Canelo vs. GGG 2 Press Conference Transcript
MAURICIO PEDROZA: To everyone, watching on Facebook Live today, we want to hear from you. Leave your questions for the fighters, the promoters in the comments section below for a chance to have your questions answered live on the air today.
So stay tuned for that. All right. Let’s get this started. Let’s go straight to our fighters, to our promotors and we go live to Guadalajara, Mexico.
Both fighters have already started their training camps and we will introduce everyone around this fantastic fight. Joining Canelo from his gym in Guadalajara is his manager and co-trainer Jose “Chepo” Reynoso, his trainer Eddy Reynoso, and the and chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya who will open our press conference with a few remarks.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much. Thank you for having us. I want to express my gratitude to everybody around the world watching us live for the first time ever holding a press conference on Facebook. We greatly appreciate the support, and today, as of 10:00 in the morning, tickets went on sale. They are going extremely well, extremely fast, and we are grateful to all the fans who can be watching live on September 15 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
I want to thank Team Canelo. I want to thank Team GGG for making this fight once again for the fans. The fans got to witness an incredible, incredible fight the first time around, and we strongly believe that the second fight will be a continuation, round No. 13, of their first fight televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
The telecast does begin at 8:00 Eastern. This will give an opportunity for the fans across the globe to watch this fight at an earlier time. So we want to thank HBO and their teams.
Mauricio Pedroza: Thank you, Oscar.
Joining GGG live from the summit gym in bear, California is his trainer, Abel Sanchez and promotor for GGG, Tom Loeffler, who will also begin with a few remarks. Tom?
TOM LOEFFLER: Today, this rematch really feels like it’s a much bigger event than the first time. There was a lot of controversy around the scoring for the first fight, and both guys don’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands this time.
We’re up here where Abel Sanchez has his training camp in Big Bear, California. GGG is training to make a much more decisive victory over Canelo the second time around. You see we have all the titles here.
GGG is the champion, and if Canelo wants to become a champion, he actually has to fight and try to take the titles away.
So we are looking forward to seeing everyone September 15 at T-Mobile and on HBO Pay-Per-View.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Tom, thank you very much.
So first question is for you, Canelo. What happened, and what would you like to say to your fans that were disappointed in you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The reason for the cancellation, we all talked about that. The main thing is the fight got here, the fight got done. I did it for the fans. This is the fight you wanted to see and come September 15, I can assure you it will be a much better fight than what you would have seen in May.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: How disappointed were you the fight didn’t happen in May?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Of course we were all disappointed. I was disappointed and the fans were disappointed that this first May 15 bout didn’t happen, but right now everybody is happy that we all agreed to have this next fight on September 15.
So both us and our fans should be happy.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, do you really believe the reason Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol was tainted meat?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: First of all, I respect the fighters of the level of Canelo, and the fact that they screwed up, it was not my decision to disqualify him, and I think it was a team failure, but it doesn’t matter right now. It doesn’t matter right now. It’s important that we’re going to have a fight.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel Sanchez, do you believe the reason Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol was tainted meat? You were very vocal when this news first came around that Canelo might be suspended.
ABEL SANCHEZ: We had been waiting for the commission to do their investigation, and come on, whatever the findings were, unfortunately they made a mistake. We have a fight on our hands September 15. They found him innocent of anything, any wrongdoing, so we have to go with that.
My personal feelings have nothing to do or should have nothing to do with the actual findings of the commission.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: But why are you saying you think they made a mistake? What mistake did they make?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, they felt that he made a mistake. They felt that he ingested some bad beef. Hopefully this time that they are in Mexico, he doesn’t do that again. We’d like to have a fight on the 15th and the fans deserve that.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Even though your rematch against Canelo Alvarez says was cancelled, you still fought in May in Los Angeles at the StubHub Center against Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan. What were you trying to prove in the fight?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Well, because I like to be active, I like this box, I like this sport, and I like the fans. You know, the fans wanted me to fight, and why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I fight, particularly on such an important day, May the 5th.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Did you watch GGG’s fight in May?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes. Yes, I did see the fight in May. Of course I would. He’s the opponent that I have at hand and that’s my job to watch him.
As far as what I thought about the fight, look, you can’t call that a fight. You have no opponent. That’s not my level of opponent. I didn’t pay attention as far as that being a fight.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, could you take us through the negotiations that have taken place over the last few months?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: The negotiations are the negotiations. The bottom line is that we have a fight. Obviously we know who the A side is, and that’s Canelo Alvarez.
We obviously know that all of Mexico is behind Canelo Alvarez. Everywhere I go, everywhere we walk, the Mexican National is behind Canelo Alvarez, and I strongly believe that, look, Canelo going into the ring last, wanting to win those belts, for honor and pride.
You know, he’s going to show it up in the ring, and we strongly feel that you know, it’s a big advantage and once that first bell rings, you know, we have a fight.
So we strongly feel that, look, whatever the negotiations were, we’re extremely happy with and the fans are going to be even happier when they see a fight on September 15.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Tell us why is it so important for this rematch to take place on September 15? So important, that you had to put up your own money to make happen.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that was the big hail maker — I mean, you know, we can all here talk about percentages and this and that but there was a few things that I had to throw in myself.
But the bottom line is, is that look, Canelo has the bigger piece of the pie, and because he’s the champion, he’s the draw. He’s the one that brings in the people. On September 15, you will have millions and millions of fans supporting Canelo and supporting GGG, as well.
But this fight had to be made because we didn’t want to experience another Hagler/Hearns or Hagler/Sugar Ray Leonard because we didn’t see the second fight that didn’t take place. We didn’t want to see – like Trinidad and myself, we didn’t see the second fight.
So this fight had to take place. The first time was a draw and finally we have it. September 15, will be such an important day for boxing. I strongly feel that the way this fight is going to turn out, the fans are going to be extremely happy, extremely proud and boxing will once again rise to the pinnacle of where it should be.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Why is it so important for GGG, for this fight to take place and to make the compromises GGG has had to take in order to ensure the rematch? For example, letting go of your position that the percentage for the rematch should be an even and even split.
TOM LOEFFLER: On our side we know who the champion is. It doesn’t matter who is announced first. Doesn’t matter whose name appears first on the poster.
