critics?
YF: It’s life. He’s only a boxer and we have been working very hard. Everyone has an opinion. Everybody thinks they know what is going to happen. But I have a lot of faith and put all my faith in God. And when I fight against big named fighters that know how to box, they find out that Yamaguchi also knows how to box.
NYF: How does this fight end? What's your prediction?
YF: I have a plan. Morrell doesn't fight all his rounds. The truth is Morrell hasn't fought anyone. Morrell hasn't been hit hard yet; he doesn't know was it is like to be hit by a hard punch. Throwing punches is easy; being hit by them is totally different, and Morrell will feel it that night.
NF: You have the last word. What do you want to tell your fans and those who support you?
YF: I want to thank God for this opportunity. To my fans, Yamaguchi is ready, and I want that belt very badly. And no one will take that away from me because I have the desire and the heart to win. And everyone can count on Yamaguchi to win this fight.
My Take: Yamaguchi Falcao has been campaigning to contend for a world title. In a twist of fate, Falcao went from fighting in club shows just a year ago to fighting for a world title and co-headlining the Davis vs Garcia card in one phone call. However, for Falcao, his world title contention couldn't have been against a more terrifying opponent. The adage “Be careful what you ask for” is probably the best way to describe this fight. There is a reason why David Morrell Jr. is a champion within eight contests. The Cuban native can box, has excellent footwork, and beats his opponents into submission when he knows he has them hurt. Morrell Jr. has knocked out all but one of his previous eight opponents. His last opponent AidosYerbossynuly spent twelve days in an induced coma requiring surgery to save his life from a brain bleed that he suffered during his war with David Morrell Jr. I’m not saying Yamaguchi Falcao doesn’t have the skills nor the resiliency to beat the Cuban champion. However, he will have to be flawless and every bit of the problem he says he is if he wants to lift the WBA strap off David Morrell Jr.