CONFERENCE CALL QUOTES
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008
World Champion Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (27-4, 19 KOs) and undefeated “Bad” Chad Dawson (26-0, 17 KOs) will face off in a battle of light heavyweight kingpins on Saturday, Oct. 11, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast) from The Pearl Theatre at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The 12-round championship bout will be for Tarver’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight belt.
The SHOWTIME telecast will open with arguably the most significant world heavyweight championship fight in years. Active World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight Champion Sam Peter (30-1, 23 KOs) will defend his title against WBC Champion Emeritus Vitali Klitschko (35-2, 34 KOs), who will make his dramatic return to the ring after a nearly four-year absence, on a same-day tape delay from the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany.
Tarver-Dawson will be promoted by AT Entertainment and Gary Shaw Productions in association with Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas. Peter-Klitschko will be co-promoted by Duva Boxing, K2 Promotions and Don King Productions.
Chris DeBlasio: Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for being on. Looking forward to a very exciting night, probably our biggest Championship Boxing double‑header of the year. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will present, live from the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Antonio Tarver versus Chad Dawson for the IBF light heavyweight title. That show begins with a taped delay of another exciting fight, World Championship fight between Samuel Peter, a heavyweight, versus Vitali Klitschko who is coming out of retirement to challenge for his Emeritus title. The night begins at 9:00 p.m. on SHOWTIME on October 11th. We’re thrilled to have both Chad Dawson, Antonio Tarver, promoter Gary Shaw, manager Mike Criscio and all of us here on the call. On behalf of the promotion, we thank you for being a part of it and for your support. We’ll start with opening comments from Gary Shaw.
Gary Shaw: Thank you very much, Chris. Thank you SHOWTIME. Obviously, thank you to the Palms and the Maloofs, and it’s going to be a great night at The Pearl Theatre. This is all about Antonio Tarver and Chad Dawson, so I’m going to let them get on right away and make their opening comments.
First to the IBF World Championship Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver.
Tarver: Thanks, Gary. Appreciate it. Just like to just to thank AT Entertainment as well as Gary Shaw Promotions and The Palms, Al Haymon Entertainment for just bringing this great fight together. I’m eagerly anticipating a showdown. Once again I’m in a position to prove all my naysayers wrong once again. And I’m thrilled to death. I mean, this is what we fight for, opportunities like this, to cement my legacy as one of the greatest light heavyweights of all time. I have a young lion‑like warrior in the likes of Chad Dawson. A fighter that I think will bring out the best in me as I once again defend my championship. I look forward to taking on many more challenges like this after October 11th.
Gary Shaw: Thank you very much, Antonio. Now to Chad Dawson, the former WBC Light Heavyweight Champion. At least deserves credit for doing the right thing when he had the opportunity that Antonio Tarver is giving him. He gave up his belt for the opportunity. Chad Dawson. Chad?
Dawson: How you doing everybody? I’m just thrilled to be in this fight. You know, by far the biggest fight of my career. I got a big opportunity to make a big statement on October 11th. My management team, my training team, my promotion team who is Gary Shaw, I mean, it’s been a great year for me. Last two years have been a great year for me. Just happy to be here and happy to accept the challenge on October 11th. The best man will be left standing.
Gary Shaw: Okay we can go right to the questions.
Chris DeBlasio: While we wait for the first question, Chad, you just mentioned this is by far the biggest fight of your career. Can you just give us a little bit of insight. You know, I have my understanding as to why that is, but I’d like to hear from you. Why is this the biggest fight of your career on October 11th?
Dawson: Like I said, I can make a statement. It’s going to be a big statement for me. Everybody wants to see what I got; am I ready to be the big man in the light heavyweight division. I got a lot of things to prove, you know. I’m going to prove them.
Chris DeBlasio: Antonio, I’d ask the same question to you. Where does this rank as far as, you know, big fights in your career? I mean this is as important as any I guess since coming off the Rocky movie really right?