GGG is the champion. He’s going to walk in with his belts and the important thing is he’s going to walk out with his belts. There were a lot of back and forth with the negotiations but again, we have to give both fighters credit. We have to give GGG credit. We have to give Canelo credit. We have to give Oscar and Golden Boy Promotions credit.
The bottom line is, we are not just talking about the rematch. We are actually seeing the rematch happen September 15. A lot of fighters can’t even fight the first time, and here are two of the biggest stars in boxing fighting the rematch.
Neither side wants to let it go to the judges. Canelo is predicting a KO. GGG doesn’t want to go through the same thing he went through last year in September — where his fate is in the hands of three people. He wants to make sure he controls his destiny and wants to make sure there’s going to be no question who walks out of the ring as the champion on September 15.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: We heard Oscar describing why Canelo Alvarez is the main man in this fight, so why do you think you deserve a 50/50 split?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: I always believe that and I know Oscar says, and I not always agree with what Oscar says. For example, I don’t believe all Mexico will be rooting for Canelo. I understand that all Oscar think that Canelo is the main locomotive behind this fight, but I think we’re both worthy of this fight.
As far as the 45 to 55, yes, we made a concession. I think that we make a big concession, but I think it’s right now, it’s the most important thing that we are going to have a fight and our fans will love it.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, Gennady just said he doesn’t believe that whole of Mexico will be rooting for you. Do you agree, and why do you think GGG believes he has some part of the Mexican fans behind him?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I’ve always had detractors, regardless I’m fighting him or who I’m fighting. There’s always that side of the fans that are the detractors, but I have much more, many more, that love and support me.
And now, that little respect that I had or that we had, it’s been lost, and come September 15, it’s just him and I in the ring, whether I have the support or not. It’s just going to be him and I, and he’ll see.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Now I want to go back to Oscar De La Hoya. As a fighter, does being in a fight like this motivate you more in training camp, especially when you just heard Canelo saying he doesn’t respect GGG anymore?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that’s exactly what a fighter needs, and that’s exactly why this fight is going to be such a great fight.
Like Canelo said, the little respect they had for each other is out the window, and when you’re a fighter and you have no respect for your opponent, magic happens. Magic takes place inside the ring. You train harder in the gym. You run extra miles. You assure yourself that you’re in tiptop shape but more importantly it’s mental, the mental aspect of it is at its highest level. That’s why I think that these bullfighters are going to be in tiptop shape come September 15 and we will see an amazing fight.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: As a fight fan and promotor, how excited are you for the fight and how excited shot fans be for the fight?
TOM LOEFFLER: Not only as a promotor but as a boxing fight, this is the fight everyone is looking forward to. This is the fight the fans are looking forward to, that the media has been asking about.
And GGG, I get a lot of comments, a lot of messages on social media from fans in Mexico saying, please knock out Canelo, don’t let it in the judges’ hands this time and GGG is going to come out that way.
I know Oscar is down there in Mexico with Canelo. Make sure, Canelo, less Mexican meat, more Mexican style this time, September 15. Make sure everything goes the right way.
There’s two warriors getting in the ring. The gloves are off this time around. Both guys, you know, feel disrespected by what happened last May 5, so I think the fans are going to win coming up September 15 when these guys get in the ring with each other.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar De La Hoya on May 15 Tweeted the following, “In the meantime, @GGGBoxing making 3million and #Canelo making 40million without you. #signthecontract. #scared. #CaneloGGG2. #stopcrying.”
We just talked about respect. Gennady, how do you respond to this, to what Oscar De La Hoya had to say about you on May 11?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Oscar De La Hoya can say a lot of things, and it’s not always correct.
As far as the money concerned, I’m a fighter, and I go and work, do my work. I fight. As far as Oscar De La Hoya, I suggest that he should take care of his own fighter and if he wants him to make more money, let’s have a fight. Put him on the ring.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: I want to go back to Abel. This quote from Canelo Alvarez, this past week on RingTV.com, “The truth is that this fight means a lot to me because of all that has happened and all that has been said.”
Alvarez said, Friday, one day officially before tickets go on sale, “I will prove with my fists that I am the best and Golovkin will eat all his words and speculations. I will demonstrate who the best when I defeat Golovkin soundly on September 11 during Independence Day weekend, and I will make it clear that Mexican boxing is the best.”
Abel, do you think Canelo has what it takes to knockout GGG?
ABEL SANCHEZ: All those same things were said prior to the first fight and it ended up being a track meet.
I think that on the 15th when Oscar and Canelo were having breakfast, Oscar needs to remind him, he needs to bring his courage to the venue that night because he’s going to need it.
If he intends to knock out Golovkin, he’s going to have to fight him. And if he fights him, he’s going to get knocked out. I said that before; he would have gotten knocked out the first time, but he decided to make it a track meet that night.
But if he comes to fight and if he comes to knock out Golovkin as he said he’s going to; if he doesn’t defraud the fans again, then he’s going to get knocked out. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, you just heard Abel saying you didn’t want to fight the first time. I want to go back to you now and let you answer that statement because it seems like from GGG’s camp, you were never willing to engage during the fight. Will this time be any different?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I did my fight. I did what I set out to do. I did what I trained to do but I did a great fight.
But on September 15, I’m going to do the necessary adjustments and the necessary things to win. This man just likes to talk. He likes to talk a lot and bring up every excuse possible, but you’ll see, on September 15, what Canelo Alvarez is all about and what he’s capable of doing.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, you just heard Canelo saying that was his fight, that was his strategy, but he says it’s going to be different.
How about from your side? How different is your strategy going to be to face with Canelo once again?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: As the champion, I know my strategy and of course in this upcoming fight, a lot will depend on Canelo and the more Canelo had show, the more interesting will be the fight.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Eddy, why is your fighter the better fighter?
EDDY REYNOSO: He’s a fighter with more arguments. He has more talent and is more versatile. He knows how to walk in the ring and make you miss, counterpunch, attack. I mean, he has the total package.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Chepo, what did you learn from that first fight that can expose GGG’s weaknesses?
