Sam Peter-Vitali Klitschko Conference Call Quotes and Photos
CONFERENCE CALL QUOTES
SAMUEL PETER & VITALI KLITSCHKO,
PROMOTER DINO DUVA
KMG MANAGING DIRECTOR BERND BOENTE,
K2 PROMOTIONS’S TOM LOEFFLER
PETER’S TRAINER STACY MCKINLEY
PETER’S MANAGER IVAYLO GOTZEV
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 23, 2008
World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion Sam Peter (30-1, 23 KOs) will defend against WBC Champion Emeritus Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs) in the opening half of a world championship doubleheader Saturday, Oct. 11, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
Immediately following the heavyweight world title fight, which begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT on tape delay, two light heavyweight champions will meet, live on SHOWTIME, when Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver and “Bad” Chad Dawson square off in a long-awaited grudge match.
If successful on Oct. 11, Klitschko will join his younger brother at the top of the heavyweight division, making them the only siblings in history to hold world heavyweight title belts simultaneously. Wladimir is the current International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Organization (WBO) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) champ.
The Peter-Klitschko showdown will be co-promoted by Duva Boxing, K2 Promotions and Don King Productions. Tarver vs. Dawson is promoted by AT Entertainment and Gary Shaw Productions in association with Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas.
Duva: I’d just like to say this fight has been a long time coming through all the BS and behind‑the‑scenes stuff leading up to this fight, it’s finally here. It’s finally here. And anybody that had any doubts that this fight was going to happen should put them away because this fight’s going to happen on October 11th. I really believe it’s going to be a classic heavyweight title fight.
The styles of these fighters doesn’t ask for anything else. It’s going to be a great fight. For the fans, it’s going to be worth the wait. We’re excited to be doing it together with Duva Boxing K2 Promotions, Don King. I’m looking forward to it and the fans should be looking forward to it.
I want to have Ivaylo Gotzev (Peter’s Manager) and Sam say a few words.
Gotzev: We’ve been residing for the last three weeks in Freiburg, Germany in Schwarzwald, which is the Black Forest. I can tell you for the past eight years that I’ve spent with Samuel, for every one of his fights, this is by far his best preparation.
This is going to be the best Samuel Peter ever. I can’t wait. I’m so excited. This has been a tremendous camp for us, and I’m so proud of Samuel and Team Peter for doing their job and staying diligent to their work.
It’s going to be an amazing night. I just want to let everyone know that we’re in the Black Forest here, and Samuel has added a tremendous exercise to his routine, chopping on trees. For the past few days we’ve been running out of trees, so I hope Klitschko shows up and I hope he stands tall because that’s what’s going to happen to him, we’re going to chop up on him. That’s all I can say.
Question: What city are you in in Austria?
Gotzev: We’re in Germany, south Germany, the city is Freiburg. It’s the famous Black Forest, Schwarzwald. It’s a tremendous town. It’s a little town with a training sports university that’s been very, very helpful to us. We’re staying at a special hotel in the middle of the forest and we take on some special exercises.
McKinley: First of all, I’d like to say we’ve got a great training staff.
I’m looking forward to the fight myself because I know the style of the fight. This is going to be a great fight. Like they say in boxing, history repeats itself. I’ve seen this thing play out before with Holmes. When Mohammed Ali came out of retirement to take on a young champion Larry Holmes, you saw what happened then. When Larry Holmes came out of retirement to take on a young Mike Tyson, you saw what happened. What’s happening right now is Vitali Klitschko is coming out of retirement to take on a young Samuel Peters.
The headline is going to read Murder She Wrote. There isn’t going to be any doubt about it. We’ll get a knockout. We’re not taking this guy lightly. That’s why we came here early, because we know it’s a dangerous fight and a good fight. But Samuel is a whole new Samuel Peters. We’re looking forward to a great fight.