Tarver: I mean I’ve been at this game a long time. Every fight has been a big fight for me ever since I encountered guys like Reggie Johnson, Chris Johnson, you know, Eric Harding; the list goes on. You know, I’ve been in major fights with everything to lose before. I mean, so this is just another one of those fights. You know, what I mean. I’m geared up for it. I’m not underestimating Chad. I mean, unfortunately, it seems as if, you know, they think they’re going to have a walk in the park come October 11th by the things that I’ve been hearing and the statements they’ve been making. You know, I think that is a first in my whole career‑‑ I’ve never been underestimated in my whole career. But the way this guy talks as if, you know, because he’s younger than me he is just going to come and take something that I have. And it’s big mistake on their part. But I understand the philosophy behind all that. Because, you know, some guys you have to really truly motivate them, you know. And, as far as I’m concerned, it seems as if he’s sipping on that juice. Because, I mean, they got to blow his head up to the point where he can have the confidence that he’s going to think he’s going to need to come in here and fight the fight that they feel that he is going to need to fight to beat me. But you know everybody has a game plan until they get hit in the mouth. My whole thing is this: They talk about Clinton Woods. You think Clinton Woods came all the way this far to America to look as bad as I made him look? No. But it’s easy on the outside looking in. But when you are in the lion’s den, it’s whole new ball game. Like I said, I got a lot of Chad Dawsons on my resume. He don’t have not one Antonio Tarver. So I’m taking him into unchartered waters, into places he’s never been before, and he thinks it’s all about fighting. But he is going to get a crash course of what it really feels like to be in there with a legendary fighter. A great fighter. He ain’t fought a great fighter yet until October 11th.
Chris DeBlasio: Great thank you very much.
Q. Antonio, a lot of people have been saying that Chad Dawson is the future of the heavyweight division, the light heavyweight division rather, and something that you might even agree with. Tell us why you don’t think that the future for him is now on October 11th?
Tarver: Because I’m at my best. I mean, I’ve shown these people man time and time again that they cannot handicap me. You understand me? They can’t handicap me before a fight and say just because a guy is younger than me he is going to come in here and beat me. That’s just crazy for me to think that. Anyone for that matter. Do my history, man. How many times I have to be successful? How many times do I have to beat it in their head that I’m the truth before they come out and recognize it and admit it? They’ve been denying me and doubting me my whole career. I was too old before I started; remember? I mean, so I’ve always proved them wrong, and I’ll prove them wrong once again. And I love it when I have something to prove; this is when I’m at my best. The stage is set for me to quiet all my naysayers, and for them once again to bow down and eat crow, and to announce to the world that I am the best light heavyweight today, yesterday, and moving forward tomorrow.
Q. Chad, can you comment on that also; why you think for you the future is now; and October 11th do you think you are going to win?
Dawson: I mean, it’s not about the future, it’s about who is going to be the better fighter. It’s about, you know, everybody wants to be the man in the division. There’s only room for one champion. One guy is going to be standing on October 11th, and that is going to be the best man, and that’s going to be me. I don’t need anybody to supe me up and tell me I’m going to beat this guy. I don’t need that. I know what’s going happen October 11th. I know what’s going to happen, and he knows what’s going to happen.
Q. Can you guys tell us why you each think you’re going to win? Obviously Antonio has the experience advantage; Chad is younger. But you’re both very confident you are going to triumph October 11th?
Dawson: Look, he goes on about he doesn’t get hit. He lost to Eric Harding. Took him two tries to beat him. Took me one. Took me one shot to beat (inaudible); took him two. Look at the resume. Anybody talking about the experience he has. I have just as much experience as he has. Just as much.
Q. Antonio, anything on that?
Tarver: Well my whole thing is this, man. Eric Harding in 2001 would annihilate Chad Dawson. Period. Okay? You think he was the same fighter after I knocked him out? Of course not. I ruin fighters. They’re never the same once they go 12 rounds with me; they’re damaged goods. You understand me? You know, it’s the disease running through the light heavyweight division called the post‑Tarver syndrome. And you are going to get a taste of it October 11. Trust me.
Dawson: I hope you’re going to repeat those words after the fight. I hope you show up to the post‑fight conference.
Tarver: Have I ever been scared anything?
Dawson: I’m going to put it on you trust me.
Tarver: You are the only one that’s going to have to take this butt whipping. You’re the only one that’s going to have to take these punches.
Dawson: You’re going see who has to take the butt whipping on October 11, man. You a talk a lot of game, man, but that night you can’t talk; you’re going to have to back that up for real.