CHEPO REYNOSO: He’s an intelligent fighter and regardless of what people thought, I thought he clearly won the fight, clearly but come September 15, I can assure you two things. Not only is he going to take away GGG’s undefeated record, he’s also going to shut up Mr. Abel Sanchez.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel, you just heard Canelo saying, we’ll see a different Canelo, even Chepo Reynoso said we’ll see a different Canelo. What did you learn from Canelo Alvarez on the first fight, and do you think we’ll see a different Canelo Ãlvarez September 15?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, in the first 40-some fights we saw Canelo fight, he fought a totally different fight and he promised the fans he was going to give them the same type of action against Golovkin. After the first couple rounds, he found out he couldn’t.
I hope September 15 coming up is different because I think the fans deserve what we have been promising them. Golovkin fights in his style. He’s the champion. He’s going to go at Canelo, and if Canelo thinks he can knock him out, then I think we’ll see a classic fight.
It doesn’t matter how smart Canelo is, when he gets hit and he get hurt, he’s going to be knocked out. Smarts have nothing to do with it. He’s going to get hit and get hurt.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Several times Sanchez called Alvarez a cheater after all the controversy surrounding his suspension. How did that make you feel, and what do you think of Abel Sanchez as a trainer?
CHEPO REYNOSO: I think Abel Sanchez likes to talk. He talks too much. At the end of the day it’s going to be Canelo Alvarez and GGG fighting with their fists and not with their mouths. He likes to be the star of the movie, and it’s not him.
This is about Canelo and GGG. And what we need to do as corner men, as trainers, is do our job quietly because it’s not about us.
Abel, learn to be quiet, please.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, what have you seen so far from Canelo’s team and the way they are preparing for September 15?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, it’s clear that for team canal low, it’s a totally different mind-set. It’s a totally different fight. Just being an ex-fighter myself, I know what type of preparations you must do in order to fulfill your goal, to fulfill your goal come September 15 against GGG, and I can assure you, I mean, it’s clear that Canelo is in a stronger state of mind. There’s obviously bad blood, and therefore, that’s why it’s going to be an amazing fight.
Look, Canelo, yes, he can box. He can move. He’s the more skillful fighter. He can do all that stuff, but he can also fight. And GGG hasn’t seen that, but I’ll assure you one thing: Come September 15, it’s all business. It’s all going in there and proving not to everyone who is watching but proving to GGG that he’s the better fighter.
So will Canelo be in different shape? Will he be in better shape in will he be stronger, faster? He’s going to be all that, and then some.
So on our side, we strongly feel they haven’t seen Canelo the way they are going to see him September 15. We have seen GGG. We know what he does. All he does is come forward and fights and that’s it. Canelo has many other things he does, so come September 15, you’ll be able to witness them.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, I want to give you a chance to respond to one of Tom’s comments, also Gennady’s comments, when they say that Mexico is actually split. It’s divided. Not everyone is rooting for Canelo, and some Mexicans are rooting for Gennady Golovkin.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Everybody has their fans. Everybody has their fans. There’s a reason why when Canelo fights on HBO Pay-Per-View, which he’s the only Pay-Per-View star in boxing, there’s a reason why they support him. There’s a reason why he generates the numbers he does. There’s a reason why the gates are so high. There’s a reason why the numbers are so high.
Look, every fighter has their naysayers, and every fighter has their non-supporters, but the truth of the matter is that Canelo has millions and millions of fans all over the world just like GGG.
But we have to recognize one thing; that Canelo is the Mexican champion, the star of Mexico, the star of boxing.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: GGG, you just heard Canelo Alvarez saying how he has lost some respect for you. Let me ask you something. Have you also lost respect for Canelo Alvarez, the boxer, or even the person?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Respect is respect. We have different mentality. We have different understanding of what respect is. I think Canelo team, by doing what they did, and they lost some respect from their fans. But it’s not important.
I do have respect to all the fighters, all the athletes, all the champions who fight at this level, and I think at the very end, we will find a way to shake each other’s hand, regardless what the outcome, regardless what we think before the fight. As two men, we should be able to stand against each other and shake each other’s hand at the end.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: I remember before the first fight, you both were behaving in a very respectful manner. Why does this time feel like more personal to you, actually to both of you, but for you, is this personal this time?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, absolutely, it’s changed, totally. They disrespected me for everything they have been saying, everything they have been doing, all their actions. Now it’s different. It’s personal.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: A lot has been said from both camps about you and GGG, but one of your biggest critics so far is Abel Sanchez, and you haven’t really talked to him yet, so we’ll give that you opportunity to address him correctly.
What do you want to say to Abel Sanchez who is listening to you right now live?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I have nothing to say to him. He knows what I think of him.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel, what do you think about Canelo? He’s listening now. You’ve talked a lot about him, as well.
ABEL SANCHEZ: I talked about him because of what his actions have been and I think the consequences it has caused for us as a team here, the GGG team.
He’s an exceptional fighter. Two guys at the top of their game are going to duke is out on the 15th. I hope we get the kind of fight that we are expecting.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, is there anything you would like to say to him?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Well, I want to tell him that we should be ready for the fight. You know, we should be ready for his fight for us. We should be ready for his fight for our fans. We should get ready. I think we should both be in the best shape for this fight, and the better we will be for this fight; the more, the sweetest taste the victory will have for us.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, you have the floor. What do you have to say to Gennady Golovkin?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Nothing. We’ll see you September 15.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: And to all of you watching, is there anything you would like to say to GGG? Is there anything you would like to say to Canelo? Let us know in the comments section below for a chance to have your questions answered directly. But before we check out what the fans have been posting in that comments section below, let me ask you one question to all of you in our Facebook Live broadcast.
I want to start with Gennady Golovkin. Why aren’t we all hanging out in the same room? Why are you in Big Bear, California? Why is Canelo in Guadalajara, and why aren’t we shaking hands in person?
GGG, I’ll start with you.
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: We are in a space, we are in a room where it’s best for all of us and which is more comfortable for all of us. It’s better to meet on September 15 and show all the best of what we can demonstrate.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, usually when we are promoting a fight, we have both boxers looking at each other, sometimes shaking hands, sometimes having a little more action than that.
Why didn’t you want to face Gennady Golovkin before September 15? Why didn’t you want to be in the same room with him at the same time?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I assure you we’ll see each other face-to-face before September 15. We already got the tour and we already got the promotion. It wasn’t necessary for this one. But I’ll see him very soon.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: That’s fair. Well, we certainly have a lot to look forward to this September 15. In just a moment, we will open the phones to ask questions from members of the media.
