home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 19, 2011

Anthony Robles


125-lb. Champion

THE MODERATOR: I'm joined by Anthony Robles, our champion at 125 pounds, No. 1 seed, improves to 36-0 and caps a perfect season with his championship today. Questions for Anthony.

Q. Anthony, obviously the first takedown was huge. Take us through that and how big a part of the match was that.
ANTHONY ROBLES: It was huge. I had a lot of butterflies going out there. I've dreamt about stepping on that stage a dozen times, and this whole year I've just been preparing for that moment.
And I was scared. I was scared out there, but as soon as I hit that first takedown I sort of relaxed. I said, okay, back to business. Same drill as usual like every other match.
My coaches prepared me well. We've been working all year, past few years, quick draws, quick stick, couldn't have done it without him. Felt super confident out there and it was a team effort. And I want to thank my training partners and my family for supporting me and it wasn't just me out there. I was doing it for all them, too.

Q. You said yesterday that this would be your final match. Is it indeed your final match? Have you had any second thoughts?
ANTHONY ROBLES: No second thoughts. I've been thinking about it all year. People have been asking me if I want to try out for freestyle or anything like that. But I've had a great run, started wrestling when I was a freshman in high school. It's been a great ride.
Wrestling helped me to mature. I got so much self-confidence from the sport. I love the sport. But from here on out my wrestling competition days are over and I'll be focusing on my next goal, which is to be a motivational speaker. I'll be around wrestling all my life, I love it so much.

Q. I'm curious about the turns and tilts that you're able to execute. Over the years, it's been a big part of your game. But you're in the national championship final and were able to take the defending champion over a few times right at the beginning of the match, and it kind of set the tone. I mean, how long did it take for you to learn all the different nuances of being able to get that so that you can make it happen in the highest level of competition?
ANTHONY ROBLES: Took a while. You know, when I started as a freshman, I had no idea what tilts were. I was a terrible wrestler, only about 90 pounds, but my mom told me God made me for that reason and I believe that reason was for wrestling.
When I started off, not a lot of people gave me credit, even after I won at the national high school championship. I wasn't getting a lot of D-I offers because they thought I was too small.
But my tilting is due because I have such a strong grip, and that's because of my crutches, and it's a privilege for me to be able to wrestle for Arizona State and have great coaches not just at ASU but from my high school days as well. They drew up some different things for me to do. It was just kind of a trial-and-error thing, and I found out that tilts were my style, and we just ran with it. And God is good.

Q. Can you tell us broader than just the significance of winning an NCAA championship, can you tell us from a sports story and from a human interest story what impact do you think this is going to have on people? Do you think it's fully sunk in? Because I think it's going to be the biggest sports story of all sports of the weekend.
ANTHONY ROBLES: Thank you. I didn't get into the sport for the attention. I wrestle because I love wrestling, but it inspires me when I get kids, even adults, who write me on Facebook or send me letters in the mail just saying that I've inspired them and they look up to me and they're motivated to do things that other people wouldn't have thought possible.
And that's just -- for me that's just a real blessing in my life. It encouraged me to keep going, to keep fighting hard. A few weeks ago I got a stack of letters from an elementary school out in Georgia, and actually it was last year. But I just pulled those letters out again, I was reading through them. These are little kids, third-graders saying they're watching for me, cheering for me no matter what, win or lose. And that's just an inspiration to me.
If I can turn around and help those kids or help adults in the same way, just to inspire them to achieve things. And that's great. But, like I said, I'm not in it for the attention, but if I can help change somebody's life for the better, then that's an honor. I consider that a real honor and a privilege.
So hopefully those people can take something away from me, they can believe in their dreams that anything's possible.

Q. McDonough was hit with a stall underneath you in the first period. What kind of mental edge does that give you, thinking I'm starting to break this kid in the first two minutes of the match?
ANTHONY ROBLES: Charges me up. McDonough's a great wrestler. Return national champ. I have a lot of respect for him. I knew going into the match it was going to be a dogfight. I had to go 100 percent.
As soon as I got the first foul call, it just gave me that extra pump. I knew that he was scared on bottom, and I just needed to stick to my game plan.
With that stall call, it actually relaxed me a little bit. It's like, okay, it really is like every other match. Just stall out down there and ask me to take my time. I didn't want to make any mistakes, because guys like that, you give them one opening, they're going to take it and they're going to make you pay for it.
So I was just fortunate enough to be able to stick with the game plan.