Tarver: Buckle up! You buckle up cause you’re going to go for a hell of a ride. Ever been to hell and back? Cause that’s where you are going October 11th, Bro. Believe me. And Chris and Gary Shaw ain’t none of them going to have to take this punishment for you.
Dawson: All right. They never did.
Tarver: So easy when you watching tape. It may look deceptive but trust me, Bro, you ain’t never seen nothing like this.
Dawson: You keep running your mouth. Keep running your trap, man. October 11th, all right, just keep that in the back of your mind.
Tarver: Quiet at the press conference. You had the Iphones on cause you didn’t want to hear me.
Dawson: You keep running your big mouth that’s why. This is a fighting game, man. It’s not a talk game. It’s fighting game.
(Inaudible; both talking at same time.)
Tarver: You too light coming to camp at 178.
Dawson: That’s cause I come into camp in shape already. I’m never overweight. Never.
Tarver: Too light, Bro.
Dawson: I never have a weight problem. You’re scared of that.
Tarver: I ain’t never been scared. I been the best at this thing for years.
(Inaudible; both talking at same time.)
Dawson: You are going to be scared.
Tarver: Come on the call me and you. You got your manager. You got your promoter. What kind of man are you? What kind of man are you? It’s just me. And I walk alone.
Dawson: You and your hundred people entourage. Who do you see me with? Nobody but my family. You got your mini‑me’s behind you screaming your name, and they know what is going to happen you on too on October 11th.
Tarver: Believe me, I got my wife with me. I ain’t got nobody with me. I stand alone, brother.
Dawson: All right.
Chris DeBlasio: Thank you guys very much. I have to say a couple weeks ago we were in Los Angeles and we didn’t have this kind of fire, you know. We’re really looking forward to this fight. Do we have any more questions?
Tarver: You got your headphones on and you can’t hear me.
Tarver: You can run but you can’t hide, brother.
Dawson: Who’s running? You’ve been running for two years; what are you talking about.
Tarver: Tell me when we had a chance to fight?
Dawson: I never ducked nobody man. I never ducked nobody man.
Tarver: I told you to fight one person that was qualified and beat him, and now you in SHOWTIME. You stamped your ticket.
Q. I want to talk to Chad Dawson. What does a victory or rather where does a victory of Antonio Tarver put you in the light heavyweight division?
Dawson: Puts me where I am right now ‑‑ on top of the division. I just want to prove a point; that’s it. I just want to shut this big mouth bastard up. That’s all I want to do. And that’s what’s going to happen October 11. All that talk goes out the window October 11th. Trust me. Mark my words.
Q. What do you think the difference in this fight is going to be? I mean do you believe you are stronger than Antonio Tarver?
Dawson: I’m a better fighter all around ‑‑ stronger, better fighter. I don’t care, he can talk about that one punch (inaudible.) He ain’t anything in his last five fights. Come on man.
Q. And I have a question for Antonio. You said that Chad was a wounded duck after he fought Glen Johnson. What do you mean by that?
Tarver: Come on, man. It’s like any fighter, you know, you only as old as the punishment you’ve taken in the ring. In all my damn career I didn’t ever get beat up that bad in a fight. The whole thing is this, you know: The bottom line, he got two hands just like me. I’ve proven I can throw my hand better than any of them. So, you know, it’s like, this: I’m not saying it’s going to be a walk in the park, but I’m going to dig deep, and I’m going fight this from round one.
Dawson: That’s what I want right there.
Tarver: I tell you what, he is going to have to show me what he is made of. Understand me? That’s what it is. I ain’t going to run. I ain’t going to hide. I ain’t going to be run around the ring. I’m coming to fight. I’m letting my hands go. He is going to have to take it and whatever he comes with, I can take it. I’ve been there before; it’s nothing new to me. When I come to fight my fight, he in for it; that’s it. I’m going put hands on him period.
Q. Chad, I’m sure you’ve watched Antonio’s last fight. What did you think watching it, and what makes you think you are going to be able to beat him? What kind of weaknesses did you see?
Dawson: Everything. He’s slow. He is old, man. He is a scary fighter. He’s a scary fighter, man. I’m going to prove that October 11. I’m going to keep screaming October 11 cause he knows and everybody knows what’s going to happen on October 11th. He knows that too. I don’t have to go out and run my mouth like he runs his mouth and talk all that. I don’t do that. I let my fists do the talking. And that night he says he’s going to put hands on me, he’s going to see. He’s going to be the one getting touched all night. All night.