Q. This is for Canelo. As a Mexican, do you believe Abel Sanchez deserves a handshake? Can you actually shake Abel Sanchez’s hands?
CANELO ALVAREZ: He deserves that and much more.
Q. Canelo, real quick, do you feel like the things that Abel and Gennady are saying to you about making this a toe-to-toe fight just a tactic to draw you in, when it may make more sense for you to box yourself to victory in this fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, that’s probably their tactic. You know what, the sentiment that I have inside of me, it’s going to help me a lot, intelligently, to bring out what I have to do. I know what I have to do.
Q. This first question is for Canelo. There are lots of rumours that have spread around about you wearing a knee wrap in different pictures. Is there anything wrong with the knee and can you address that?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Simply put, it’s a brace just to support. I’ve been training really hard. It’s part of rehabilitation and I’ve been working really hard, and that is not going to be a problem, trust me.
Q. The numbers from your last fight show that GG out-landed you by 49 punches and out-threw you by 198. Do you feel that you need to increase your work rate in order to win the rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, that’s part of the plan and part of what we are working on. Yes, we know what we have to do, and yes, we have to throw more punches. To win fights, you have to throw punches, and that’s what I do in all my fights.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Now it’s time to take a look at the questions and comments for the fighters and their teams on Facebook Live. We’ll go straight to that. We’ll start with Rob.
Q. Asking them both, what will be the difference from the first fight? Gennady, what do you think will be the difference from fight No. 1?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: I think this fight will be interesting. It will be tougher fight. It will be fiercer fight and I think we made our conclusion from the first fight, and this fight will be more colorful and more interesting.
Q. Canelo, what do you think the difference will be from the first fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Without a doubt it’s going to be a different fight. It’s going to be a better fight.
Look, we know what we have to do. I’m going it take even a stronger strategy, a better strategy, and it’s going to be a much better fight. We already know each other. Now we know what we have to do.
Q. To Team GGG, are you doing anything different in this camp from the last time you fought Canelo?
ABEL SANCHEZ: We prepare ourselves and we prepare Gennady to be the best Gennady can be. We won the first fight. A lot of people know we won the last fight. He knows he won the last fight.
Some adjustments obviously will be made in camp but Gennady fights in a style that is not only fan-pleasing but a style that he has mastered with a 23-knockout streak, in, what, 20 defenses, making it the 21st on the 15th. I think that’s the best in history. He’s tied Hopkins’ record. He’s got a knockout ratio, the best in middleweight history. I think the changes are going to be minimal. But I think it’s all going to defend if Canelo brings his courage.
Q. Gennady, are you doing anything different for this second fight, this rematch?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: No. As always, I’m going 100 percent what I need to do and I’ll be ready 100 percent for this fight.
Q. Can you talk about your impressive footwork and mobility in the first fight, and now that you’ve had surgery on your knee, do you think your footwork might be even better in the rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: That’s always been part of my arsenal. I know how to move inside the ring. The knee is not a problem. We’ve been working hard now and we’ve been training here and it hasn’t given me any issues and if it does come up during the fight that it gives me problems, we’ll already have a Plan B, a strategy, behind that, as well.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Thank you, everyone, for joining us today watching this special Facebook live GGG special event. A reminder that tickets for September 15 are on sale now and they are going fast. You can also join Canelo GGG September 15 live from the T Mobile Arena on Pay-Per-View.
Canelo-GGG 2 Press Conference Brings the Bad Blood
By: Sean Crose
This was a different kind of press conference. Most press conferences for major fights take place in hotels or huge outlets. Not Tuesday’s press conference for September 15th’s Canelo-GGG 2 battle for middleweight supremacy. This particular press conference took place in two separate locations – three, actually, if you included the host’s location. Canelo and his team were seated before a ring in an empty gym in Guadalajara, Mexico. Golovkin and his team were seated before a ring in an empty gym in Big Bear, California. The conference was aired live, via splitscreen, on Facebook.
There was something else different about this press conference, though, especially as it pertained to the fighter’s themselves. Both Canelo and Golovkin are known to be sportsman, professionals who are more serious than they are bombastic. The seriousness was still there on Tuesday for sure, but there was a coldness to the entire affair, which added a chilling air to things. Neither fighter smiled. Neither fighter even attempted to communicate in English. Neither fighter showed much love for the other. What’s more, neither man’s team showed much love for the opposing fighter.
“Less Mexican meat, more Mexican style this time,” GGG promoter Tome Loeffler, generally a soft spoken type, sniped at team Canelo – a clear reference to Canelo stating tainted beef was the reason for the two failed tests that pushed back the GGG rematch from May to September. GGG trainer Able Sanchez suggested that Canelo “bring his courage to the venue that night…if he doesn’t defraud the fans again, he’s going to get knocked out.” As Canelo promoter Oscar De La Hoya claimed: “there’s clearly bad blood.”
De La Hoya, however, wasn’t averse to throwing shots of his own. “All he does is come forward and fight,” he said of GGG’s fighting style, “and that’s it.” After the enormous controversy that came from Canelo’s failed drug test and subsequent suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (which will be over by the time the fight goes down), a notable degree of hostility appears to have seeped through to the fighter’s relationship. “The little respect that we had has been lost,” said Canelo.
The subject of the rematch being different from the first fight was a huge topic of conversation throughout the conference. “I think this fight will be more interesting,” said Golovkin. “Without a doubt it’s going to be a different fight,” Canelo said. “We already know each other. Now we know what we have to do.” Canelo also added that he has “to throw more punches,” this time around. “It will,” he claimed, “be a much better fight than what you would have seen in May.” As Loeffler stated: “Neither side wants it (the rematch) to go to the judges.”
The fact that the first fight ended in a controversial draw has clearly moved each fighter and his team to indicate a more decisive battle is in order for September 15th. “This fight had to be made because we didn’t want to experience another Hagler-Sugar Ray Leonard,” said De La Hoya. “We didn’t want to see Trinidad and myself.” Both fights De La Hoya mentioned had ended controversially, but were not followed up with a rematch. If all sides were able to agree on something, Tuesday, it was that everyone is happy this rematch is happening.
