Thank you everyone for participating in the Canelo vs. GGG2: Trainer’s International Media Conference Call today. Live from Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena, the September 15 action will feature the highly anticipated rematch in the middleweight division between Lineal Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and WBC, WBA, and IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs). This epic event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time of 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
This mega-event will be matched with a stacked undercard, featuring breakout Mexican star Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) who will make the second defense of his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against rugged Canadian contender Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (20-1, 13 KOs) Also on the card, former IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) of Montreal, Canada and Irish warrior Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs) of Cork, Ireland will go head-to-head in a 12-round middleweight battle. Opening the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast, former pound-for-pound king and former four-division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua will make his highly anticipated return against experienced Mexican warrior Moises “Moi” Fuentes (25-5-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super flyweight battle.
We’ll be hosting the first-ever public workout at the home of LA’s newest soccer club, LA FC, at the Bank of California Stadium in downtown Los Angeles. The event is set for this Sunday, August 26. Doors open to the public at 2:00 p.m. Fighters will start working out at 3:00 p.m. Come to this event. It’s open to the public, and it’s going to be really, really spectacular. Media must RSVP by today by 5:00 p.m.
We would like to say thank you to Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle,” O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events. Without their continued support, we wouldn’t be able to pull events like this off.
Without the sponsors’ continued support, big events like this couldn’t happen. At this time I’d like to turn it over to Tom Loeffler, Gennady Golovkin’s promoter. Tom?
TOM LOEFFLER: That was a great introduction. I’m still at the Las Vegas airport after the officials have been selected, as you mentioned. This is just a tremendous — not only a tremendous main event but a tremendous undercard, all these great warriors on the same show. GGG is training very hard up in Big Bear, California, with Abel Sanchez. He doesn’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands this time. I know Canelo is predicting a knockout. Literally the gloves are off for this promotion.
Without further ado, I just want to introduce who we think is the best trainer in boxing. He’s the reason behind GGG’s Mexican style that’s gained him so many fans around the world. I want to introduce Abel Sanchez all the way from the Summit Gym in Big Bear, California.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Thank you, Tom, and thank you to everybody that’s on. I appreciate the call. We are training hard, like Tom said. Look forward to this conference call and answering a lot of questions that are needed. Thank you.
ROBERT GASPARRI: Thank you, Abel. Now I’d like to introduce the man behind the machine, Jose “Chepo” Reynoso. Chepo?
CHEPO REYNOSO: Good morning. Every day we’re getting closer to this big event, and to put everything in its place after all that’s been talked about.
ROBERT GASPARRI: Thank you, Chepo. Now I’d like to introduce you to another important cornerman who has been with Canelo’s team since the fighter was a teenager. I’d like to introduce to you Eddy Reynoso. Eddy?
EDDY REYNOSO: Good morning. Greetings to everyone.
Q. There seems to be a certain amount of personal hostility between the two camps with insults. A lot of it has to do with the two drug tests that Canelo failed. But it also seems to have filtered down to the trainers. If anger — if this anger is real, how does it translate to how the fight is fought? Sometimes I think it probably could be a good thing for a fighter, sometimes maybe not. So, I’d like to ask both participants whether this rancor between the two camps will actually have an effect on the fight.
ABEL SANCHEZ: First of all, there has been no insults from our side. I have not insulted them in no way, shape or form. What I’ve said have been facts. I may have stated an opinion as far as me saying that he ran, but everything else is a fact. He tested positive. He is not the champion, Gennady Golovkin is the champion, was the champion going in, was the champion coming out. So everything that I’ve said has been the truth. If I’m lying about what I said, then I would need to explain it, but I have not insulted anybody. They’ve been the one with the insults.
EDDY REYNOSO: Well, there’s been no insults on our side. At the end of the day, we’re not the ones who are going to be fighting, so we’re relaxed, we’re working hard, and there’s no negativity on our end, and if we received anything, we take it somewhere else.