Loeffler: We’re very excited at K2 Promotions to co‑promote the fight with Dino Duva of Duva Boxing with Don King Productions. This is going to be a great fight. It’s really probably the best heavyweight matchup in quite a while where you have a proven champion in Samuel Peter, and then you have Vitali, who never lost his title in the ring, coming back.
Just to get to what Stacy was talking about, on our side we’re looking at it more as a Mohammed Ali coming out of retirement, not retirement, but time off and beating George Foreman. I think that’s the way we’re looking at it. Vitali will come back to claim his title and prove that he’s still a champion.
We’re happy to work with SHOWTIME to broadcast this fight in the United States. But, one thing the press hasn’t picked up, if Vitali wins it will be the first time in history where two brothers have held a heavyweight championship at the same time. That’s a historical event from our side at K2 Promotions.
Boente: Hello, everybody. We are here at the training camp in the Austrian Alps, where we’ve been before. Wladimir trained here and Vitali has trained here a couple times a year in the last eight years. The conditions are wonderful. We have great sparring partners. Fritz Sdunek (Klitschko’s trainer) is very, very happy with the improvement.
Vitali is already absolutely ready and looking forward to the fight. The tickets sales are great. We had media day here yesterday, and today we had around 70 or 80 journalists over here. It was really great. It’s a huge fight for everybody here in Europe, not only in Germany and Austria. We had teams from Croatia over here. Everybody in Europe is looking forward to a great event, especially because both fighters train over here. We all are looking forward to a great fight night.
Peter: I just want to thank God for everything and giving me an opportunity to redeem myself. It’s been a short time, but now I’m the champion and I’m happy we put this fight back together right here in Germany.
I’m still the WBC heavyweight champion of the world. I don’t know what gives him a right to step in my spotlight. We have a very big fight coming up on October 11th. I’m ready, ready to go. I’ve never given up on any fight. In 2001, I never stopped a fight. I thank God for that. Anybody who wants to fight Samuel Peter, I’m ready for you. But I don’t know what gives him a right to step in my heavenly.
Klitschko: Good evening. Good afternoon everybody. I’m very happy to take part in this conference call. Right now, I am in Austria. The preparation has been going well and I have a very good sparring partner. He looks just like Samuel Peter. Some partners are a little bit bigger, some partners are a little smaller. Some are exactly the same. Actually, I have to order some new sparring partners because a couple of them can’t spar anymore.
I feel great and I am very hungry for the fight. I took a break for three-and-a-half years and it was great time for me to recover. What I want to say is Samuel Peter, I’m so sorry, Samuel. You made a fight with Wladimir and Wladimir stopped you. You had to wait a couple of years to fight for world championship again. You grew and you are now at world champion. I have nothing against you, but I want to fight again for my title and take my title back.
Peter: I don’t have anything against you, you know. I don’t have anything in my heart against you.
Klitschko: After that you can talk and speak. I am very optimistic for the fight and all preparations are going well. This fight will be very interesting because in the ring will be two world champions.
I don’t lose my title in a fight. I gave up my title three years ago. But now, I want my title back. I’m healthy right now and I don’t want to underestimate Samuel Peter because he is a very strong fighter. I have followed his career and I know the fight will not be easy. It will be very, very interesting for everybody who buys the tickets, who will be in 02 in Berlin and for everyone watching the fight SHOWTIME. I know the fight will be seen in more than 100 countries around the world. It will be a real heavyweight fight between two world champions, because I’m the world champion, the champion who doesn’t lose his title, and against active world champion Samuel Peter.
Question: Sam, do you have any concerns about fighting in Germany?
Peter: This is great news. This is my dream. My dream is to fight in Germany because I’ve never been to Germany. I’ve heard about Germany for my entire career. I’m so happy. It’s a great place to make history.
Question: Vitali, during this time off for you, due to the injuries, was there ever any doubt in your mind that you would be able to resume your boxing career? Is there added pressure on you to win this fight so you guys can make history?