“The negotiations are the negotiations,” said De La Hoya. “The bottom line is we have a fight.” Loeffler stated that: “It was a tough negotiation but at the end of the day both fighters agreed to get in the ring.” The possibility for a more decisive ending is driving the marketing for this rematch, as is the recent hostility that has turned things nasty between the two fighters and their teams. “It’s changed, totally,” said Canelo. “They disrespected me…now it’s different, it’s personal.” Golovkin stated that his team has “a deeper understanding what respect is.”
Still, Golovkin claimed that things might not be permanently strained between he and his rival, Canelo. “At the very end,” he said, “I do feel we’ll find a way to shake each others’ hand. As two men, we should be able to shake each others’ hand.” Before that moment comes, however, there will be a full fight to transpire, a fight heated by rhetoric and ill will. “He’ll walk in with the belts and he’ll leave with the belts,” Loeffler said of his fighter. “Nothing,” Canelo snapped when asked if he had anything to say to GGG. “We’ll see you September 15th.”
ESPN Media Conference Recap with Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel and Tim Bradley
This afternoon, ESPN boxing commentators and analysts Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel and Tim Bradley discussed the June 9 super fight between Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn.
Crawford vs. Horn and José Pedraza vs. Antonio Moran will stream live exclusively on ESPN+ (in the United States) this Saturday, June 9 beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT.
The entire undercard, including Shakur Stevenson, Steve Nelson, Jose Benavidez, and Gabe Flores Jr. will stream on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 pm. PT.
For more details on ESPN+’s coverage for the Crawdford vs. Horn fight, click here.
Below is the transcript from the call.
THE MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining our conference call with ESPN boxing commentators and analysts Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel, and Tim Bradley to discuss this Saturday’s super fight between Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn.
Crawford and Horn will battle for the WBO Welterweight World Title streamed live on ESPN+ in the United States along with the entire undercard, which includes Jose Pedraza, Antonio Moran beginning at 9:30 p.m. Eastern. Following will be Shakur Stevenson, Aelio Mesquita, Jose Benavidez, Frank Rojas, and other undercard bouts beginning at — on ESPN starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN+. With that, I’ll go ahead and open it up for questions.
Q. Tim, (indiscernible) how do you think it will pan out?
TIM BRADLEY: How do I think the fight will pan out?
TIM BRADLEY: What’s that the question? How I think the main event’s going to pan out?
Q. The main event, yeah.
TIM BRADLEY: Yeah, how do I see the fight. Yeah, I’m trying to understand. I’m waiting on a response. But anyway, how do I see the fight going? Well, I see the fight starting off kind of rough, honestly. I think Horn, being a bigger guy, likes to move in quick, likes to get inside early, likes to work the pace and dictate the pace.
I think he’s going to try to close the gap on Terence really early and show him that, hey, this is a different weight class, this isn’t 140 pounds now, this is a different weight class and different type of weight. I think he’s going to try to push Terence back. Honestly, I think he is.
I think Terence is going to struggle in the beginning only until he finds his rhythm. Once Terence finds his rhythm, meaning Horn’s rhythm, then I think things will open up and Terence can control the distance from the outside and time Horn as he comes in.
At the end of the match, I think it’s going to be Terence Crawford with his hands raised. I think that Horn will put up a good fight, but I think Terence Crawford has too much precision, too much boxing IQ. He’s a great counterpuncher. He can punch in between shots. There are just so many dimensions to him as opposed to a guy like Jeff Horn.
Q. (Indiscernible) were you impressed with him?
JOE TESSITORE: I was. I’ll tell you, Timmy and I were down there ringside in Australia. My big takeaway with Jeff Horn — and then Mark and I had the pleasure of calling his title defense in December as well, but my big takeaway of being with him in person in Australia, covering his title fight in December is that this is a very sturdy, rugged, mauling kind of guy who is going to put forth a physical presence.
He is going to always try to do things on his terms. I completely agree with the champ’s assessment as to what this fight is going to look like early.
I will add on that although I think it’s easy to fall in line with the camp of saying Terence Crawford, too much skill, too much boxing IQ, too much raw athleticism, and elite status; that this is a guy in Jeff Horn who is very, very tricky and makes a fight out of a fight.
When we were there ringside, and I know for those who watched back in the States, they felt a certain way about the outcome of that fight last summer, we didn’t have the same feeling sitting there ringside. We saw a mauling, physically imposing, very big welterweight who I almost questioned how he possibly gets to 147 pounds. And because of that, I think this is a fascinating fight, first and foremost. Because when I look at the records next to the two names, I see two zeros in the loss column.
MARK KRIEGEL: We said much the same a year ago about Horn versus Pacquiao. I think that in terms of the disparity of size, experience, skill level — experience and skill level, that at the end of the day I think that it was Horn who made us aware that Manny was coming up against the limits of his size and his age.
All that being said, in regard to Tim’s point, and I’ve watched Crawford now spar with big guys, 178-pounders, I think that once he does find his rhythm and the timing, the punch that will cause the great damage to Horn will be the right hook. Almost like a check hook when he’s on his way in. But that’s the one shot that I’ve seen him sparring bigger guys with.
Q. In regards to Jeff Horn, do you think that Terence Crawford fight is going to be a tougher fight than the Pacquiao fight?
JOE TESSITORE: Yes, is this fight going to be tougher than Pacquiao is the question?
TIM BRADLEY: For Horn? I agree. I believe that this fight will be a tougher fight than Manny Pacquiao because there is so much more dimensions to Terence Crawford than to Manny Pacquiao. You know what you’re going to get when you fight a guy like Manny Pacquiao. He’s coming to get you. Terence, on the other hand, is multi-dimensional. So he can make adjustments on the fly without his corner even telling him to make adjustments.
I’ve had the opportunity to have two training camps with Terence Crawford before Terence Crawford became — before anybody knew who he was. One of the things that I took from him during that training camp was that this is a kid that flew down here by himself to my hometown, came (indiscernible) without a coach, without a trainer, getting fed a little bit of information about myself, gets in the ring, basically puts on a show. Beats me up in front of my own people — beats me up, comes back the next day.
I come back with a plan. He comes back and completely — he comes back and he’s a completely different fighter than he was the day before. And he kept making adjustments, and he kept making adjustments on the fly.
So this guy, Terence Crawford, is going to be tough, a tougher fight, in my opinion, than Manny Pacquiao.