CHEPO REYNOSO: Canelo has always been respectful with all opponents and all teams. This time has not been an exception. It’s been Abel who has heated things up with his statements regarding Canelo and that he runs, but a fighter can’t run in the ring, you run on the racetrack. In a fight you can’t run. Maybe he moved a little bit, showed some movement just to show his quality as a fighter, but I think that he moved really well, he moved necessary, and he may have put a little water in the gunpowder of Golovkin, and that’s why he wants to heat things up, because he showed his quality as a fighter. So, we’re relaxed, we know what we have to do, and we haven’t been doing any insults.
Q. Mr. Sanchez, Canelo’s, one of the most effective punches is his counter right hand and the upper cut, and I thought Gennady was backing straight up and not able to counter that very well. Do you think he can improve that in this fight, improve the counter to the upper cut and the right hand?
ABEL SANCHEZ: First of all, Canelo has got a lot more than the right-hander and upper cut. He’s an excellent fighter. But in the first fight he was able to land those, and of course we’ve reviewed the fight. We’ve gone over the fight. We hope that we can do a better job. But I’m sure Canelo is going to try to — Canelo and Chepo and Eddy are going to try to counter everything we do well. It’s a good fight between two very good fighters. Hopefully we get the fight that the fans expect. But yeah, of course we worked on that.
Q. Abel and Jose, as far as the last fight goes, how much film study has been done by you of the last fight? How many times have you seen it? And also, in planning for the fight, who was primarily responsible for the strategy? Was it the trainer, was it the fighter, or was it a mixture of both?
ABEL SANCHEZ: First of all, we’ve watched it twice, once on tape and once live. As coaches we can work on a strategy. We can work on a lot of things that we want to do in the fight, but when the fight presents itself, depending on how the opposition is fighting the fight, things can change. We can try to have A, B and C plans available. We work on everything in the gym just in case. But when the fight starts, the fighters, at least my fighters anyway, they’re going to do what they feel is best at that particular moment. We’ve worked on all the aspects, and hopefully they can implement what we worked on.
Q. My question is for Abel. I was just wondering if you’re aware of the blog post that Canelo put up on HBO.com this morning.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Actually, I am not. Tell me about it.
Q. This is Canelo saying this, obviously, so please don’t take offense. He said that you don’t know boxing, and the word dumbass was in the blog post. So, he was very critical of you saying that he did a lot of running in the first fight. Can you respond to that?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, I’ll go back to what I said in the previous answer. The insults have not come from our side. The insults have come from them, and it’s an obvious insult to me. They’re the ones that are lowering themselves to doing that way. Have I gotten into his head to be able to respond to me like that? There’s no reason for it, but that’s the character that I’ve been talking about, the man.
Q. Do you feel that you’ve gotten into his head at this point, the way he’s responding?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, I feel that he’s responding. If by responding means that he’s reading these things and it’s affecting him, my reason for saying the things that I said is because they’re facts, like I said at the beginning of another question. Tell me where I’m lying, other than my opinion about his running. Tell me where I’m lying. Did he not test positive? Did he not cancel our fight? Did he not cause an uproar with fans and with tickets and with reservations because those were consequences from what he did, not from what we did? So, there’s no reason for me to be insulting anybody. They’re the ones that are lowering themselves to that level.
Q. Earlier the commission meeting took place, and obviously Tom voiced his objection to Tony Weeks being the referee for the fight, and he explained part of that was some of the things that you were concerned about, about Tony Weeks being the referee. Can you explain why you thought he might not be the referee for the fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: First of all, we had been told it was going to be Kenny Bayless, and we had agreed to Kenny Bayless at the beginning. When the name Tony Weeks came up, I had several other fighters with him, and I felt he didn’t do a proper job. I felt in one of the fights while he was giving the instructions, I felt how he addressed a question of mine was very irresponsible and insulting. So, I felt I had a problem with that, and there’s a lot of other great referees in this world, and I felt that he wasn’t qualified in my opinion to do this kind of fight.