Klitschko: You know what I very much appreciate that the president of the WBC give me a chance to fight for the world title. As it happens right now, Samuel Peters is the world champion and I’m happy to fight him. I’ve recovered 100 percent and I feel great. The injuries are in the past. I feel healthy and I don’t think about it. I just look forward to the fight. I’m ready to show my performance inside the ring and I’m not worried about whether you will see the old or the new Vitali Klitschko.
Question: Vitali, when you finally got the okay or the approval from the doctor that you could fight again, how excited were you? What was your reaction?
Klitschko: I know my body well, better than some doctor. I feel great. I spent every day in the training gym and after that I go to the doctor. The doctor gave me a medication test and I got the green light from him. My coach gave me a training test, and I had an excellent result.
I don’t think about problems. I feel great and I look forward.
Question: Vitali, how difficult was it to make that decision to step away from the sport?
Klitschko: To be honest, I didn’t want to step away from the sport, but after the injury to my knee they gave me two months to make the fight. After the operation, the doctors gave me six months. That’s why I didn’t have the chance. I didn’t want to wait, if somebody wanted to take my title. I gave my title back and I announced my retirement.
But after a couple of years, and I decide that Wladimir was the strongest boxer in the heavyweight division. We’ve always we had a dream to be world champions together and to have all the titles held by Klitschkos. I spoke with my brother, I spoke with my trainer, with my friends, and decide to make my comeback back to the ring.
Question: How do you see the landscape, and do you think you have enough left in the tank to once again be the top guy in division?
Klitschko: If I had to say who is the strongest one, no question Wladimir is the strongest in the division. In my opinion the second strongest is Samuel Peter and just after that is (Rusan) Chagaev and (Nikolai) Valuev.
Question: My question was how do you feel physically? I know you feel 100 percent now. But do you feel that you still have enough left to be able to be one of the top guys in the division?
Klitschko: You know what, I can explain to you how good I feel, but it’s much more important to show it with a good performance.
Question: Do you think there’s something that you could take away from the fight with Wladimir that you could take into the fight with Vitali?
Peter: Well, I’m getting ready for this. I don’t take anything away from him (Wladimir). I know he (Wladimir) is the heavyweight champion, but I don’t know who he beat to become heavyweight champion of the world. I just know that on October 11th I’ll prove myself again.
Question: Why are you risking such a big fight without going in with a warm up beforehand.
Klitschko: I don’t need to warm up for fights. I feel great. I passed all the tests with my coach, and after that we decide to fight Samuel Peter.
Question: You going to be suffering from any ring rust at all, Vitali?
Klitschko: Last year, I was ready to fight anyone. Anyone. Actually last year I wanted to fight (Jameel) McCline. But after my announcement, Samuel Peter made a big mistake to fight McCline. Actually, Peter was lucky to win the fight because he was very close to losing the fight by decision.
Question: Stacy McKinley, you said earlier that we’re going to see a new Samuel Peter. Could you explain a little bit about that what you meant by that?
McKinley: I was listening to what Vitali was saying by trying to make a comparison with the Jameel McCline fight. I don’t think he saw the last fight when Samuel actually went and won the title. You saw a different fighter in Samuel Peter. You saw different skills. His defense was better. He had better upper body movement. The whole nine yards.
Emanuel Steward says this guy is a Class A fighter now. Since that particular fight, I went to Africa with Samuel, went back home to Nigeria. I went with him to make sure that we trained and kept honing our skills. We’ve been training for about five months for this fight. Right now you’re looking at a totally different fighter. This fighter has been in training camp for a good solid five weeks in Germany where he’s going to be fighting. Most American fighters make the mistake coming over here seven to 12 days before the fight.
But Samuel Peter, with his managerial team and his promotional team, we’ve been around long enough to know better. We got over here at least a month ahead of time. We are in 100 percent condition. I’ve been in great heavyweight fights before. I’ve trained all different styles of fighters. I’ve trained guys who fight like Samuel Peter, fight like Ernie Shaver. We’ve got guys who fight like Klitschko, good boxers. Style makes fights. Even if Vitali had never left the ring, at this particular point in time, he cannot beat Samuel Peter.
