Media Interview with Freddie Roach & Dan Birmingham
TRANSCRIPT-TRAINER CONFERENCE CALL
Freddie Roach, Trainer Bernard Hopkins
Dan Birmingham, Trainer Winky Wright
Oscar de la Hoya, Host, Golden Boy Promotions
Moderator: Kelly Swanson
June 28, 2007, 3:30 p.m. ET
KELLY SWANSON, SWANSON COMMUNICATIONS . Thank you, everybody for joining us today for the first part of a series of conference calls we’ll be doing for the exciting Hopkins Versus Wright “Coming to Fight,” presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with the Winky Promotions, sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Tecate Beer and Rockstar Energy Drink. Again, the fight is July 21at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, live on HBO pay per view.
It’s my pleasure to just give you a quick update before I introduce our speakers. We’re actually in the fourth week prior to the fight. A lot of things are happening in the camps, and we’re delighted to have the trainers Freddie Roach and Dan Birmingham here today to give us updates. Also, mark your calendars. Next week, the Fourth of July week, we will be distributing Camp Notes as well as another release and the following week we’ll be providing you with undercard fighter quotes too. Most importantly, on Tuesday, July 10, Winky Wright will be doing his national conference call followed by Bernard Hopkins on Wednesday, July 11.
If anybody hasn’t put in for their credentials, please do so to Andy Olsen, Magna Media.
So at this time, we’re fortunate enough to have the President of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, joining us today, and Oscar, I’d like to turn it over to you, and you can introduce Freddie.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, PRESIDENT, GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS : Thank you very much, Kelly. Thank you very much to all of the press, international media. We are delighted and privileged to have you cover this fight.
As you know, we already have more than 7,000 tickets sold at the Mandalay base for this fight “Coming to Fight,” which is going to be for Hopkins’ “Ring Magazine” Light Heavyweight title, which will take place July 21 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The show is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Winky Wright Promotions.
I watched Bernard Hopkins train the other day at the Wild Card Gym, and it didn’t surprise me how Freddie Roach and Bernard Hopkins are a perfect match and are working great together.
So without any further ado, I would like to introduce to you one of the best trainers in boxing today, Mr. Freddie Roach.
FREDDIE ROACH: Thank you, Oscar. Bernard’s been working really hard and we get a sparring session today at 2:30, and we’re sparring on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and the mitt work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and they do very well. We’re working on the game plan of how to correct that defense of Winky’s, and everything’s going really well. We’re getting along fine. He’s a little anxious sometimes. He cracked me a couple of times yesterday, and gees, I’m feeling like making my comeback out here. But everything’s going good. Bernard’s in great shape. His weight’s coming down fine, and we’ll be ready to go soon.
KELLY SWANSON: Great. Thank you, Freddie. OK, Operator, if we can please open up the floor to questioning.
BERNARD FERNANDEZ, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS : Yes, Freddie, Bernard is coming to you at 42. He’s been around the block a time or two or three. How receptive was he to any, you know, new ideas that you might have asked him and incorporated into what he’s already doing?
FREDDIE ROACH: I think he is very receptive. You know, he’s a veteran. You know, there’s not a lot of to teach him but we’re working on the game plan and how to fight this fight, and there’s some conditioning drills and so forth that we’re working on, and we’re in the process of getting him in the best shape we can, and you know, he’s a young 42. He’s never been in too many wars and never took any beatings. So, you know, in boxing, I mean 42 might be an old number, but by boxing standards, he’s never taken any beatings. So he’s a fresh 42, I would say.
BERNARD FERNANDEZ: OK, my follow-up question is, you know, Emanuel Steward at one point, you know, he was just bringing guys up through the ranks in Detroit with Kronk Gym. Then he got kind of like a reputation for being a hire-again kind of guy, troubleshooter that, you know, established fighters would come to him to get – to get better. Oscar, you know, last time, now you’ve got Bernard Hopkins. Is something like that maybe happening with you?
FREDDIE ROACH: You know, is the thing with the Bernard, that his trainer had a stroke, and he wasn’t able to come to camp with Bernard. So he needed someone to take care of the mitts and so forth, and, well, Oscar he recommended me, and – because, you know, we worked very well together in Puerto Rico. We had a great training camp, I thought, and I think, you know, with Bernard’s trainer being sick right now, he needed somebody to take over, and so that’s why I’m here, and hopefully his trainer will get back on his feet for the next time and be there for the next one if that – if that happens.
