Carl Moretti is the Vice President of boxing operations with Top Rank promotions. The company is hired Moretti back in 2009 after having worked in a similar role for Dibella entertainment. Top Rank recently made news with the recent announcement of a deal with ESPN to broadcast boxing events from the company. The first event of the deal aired on July 2nd, with the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn title bout.
In part 1 of my interview with Carl Moretti, I get his thoughts on the deal between Top Rank and ESPN and ask him how Pacquiao vs. Horn ended up on the network. Moretti also shares his opinion on the decision in the Pacquiao-Horn match and talks about what’s next for Manny Pacquiao. Additionally, Carl shares his thoughts on Vasyl Lomachenko’s upcoming bout and gives his view on an Orlando Salido rematch. Here is what Carl Moretti had to say.
Jenna J: Carl can you talk a little about the deal Top Rank made with ESPN that is bringing high-quality boxing to basic cable and also led to Pacquiao vs. Horn being on the network?
Carl Moretti: Sure, Pacquiao-Horn was made for that date several months ago and the discussions with ESPN were on going for quite some time, it just happened to work out perfectly where it was a Saturday night back in the United States and a Sunday morning in Australia. Once that was able to be put together, things just kind of flew naturally and we had a great event. There was a bit of controversial scoring with it, but regardless it got a lot of viewership and big ratings. We are looking forward to the next stage, which is the two August shows.
Jenna J: The fight did the best ratings in over twenty years on ESPN for a boxing telecast, it broke all sorts of streaming records. Did any of the success of Pacquiao vs. Horn surprise you?
Carl Moretti: Yes and no. You never really know what you’re going to get with ratings because you’re up against some events sometimes and other times you’re not. I think the fact that it was a Saturday night in summer with not a lot of other competition, with a big name like Pacquiao who is known globally and when you can put it on a platform like ESPN which is seen by all sports fans and the general public alike, the numbers are going to turn out pretty good, as they did.
Jenna J: A lot of people, especially on the Twitter verse, were very upset with the decision. The WBO re-scored the fight, they still had it for Jeff Horn. Did the decision at all dampen the success of the event?
Carl Moretti: I don’t think so, I think whenever you do a fight and you are there in person as opposed to sitting in front of a television, you can have different opinions on who won the fight. I think the one thing everybody can agree on was that it was a close fight. I think the biggest problem of it was that the first score announced that Waleska Roldan came in with 117-111, and it just wasn’t that type of fight, so that sort of set the tone for controversy and people going crazy over the decision.
If all three judges would have had it 115-113, I’m not so sure that you would have seen the outcry that you did, but when the first score announced is 117-111, people were “Oh this is crazy, it wasn’t that type of a fight,” and it wasn’t, it was a close fight either way. I think that sort of set the tone and the language for people to go and complain about it. I think it was a close fight and Jeff Horn got it, so people thought at ring side that Jeff Horn legitimately won it, and a lot of people thought that Manny won it.
Jenna J: Being with Top Rank, what would you like to see happen next with Manny Pacquiao?
Carl Moretti: I think Manny should take some time with what his decision is going to be. I think he has to try and figure a way to balance out being a senator and still being a professional fighter. Once he can figure that out, then he’ll have a clearer path for us to see what he wants to do. But it’s his decision and we will wait to see what he wants to do.
Jenna J: Carl, let’s talk about some other events that are coming up for Top Rank promotions, the next one obviously being on August 5th with Vasyl Lomachenko. Can you talk a little bit about the upcoming title fight that he has?
Carl Moretti: Sure, Lomachenko is rightly considered one of the best fighters in the world. I think personally that he has the best footwork in the world. He’s just like a magician in there on his feet. This fight sort of came together, we were looking and a lot of the other 130 pound fighters either didn’t want the fight or were fighting other fights. Miguel Marriaga, who just lost a close decision to Oscar Valdez, was willing to step up and challenge Lomachenko at 130, in Los Angeles. I think people are starting to catch on as to how good of fighter Lomachenko is, and it’s another chance for him to show his talent to even a wider audience on ESPN, and hopefully more people will just realize and see first-hand for themselves how good he is.
Jenna J: Having worked closely with Vasyl Lomachenko, how much would a rematch with Orlando Salido mean to him? Is that something that he is really burning for? to avenge that loss?
Carl Moretti: Yeah he is, he would like to do it. We thought all along that this was going to be the opponent for Vasyl on August the 5th and it just for whatever reason didn’t happen, so I don’t think that Lomachenko is going to worry about it moving forward. He is in a different stage of his career than Salido is. We would love to do it eventually or soon as possible, if it happens great, if it doesn’t, then so be it. You know those three words; life goes on.