Q. Which fight was it that you took issue with what he said to you?
ABEL SANCHEZ: It was the fight against Shafikov versus the young man’s name — the Shafikov fight at the Hard Rock last year.
ROBERT GASPARRI: It was Shafikov versus (Rene) Alvarado last year, last December.
Q. This goes to both camps. Maybe start with you, Abel. What was the biggest takeaway from the first fight for each of you guys regarding your opponent, whether it was something surprising or expected in that first fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: First of all, I was surprised that he moved as much as he did. He’s fought 40-some fights in one manner and promised the fans a certain kind of fight. I think the fans expected that, and I think that’s why the fans paid for the fight. We knew that he was an excellent fighter. Other than the moving, nothing surprised us. I knew that he was going to be there. Of course, this fight I’m talking about knocking him out, but that’s just talking to not only pump up the fight but hopefully to get the kind of fight that we deserve.
EDDY REYNOSO: We didn’t really learn anything from the first fight. Nothing surprised us from that first fight. He’s the same fighter as always. He comes forward and he throws a lot of punches. What we did learn, that’s what we’ll show in that fight in the rematch in September.
CHEPO REYNOSO: Nothing really surprised us from Golovkin in the first fight. We met him in 2011 in Big Bear, and he’s a strong, well-prepared fighter that we’ve known for a long time, so there was nothing new, and if Abel feels that — if he was surprised Canelo moved a lot, that’s because he’s a complete fighter, and we’re going to show that on September 15.
Q. For Abel, after everything that’s happened, after all the tests that showed that Canelo didn’t do anything bad or negative in this fight, would you accept an apology from either Canelo or his team?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think he’s asking me if I would apologize to them, and my answer to that is no, I would not apologize. He tested positive. Why would I apologize to somebody who tested positive? That he’s not tested positive since then, I have not said anything about it since then. The consequences have resulted for us and for the team and for boxing from his carelessness, so no, I wouldn’t apologize to him.
Q. How important is it to show that not only is Canelo a complete fighter but that he’s a clean fighter?
EDDY REYNOSO: There’s nothing to show. Canelo’s career has always been clean, and it showed that in the investigation. So there’s nothing to show. All we have to show is each fight taking it one by one, starting with Golovkin, but there’s nothing to show.
Q. Abel, I asked Canelo this last week and I want to ask you the same thing. He said that he will not — after the fight, he will not shake Gennady Golovkin’s hand. He will not apologize for the comments you and Gennady have made in the lead-up to this fight. After the fight will you go up to Canelo’s camp and shake his hand regardless of win, lose or draw and say, “good fight” and wish them congratulations and things like that?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, I will make an effort. That’s what I’ll tell you. Children act like he’s acting now. Of course, I will make an effort to try to do it, but if he doesn’t want it, that’s okay. That’s the child in him.
Q. I can feel the hostility in your voice, and you can see it when you hear Gennady talk. Is this the most vitriol that has come from you and Gennady in any of Gennady’s past opponents?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I would say if there is a reason, the reason would be because they’re trying to sweep it under the rug like nothing happened. We’re not idiots. The fans are not idiots. Something happened. Yes, he was cleared by the Nevada commission, but something did happen. There’s consequences from that. We’re still feeling the consequences from that. That there is a middle — that we’re mad about it, of course we’re mad about it, but we have to go on and we have to fight the 15th. But the fact of the matter is those things did happen. We cannot sweep it under the rug. He did test positive, regardless of whatever reason he seems to claim. But the fact is he did.
Q. How do you let emotions not get in the way of what needs to be done on September 15th?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Emotions will never get in the way. Emotions get in the way when the questions are asked. Once they step through the ropes, once we’re in the dressing room, all those things are not going to be asked. All those things are on the back burner. We are concentrating on the task at hand. Gennady is a professional, as Canelo is, and I’m sure when they step through the ropes, it’ll be about that fight. Those other thoughts and those other questions will not be on their mind, as they will not be on mine, either. I’ve got a job to do that night, and I’m going to do it regardless of what happened in the past. But when those questions are asked, it’s difficult to act like it never happened.