He’s too strong, too powerful, his defense is too good, he’s too hungry and too young. That’s just the bottom line. Pass the torch on because he can’t defeat Samuel Peter. Some reporter actually asked what type of strategy we were going to use? I told him just like the vulture, going straight for the anus. We’re not fooling around. There’s no strategy. We’re going straight to fight. I would like to fight Vitali first six rounds then put Wladimir in there for the second six rounds. I’m telling you the truth. I honestly believe that.
Question: Vitali, do you want to comment on that, that the Sam Peter and his camp obviously saying he’s a far improved fighter than from when he fought Wladimir a couple of years ago, do you want to comment on that Vitali?
Klitschko: You saw the fight against Wladimir. You saw the fight against McCline. You can decide.
I can’t explain if Peter is better or not. I prepare for 100 percent. I know he’s a very tough fighter and that’s why I prepare very well. That’s why I studied his whole career and that’s why I know everything about him. My people are everywhere around Germany. That’s why you should be careful.
Peter: He’s from Ukraine. Freiburg is my city. I have taken over. I will take over wherever I go. I told him already I take over wherever I go. We always take over. We’re always ready all the time. Your people will be my people. You never know.
Question: Sam, what was it like after winning the WBC title and going back to Africa? What was the reaction there?
Peter: Well, I made my dream come true. My dream was to be the first African, Nigerian to be the heavyweight champion of the world. I made it. I think that dream will stay true because I’m heavyweight champion of the world. He’s a good fighter, but I don’t know why he’s a world champion. I don’t know why he says he’s a world champion.
When I went back home, everybody embraced me. The president embraced me. Then I was promoted to GE and I was promoted to GPS in Nigerian police. Everybody was so happy for me to come home as t he first Nigerian to become heavyweight champion of the world. I made my dream come true, and I thank God for that.
Question: Sam, style‑wise, would you say Vitali and Wladimir are similar or do they possess different type styles?
Peter: They fight like they’re robots. I beat his brother, but give him the fight. That does not matter. They both fight like robots. I’m not a robot. I am skilled fighter and puncher. I do whatever I need to win. I will be ready October 11th. Style‑wise, I’m okay. I’ll prove myself again. I’ll prove my skill. It only takes one thing to win this fight and I have it. I’m going to beat him.
Question: Vitali, could you talk a little bit about your political career and your aspirations, politics.
Klitschko: I appreciate the chance to travel around the world and to meet many people to help all of this experience. Ukraine is a very young country, a young democracy. Ukraine has great potential. The young people are the future of our country and so many of them have visions. That’s why I’m ready to invest for my country so much energy, so many ideas to bring the Ukraine closer to European Union to world union. I know in five or 10 years, Ukraine might be in the European Union, not just geographically but it will be part of the European Union. I know Ukraine has great potential and that’s why I spent a lot of time in Ukraine. I believe in my country and I give my country the best of what I can.
Question: Who have you been sparring with for this fight?
Klitschko: The name? It’s a secret. It’s top secret.
Question: No secrets in boxing.
Klitschko: They want to know everyone.
Peter: I don’t want to know who he’s sparring. I’m Samuel Peter. I don’t want to watch your tape. I don’t want to know your sparring fighter. Nobody can fight my style. You said you have a sparring fighter like Samuel Peter. Nobody fights like me. Nobody punches like me. When I punch you, you’ll remember you made a mistake. So nobody fight like me. So don’t tell me that you have a sparring fighter like me. Nobody fights like me. Nobody’s like me.
Gotzev: Exactly. Let me add this to this conversation, because we’ve been hearing about how well they’re preparing in the Alps. Everything is top secret. They’ve installed their little spies in all angles of the Black Forest. You know what, Vitali, here’s where it’s going to come down, brother. October 11th it’s you and Samuel Peter in the ring. There’s no friends, there’s no companies, nobody out there helping you because for those 12 rounds you better be ready.