Q. Antonio, watching Chad’s last fight with Glen Johnson, what went through your head?
Tarver: Nothing. Didn’t nothing go through my head. I saw what I saw. I saw a good boxer, a decent boxer. He got a lot of decent skills. You know, decent punching power, decent ring, but decent ain’t never beat me. He said that on SHOWTIME. He got everything decent, but it’s going to take more than decent to whoop me. That’s the bottom line. This guy don’t believe what he is saying. Come on, man, I ain’t trying to even play.
Dawson: You don’t believe what you are saying, man.
Tarver: The bottom line is we’re going to fight October 11th. That’s the bottom line. I’m coming in my best condition and shape. I’m going to show you how an old man teach a young boy new tricks. He going to respect his elders after October 11th. Promise. That I can promise you. I’m slow? I’m old? Come on, Dawg, you don’t even believe that.
Dawson: I’m going to prove that.
Tarver: If that’s what you banking on, you’re in denial, home boy.
Dawson: You know what’s going to go down that night. You know.
Tarver: This is the fight of your life right now.
Dawson: This ain’t the fight of my life.
Tarver: The fight of your life right now.
Tarver: I tell you what, talk ain’t going to get it.
Dawson: That’s what I am trying to tell you? Talking ain’t going to cut it.
Tarver: Nobody is going to change my mind, Chad.
Tarver: You bluffing, Dawg. One thing about it, they got you hyped up like you are a lion.
Dawson: Nobody ain’t gotten me hyped up. I hype myself up, man. I do it for me. I don’t do it for nobody. I do it for me.
Tarver: You ain’t no big bad wolf. You understand me? So all that whopping you say, you can take that and shove it.
Dawson: Bring it, man, bring it. I am going to be locked and loaded. Locked and loaded.
Q. Antonio, you yourself have fought Glen Johnson twice, and we just recently saw Dawson also fight Johnson. What did you take away from that fight? Obviously, you are very familiar with Johnson’s style. What did you take away from what Dawson did in the ring there?
Tarver: Dawson don’t have no style. He is one dimensional. He come and he just throw punches, okay. The guy couldn’t even get out of the way of the big shot. He got hit with everything. Come on, man. We ain’t fighting, Dawg, we boxing. I’m going to take him to school on what this really is; what it really is. He just don’t understand. He’s young. He got all these guys feeding him that nonsense but what they refuse to tell him that I am the most dangerous, okay, smartest, most intelligent, winningest fighter he’s ever going to face. Okay? And I’m fast as I want to be. You feel me? Anywhere I need to go, I can get there. They thought Roy Jones was super fast until he met me. So all the crap he talking is nonsense. The bottom line is they can build him up all that he want to be, but they can’t fight for him. When the bell goes ding, it’s me and him; then he has to put his mind where his mouth is. That’s when he is going to realize, Ut‑oh, who left the gate open.
Q. Can you talk us a little bit through your training camp? I mean, you look pretty good in your last fight. How is the weight holding up, and how are your legs? Do you feel fresh in the ring?
Tarver: Who me or Chad?
Tarver: Man, I feel brand new. I’m revitalized. I’m brand‑new. You know, I did enough stair steps to get back to the top the of my game, and that’s where I’m at. I’ve had some great sparing partners. My weight is tremendous. I mean, we don’t have no problems. They want to tell this guy I’m having weight problems. They want to tell him all kind of lies, but they won’t tell him the truth. They won’t tell him the truth. So he has to believe that stuff to psyche himself out. But the truth of the matter is, man, look my weight, couldn’t be better. You are going to see it at the weigh‑in. You are going to see how strong I am; how focused I am; and how beautiful my body looks. And you know what, the bottom line is I’m ready, and I’m coming to fight for mine. I’m going fight my butt off if it takes everything I got to hold on to my belt. Because you know why? I represent something bigger than boxing when it comes to this sport, and I’m not going to let nobody set us back 20 years. Understand me? It’s ridiculous. I got to be victorious on October 11; the sport is dependent on it.