Q. For both trainers, on September 15th, will we see the very best of GGG and Canelo? Obviously at this point in their career, it’s difficult to show new things and show new parts of their plans and who they are as fighters, but will we see the very best of GGG and Canelo September 15th?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think that great fighters bring out the best in other great fighters. I think that the fans are expecting a great fight, as they expected the first time. Golovkin will do his best to make that. Hopefully Canelo comes prepared to do the same thing.
CHEPO REYNOSO: The best of Canelo is yet to come. Obviously, this is his second fight at 160 pounds. His body is still processing. He’s still getting conditioned at this new weight. So, I maintain that the best is yet to come on September 15. You will see a better Canelo and you will see him end that very understated streak of that very basic fighter Gennady Golovkin.
Q. Some people might say that there aren’t any good fighters that are coming from Mexico, but in this very big fight, we have an important Mexican fighter on the card. How does it feel to be representing Mexico on this card, both as cornermen and in the ring?
ABEL SANCHEZ: First of all, I think there’s a lot of great coaches in Mexico other than these two that are going to be in the ring on September 15th. They just haven’t gotten the opportunity. But given the opportunity to coach the fighters that are coming up, because of these fighters in this sport, I think it’s important. The fact that we are two Mexicans leading the charges in one of the most important fights of the last couple years, I’m very proud of that. I’m very proud to be Mexican and to be representing Mexico and to be representing my fighter in this particular fight.
EDDY REYNOSO: It’s a pride for me. It’s going to be a big night for we Mexicans, and that’s why we’ve been working hard with Canelo, and it’s going to show with Mexican boxing, there’s always going to be something to talk about. It’s always special.
CHEPO REYNOSO: It’s an honor for people like us to be part of an important fight like this, coming from the bottom, bringing a kid who came into the ring boxing at only 13 years old, and now he’s fighting at the mecca of boxing in Las Vegas. So it’s an honor, and we feel very proud and it’s satisfying to be involved in such an important fight, and we’re going to show the results of all this hard work on September 15.
Q. Abel, if GGG wins this fight, he will have recorded 21 middleweight title defenses, would break the record held like Bernard Hopkins. You’ve been his coach for those fights. I’m wondering your perspective on the historical achievement he could accomplish in this fight.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Both G and I, Gennady and I, have a tremendous amount of respect for Bernard and for what he’s accomplished and what he continues to accomplish in the sport. It would be an honor to be mentioned, for my fighter to be mentioned in the same breath with Bernard Hopkins. I think it’s important to set goals and to set tables that we want to reach, and to reach this one I thought would never be possible. I thought it would never be possible for any fighter, and for me to be involved in that or that possibility is mindboggling.
Q. One thing about that potential record, there are some who look at it and say, even though GGG has been a tremendous fighter for so many years, the reality is a handful of those defenses he made at the beginning were actually of the second-tier WBA belt before he got the full title. What’s your point of view on those who say, well, even if he wins, it’s not really the record because there was another WBA champion at the same time for the first four or five of those defenses or whatever the number was?
ABEL SANCHEZ: You know what, everybody has an opinion. The one thing that I do — I can say about Golovkin’s career, he’s never had a rematch with anybody. On that record that you’re talking about, Bernard, he had rematches with Antoine Echols and Robert Allen. You can look at it in a way that those kind of counter each other, but we never fought a rematch, and not only did Golovkin break the record or is going to break the record, he did it in a fashion that Bernard didn’t. He did it with most knockouts. So I’m content with the fact that he’s going to break it.
Q. And Bernard also happened to have a no-contest in there. For Eddy and Chepo, do you have any additional — would you take additional satisfaction in a Canelo victory knowing that they had stopped GGG from breaking a big record like that?