JOHN COTTEY, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES: I was wondering if there was anything you can point to specifically unique about Winky Wright’s style defensively that you, you know, either have to deal with or there’s something that is getting a lot of attention from you guys in camp.
FREDDIE ROACH: Well, you know, he’s very great at defensive, a bit of a passive defense. You know, there’s certain ways to correct that, and of course fighting a South Paw, I personally like fighting South Paws, and Bernard also agrees with me. He has no problem with the South Paw stance, and there’s really certain ways to maneuver and box the eye and the shocks and so forth, and we’re working on that, and – but, you know, he’s a good defensive side, but defense doesn’t always win fights.
JOHN COTTEY: Talking about his offense a little bit, do you expect, you know, Bernard’s previous fights with Tarver and Taylor, neither fighter pressed Bernard. Do you expect Winky to press Bernard more than his three previous guys have?
FREDDIE ROACH: Well, I think so because if you – if you’ve seen Winky’s last three or four fights, he’s been a bit more aggressive. I think he’s trying to be a better sell and more active, and I think that his strategy will be that. He’ll make him work in the early rounds, and that’s what we’re getting ready for.
DIEGO MARTINEZ, REFORMER NEWSPAPER : (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE).
KELLY SWANSON: Oscar, could you please translate that for us, question and answer?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you. I’m here promoting the biggest fight that the fans wants, I mean whether it’s a Bernard Hopkins fight against Winky Wright, which is going to happen July 21, which is going to be a very, very intriguing fight, and we can – we can expect a sellout crowd, which, the way tickets are going, very soon we will have sold out gate, and you know, whether it’s fights with Hopkins, Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera or Shane Mosley. You know, Golden Boy Promotions is always willing to put in the best against the best.
TK STEWART, BOXINGSCENE.COM : Yes, hi, Freddie. I was just kind of wondering what is John David Jackson’s role in the camp, and how are you two working together?
FREDDIE ROACH: Oh, you know, I’ve known John for a long time. We’re good friends, and his role in camp, pretty much, is you know, he’s a South Paw and a pretty slick guy, and just I’m working on the South Paw stance and how to work – against that defense of Winky’s, and he’s a great guy to have running. He’s helping with the conditioning and so forth. He’s running with him every morning, they work well together, like we’ll work in the mid day – he works a couple of hours everyday, and then I’ve got to finish up with Bernard, and you know, Bernard’s really aggressive on the mitts and really, really strong, and so he’s doing well, and John David’s a good asset to have working for us because his South Paw stance and his knowledge of .
TK STEWART: OK, and then the other question I have for you too, how was it that you and Bernard came together, or how was it that you too decided to work together?
FREDDIE ROACH: Well, you know, his trainer had a stroke, and he needed somebody to take over, and Oscar recommended me, and then me and Bernard sat down and had a meeting, and he talked to me about the strategy, I mean how to fight Winky, and he liked what I had to say, and we’ve always been friends outside the ring, and so it was just – we really meshed well together. Once we got in the gym, it was no problem at all. It was just work as usual, and you know, he knows I believe in hard work, and he’s a hard worker. So we got along fine.
PAUL UPHAM, SECONDSOUT.COM : What is it about Bernard that allows him to be such a great fighter over the age of 40?
FREDDIE ROACH: Discipline, I would say. He’s a very disciplined person. He lives a disciplined life. He doesn’t – you know, he doesn’t eat junk food. He doesn’t let his weight fluctuate, and he takes care of his body, and you know, again, he’s never taken – he’s never been in any real hard, hard fights where he’s taken any beatings and so forth. So, you know, 42 might be a high number and so forth, but if you – if you look at his career, and you know, age in boxing comes from how many wars you’ve been in, and you know, I mean I was a – I retired at 27 years old because my style was more of a give and take style, and you know, Bernard, he’s a defensive guy, and you know, he doesn’t get hit with shots and so forth. So he’s a very fresh 42, and you know, he takes care of himself and he’s got a disciplined and healthful life, just not letting his weight fluctuate and so forth because, you know, because too many fighters don’t workout between fights and blow up to high weights and have them drop that weight, and that kills fighters.