Q. Chad, first of all, kudos for relinquishing that belt so you can give the fans the fight they’ve been looking for in the division. Now kind of briefly mentioned it early but you know you’re a guy that’s really not known for being too vocal as far as, you know, with another fighter and talking smack and all that stuff. Obviously, with Antonio we’ve seen you a little bit out of your element. You’ve been very vocal we could obviously all hear today. Would you say Antonio has gotten under your skin a bit, or are you pretty much just looking to give back to what he is bringing to you?
Dawson: Like I said, this is a man’s sport. Man, we fight. We don’t talk, man. He’s bringing all this talk and all this acting. I seen that one Rocky movie. He thinks he is an actor for real. But this ain’t no movie, man. It’s real life. October 11th I am going to get in there and spank him. He knows that. That’s why he thinks he’s get another movie deal off it or something.
Tarver: How do you think I know that?
Dawson: You know, man. You know.
Tarver: Do you not know who I am man?
Dawson: That stuff don’t fly around here. I don’t get into that. I am going to break your jaw like Eric Harding did. I’m going to break you down. I’m going to break you down.
Caller: It’s great to see you come out of your shell, Antonio. (Laughter.)
Tarver: This guy with all this disrespect man. I’m going to show him how to respect his elders on the 11th. He’s trippin’.
Q. I’m wondering why you guys are so agitated before this fight? It sort of seems like there was all quiet. Was there something that kicked off this animosity or the heat in this fight for you?
Tarver: I’m straight, man. Like I said, here we are again after all these years, you know, and the bottom line is, you know, I got to beat it into their head. You know, what I mean? They’re never going to come out and admit it. Understand me? That I’ve been the best over this long period of time. I was too old when I came out of amateurs. They’ve always tried to handicap my ability. Understand me? And I can’t do it. They won’t be able to do it on the 11th, and they won’t do it after that. You know what I mean? My whole thing is I’m on God’s plan. These guys are human beings, they can’t take nothing that God got for me. And I know he is preserving me for a big, big reason. October 11th is just the beginning. I ain’t going nowhere. Understand me? I perfected this game, my craft. You understand me? I’ve seen it all and did it all. This guy, you know, he is talking about this, they want to blow him up this. Look man, you had life and death against Glen Johnson. If you think for one minute I’m Glen Johnson, you sorely mistaken, homeboy.
Q. For Chad. I mean, do you ‑‑ basically the same question. This seemed like sort of a quiet promotion before now. I mean it seems like there’s like a lot of heat generated. Is all the talk from Antonio, is this something that’s bothering you?
Dawson: We two weeks away from the fight, man. That’s how it’s suppose to go. Two weeks away from the fight. I’m ready to get in the ring and I’m ready to smash this dude. Two weeks away. All that trash talk man ‑‑
Tarver: I been sparing this guy.
Dawson: I’m going to say what I got to say right now, and that’s it. I’m going to wait until October 11 and I know I’m going to get on that. He knows I’m going get on that. He keeps talking all this crap. You lying to yourself big time, Brother. Tell your people to stop lying to you.
Q. I’m wondering, Chad, are you expecting the Antonio Tarver that fought Roy Jones, or are you expecting to see a different version of Antonio Tarver?
Dawson: I ain’t expecting nothing from Antonio Tarver. I’m going to get there and do my job and leave the ring with his title around my waist; that’s what I am going to do. I am not expecting nothing.
Gary Shaw: This actually isn’t just starting now. This actually started right after the fight in Florida when they were both on the same card. And, you know, there are some promotions that are hyped and need hype. This one is like one of the explosion but that was boiling underground for a long time. And I think now it’s starting to really percolate. I haven’t spoke with either fighter about their like or dislike for the opponent, but what you are hearing is real. And I’m sure if it wasn’t on phone lines they’d like to go at it right now.
Caller: Well they don’t get any money for going at it right now.
Gary Shaw: Exactly. But there’s a lot of motivation here. And I think you are going to hear it in their voices and feel the passion they both have for this fight on October 11th.
Chris DeBlasio: Tim and Gary, this is Chris. If I may, you go back to June, I think it was 2007, both Tarver and Dawson were on the same fight card. There was talk from Dawson about looking forward to a fight against Antonio Tarver. Didn’t matter what belts were on the line. Antonio at that point wasn’t interested enough in the fight. As things developed, fast forward to, as Gary said, April 12th this year, and there was ‑‑ I mean, there was genuine heat at the post‑fight press conference. Now this after both fighters had just gone through, you know, any fight. Antonio’s time against Clinton Woods and Chad against Glen Johnson. And they were ready to go that night.