CHEPO REYNOSO: We are working to win this fight. We’re not worried about breaking records or preventing people from breaking records. What we do want to do is make sure that we take away his undefeated record. Whatever comes for Canelo with his record, it’s going to be a result of this fight. But we just have the win on our minds.
EDDY REYNOSO: What interests us right now is the fight, just as my father said, not his record or my record. What really interests us is winning the fight and to keep forward in boxing, and we’re going to be ready to show that on the day of the fight.
Q. Abel, in assessing your fighter after 24 hard rounds with elite competition in 2017, nobody wants a scandal, but did you actually think the scandal and the result and fight with Martirosyan actually helped Golovkin, maybe warded off some attrition and everything else, gave you a chance to reevaluate things again with respect to this match with Canelo?
ABEL SANCHEZ: No, I wouldn’t say that it helped me evaluate anything. I think that the fight against Martirosyan was a fight that we wanted because this kid has been in camp. This kid has been training, and I think he deserved to at least get in the ring with somebody to vent those frustrations that he had from this Canelo fight not happening on the 5th. But the facts are that he did do 1.3 something, 1.4 on HBO, he did set a merchandising record at the event, he did set a gate record at the event. The gate record was the all-time record on StubHub. The fans wanted to see him fight. So the fact that Tom was able to put that together in three weeks, even though we were being blocked in every way, I think was a tremendous effort by Tom, and the fans treated us for that. They came out.
Q. My next question is for Eddy Reynoso. Canelo has been very vocal about wanting to knock Golovkin out from the opening round. You mentioned earlier that this is his first rematch fight. He’s still getting acclimated to 160. You’ve had a chance to review things and study things. You just now called Golovkin a very basic fighter. You seem very confident. How confident are you that Canelo is going to go out here on the 15th and knock out Gennady Golovkin?
EDDY REYNOSO: Look, we’re confident in our work. We’re having a great preparation. We have all the tools and the arguments to win a great fight and defeat him.
Q. Eddy, Chepo, what have you seen within the last year that really stood out in that last fight that you could have corrected? Obviously, there was a lot of good defense, but what were some things that you could have fixed or done better for this next fight? Is it going to be a similar fight or something different?
CHEPO REYNOSO: After seeing — I’ve seen the fight a few times, and I saw that Canelo won, and I think he showed a lot of great defense, enormous defense. He showed good waist movement, he made him miss a lot. As I said previously, he put water in his gunpowder, which means that he neutralized him. If he needs something — if he thought he needed something in that fight, maybe he needed to throw a little bit more, maybe he needed to land a few more punches to remove any doubts about the decision, and we hope that on this occasion things will be different.
EDDY REYNOSO: We did a good fight. I thought we did a good fight. We fought defensively. It was a great demonstration by Saul. Obviously, he needs to throw more punches. That’s not a secret, even though I thought we won the fight clearly. But to win it even more clearly, he would have to throw more. We’ve been analyzing the fight a lot, and we’re going to work on that and hopefully walk away with a victory and demonstrate what we’ve learned on September 15th.
Q. I have a very, very simple boxing question for you. We talked about great fights, great fights. All of the great fights I’ve seen and all the great fights anybody has seen has been because the styles come together in such a way that make it a great fight. I give you Ali-Frazier in Manila, Hearns-Leonard in Vegas, and you know the fights. I don’t have to tell you. So my question is this: Do these fighters each have a style which will make this a great fight because of the styles, or is that lacking in what becomes a good fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Good point. All those great fights that you mentioned, both come back because both fighters went out there to win the fight, not to survive 12 rounds. If Canelo comes out to try to win the fight, then I think we’re going to have a classic. I think that could have been the first time, but he came out to survive the first fight and didn’t really throw punches to try to win the fight. Yes, I think it’s a positive. It’s very possible if both fighters go back to what they did leading up to this fight.