Klitschko: Why do you bring these body guards to send Samuel Peter to the Berlin arena? You’re afraid of me.
Duva: Vitali, I appreciate it, because honestly I’ll expose you in a bad way because you and I had a private conversation in which you went out of line. But that’s between you and me. We’ve got friends, many friends. Europe is where I’m from, buddy. All this country doesn’t go up to you. You’re a foreigner in this country. And talking to the people in the streets, they’re cheering for Samuel Peter. We’re going to go make our own fans because this is Samuel Peter’s time to shine in Europe and in Germany.
Peter: I’m not afraid of anyone except God. I came to this country and I’m taking over this country. So don’t think that I’m bringing body guards or anything. Bodyguard, no bodyguard, nobody can get me. I got God on my side.
Boente: We’re trembling, the new Robin hood is coming from the Black Forest.
McKinley: It’s my experience, in 40 years of boxing, either you’re going to be a fighter or you’re going to be a politician. You can’t be both. You going to be a politician you better leave that boxing ring alone. I’ll tell you that right now. You have to be a successful fighter. All you have to do is fight. That’s what you’re supposed to do is be a fighter. You cannot be a fighter, a politician singer, a belly dancer, all the stuff you are trying to be. It’s not going to work in the boxing ring. All we know is fighting. That’s what we know. That’s what we live for.
Peter: Next time you want to win election, you come and see me. I’ll teach him how to do that.
McKinley: That’s right, champ. Teach him how to be a politician. You are not a fighter. You’re a big amateur, an overgrown amateur. That’s all you are. An amateur.
Question: What specifically have you been working on for this fight, on the defensive side or offensive side?
Peter: I’m moving on to chop the tree down.
McKinley: That’s right, champ. Chop a tree down.
Peter: Working out and chopping a tree down, the tree is going to go down.
Question: Where do you see Sam being in the next two or three years?
McKinley: One thing I can promise you is Sam is not looking by this fight. He’s not thinking of Wladimir. He’s not thinking of the other guys. He’s thinking about Vitali and that’s it. But as everyone knows, the ultimate goal is for there to be one heavyweight champion, and we believe Sam is the best heavyweight in the world. But he wants to prove it in the ring.
He wants to beat every champion after Vitali and then unify the heavyweight title in the ring. He doesn’t want any titles given to him. He doesn’t want anybody to step away from him. He wants to get them in the ring and be the universal unified heavyweight champion of the world. That’s what I can see in the next two years.
Question: Fighting in Vitali’s own backyard, are you in the mind‑set you need a knockout, or are you confident that Sam can go in there win a decision if it goes to 12 rounds?
Peter: It’s not going to go long. I’m ready for this fight. I don’t see this man stepping up and taking what I have. This is my heavenly.
Gotzev: What people don’t give Sam credit for is his boxing skills.
Peter: I’m heavyweight champion of the world. I struggle to be who I am today. People tell me that I don’t have skill. But who is heavyweight champion today? Samuel Peter. What anybody says doesn’t concern me. Samuel Peter is Samuel Peter. I don’t want credit from anyone. I’m heavyweight champion of the world today. I’m happy.
McKinley: Keep in mind, he out boxed twice one of the greatest boxers of the past 25 years, James Tony. He’s not just a puncher. The man can box, too. He does whatever he has to do to win. And I’ll talk about the judges in Germany.
Boente: Even punches you in the back of the head to win.
Peter: It was clean punches on the chin. Everybody says I hit in the back of the head. Why do you turn your head? You’re a boxer. Don’t turn your head. You bob and weave. It’s a right hand. That’s your head.
I’m too fast for them. I don’t care. I didn’t hit anybody behind the head. I hit him right point, get to the target.
I don’t need to hit anyone behind the head. If you turn your head I hit you, because that’s not your face. A good boxer should bob and weave. Move side to side behind the head.
Boente: Wladimir got hit behind the head a couple of times.
Peter: I’m going to hit you. A real good boxer moves side to side. He bobs and weaves. He doesn’t turn his head. If you turn your head, where do you want me to hit you?