MARK KRIEGEL: Another thing to bear in mind is that Pacquiao has seen better days. He’s not — he’s at the far end of his prime, and Crawford is just entering his. I don’t think we’ve seen close to what the best Terence Crawford we can get.
JOE TESSITORE: I don’t think it’s even close. I think Pacquiao in so many ways was the perfect storm for Jeff Horn with everything timing up just right, and that is not the case here in coming to the Vegas fight with Crawford. It doesn’t mean in any way I’m dismissing Jeff Horn as a live dog here, as much as I understand that this is the biggest mountain that he could possibly be asked to climb compared to what he just did last July.
TIM BRADLEY: I mean, completely two different styles. I’ll give Horn the benefit of the doubt, because what he was able to do Against Manny Pacquiao, I haven’t seen anybody be able to dominate him and bully him the way he did. And when I say dominate, I just mean in the physical form. You know, he pushed him back. He was grinding there, and he was very dirty at times. He had Pacquiao’s back against the ropes and he was working him.
I haven’t seen that — a guy do that Against Manny Pacquiao at all, and he was able to do that. With that being said, this is a completely different guy. Styles make fights. Terence can fight from the forward and backing up. Terence can switch left-handed and he can go right-handed. He can knock you out with his left hand and his right hand. This is a kid that can make adjustments on the fly. He has a high IQ. If you watch the replay with him and Indongo, you will see Terence punch in between punches.
If Horn comes rushing in with wide shots, I’ve sparred him, it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for Horn. It’s danger. That’s all I’m going to say.
Q. Tim, if he does pull the upset, what’s that mean for Jeff Horn? Does he go down as one of the greatest fighters in the world right now?
TIM BRADLEY: If he beats Terence Crawford would he go down as the greatest fighter in the world? I don’t know. He’ll be a top guy, yeah, absolutely. He’d be top three. Top three or four, top five. I know he’d be pound-for-pound then, absolutely. Because in order to be pound-for-pound, you’ve got to beat a great fighter.
Terence Crawford, however you put him, number one, number three, he’s in the top five pound-for-pound in the world. If you beat a top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, guess what? You’re top pound-for-pound now.
JOE TESSITORE: I didn’t get the name of the journeyman writer who just asked that question there, and we appreciate that question, because I think it exposes one of the deep veins that runs through this fight. That is that the Jeff Horn side still looking for and demanding respect, especially stateside. This is an undefeated, welterweight champion at the end of the day who conquered a living legend, defended his title, and now has a willingness to come to America and take on our best pound-for-pound fighter.
That’s what Terence Crawford is. He is American-born, best pound-for-pound fighter, where you have Vasyl Lomachenko number one, as our network does, or whether you go with a guy that’s now a three-time Fighter of the Year between ESPN and the Boxing Writers of America in Terence Crawford.
If Jeff Horn wins this fight, you know the thing that matters most in this sport? Results. He would have had two signature wins, including a victory over arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. So, yes, he would be — he would have that respect, and he would be thought of in that way. Even though there will be critics that look at him and see commonplace, ordinary, straightforward, thudding, bullying, not prettiest, not the most athletic, he would be that because the results deem him that.
So, yes, he wins this weekend, that’s what we will say of him and that’s what he will be.
Q. Bradley, I followed your career for a very long time. Thought you had a very wonderful career as a boxer and now commentator. In terms of for Jeff Horn, you know, you’ve kind of been in a similar situation with Manny Pacquiao how you had to prove that you belonged in the ring with him. Obviously you got that win in the first one and obviously had to prove that again with the next fight. Do you feel that Jeff Horn is going to be in a similar position even though he’s the champ, he’s going to have to show that he deserves respect? Because a lot of people thought that first Manny Pacquiao fight was controversial. Do you feel that he is in the same situation as you?
TIM BRADLEY: Absolutely. He’s in the same situation as I was similar. A lot of people felt that I didn’t win the first fight against Pacquiao, but I felt I did win the fight and everyone around me thought I won the fight.
But at the same time, Jeff Horn, he’s pretty new to me, in my opinion, to America. You know what I mean? Very known in Australia and everything and what he’s done by beating Manny Pacquiao, but he still has a lot to prove. He’s taken his step up fighting against like Tess said, the best American, number one, pound-for-pound in the game.
Now, he beats a guy like Terence Crawford, I mean, you know, this is a guy that needs to be respected. So, yes, he still needs to gain everyone’s respect by him coming to America to defend his title in Las Vegas, it shows you that he wants to be great. It shows you that he’s willing to take that challenge and that step up and wanting to be great.
So, absolutely. He needs to continue to prove himself. Just one fight doesn’t justify your career. It’s all the other fights in between as well. It’s the fight after he won the championship Against Manny Pacquiao, you know? It’s the next fight after this one, you know what I mean? That’s what defines your career. Not one fight.
MARK KRIEGEL: If Horn takes it as personally as Tim did, the lack of respect he got from beating Pacquiao, we’re in for a hell of a fight. If you look at how Tim reacts and how personal and the desperation with which he came out, not from winning but from not getting his respect, if Horn brings something like that, we’re in for a hell of a night.
JOE TESSITORE: I think there’s something also interesting with this fight in that we keep talking about how Jeff Horn wants to get the respect here stateside because of how the outcome was viewed by American fight fans. But let me tell you something about Jeff Horn, and we’re seeing it true already early on this week with now the promotion of this fight here in the U.S., as, Mark, I’m thrilled to see your feature piece, excellent feature pieces, leading off ESPN.com, and I’m sure will be read by so many mainstream sports fans, not just the endemic boxing fan. It’s an excellent piece I would recommend, especially our Australian friends, to get your hands on on ESPN.com, Mark Kriegel’s feature piece on Bud Crawford. But Jeff Horn, as much as he has not earned the respect of American fight fans, they are very aware of him. He’s notable. In fact, you could make a strong argument that more mainstream sports fans, non-boxing fans know exactly who Jeff Horn is than know many of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world, including American fighters like Errol Spence or Keith Thurman.
Because last year when he fought on Saturday night and the shift in the business of boxing, the paradigm shift happened, and that fight was on ESPN pre-TV compared to being stuck in the corner of Pay-Per-View the way it normally would be for a decade and a half of Manny Pacquiao, so many mainstream sports fans experienced Jeff Horn’s Rocky Balboa moment.
