By Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Troy Waters talks to Fightnews and tells of his three shots at the world title against Gianfranco Rossi, Terry Norris and Simon Brown. Waters had Norris on the canvas in a fight that got Ring Magazine’s round of the year award. Waters said Brown deserved to retain the title against him when one judge scored it a draw. Troy also mentions how hard Felix Trinidad can punch and how proud he is to be inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall Of Fame in 2009.
You challenged for the world title three times and in a WBC 154 pound shot you dropped Terry Norris in WBC shot at the Sports Arena in San Diego on June 19, 1993 and received the Ring Magazines Award for the best round of 1993. Please tell me about this fight and did you think the world title was within your grasp when you had Norris on the canvas?
Yes, when I dropped Norris I went back to my corner when the bell rang thinking to myself “I am going to be the world champion. I am going to win this fight.” During the fight, there was one time my right hand just missed him and had it landed it would have been all over. In the second round I hit him with a left rip that knocked the wind out of him. He fell into me and was in very bad shape. Unfortunately, I only noticed how hurt he was when I viewed the tape later. I spoke to his manager in Las Vegas just after I boxed Simon Brown. He told me Norris was fortunate the fight was stopped on cuts I had received because he would only have lasted one or two more rounds. I thought the fight could have continued. My chief second that night was Billy Moore (the son of the great Archie Moore). That was his decision so I had to go with it.
You challenged Simon Brown for the WBC 154 pound title on January 29, 1994, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and lost a majority decision with one judge scoring the fight a draw. Did you think you won that fight?
Had the fight been in Australia I might have won the world title, but truthfully, I thought it was a very close fight and I did not do enough to take the championship from Brown. He had great skills. He was very hard to hit and he would move his head slightly and would make my punch miss. He was very clever and underrated as a world champion
I was on your training team when you challenged for the IBF 154 pound title against Italian boxing legend Gianfranco Rossi in Saint Vincent, Italy on October 27, 1989. You lost a decision after twelve action-packed rounds. Rossi was so exhausted after the fight he did not come out of his dressing room for over 60 minutes. Please give me your thoughts on this fight.
As you know, I had a virus before the fight and my blood pressure was high just prior to the fight. But mainly it was inexperience that beat me that night. Rossi was a great champion. He defended the IBF title thirteen times and had been the WBC champion in 1987. He refused to take a drug test that night and was later banned for using drugs.
In your sixth professional fight you travelled to Seoul, Korea to challenge future WBC 168 pound champion in Chul Baek on March, 1986. In Chul Baek had only lost one fight winning 35 with 34 by knockout. You were a victim of a hometown decision losing a split decision. Did you feel you were overmatched before the fight with not much chance of winning?
Surprisingly, I was very calm before the fight. Nearly everyone thought I would be a KO victim but I boxed my fight and knew I had won but did not think they would give it to me in Korea. I must say In Chul Baek had a lot of power. In round seven he hurt me with a one-two punch but I just poked my tongue out at him. In round nine I had him out on his feet and must have hit him with 30 unanswered punches but he survived to hear the bell. No regrets. This was great experience against a future world champion.
Felix Trinidad was matched with you to fight for the WBC mandatory position at Madison Square Garden, New York on January 29, 1994. Trinidad jumped on you and scored a KO in round one. Tell me about this fight?
My preparation for this fight was not good. I was sparring WBO middleweight champion Lonnie Breasley three weeks before the Trinidad fight. It was a very willing spar. Breasley cracked one of my ribs and he suffered a detached retina in that spar. He only had one more fight and I could not do any more sparring. I am sure this affected my performance but you cannot take anything away from Felix. He is a great boxer with power in both hands.
The ill fated Robert Wangila was an Olympic gold medalist and you stopped him in six rounds of a WBO Penta Continental title bout on October 25, 1993 in San Diego. Please tell me about this fight.
It was a good fight. Wangila had a great work rate. He threw a lot of punches and was probably ahead on the scorecards. He had a lot of speed. I was told he had knocked out all his opponents on the way to the Olympic gold medal. He scored over 100 KO’s in 137 fights as an amateur.
The Waters brothers, Dean, Guy and yourself are one of Australia’s greatest fighting families. Dean was an Australian amateur and professional champion and challenged for the Commonwealth title. Guy was Australian, Commonwealth champion and challenged for the world title three times. Please tell me about your sparring sessions training with your brothers.
My father (Cec Waters) trained us hard. He thought that sparring should be hard and it was. I was only a junior middleweight, Guy was a light heavyweight and Dean was a heavyweight so sparring them was tough because they were bigger than me. I think that the hard training was a big part of our success.
You will be inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame on October 10th. How did you feel when you heard about your induction?
I first found out when I read a report on Fightnews by you Ray. It was a total surprise and I called you on the telephone to make sure it was correct. I have since spoken to the President of the Hall Of Fame, Brett McCormick, and he has verified I will be inducted. I join a lit of great Aussie boxers including Jeff Fenech, Barry Michael, Lester Ellis, Tony Mundine, Vic Petrick and Charkey Ramon. I am chuffed.
You are married with children. Please tell me about your family.
I married a lovely girl, Michelle, and we have two great kids. Nate, who is eight-years. He has shown great skills as a soccer player. My daughter Shontae is four-years. She is lucky, she has her mother’s good looks. We live a great life on the Central Coast of Sydney.