PAUL UPHAM: Oscar, if I could ask you when Bernard retired after his great win out at Tarver last year, did you ever believe that he would come back, or did – you were surprised that he has come back for another fight?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: I actually had a good feeling he would fight again. I mean, you know, to have such a spectacular performance against a great fighter like Tarver, you know, he had to be back for some more. I mean Hopkins is a warrior. Hopkinsis a fighter who’s always striving to be the best, and then he’s always willing to fight the best. So, you know, with Hopkins is dominating performance, and him knowing that he can still do this, and he feels young and fresh, you know, there’s many more fights out there for him, there’s many more big events that he can be involved in. So I think he’s really – he’s really remotivated and really looking out just to stay on top for years to come.
EDDIE GOLDMAN, SECONDSOUT RADIO : Hi. I have one question for Freddie and one for Oscar. First, Freddie, this fight seems to be something between two guys who are known as some of the best tacticians and slyest and biggest foxes in the ring. How do you see this playing out and not just being an extremely tactical chess match between these two great fighters?
FREDDIE ROACH: Yes, you know, it’s definitely going to be a chess match, for sure. I mean it’s two smart guys, like to set things up really to think about, you know, what they’re doing, it’s not just two guys out there swinging, that’s for sure. Very technical, the guy that’s going to pull off the strategy and pull that off is going to win the fight, and the thing is we’re just working on, getting through the distance and getting through that defense there of Winky’s and, obviously, we’d like everybody in this fight and break them down a little bit and hopefully get busier in later rounds, and I know Winky’s going to try to start fast and try to come at us.
So we’re just getting ready for those things, and well, I think we have a good game plan, and the conditioning’s coming along fine, and he’s working hard here in California, and he’s a little different for him. He’s getting used to the California climate and so forth, but other than that he’s doing well.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: OK, and Oscar, the question I have is about the pay per view. Your fight with Floyd, of course, broke all the pay per view records, but since then people have had to pay off those bills, and on pay per view there’s competition from stuff like UFC, and there’s also a lot of free services that are pirating these videos online. How do you see this fight? Obviously, it’s two legendary fighters, two guys who are going to be a lock from the Hall of Fame and are still among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. How do you see this doing on pay per view TV?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, we always – we always have a great indication with how the gate is going, and I know with over 7,000 tickets already sold, that’s a wonderful indication that people are going to tune in and watch this fight. We’re going to announce from top to bottom the undercard, and with – it’s going to be an amazing undercard that we have for this show on the twenty-first, and you know, but the indications are extremely well, and we project a very high number, not only the fact that we have two of the best fighters – two legends fighting each other, but the fact that the “Ring” Magazine belt is also involved.
DAXX KAHN, SADDO BOXING: Hi. Freddie, it’s a question for you. You mentioned a couple of times during the press conference that you expect Winky to press Bernard and try and tire him out, but of course we all know that Winky is most known for his defense. You know, are you guys preparing to be the aggressor? If Winky so chooses to lay back, you know, is Bernard ready to be the one to go after him and chase him down and tire Winky out and be the one to bring the fight for him, or you guys really think that Winky’s going to be the one that try and come to Bernard?
FREDDIE ROACH: Well, I think he’ll try for a little while until he feels Bernard’s strength. Once he feels Bernard’s strength, I feel that he’ll go back to what he does best, and that’s his defensive mode and counter puncher, and the other thing is, at that point, I think we’re going to have to take charge – step up and be the aggressor in the fight. I do see that happening, and you know, I’m an aggressive type of trainer, and so we’re working on the offense, coming to the eye and breaking the body down, and yes, he’ll be coming forward, yes, because I feel after Winky does feel the strength of, you know, Bernard, you know, over 270 pounds of a really strong guy, he’s going to go back to what he does best.
