Lee Samuels: We’re talking about “The Dream Match” – Oscar De La Hoya versus Manny Pacquiao. The five-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is here with us. We were with him in Los Angeles yesterday for that wonderful turkey giveaway where fans lined up from 8 o’clock in the morning till noon to see Manny and get their Thanksgiving turkeys. It was just a wonderful thing and Manny was thrilled.
My boss, the hall of fame promoter Bob Arum is with us and he will talk about the dream match and introduce Manny. Take it away Bob.
Bob Arum: Thank you Lee. I just returned from a trip to Dubai where a friend of mine opened his fabulous new hotel. And I must say the excitement about this fight has even extended there. There’s been articles in the paper, local paper that I brought back to Lee, there’s…
Lee Samuels: Hey Bob let me read the first headline…In Dubai. “Manny Pacquiao Says He Can Tarnish the Golden Boy” – huge headline. “Manny confident about fighting Oscar.” And there’s a big picture of Manny Pacquiao in the Dubai newspaper.
Bob Arum: I was really gratified to see how much excitement there was in a place as far off as Dubai for this fight. There’s certainly great excitement here in the United States and really all over the world.
Everybody can’t wait to see the bell ring – to hear the bell ring and to see this fight start. And we expect a tremendous pay per view audience and a really large audience of people watching television around the world.
So thank you very much for being on the call. And now it’s a pleasure to have him say a few words – the champion himself, the pound for pound best fighter in the world – Manny Pacquiao.
Manny Pacquiao: Good afternoon. Thank you, Bob and thank you, Lee. I’m Manny Pacquiao and I’m here in LA right now doing my training. And I’m ready to do the fight.
TK Stewart: Do you feel more pressure as you prepare for this fight or does this feel just like any other fight to you at this point?
Manny Pacquiao: Well, the pressure is there but, that has given me the motivation to train hard for this fight. And to motivate me to gain more inspiration and train hard – hard training for this fight.
TK Stewart: Can you compare your training for this one to any other fights or are you preparing? Is this the most prepared that you’re ever going to be I guess is what I’m asking?
Manny Pacquiao: I have had a great, great training camp. I’m very happy. We have trained hard for this fight. I guess this is the hardest training I’ve done in my boxing career and I can see that this fight…it will be great…the biggest fight in my boxing career.
Michael David Smith: The question is kind of follows up on the last one you answered. But specifically with regards to your weight does it change your training much? And if so, how that you’re going to be significantly heavier for this fight than you’ve ever been before.
Does that mean – does it change your diet? Does it change things like lifting weights or any other aspect of your training have you changed because you’re moving up in weight class?
Manny Pacquiao: We didn’t change our training. We’re still there and we just apply some exercises for this training to build the muscles. And we have applied some exercise for the fight.
There have been no changes in our training for this training camp but we have applied a lot of techniques and strategies for this fight.
Michael David Smith: And then I also wanted to ask if you watched Ricky Hatton’s fight on Saturday night and generally what your thoughts are on him and if you think you might fight him some day.
Manny Pacquiao: I watched the fight happen in (unintelligible). It was a good fight. I’m ready to fight him. I’m willing to fight Hatton but right now I’m just focused on this coming fight. And I don’t want to to change something that can affect my concentration to that fight.
Dan Rafael: Manny I wondered as you followed along the way that the promotion has gone a lot of the discussion has centered around the kind of back and forth between Oscar and your trainer Freddie Roach.
And you sort of stayed out of that discussion. What are your thoughts about the sort of back and forth between the two guys?
Manny Pacquiao: I don’t have a comment about that. I’m out of that and that’s between my trainer and Oscar, I’m just focused on my training.
Dan Rafael: Have you heard what they’ve been saying about each other and the back and forth? Because it seems like Oscar is sort of blaming Freddie for what happened in his fight with Floyd Mayweather, Junior. And Freddie has been awfully derogatory towards the abilities and skills that Oscar has.