CHEPO REYNOSO: Canelo went out there to fight, and he showed what he can do in there, and Saul knows what to do in there. It’s not going to be us just doing things in the ring. It’s Saul who’s going to do what’s convenient for him in the ring. He should worry about giving advice to his own fighter and we’ll give advice to our fighter because we’re not here to take advice from him.
EDDY REYNOSO: The same thing that my father said.
Q. For Canelo’s team, on September 15th it will be one year since Canelo last fought. How much does that affect him, and did he have to spar more for this fight due to the lack of ring activity?
EDDY REYNOSO: If I said that inactivity doesn’t affect a fighter, I’d be lying. In any sport, whether you play baseball or football, whatever, inactivity is going to have an effect. But we’re confident in Canelo’s youth. And he’s always working in the ring, he’s disciplined, he stays active, so inactivity won’t be a factor in this fight.
Q. For GGG’s team, the body contact was absent in the first fight from GGG. Do you guys plan on bringing that back and being more active to the body in this fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, first of all, the body attack was absent on both sides. Canelo is a very good body puncher and did not throw any body punches. Why? Because they’re at a distance. When Canelo is running away and not exchanging or not being at distance, it’s difficult to lunge and reach for somebody who’s not there.
I’m not trying to give any advice to Canelo’s team. What I’m saying is I answered — I’ll answer this question with Jerry’s question. In order to have a classic fight, both fighters have to fight the fight that they know how to fight, not a fight to survive and not a fight to do what’s best for you but best for the fans. I think that we owe the fans that.
Q. Just curious, the judges were announced today, and obviously Team Golovkin was okay with those judges, but I’m just curious, are you still remiss to let this one go to the cards? Obviously you’ll take a knockout if you can get one, but do you believe it’s imperative you need to get a knockout in order to win?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I don’t think it’s imperative. I think that the onus and the microscope is going to be on judging, and I think that we have some judges that have been — that have shown to be very fair in the past. So if we win the fight, then we’ll win it. If we lose it, then we’ll lose it. But I think that a knockout will leave no doubt. I think a knockout on either side will stand to greatness and great legacy for the winner. Of course we’re going to try to knock him out, but in order to do that, there’s got to be a willing participant on either side, a willing participant to give us the kind of classic fight where somebody gets hurt.
Q. Abel, a question quick on the last one. Given the controversy of the fight a year ago, what was the process of selecting the judges? Did they give you a number of names, or was it pretty straightforward they just assigned a judge?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Tom Loeffler is the one that deals with the direct talk with Mr. Bennett from the Nevada commission. They had a pool of judges that they got together, and they were selected based on what they’ve done in the past and based on the Canelo side and our side being in agreement with them. But the same with referees. There was a pool of them given to us, and we chose what we thought was in the best interest of the fight, of our sport. Hopefully they’ll be fair and the winner does win.
ROBERT GASPARRI: Abel, would you like to make any final comments?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Yes, I’d like to thank everybody that was on. I’d like to thank the promoters and the Canelo team for their time. I hope this fight lives up to all the talk, and we’ll see them on the 15th.
CHEPO REYNOSO: Thank you to all who participated in this conference call. The truth is in boxing, only in boxing do you have the opportunity to make things very clear, and that time there might not have been some clarity, but for this fight we’re going to put things in their place and make things clear about who is the very best at 160 pounds. Thank you very much.
EDDY REYNOSO: Thanks to all who joined. There’s nothing more to say, but just to say that we will keep working and keep moving forward in the preparation and the fight, as well, and our focus is on boxing, nothing else. We’re going to leave everything else to the side. Thank you.
Canelo vs. GGG 2 is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions. Munguia vs. Cook is a 12-round battle for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Zanfer Promotions. Lemieux vs. O’Sullivan is a 12-round middleweight clash presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Eye of The Tiger Management in association with Murphy’s Boxing. Gonzalez vs. Fuentes is a 10-round super flyweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions in association with Teiken Promotions and Zanfer Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle,” O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time of 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
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