DAXX KAHN: And this is for Oscar. Oscar, since, you know, Bernard is obviously in Golden Boy Productions, after this fight, is there anything clear on what Bernard’s doing next? In the press conference the other day, talk with Roy Jones. He said he wants a rematch with Hopkins, that he approached you guys for it, and you guys turned him down. This is why he’s going without hands showing, and Bernard took – decided to go over with Wright instead. Do you guys think you’ve – and again, this is what Roy Jones had said, you know, he wants to fight Hopkins next. Do you think you guys see that coming up?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, we don’t really see that coming up, I mean unless Bernard Hopkins wants it to happen. I mean you have to understand that Bernard Hopkins is in a position where he says who he wants to fight and where. You know, I mean as long as he’s beating the Tarvers of this world and comes through with Winky Wright, then we’ll have to sit down with Bernard Hopkins and map out his next – his next move. But that’s a conversation we’ll be having after the – after July 21.
ROBERT MORALES: Hey Freddie, listen, you know, we talked the other day, and you’ve – and you’ve repeated some of the stuff that we’ve talked about, about Bernard not having been in wars and that kind of thing, and certainly, you know, that is very true. But how much of Bernard still being a great fighter also has to do with him just being a rare breed, a guy with rare talent and rare, you know, abilities in the ring?
FREDDIE ROACH: A lot. I mean let’s face it – you know, he’s not your usual fighter. He’s very smart. He thinks he sets things up. You know, I think he’s like it’s pretty much a throwback. He’s not one of those fighters like, you know, like a Roy Jones and so forth. He’s just an athlete, and he’s good at any sport, and just gets away with his athletic abilities. Bernard Hopkins knows the art of boxing, and he’s studied the art of boxing, and he just knows this game so well, and you know, he’s like one of those veterans. He doesn’t make mistakes, his balance is perfect. You should watch him shadow box. I mean, you know, he doesn’t make any mistakes. His feet are always under him. He’s always on balance, his chin’s always down – he’s just very, very well rounded. I mean he reminds me of just an old-school fighter, and a lot of that has to do with just his natural abilities. Yes, he’s a rare breed. That’s for sure.
LUIS SANTIAGO: Hi, Mr. Roach. Just wondering, giving the fact of the return of Tito Trinidad to boxing, what do you say about the possibility of a rematch between Bernard Hopkins and Trinidad ?
FREDDIE ROACH: Yes, obviously, if Trinidad wants to come back, there’s always – that’s a very dangerous fight for him. I think Oscar De La Hoya or Bernard Hopkins would be a great fight for Trinidad. You know, it would sell a lot of tickets, and you know, the thing is, if Tito wants to come back, and those are real tough fights for him. But, you know, he was a great fighter in his day, and the fight – I think Tito would be a great fight and well, I guess, we have to care of Winky Wright first and then see what happens.
PHILLIP PASTRANO, BOXINGREALM.COM : Yes, thank you very much, Freddie. I just have really one question, and that basically has to do with your having to juggle all of these veterans. You know, you have – you had Oscar, you now have Bernard, and you know, his fight is July 21. I guess Israel Vasquez is in South Texas a couple of weeks after that. I’ve read that you ordered many – or I guess maybe order’s not the correct word, but yes, that (INAUDIBLE) the Wild Card Gym on August 1. The question is, are you doing too much, Freddie?
FREDDIE ROACH: Maybe, you know. The thing is, I mean I have a hard time saying no so its as hard. I do as much as I can and so forth. I just get out of the ring where I was just working the mitts with Boom Boom Bautista. But, you know, I love this game, and I work hard at it, and you know, I come to the gym at eight o’clock every morning, and I go home at eight o’clock at night. I don’t have any hobbies outside of boxing. But, you know, I love what I do, and so forth, and then, you know, working with guys like Oscar De La Hoya, it just makes it worth it – working with Oscar and Bernard, like they’re veterans. They know what it’s all about, and it’s just great. You know, I love working with these guys. They’re talented guys, and it’s an honor to be around them.
PHILLIP PASTRANO: Well, I thought you might say that a lot of the work is maybe already done considering you’re dealing with a lot of veteran fighters who have – who have been in the fight game for quite a while already. Would you say that, or?
FREDDIE ROACH: No, it’s just – I just enjoy – I just enjoy working with these guys, and you know working with Oscar and Bernard, they’re very disciplined people, and, you know, I really like them. Good work ethics – I like. You work hard and get things done and then, there’s no room for lazy people in this sport. So, you know, I just enjoy what I do and do the best that I can and sometimes its hard to say “no” to people but, you know I just can’t take much more. my plate’s full right now but it’s just work as usual.