So there was buzz. All you have to say to somebody now is, hey, Jeff Horn, the guy who beat Pacquiao last summer is fighting Bud Crawford, they know instantly who Jeff Horn is. Respect, different story. Awareness, very high.
Canelo Defends Reputation at Presser
By: Jeandra Lebeauf
After weeks of speculation, the anticipated rematch between Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez and middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is off as a result of Alvarez testing positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol.
Photo Credit: Canelo Alvarez Twitter Account
Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez made the official announcement on Tuesday.
“Let me begin by informing all of you that at this point unfortunately we are going to have to cancel the May 5th rematch. As you all know there is a hearing date of April 18 and it’s extremely unlikely that this matter can be resolved by then properly. And obviously we need enough time to promote a fight of this magnitude.”
With Oscar De La Hoya at his side, Alvarez defended himself through a translator by reiterating that he is a clean fighter, having been tested over 90 times over a 12-year span, and that the positive test was the result of eating contaminated meat in his home country of Mexico.
“I am truly shocked about what has happened and for those who have doubts and suspicion about my integrity, I have always been and always be a clean fighter.
I want to apologize to HBO, Tecate and Hennessy and all my other sponsors, the media and to everyone who is involved in the promotion of this event, and especially to the fans. I respect this sport. I will always be a clean fighter.”
Despite pledging complete transparency during the course of the investigation, his attorney Ricardo Cestero limited the number of responses to media inquiries due to the pending investigation. Joining the panel was Dr. Miguel Angel Nazul of the Mexican Federation of Sports Medicine who says contaminated meat is a widespread problem throughout Jalisco, Mexico City and other areas.
Alvarez concluded the press meeting by describing the day he found out about the positive test and what he will do going forward to prevent positive testing.
“I got a call from Eric Gomez and he called me and I answered and he said I tested positive in some test and my first reaction was no, there has to be a mistake, something is wrong.”
“It saddens me people are accusing me of doing something improper. I am proud of the career I’ve had. From here on out, I will take precautions before future fights and make sure this never happens again.”
Deontay Wilder International Media Conference Call Postponed
The international media conference call for undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder has been postponed and will not take place today at 2:30 p.m. ET.
A new date for a media call with the heavyweight champion will be announced in the coming days. We apologize for any inconvenience.
In the meantime, see below for a statement from Deontay Wilder:
“First of all, I want to congratulate Anthony Joshua on his win last Saturday night. Anthony, I am so glad we finally heard from you on Saturday and that you want to fight me as your next opponent and you want the fight to happen in the UK.
“I accept that challenge and I am ready to come to the UK for my next fight. There is nothing on Team Wilder’s side to prevent me from fighting you next.
“You also said on Saturday that your team is ready to meet with Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon from my side to get this deal done. They are also ready to meet with your team immediately. Let us know when – the sooner the better.
“Thanks Anthony, I can’t wait to meet you in the ring.”
Anthony Joshua: “This Isn’t About Being A Fan Favorite”
By: Sean Crose
“Preparations’ gone really well,” Anthony Joshua claimed on a Wednesday conference call to promote his heavyweight title unifier against Joseph Parker on March 31st in Cardiff, Wales. “ I do believe a happy fighter makes a good fighter.” Joshua, the 20-0, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titlist, has good reason to be happy. He’s pretty much regarded as the king of the heavyweight division and has a superfight with Deontay Wilder around the corner, provided he bests Parker. The man’s also enormously popular.
“Two hundred and forty thousand fans,” promoter Eddie Hearn bragged in reference to stadium sized crowds Joshua has been packing in throughout Great Britain. “Over two and a half million UK pay per view buys. It’s been an incredible run.” For the time being, however, Team Joshua has made it clear the focus is on the 24-0 Parker. “I’m not the one overlooking Joseph Parker,” Joshua claimed, “and I’m not the one hooting and hollering on what’s happening next.” Hearn backed up his fighter’s assertion. “We never have to worry about Anthony’s focus,” the superpromoter claimed. And besides, “he’s not really into hype.”
What Joshua is into, however, is boxing. Listening to the man for just a few minutes’ time, one gets the impression that Joshua more than just competes as a fighter. He studies the sport objectively. For instance, his opinion of former foe Wladimir Klitshcko, who he feels was a bigger threat than Parker, is quite telling. “Wladimir was a phenomenal champion,” he claimed. “He was a great champion. Ten years on top. Phenomenal.” Joshua made it clear his 2017 fight with Klitschko was an incredible growing experience. “Everything I learned form that fight was a blessing,” he said.
Not that Joshua is underestimating New Zealand’s Parker. “Parker still possesses a threat,” Joshua claimed, “but he doesn’t have half the experience Wladimir had.” Parker brings his own set of experiences, though, something that Joshua noted. “He knows how to fight,” he said of Parker. “He’s traveled the world.” To Joshua, boxing is a most serious business. He made it obvious on Wednesday that one doesn’t dominate the heavyweight division with just “a right hand and a good chin.”
“We’re talking about balance,” he said. “We’re talking about footwork…being in range, being out of range…the jab.” To Joshua, boxing mastery entails an entire litany of subjects. “Everything,” he stated. “We’re talking about everything.” Now that he’s at the top of boxing’s pecking order, the fighter intends to make the most of it. “I just realize that this is my time,” he said. Perhaps surprisingly for someone as personable as he is, Joshua makes it clear that he’s in the business primarily for himself. “This isn’t about being a fan favorite,” he pointed out. “I’m here to handle my business the best way possible.”
Despite what Joshua may want, fans are dying to see him get in the ring with WBC titlist Deontay Wilder, something Joshua is aware of, though he admits he hasn’t “thought much about it.” Not that he wants to avoid the American knockout artist. “There’s no doubt in my mind that that fight will happen,” he said, “and there’s no doubt in my mind I’ll beat Wilder, as well.” So promising does Joshua’s career appear at the moment that UFC honcho Dana White reportedly wants in on the Joshua business.
“Listen,” Joshua said, “I’m riding with Eddie (Hearn)…I’m a boxer. I’m not into the UFC. I don’t know what their plans are.” Yet White needn’t fret. “I’m interested,” Joshua claimed, “because we can work together.” Not surprisingly, the titlist puts his faith Hearn when it comes to such matters. “I’m sure Eddie has an interest in working with Dana White,” he claimed. “We’re listening and, one hundred percent, if it makes sense, we’re all in.” Not that it’s foremost in Joshua’s mind right now.