McKinley: That’s right. Turn your head, hit him right behind the head.
Peter: Vitali, you turn your head, I’m hitting you, I’m telling you right now.
Question: Vitali, what do you think about chopping wood? Is that good for a fighter? Does it matter? What is your opinion?
Klitschko: Chopping wood, you know maybe it’s good in a movie. If Samuel Peter wants to practice that, I have a lot of land in Siberia, a lot of wood. He’ll get a lot of practice.
McKinley: I have a short story to tell you about chopping wood. I was flying from London once on a flight with Ernie Shaver. Ernie Shaver will go down in history as the most devastating heavyweight puncher ever lived. I asked Ernie when did you discover that you could punch so hard? And he told me when I started chopping wood I found out that my punching power increased twice fold. So don’t laugh about this. Vitali, you just don’t know the history of boxing. That’s what I’m telling you you’re an amateur. Don’t laugh about chopping wood. When we chop you in the head, you’ll see the difference.
Peter: I don’t care what they do. This is part of my training that’s what I do for a living. I’ll do anything to make sure that I win this fight. It doesn’t matter. I’ll chop wood or not chop wood, but I know the big tree is going down on October 11th.
Question: Bernd, if this fight does not go the way you want and Samuel Peter retains his WBC title, would you be willing to have a rematch between Wladimir and Samuel sometime next year to unify all these ‑‑
Boente: Not this year.
Question: When would you set up a rematch?
Boente: This is not going to happen. On October 11th we will have two heavyweight champions with the name Klitschko. That’s the answer.
Question: If it doesn’t, if something ‑‑
Boente: There’s no doubt. I’m always telling the truth. This is the truth.
Duva: This is going to be a tremendous war. I really believe as a fight fan this fight is going to be a great entertaining fight. There’s no doubt in my mind Samuel Peter is the best heavyweight in the world. And there’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to win this fight.
But Vitali Klitschko is an excellent fighter. No one is underestimating Vitali. We respect him. And I’ll tell you, Sam is happy that he’s fighting Vitali at his home base. He wants to show that it doesn’t matter where he fights you, it doesn’t matter who it is, he’s going to beat you. And I’m just looking forward to it. From a fan’s standpoint, it’s a great fight. I hope everybody tunes in, if you don’t show up at the 02 arena.
McKinley: I’m saying as a trainer, just like Terrell Owens said to the Dallas Cowboys: Get your popcorn ready. Between 1 and 6, this thing is over with.
Gotzev: I think Klitschkos put a monopoly on that whole title, two brothers being champions. That’s what everybody’s talked about. I understand it’s a lifelong dream. And we all know that there are two kinds of dreams. There are the beautiful rosy peachy dreams where you swim in the clouds. They’re so nice, and you’re happy to be in those dreams. And there are sweaty, scary, horrible nightmares. On October 11th, you’ll wake up to the “Nigerian Nightmare.”
Loeffler: You can tell from the fireworks on the call, this is really a great fight. This is probably the best heavyweight match‑up in quite a while. It’s going to be exciting, as Stacy said. You really can’t miss this from the opening round. You’ve got Sam Peter, who is a great puncher, and so is Vitali Klitschko. I don’t think either one will be running from the other one. You’ll see a lot of fireworks.
As far as Gotzev, as far as the dreams, I think the Klitschko brothers will finally achieve their dream. It’s good that Samuel Peter at least got to win the heavyweight title one time and now he’s just holding it for Vitali. It will be a great fight either way at the O2 arena.
Peter: I might even beat Don King.
Boente: We’re looking forward to the fight.
Peter: I just want to thank everybody, especially Dino Duva for making this happen. I’m happy and we’re ready to go. I’ll see Vitali Klitschko October 11th.
Klitschko: I’ll see you all in two weeks. I want to say thank you very much to everybody. I look forward to it and I’m very happy to fight. Thank you very much for your attention and see you in two weeks in Berlin.