I can’t imagine you can go through this whole promotion and not at least be aware of that.
Manny Pacquiao: Well for me I never blame my trainer in my boxing career – I never blame my trainer if I lose. I’m just blaming myself because in training, you know what you’re doing you can suggest to your trainer that we’re going to do this, do that because this is his style and I think this is good for the fight.
I don’t think you need to blame your trainer.
Dan Rafael: So you think that Oscar’s sort of wrong for saying basically that Freddie’s the reason he didn’t win the Mayweather fight?
Manny Pacquiao: Well I don’t know, I don’t know. But for me I would never blame my trainer if I lost.
Dan Rafael: One other thing was when Oscar spoke on his conference call last week one of the things we talked about was that we all know this is a big fight, you guys are two big stars, pound for pound and Oscar’s so popular and everything.
But that in some ways that he viewed this as a little bit of a personal thing because of what had happened between yourself and Oscar about a year and a half ago when they tried at Golden Boy to sign you to a promotional contract. And he basically said that no, Manny Pacquiao is not a man of his word and I’m going to take it out of him in the ring.
Can you address that situation and where that falls in your thought process going into this fight?
Manny Pacquiao: Well if that is what he believes, let him do that – to say that. But for me in the ring I don’t want to make it personal. Nothing personal for me. Just do my job in the ring and win the fight. Nothing personal.
Dan Rafael: Manny, you’re going to be 147 pounds for this fight. I’m told you’re weighing as much as in the mid-150s as you come down in weight to make the weight for this fight.
Do you envision in your later part, after this fight whatever you may do that you’ll be at 140? Would you go back to 135 where you have one of the titles or do you think you can stay at welterweight? Where do you think about that?
Manny Pacquiao: I think my plan right now … I’m going back to 140.
Dan Rafael: Okay so your days at lightweight are over after just one fight?
Manny Pacquiao: Yeah – 140.
Chuck Johnson: I just wanted to ask you Manny as far as moving up to welterweight do you expect the power as far as power – the punches to be harder than any you’ve ever felt and do you expect you have to bring more power than you’ve had in the lower weight divisions?
What do you think power plays as far as the punching moving up to that weight class?
Manny Pacquiao: What we’re doing in training right now is focusing on defense and head movement and strategies. I understand he’s very strong but I believe I can handle his power. I can handle that power.
Chuck Johnson: Manny, are you still serious about being a singer? Do you still sing or are you still recording?
Manny Pacquiao: Yeah, you know, that’s my part time job. After the fight, you know, I’ll be doing recording. But I have a fight to train for so I stopped my singing and focused on the training and the fight.
Chuck Johnson: Oscar’s also put out some recordings. Who’s the best singer you or Oscar? What do you think?
Manny Pacquiao: Well for me I won’t compare my ability to other people – even to the other boxer.
Robert Morales: Manny why do you give so much money and other things away to your Filipino countrymen and countrywomen?
Manny Pacquiao: You know what? Our mission in this world – because I believe our mission in this world is not only to make money but we have a big responsibility. If you get the blessing from God, we are to give some of to your people and especially the poor people.
Frank Garza: Hedgeman Lewis was talking about the upcoming fight between you and Oscar De La Hoya. And he said that he feels that people are too wrapped up in the size of De La Hoya and they’re not taking into consideration the fight strategy going into the fight. And he said that if anything that he learned from his old trainer Eddie Futch was that you had to have a plan going into the fight.
Without giving any secrets how big do you think the strategy that you have is going to be in this fight?
Manny Pacquiao: You can see in my last few fights that my style is always changing. So I think for this fight we have a couple of techniques that I can’t talk about right now but you will see in the fight. And maybe people will be surprised there.
Frank Garza: There’s a lot of talk on the street among the Mexicans and Mexican America up here. And it seems as though the ratio was favoring you or they’re taking you over De La Hoya.
How do you feel about the Mexican fans coming over to your side?