ELIAH CEPEDA, INSIDE FIGHTING: You’re an incredible student of the game, how do you balance – when you’re taking out a new charge like what you did with Oscar and now you’re doing with (INAUDIBLE), how do you balance your expectations that you may have developed of a fighter after (INAUDIBLE) and stuff and processing that in your mind, how do you balance that with the need to learn about them personally and be open to how they already do things and their approach to training and developing a strategy once you’re actually working with them.
FREDDIE ROACH: Eddie taught me a lot about these guys and you know, the thing is they’re all individuals. You can’t – they’re all different. I mean everyone has different – little things about them. You know, and you’ve got to treat them as individuals, you know, because I tried to come up with a perfect formula for training a world champion and fighter, and then – at camp, you know, I would take notes and so forth, what the fighters do every day and so forth, but then, you know, at the end of the day, they’re all individuals and they all need different things.
And, you know, it’s just getting to know them, getting inside their head and getting (INAUDIBLE) my biggest – my biggest thing is to let them know that I’m on their side and I’m with them every step of the way. And, you know, me, sometimes he gets a little excited and if I call a combination and he sees an open after the combination, he’ll take that step sometimes and I told him, we got to stop because I don’t need to be taking shots anymore.
But, you know, he’s a little anxious. I’m getting to know how he thinks and how he takes of all this. Once I, you know, once I get inside their head and I know how they think that’s pretty much it, when they come back to the corner, I have a minute to make a small adjustment with them and I can get to him. And that’s what makes a difference I think.
OPERATOR: Thank you. I will now like to introduce Mr. Dan Birmingham who’s on the line with us.
KELLY SWANSON: OK, Freddie, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day. Be careful today in there with Hopkins. It sounds a little dangerous.
KELLY SWANSON: Ladies and gentlemen, we now have Dan Birmingham on the line joining us and Oscar, if you could please introduce Dan.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yes. It is my honor and privilege to be introducing one of the most celebrated trainers, one of the best trainers also of our generation, you know, who have proven himself over and over again. And I think that’s why it makes it such an interesting fight. Not only do you have the best fighters fighting on July 21st, but also you have two trainers in each corner that are really going to have a great impact in the outcome of this fight because of their knowledge and because of their skill when training these fighters.
Without any further ado, let me introduce to you Dan Birmingham. Dan.
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Thank you for the introduction, Oscar, and I’d like to say same to you. I met you one time at the Olympic Training Center when I was there when you were 14 or 15 years old. And I knew you were special.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you.
KELLY SWANSON: OK, Dan, if you’d like to just give us a quick update before we open it up to questions, how’s camp going, how you’re feeling about Winky?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Really, camp couldn’t be going better. I mean, Winky’s right on target. He’s been out here just about eight weeks. We’re right on schedule – 12 rounds with four different guys a week-and-a-half ago and looking forward to getting there and tangle with Bernard. And I’m looking forward to competing with my friend, Freddie Roach. We’re very confident.
KELLY SWANSON : OK, great. Operator, will you please open it up for questions?
JOHN COTTEY, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES : Dan, how’s it going? What is it about Bernard that’s any different than any other fighter Winky has faced? I mean, are there things that you have to incorporate because of Bernard’s style and is there anybody you can compare him to that Winky’s fought as far as, you know, as far as the style of the match up goes?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Bernard is Bernard and he’s a great champion, and a great fighter, and there’s absolutely nobody like him so we have to prepare specifically for Bernard. You know, he has great attributes. He’s strong, he’s tough as nails, he’s a real sneaker fighter. You go to watch because he steps quick, he’s got quick hands, he likes to rough you up on the inside and of course, his record speaks for himself – itself. I mean, Bernard’s a great fighter so we’re preparing for him specifically.
