One of the most enjoyable and amusing press conferences in the last ten years. Dan Goossen was on fire, at his best running the show at Palm West in New York City. Lots of straight talk, lots of serious moments, lots of laughter, even Chris Arreola provided translation for Sergio.
Let’s get right to it:
Kery Davis: “This fight does not only stand on it’s own but it’s one of the best matchups that can be made in the sport. Paul Williams is a unique athlete. He stands 6-3, has the wingspan of a heavyweight and he can effectively compete in four weight divisions. Sergio Martinez is a slick defensive fighter – like Carlos Quintana on Red Bull. Quintana is the only fighter that gave Paul Williams problems. I love this fight.
Brian “The Beast’ Minto showed class, comfort and ease in handling being in the big spotlight for the first time in his career with his impressive speech at the podium: “This is the stiffest test to date for me. Kid’s a warrior. It’s a great opportunity for me. I was in the gym, the phone rang, the opprtunity arose, I said, Yeah. It’s a great opprtunity to prove to the boxing world I belong where I’m at. I’ll leave it at that.”
Chris Arreola was as likeable in person as he is on TV. The only New York daily newspaper reporter in attendance told me after we both interviewed him, “I love that guy. I think he’s great for the sport.” Arreola was humble and honest when I suggested he still might be the #3 heavyweight in the world, instead saying he had to prove himself all over again after the loss to Vitali and gave credit to Eddie Chambers and David Haye, “eventhough he’s a prick.”: “I’m fighting Brian Minto who’s called The Beast. There’s one reason they call him a beast. Cuz he a beast. I hate losing. I don’t ever want to lose again. It’s the worst feeling in the world.”
Lou DiBella: “Paul Williams is a beast. He’s a beast. Capable of beating anybody from 147 to 168. But he has a guy in front of him who is not afraid. Most people are afraid – for good reason. I respect that George Peterson and Paul Williams took this fight because it’s more difficult than Kelly Pavlik. And they know it. Carlos Quintana laid out a blueprint. Sergio is bigger, stronger, faster version than Quintana.”
Sergio Martinez dressed in suit with Chris Arreola acting as translator: “I believe I’ll be able to knock out Paul Williams. I’m the real deal and the whole world is going to see it. I’m the real deal. For this fight I want to pay homage to Vernon The Viper Forrest who was a great champion. It’s going to be a great night of fighting. I will win by knockout.”
Dan Goossen: “I think Paul Williams will go down as one of the greatest fighters. He’s willing to take up every challenge.”
George Peterson is so confident and sure of his charge it’s rather funny. Peterson is a very sharp and humorous man, so much that he had much of the room laughing, even the low-key and serious advisor Al Haymon was observed chuckling pretty darn hard. But make no mistake, George Peterson is one of the best trainers in boxing and the performances of his fighter Paul Williams reflect that: “I want to thank Sergio Martinez for taking the fight. But he’s in a HELLUVA predicament on Saturday [laughter]. Paul Williams is coming off five months of layoff and frustration and I hate that his young man has to be on the receiving end [laughter]. It’s going to be an exciting fight as long as it lasts – and we don’t expect it to last very long. It’s my understanding that he said he’s gonna stop Paul Williams. I also understand that he’s a tad bit faster than Quintana. And Quintana had the plan to beat Paul and upset Paul. But of course he omitted that plan in the second fight [laughter]. So if he’s patterned himself on that, then it’s going to be a shorter fight than I expect it to be.”
Paul Williams was impressive with his statement. The best welterweight on earth looks the part of the stylish superstar too, he’s wearing jeans, blue t-shirt, flamboyant brown fur coat and black and red Orioles cap: “They say he’s faster and quicker. That don’t mean nothing to me. Once you get in there and the punches start flying, you takin’ the heat and I’m takin’ the heat, I live for that. It’s another opportunity for me to put on another show. He’s doing good, that’s good. That motivates me even more… It’s gonna be a pig roast and I’m gonna put an apple in his mouth. He never been in the ring with Paul Williams with all those 44 wins. I’m going to take him to school. So he better bring his books for school.”
Some tickets for this loaded card are still available at $300, $200, $100 and $50 and can be purchased Saturday at the Boardwalk Hall box office and by calling Ticketmaster 800-736-1420 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com
Also scheduled to be on the card are the following matchups:
Chazz Witherspoon 26-1 (18) vs. Tony Thompson 32-2 (20) at heavyweight,
Carlos Quintana 26-2 (20) vs. Jesse Feliciano 15-7-3 (9) at welterweight.