Manny Pacquiao: Well thank you to all the people who believe in me, rooting for me, especially Filipino and Mexican and American – all the people love boxing. For me it’s nothing personal – I’m just doing my job in the ring.
Karl Freitag: Last week Oscar did one of these calls and he told us that if doesn’t knock you out that it would be a total disaster and he would be extremely disappointed. How do you feel about that?
Manny Pacquiao: Like what I said it’s easy to say the words but to do that it’s not easy. And I don’t want to have a comment on his prediction and I don’t want to make a prediction.
I’m just doing my job and I’m prepared for this fight. I have done everything for this fight to make people happy. I want to surprise the people.
Karl Freitag: And also last week Oscar claimed that he felt that you had cheated him. Do you feel that you’ve cheated him?
Manny Pacquiao: I don’t think that I’ve cheated him.
Dan Rafael: Manny I’ve been watching the 24/7 series on HBO and they did a little about the fact that your wife is pregnant with your next child. First of all when is she due with the baby?
Manny Pacquiao: This coming January.
Dan Rafael: So I guess it’s pretty close – your fight is only a month before or a month and a half or so before the baby is due.
Has that at all – the fact that she’s having a baby been at all a distraction for you in your camp or how do you, you know, deal with than that you have her dealing with that while you’re trying to, you know, keep your mind on this big fight?
Manny Pacquiao: No it have given me more inspiration to train hard for the fight and to focus on the fight. So I’m so happy that my wife is here and beside me and is very supportive.
Dan Rafael: Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?
Manny Pacquiao: Girl.
Dan Rafael: And how many kids do you guys have now?
Manny Pacquiao: Four.
Dan Rafael: How difficult has it been for her to be pregnant and be in this country while you’re getting ready for a fight? I’ve heard a lot of boxers they don’t like having their wives around the fights at all because it’s a nerve wracking experience. But then to be pregnant also have your husband also dealing with the fight I would think might even be more difficult.
Manny Pacquiao: Well for this fight, you know, I’m little bit worried because my wife she likes to watch me fight but I don’t let her watch it live because it’s (unintelligible). It’s good for her to watch it on television.
Dan Rafael: So she’s not going to be in the arena on December 6? She’ll be in the hotel somewhere watching?
Manny Pacquiao: In the hotel, yes.
Dan Rafael: We’ve talked a little bit about the whole weight situation. So much of the folks who have been negative towards this fight they say, “Well Manny Pacquiao he’s such a smaller guy. He started his career fighting as a 106 pound fighter. Oscar has fought as high as a middleweight.”
Yet you are almost – or maybe even a few more pounds heavier than Oscar is right now. Does it surprise you that you are basically, you know, other than the height a couple of inches but basically, you know, a couple of weeks before the fight you’re weighing the same amount of weight as Oscar De La Hoya is.
Manny Pacquiao: Yeah I’m not that small. I’m not like that small. I’m 149, 150 right now so I have two weeks more so easy to come down to 147.
Dan Rafael: How much has Freddie told you or talked to you about the things that he knows from having trained Oscar to tell you the things that he has picked up from being in his camp at least for the Mayweather fight?
Manny Pacquiao: He applies some techniques that we have not done in the last few fights in training. So (unintelligible) some techniques he applied right now. So it’s good for me.
Dennis Prinicipe:: Before moving up in weight and when you were still younger (unintelligible) did you ever become a fan of Oscar?
Manny Pacquiao: Yeah, yeah. You know, in his prime I was always watching his fights when he was twenty-something years old..
Dennis Principe: And what was the best thing that you liked about Oscar when he was fighting inside the ring?
Manny Pacquiao: He’d throw a lot of punches. He was an exciting fighter.
Dennis Principe: And how is it fighting him – you’ve said you’re a big fan of Oscar and how is that fighting one of your idols so to speak inside the ring?
Manny Pacquiao: Inside the ring I’m doing my job. This is the fight of my life so I have to do everything during the fight and to make people happy.