JOHN COTTEY: Can you talk a little bit about Winky moving up in weight? I mean, until – I think the Solomon (ph) fight he had never fought over 154. I know he walks around a little heavier, but is there – I know he had to put on some muscle and now he’s, you know, bringing the weight down, but how is that process going and how does he look physically compared to previous fights?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: He looks bigger and stronger than ever. I mean, that Darryl Hudson (ph), to me is one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the country. I mean, he was – he was a track star, one of the – one of the fastest guys in the country, competed against Carl Lewis, you know, he was a college football player. I mean, he’s got a degree in nutrition and exercise physiology and he’s really made a real change with Winky. Wink’s not only going to be bigger and stronger, but he’s still going to be flexible and fast as he usually is.
So, you know, we’re not worried about how big and strong Bernard is because Winky’s going to be big and strong, too.
ROBERT MORALES, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS : Hey, with Bernard and Winky, we have two of the most technically sound fighters of the past, you know, quarter of the century anyway, at least, and then with you and Freddie, we have two of the best trainers during that same period. With that said, how much are you looking forward to, as you say, matching the wits with Freddie and also, you know, trying to get your fighter to match wits and ultimately outwit a guy like Bernard Hopkins?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Well, Winky’s a little smart guy himself. I mean, he doesn’t have to rely on me for intelligence, or wit or anything like that. Winky’s a real sharp guy. I remember when we were in Europe, we would drive around the block and I would get lost, and with Winky he’d be in the call a half-hour and he’d know just every turn how to get you back. I mean, the kid is really smart and, you know, I’m not worried about the wits thing at all. I think he’s really self motivated.
ROBERT MORALES: What about the challenge for you of again, you know, trying to match wits with a guy like Freddie Roach because you’re both great strategists in my opinion?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: I think Freddie probably thinks along the same lines than I do. I’m not worried about what he’s going to do or what Bernard’s going to do. I’m only concerned about myself and my fighter. So, I don’t really worry about the other corner. We make our adjustments accordingly as the fight progresses, and that’s what makes a good strategist, and I think we’re both good strategists. And he’s not going to be concerned about what I’m doing, and I’m not going to be concerned about what he’s doing.
PAUL UPHAM, SECONDSOUT.COM : All right, Dan, just a question about Bernard. Is he one of the best fighters in memory over the age of 40?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Oh, no doubt about it. I mean, look at his records, 20 defenses. I mean the guy is amazing, really. At 42, I felt – I mean, I’m 56 now, but at 42 I was, you know, like 42. But I don’t know what he did; he must be drinking from the Fountain of Youth because the guy’s incredible. He really is. I give him a lot of respect.
PAUL UPHAM: Looking back at Winky’s fight with Jermain Taylor, is Winky done anything or said he’s going to do anything different in a big fight now to make sure that he never gets stuck with a draw again?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Well, if you look at Winky’s past history the better the fighter, the more he gets up. And I’ve been putting it in his head since we signed for this fight that Bernard is going to be the best tactical fighter that you fought, the strongest guy that you’re going to fight and the toughest guy you’re going to fight.
So with that regard, Winky knows, you know, that he’s in there with a real KG guy. We had to prepare ourselves better than ever, and that’s what we’ve done.
TK STEWART, BOXING SCENE.COM : Hi, Dan, just a couple of quick questions for you. You know, a lot of fighters in this day and age, they seem to, you know, change trainers like they change their underwear. And, you know, you and Winky have been together all these years. What’s the thing that’s kind of kept you two together all this time?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Well, Wink and I have been together, this is our 19th year now, and I think it’s just mutual respect and we believe in each other. I mean, when you keep winning, you know, then things are going right and everything looks good and you have a lot of confidence in each other. But mainly it’s the respect. I mean, we respect each other as people and we respect each other you know, as fighter and trainer. So, it goes – it goes with respect.
TK STEWART: OK. And then my other question, are you two still in a position where you can learn from one another or I mean, is the training camp kind of routine or, I mean, you know, do you still work on new things all the time or can you kind of describe that process for us?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Every training camp is different, and since I brought in Daryl Hudson (ph) a few years ago, the man has a book of exercises. So I rely on him to really not make the camp come to some stagnation. You know, we keep everything fresh, we try different things every day. You know, we’re basically doing the same thing, but not doing the same thing, trying to change it up all the time.
With Bernard, he’s such a special fighter that you have to work on a lot of different things, so we really never get bored at the training.