Caller: If I am not mistaken, hadn’t they shared cards before? This was like the third card April 12th.
Chris DeBlasio: Yeah. I have June 9th on SHOWTIME Antonio Tarver fought. Chad Dawson faced Jesus Ruiz, I believe. And Antonio, it’s escaping me who he fought back then ‑‑ Oh, Elvir Muriqi. Then we had another one on SHOWTIME as well. I mean, look, this is the right fight to ‑‑ on behalf of Ken Hershman for SHOWTIME and Gary and Al Haymon and everybody who put this fight together, this is the right fight for the light heavyweight division. Two guys that are at the top of their game and they’re ready to go.
Gary Shaw: I want to say one thing.
Chris DeBlasio: Those are the kind of fights that have to air on SHOWTIME.
Gary Shaw: This is a fight that most reporters said would never happen. Everybody said it wouldn’t happen. And to Tarver’s credit he took the fight that everybody said he wouldn’t take. And to Dawson’s credit, he took a belt off his waist to take the fight that everybody said wouldn’t happen. And that’s what will help boxing; not a lot of stuff that we’ve been watching on TV.
Chris DeBlasio: Also, we need fights like the best in the division and fights that define the division and let’s get two guys together. Well you know what? Here is one of those opportunities. And I think October 11th has put the boxing world on notice. I know there was another promotion. I believe that was moved; I’m not sure why. But I mean this is the fight to watch on October 11th. Plus you got heavyweights. Put those two fights together on one show, I mean, you know I don’t know I think it speaks volumes.
Tarver: The bottom line is ‑‑ this is the Champ talking.
Dawson: We don’t want to hear you.
Tarver: Show some respect homeboy for your elders.
Dawson: I don’t have any respect for you. We don’t want to hear you.
Tarver: Didn’t your mama teach you that when grown folks talking ‑‑
Dawson: I’ll show what you she taught me October 11.
Tarver: I want to say this in support of the promotion. You got a lot of old fighters out there fighting old fighters. They’re not willing to take the risk to fight these young guys and everything. So I go on record saying that I’m a fighter. I’m a champion fighter. I fight the best. Chad Dawson fought Glen Johnson, which was a battle. He made it through. He survived. And now he is in line to fight the best; okay. While Roy Jones and the other guys out here trying to make these celebrity boxing matches, I’m out here fighting champions. Understand me? My whole thing is this: I’ve always took the risk, okay. Even through my years coming up I took the risk that I had to take to get to where I had to be. But for some reason the boxing world wants to shun me. I got to fight my way through the top, through the worlds, through all these obstacles to bring this, prove that. But you know they have not come out once and said that Antonio Tarver, for what it’s worth, it’s his ‑‑ It’s my time. I’ve beaten everybody. They want to Kowasaki want to run out about when he beat Roy. What the hell is beating Roy going to do; that doesn’t prove anything. If he knock him out, he ain’t prove nothing. He got to fight me once I destroy Dawson on the 11th. And I’m calling for the purest, the so‑called experts of boxing to call for that fight once I take care of my business on the 11th. Because that’s the type of fight when everything is at stake for all the marbles. I want that defining moment, so when they look back on the history of the sport, they can say that this was my era! My era! Not Roy Jones’s, not Hopkins, Kawasaki, but mine. That I stood above all. That’s what’s at stake for me on the 11th. It’s the pathway to stamp my name in history. When I walk away from the game I want to be known that the best light heavyweight ever did it. Period!
Caller: I think you are on your way congratulations guys. I think it’s going to be a fantastic fight.
Gary Shaw: Thank you.
Q. Chad, I just want to get away from all the screaming and shouting just for a minute. Can you just talk about what it is purely from a physical or skill standpoint that you have that you think that Roy isn’t ready for?
Dawson: Excuse me?
Q. What is it from a skills standpoint, from a physical standpoint that you have that you think that Antonio isn’t ready for?
Dawson: I have the speed, the power; I’m younger; I’m faster. I mean it doesn’t matter. All around, like I said, I’m better fighter. He knows that. I’m a better fighter. When he was 25 years old he wasn’t doing the crap I was doing and he knows that. He knows that. That’s why he is giggling in the background because he knows that I’m telling the truth.