Johnnie Falgoust: Where do you see a fight of the nature in the sense that if you were to beat De La Hoya that you would have come all the way up from – you started your career at 106 pounds and you’ve torn through, you know, so many divisions and you became the champion.
This will kind of put you in elite company with guys like Roberto Duran. Even Roy Jones, even Thomas Hearns – guys who move up in weight and they’re not only effective but they carry their power with them.
Can you kind of look at your career to sense where this puts you in terms of history if you’re able to pull this off? Is that important to you?
Manny Pacquiao: You know, it’s going to be boxing history. You know, it will be boxing record if I beat De La Hoya and (unintelligible). So that’s why I’m so focused on this fight.
Johnnie Falgoust: is boxing history – is that important to you though? How great you’re considered – not just being great right now but all the time? Is that important to you – how you’re viewed 20, 30 years from now?
Manny Pacquiao: Well what’s most important to me after my boxing career, 30 or 40 years from now, people, they’ll always remember me as a good fighter.
Robert Morales: On ‘24/7 ‘Freddie Roach said that he thinks that sometimes you’re too generous; that he’s afraid that you’re going to end up giving everything away that you have.
What do you think about that comment from Freddie Roach?
Manny Pacquiao: I have a big responsibility. All things that I have right now are from God and I have to give them back to the people that need help.
So I believe the more you give you get. I believe that. That’s my heart. That’s what I feel. So nobody can change my feelings.
Robert Morales: Bob – correct me if I’m wrong. I think one time a while back you told me that Manny is overly generous. And you weren’t saying anything negative about him. You were saying that it was a positive thing.
As his promoter do you have that concern that Freddie voiced on ‘24/7’ about Manny giving away too much?
Bob Arum: No. Manny keeps referring to God. And, you know, God touches certain people. And when He touches those people and gives them great ability they then feel that in response they have to give back. And the only way they can give back is to their fellow human beings.
And so I know Manny feels that way and I think he’s blessed that he has that view about life and his place in the scheme of things. So I’m very, very supportive of any and all kinds of charity that Manny does because I think Manny knows deep down that God will provide.
Muhammad Ali was a very, very generous man and all the writers said, “Oh he’s giving away all his money, giving away all his money.” But Muhammad Ali never had a want for material things because God provided. And today Muhammad Ali has material wealth and he still gives to people. And so I commend Manny for everything that he does.
Bob Arum: Okay I want to thank everybody for being on this call today. The excitement builds. I think you’ve gotten an insight into Manny Pacquiao the person. You know and you’ve selected him as the pound for pound best fighter in the world.
But I think more important is the type of person that he is. And it’s great for we people in America to meet somebody from another country like Manny Pacquiao and to hear from him he views life and his fellow human beings.
I think it’s been a great call. I want to thank everybody for participating.
Manny Pacquiao: Thank you to all the press and media and to all the people who listened today. Thank you for all your support.
HBO’s Emmy-Award-winning all-access franchise “24/7” returns with Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao in starring roles. The four-episode series “De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7” continues with a new episode This Sunday! November 30, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Episodes one and two are available on HBO ON DEMAND.
“The Dream Match,” the 12-round welterweight collision between two of boxing’s biggest attractions, De La Hoya and Pacquiao, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 6 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, the bout will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. It is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Inc., presented by Tequila Cazadores and sponsored by Ceverza Tecate, DeWalt Tools, Full Throttle Energy Drink, and Southwest Airlines, the fight sold out in hours, making it the second largest grossing gate in boxing history.
The De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao pay-per-view telecast will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.
MGM Grand will host closed circuit viewing in conjunction with the upcoming “Dream Match” between the ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya and Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao. Tickets for the closed circuit telecast are priced at $100 (preferred viewing) and $60, not including handling fees. All seats are general admission and are now on sale at the MGM Grand ticket office outlets at the Concierge desk and the KÀ Theatre box office. Tickets also will be available by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 702-474-4000. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. Additional MGM MIRAGE properties will host closed circuit viewing and tickets will go on sale at a later date