RAMON ARANDA, 411MANIA.COM : Quick question for you, so, I mean, obviously Bernard’s a notorious defender as is Winky, but it seems like lately we’ve seen Winky become a little bit more of the aggressor in his last couple of fights. Now, you know, should we be expecting him to force the action against the bigger guy or is Winky looking to kind of sit back and let Hopkins come to you?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Absolutely we’re going to force this fight. We’re going to make Bernard fight, where he’s – I can tell you this, he’s never been hit this much and this often. You look at Winky’s past fights, he’s landed punches every five to 10 seconds on every opponent, and Bernard’s not going to be any exception. We’re coming right at him and we’re going to force the fight. It’s not going to be another Tarver (ph) situation where we laid back and try to wait for something to happen. We’re going to force the issue.
EDDIE GOLDMAN, SECONDS OUT RADIO : Earlier in the conference call, Freddie Roach said that he expects Winky to come on strong early in the fight and that they expect to be able to wear down Winky as the fight goes on. Can you tell us your response to that and how you see the fight going?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: Eddie, that’s absolutely not going to happen. Winky’s in great condition and he just has this mindset this fight, well we all do, that we’re going to start this fight hard and we’re going to finish this fight hard right up until the last second. And if they think they’re going to wear us down, then I’m glad they’re thinking that way because it’s not going to happen I guarantee it.
You’re going to see how strong Wink looks and how strong he fights when that bell rings.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: Some people have said that they expect this fight to be extremely technical and kind of slow paced. Tell us how you see this fight going?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: I don’t ever think Winky’s fights are – none of Winky’s fights have really ever been slow paced and this is going to be the same. I mean, it’s going to be – we’re going to set it fast paced. I mean, it’s going to be up to Bernard to keep up with us because we’re going to set a pace, a hard pace.
EDDIE GOLDMAN: OK, thanks. Good luck in the fight.
ELIAS CEPEDA, INSIDE FIGHTING: Thanks for your time, Dan. I was just wondering, is setting the pace, like you said, setting that hard pace, is that – is that really based on looking to exploit the age Hopkins? I know – I mean, obviously you have a lot of respect for him and you think he’s really a different kind of – different kind of 42 than most people, but is that – is that a little bit of the logic behind that?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: When I studied his past fights, you know, we took a punch count and we looked at what he does, and we figure out a fight plan and we figure out how we have to do a little bit better. And we have to set a harder pace and that’s going to be the case fight night.
You’ll see Winky with an average of probably 70 to 90 punches a round. Whereas, Bernard, with the Tarver (ph) fight, was about 30 punches a round, 40 punches a round. So we’re going to make him fight every second.
ELIAS CEPEDA: Thank you.
LUIS SANTIAGO: Hello, Mr. Birmingham, good afternoon. Just wondering, given the fact of the almost confirmed return of Felix Trinidad to boxing and given the great relationship and friendship between Winky Wright and Trinidad what can you say about a possible rematch between Winky and Trinidad especially if Winky can beat Bernard Hopkins on July 21st?
DAN BIRMINGHAM: I think that’s an impossibility. Tito was up here with us a few weeks ago and they’ve become very close friends, and Winky flies to Puerto Rico occasionally to visit Tito and his family, and then Tito comes to visit Winky occasionally and they’ve become very close and now they’re actually business partners. So, I think a rematch with Tito is an impossibility in the future and that’s just my opinion.
LUIS SANTIAGO: Thank you.
OPERATOR: Thank you. This does end the Q&A session. I’d like to turn it back over to the host for any closing remarks. Ms. Swanson.
KELLY SWANSON: Thank you everybody so much for joining us today. Dan, thank you for taking the time to – out of your training schedule and everything else to join us and answer questions for the fight.
If anybody has any questions or dialed in late, feel free to call my office, 202-783-5500, and we appreciate you being a part of this call and look forward to seeing you on July 21st. Thanks so much.
Hopkins vs. Wright “Coming to Fight” is for Hopkins’ Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight belt and will take place Saturday, July 21 st at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. “Coming to Fight” is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Winky Promotions, and sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Tecate Beer and Rockstar Energy Drink.
The Hopkins vs. Wright pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 61 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 your Hopkins vs. Wright fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.