Q. Antonio, could you answer the same thing. Why is it that you think that you’re better than him right now? What skills are you bringing to the table on October 11th?
Tarver: Unlike him he can’t dissect me. He can’t break me down.
Dawson: I’m going break you down on October 11th.
Tarver: He’s going to come out fast. I’m going come out fast. But you know what, his youth, his disrespect, this eagerness to knock me out; his eagerness to do something great is going to get him in trouble. He is going to fall right into the trap. Understand me? I am going to make him miss and make him pay all night long. And when you get clip, he make mistakes. He ain’t perfect. He makes so many mistakes because he takes a lot of risks in the ring and that’s going to get him knocked out. That’s going to get him knocked out. One thing about me, it don’t take but one mistake, one time and let me catch that chin and it’s good night baby. That’s what it is. It’s good night. But I’m going to work that body over. I’m going to stay close. I’m going to stay in close and when you open up I’m coming.
Dawson: You ain’t going to do none of that.
Tarver: Straight down the middle when you open up.
Dawson: You are lying to yourself.
Tarver: That’s how you are getting whooped on the 11th.
Dawson: You ain’t coming out fast on nothing. Stop lying.
Tarver: This is what’s going to hit you when you try to pass me and I push you back. Then you will understand the fight. You are messing with a real man. You understand me? That’s when you are going to realize you are in life or death. Trying to come take something that belong to me, Brother.
Dawson: I want to see this.
Q. This is a follow‑up question for Antonio Tarver. You appear to be very fired up for this fight with Dawson. Have are you ever been as motivated for any other fight in your career?
Tarver: I’m motivated every time. When it’s my life’s on the line, I’m motivated. This my legacy, man. This is everything I ever worked for. You think I’m going to give it to Chad Dawson? Come on, homeboy, he can’t carry my jock strap, man. You understand me? He ain’t worthy. What the hell does he represent? He ain’t even worthy. Come on, man. We ain’t trying to go back, we’re trying to move forward. You understand me? I represent something, man. The kids in the inner‑city. I represent something, foundations. I’m out here trying to do it right. You understand me? I ain’t took no shortcuts. They ain’t given me nothing in this game of boxing. I had to take everything. And I’m taking it once again. Yeah, I’m fired up for this dude to try to tell me, you understand, what he is going to do to me. Shit, he can’t spell my name.
Dawson: That’s funny, man. You sound like a comedian.
Tarver: Taking you into unchartered waters. I’m going to drown you.
Q. Chad, I wonder if you can take me back to the fight with Glen Johnson. You’ve been considered one of the biggest rising stars in the division. But a lot of them, a lot of writers felt you were still up tested until you faced Glen Johnson. The fight was very entertaining; it was very close. Tarver is saying that you’re damaged goods, but what did you take away from the fight? I mean, do you feel a fight of I guess that toughness was something that will benefit you in your career?
Dawson: Yeah. Absolutely. I needed that. You know what I’m saying? Glen Johnson ‑‑ Tarver is no Glen Johnson. Trust me he is not Glen Johnson. I beat the best light heavyweight in the world that night when I beat Glen Johnson.
Tarver: You sound ignorant talking about that nonsense.
Dawson: Everybody knows that. Tarver is no Glen Johnson, man. I beat the best light heavyweight that night.
Tarver: Don’t speak that, man. You blasphemy right now. Don’t speak that; Glen Johnson is the best. Come on, Dawg. You don’t even believe that. Come on, Homeboy.
Q. You are saying that the fight with Johnson was something that you needed. Can you explain that a bit as to what that fight means for you and how it’s going to benefit you in the long run?
Dawson: I needed that type of fight. Glen Johnson pressured me. He is strong. He throws a lot of punches. He keeps coming. I mean, there is no greater fight. It was a entertaining fight. The fans liked the fight. Everybody liked the fight. It was a great fight. We fought our hearts out.
Tarver: Until the decision was rendered and everybody booed. Everybody in the house booed. They loved the fight, they just didn’t like the victor.
Chris DeBlasio: I think it’s worth noting that Chad showed something in that fight that we hadn’t necessarily seen before, some heavy metal.