Q. I had a question about before the match, you were a -- couple of hours before you're doing some of your preroutines and you were sitting in the mat by yourself for a little while. I was curious what was going through your head at that moment. Were you reflecting about what was coming up or just the scale of what was to come?
ANTHONY ROBLES: Just everything. You know, I've worked so hard to get here. Really what I was thinking about was how hard my coaches and I worked together from the beginning of my wrestling days to now. And just thinking about my family in the stands. My friends, all those people who have sent me those messages saying they're supporting me.
And in my mind everybody out there in the audience was supporting me and that just gave me that extra power. But out there on the mat I was just trying to focus, trying to relax, just trying to get mentally prepared. Just like this is my moment. I've worked too hard and there's too many people out there supporting me to let them and myself down.

Q. You mentioned being scared initially. And is that an unusual feeling for you, or do you always have a little bit of that initially?
ANTHONY ROBLES: It was a little unusual. This year I think that was the biggest difference in my wrestling, was my mental game. Going into every match I was real relaxed, real calm. Seemed like I could slow down the match. But before that, before this match, it's nothing but butterflies. I felt like I was going throw up, I was so scared I almost started crying.
But it's just the atmosphere. It's the national champion finals, I think that's expected. It's the true athletes that are able to just overcome that.
And I just stuck with my game plan, and I remember I was watching "Cinderella Man" before I came in today and just that -- at the beginning of -- or at the end of the movie when he's walking out to the ring, it's just dead silent. And he's kind of scared. And he walks out there, he's like, okay, I'm ready to go. It popped into my mind and I said I'm ready to go.

Q. In addition to watching "Cinderella Man," what else did you do? Can you take us through your day? I know you said last night you didn't think you'd get much sleep. Did you? And just walk us through how your day was.
ANTHONY ROBLES: I didn't get too much sleep. I think I fell asleep at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. Woke up, went to weigh in and I practiced with my teammate Bubba Jenkins for a little bit to get loose. And after that I spent the day with my family. My mom and brother's out here and my sister. We went to the Rocky Stadium, the Rocky steps and hung out there for a little bit. Wanted to get my mind off wrestling. It's been a long weekend, long career, long season. I wanted a few hours just to mentally relax.
I knew coming into here it was going to be crazy enough. So whatever I could do to take that edge off. So we just did a little sightseeing, got something to eat, and my family let me go. Fell asleep at the hotel and came here. So just relaxing day pretty much. No thought, no talking about wrestling, just family time.
I walked the steps. I was too sore, but my little brother, he ran them up. He had the jumpsuit, the jumpsuit and beanie, jumping down at the top. That was fun. But me I just watched. Too sore to go out there.

Q. When you look back on your life your journey from when you first stepped on the mat to this point now where you're at, you accomplished your goal, what was the turning point in your life that got you jump started to where you are now?
ANTHONY ROBLES: Honestly, I think it was my sophomore year. I took sixth in high school state, and a good friend of mine, he was the state champion that year, and I wanted to be a state champion just like him.
A lot of people weren't giving me credit for that. They didn't think I had a shot at it. But I think that was really the turning point. It was like I want to be like that guy. I want to be the best in the state. And once I won that it was like I want to be the best in the nation. It went from there. Wrestling it's been a huge thing in my life. Wrestling's been my life for nine years now. I don't know what I'm going to do without competition now. But it's been a blessing in my life. It's taught me so much.
It's really helped me to become a man. And I'll be forever grateful for that.

Q. Anthony, even though it sounds like you're done wrestling competitively, do you want to continue to have some -- still obviously a very young man, just getting done with college -- do you want to have some direct connection to wrestling, since it's so important to you, either coaching or part of Arizona State, which almost closed down, your program, or USA Wrestling or some other wrestling organization?
ANTHONY ROBLES: Absolutely, wrestling has given me so much, I feel I'm obligated to help in whatever way I can. And I'll definitely be around Arizona State wrestling room helping out the younger guys as much as I can, because I'm very grateful to them. They're one of the few Division I schools who gave me a shot.
And I had a coach that believed in me. I want to help them to say thank you and help those kids that like myself, you know, others wouldn't have given it a shot. I want to help those kids rise up out of nothing and achieve their goals, especially in wrestling. So I'll definitely be around, you'll see me around the room.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297