Gary Shaw: Besides thanking all of you for being on the call, I do want to say one thing about both these fighters. They’re fighting at the light heavyweight, which is 175 pounds. To their credit, they’re not making up new weights for boxing. And as long as nobody else wants to fight at 175, then they’ll never be recognized as light heavyweights or light heavyweight championships. So the victor on October 11th is the true light heavyweight champion of the world bar no one, bar no one. So I thank both fighters for being with us today, AT Entertainment, Mike Criscio, SHOWTIME, and especially to The Palms for hosting this. We’ll see you all at The Pearl Theatre on October 11th. Thank you very much.
Chris DeBlasio: Thank you, Gary. We have one more question.
Q. Antonio, SHOWTIME has been trying to stage this fight for the better part of two years; why is
now the right time?
Tarver: I mean, I disagree, man. Come on, I mean, the bottom line was, you know, everything takes time. I mean Chad didn’t fight ‑‑ come on, he was a young guy coming up. He won the title; what he was supposed to do after he beat Adamek. Jump and fight me? Come on, man, there’s a lot of more fights he could have fought. But instead they pad his record and gave him two soft touches, and then I told him before you ever fight me ‑‑
Dawson: How many did they give you?
Tarver: ‑‑ went and fought Glen Johnson and now it’s time his time. I wasn’t never ducking Dawson. They trying to emulate the dues I had to go through to get where I am at. It’s not the same picture, not the same scenario. It is what it is; his time has come.
Q. Antonio and Chad, this is to both of you, I’d like to know what is it like being principal players in such a key, compelling, interesting match‑up? And, more importantly, what it says to y’ all’s credit as far as what you are willing to give back to the boxing community. The public has been wanting to see this, the media has been wanting to see this for a couple of years now. Last but not least, how do you guys see the 175 division shaking up after October 11? And, last for you, Antonio, being 40 years young, shall we say, what’s it take for a guy like to you still fight at an elite level at that age?
Tarver: Like I said, age is nothing but a number. I know a whole lot of fighters that have come before me. And I look at my Olympic teammates, there’s a whole lot of young fighters retired. So, you know, they can’t say my age is a factor because I been proving naysayers wrong. I turned pro at 28. I wasn’t supposed to make it this far. No way. So the whole thing about it is, age ain’t nothing but a number. I know some 26‑year‑old shot fighters. In fact, I’m on the phone with one. So the bottom line is it is about how much punishment you take. It ain’t about how old you are. God has preserved me for a major, major reason. And we’re going to see the picture clear on October 11th. As far as the light heavyweight division, he don’t have the WBC title. But what I do to him on October 11th, they’re going to know there ain’t but one champion. And then I’m going after that major, major, major fight, that pay‑per‑view for that clown that will cross overseas that doing the celebrity charity event up in New York sometime in November. Okay. Perpetrating a fraud. That’s what it is. I am going to sift all these weak fools out and put them on notice; they got two more years to do what I am going do, and I’m going to do it in grand fashion. You heard it first from the “Magic Man”.
Q. Chad? Could you also please talk on the situation as far as being part of a compelling match‑up and giving the fan what’s they want and relinquishing your belt? What does that say about you and Antonio and the competitive nature that guys are basically raising the bar for other fighters ‑‑
Dawson: At the end of the day, all comes down to you got me and Antonio Tarver. We’re fighting. Like Gary said, you got Roy fighting at 170. 170 isn’t even a weight class. It’s more close to the super middleweight than it is the light heavyweight. This is a great fight for boxing in general. I mean, this is fight everybody wants to see for the last two years. So you know it’s coming to the light, you know, and everybody’s going to enjoy a great fight. Like I said, it’s not like ‑‑ we’re not fighting a catch weight 170. We’re fighting at 175 which is a true weight class; that’s light heavyweight. Those guys like fighting at 170 or the catch weights, all that is not going to fly. Like Gary said October 11th, the winner of the fight will be the true light heavyweight champ of the world.
Tarver: We’re going to give the people what they want. They want fight of the year, that’s what it’s going be boy. Knockout and drag out. And it’s going to end abruptly.
Chris DeBlasio: Thank you Gary Shaw. Thank you, Antonio Tarver. Thank you, Chad Dawson. Been a heck of a call. It will be a heck of a fight. See you on SHOWTIME.