“I’m wracking up wins,” he said. “It’s been going well. I’m not focusing on anything else, really.”
Wilder-Ortiz Square Off In Conference Call
By: Sean Crose
“I just had a scrumptious meal with some sweet tea,” WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder said during a recent conference call to promote his March 3’d battle with the undefeated Luis Ortiz. “I’m feeling good. I’m fixing to get ready to go spar and get this past week over and March 3 I’m coming to whip Luis Ortiz’ ass but I’m excited for this fight. I am so excited for this fight.” Wilder, the 39-0 knockout artist (only one fight, against Bermane Stiverne, went the distance) employed his outspoken personality, not only to sell the fight, but to sell himself as the top heavyweight in the world, as well.
“I am the best heavyweight champion, period,” he said, “and I’m willing to prove that not only to Luis Ortiz but to the world.” It’s clear that Wilder wants to separate himself from the current crop of contemporary fighters who are known as being of the safety first, low-risk/high reward variety. “I want people to get it in their mind that I could have ran from this fight,” the Alabama native claimed. “I could have chosen any opponent that I wanted to to fight on March the 3, especially when all the other stuff went about, I could have easily gone somewhere else but no, I’m adamant about what I say, I’m confident about what I’m going to do and I’m ready to prove it to the world. So I got the perfect opponent, it’s the perfect time, it’s the perfect place.”
Wilder and Ortiz, who will face off in New York City’s Barclay’s Center in the famed borough of Brooklyn, were supposed to be meet earlier, but Ortiz was popped for doping and the fight was stopped. Ortiz, who was nailed for doping previously, was cleared in this particular case, however, and so the fight was made once again. “He never been in there with a guy that won’t back down, won’t budge,” Wilder said of his opponent. “I can’t wait. I hope he’s sleeping good, too. I hope you’re getting all your minerals, your protein and you’re taking your medicine faithfully because March the 3rd it’s going to be a real fight. I’d like to welcome you to the real sport of boxing.”
The 28-0 Ortiz, however, had his own things to say. “Everybody that talks as much as Deontay loses,” he stated. “Brandon Rios just the other day was talking and talking and talking and talking against Danny Garcia and look what happened. None of this talk bothers me. He can talk all he wants. Deontay is trying to convince himself.” Ortiz was also clearly willing to be done with the doping matter. “It’s going to be a hell of a fight and somebody’s going to hit the canvas, he said. “While he (Wilder) keeps hyping himself and hyping himself and trying to believe in himself, it’s going to be a bad night for him. He’s talking about PEDs. I’ve taken seven tests in a month and a week, seven blood and urine tests for VADA and the New York Commission.”
One thing fans can most certainly expect on March 3d is for both men to enter the ring exuding supreme confidence. “There is nothing that man’s going to do to touch me where he’s going to hurt me,” said Wilder. “I’m going to walk through all that. I’m telling you. That’s nothing. I’ve seen his style many, many, many times. I’ve fought it coming-up in the amateurs. I’ve got a lot of Cuban friends. I know their style. Trust me. And I can’t wait. That’s why I do my talking. I talk my talk so I can walk my walk.”
“You’re in for a hell of a problem March 3,” Ortiz stated to his foe during the call.
Daniel Jacobs: “At The End Of The Day It’s About What You Do Inside The Ring.”
By: Sean Crose
Top middleweight Daniel Jacobs may be taking his November 11th opponent, Luis Arias, seriously as a foe. What Jacobs is not doing, however, is taking Arias seriously as a talker. “It is kind of hard to listen to him because he is trying to force you guys into believing something that does not exist or really is not there,” Jacobs said of Arias on a recent conference call. Still, Jacobs claimed he wasn’t shocked by Arias’ words, as Arias was once part of Floyd Mayweather’s stable of fighters.
Photo Credit Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing
“You have to realize that this guy is a former TMT (The Money Team) guy,” said Jacobs. “He is used to the brash talk.” There’s little doubt that the 18-0 Arias is at least talking a good game in the lead up for a bout most expect him to lose. “I’m going to rough him up,” he told me. “I’m going to be in his face all night.” Some might argue that’s not the best strategy to employ against a man with an over eighty percent knockout ratio, but Arias appears confident as his showdown with Jacobs at New York’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum approaches.
“I do think he’s over-rated,” he said, referring to Jacobs. “If you go and look at his record,” Arias went on to add, “there is nobody there that he beat.” British promoter Eddie Hearn, who has recently teamed up with Jacobs, wasn’t willing to sell Milwaukee’s Arias short. “Maybe I’m a little bit different,” Hearn claimed. “Maybe I’m too much of a fan – it the upset comes, the upset comes.” Not that there was any questions where the man’s loyalty could be found. “Of course Danny Jacobs is our guy,” he said, “and I want him to win but if Luis Arias goes out there and gets the victory – good on him.”
I asked Hearn if Jacob’s impressive performance against Gennady Golovkin at Madison Square Garden last winter had anything to do with his interest in the Brooklyn native. “Many felt that he won,” Hearn said of that fight. “You know that he’s on that level.” The promoter made it clear, though, that he was well aware of the cold, hard facts of the matter. “He (Jacobs) didn’t win (the Golovkin fight),” he stated, “and that’s the reality of it.”
Jacobs also came across as a practical man on the call. After admitting he’d like to knock Arias out, Jabobs went on to say that he “would be completely fine getting a decision.” A decision? Against a man he’s clearly supposed to be better than? “I’m a boxer puncher,” Jacobs explained, “and I love to box.” In fact, Jacobs is such a realist that he made it clear where he feels he stands in relation to Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, who Golovkin recently fought to a draw. “I know,” he said, “that even though these guys aren’t really fearful of me, right now I’m in a lose-lose situation with those guys because I am not technically a champion.”
“They know it’s not worth it to step in there with a guy like me,” Jacobs continued. “I’d rather continue to do my job, climb the ladder, get a title eventually and maybe chase these guys, but to fight me right now? I don’t see that happening.” And so, for the moment at least, there’s Arias. “My job is to continue what I’ve been doing,” said Jacobs. “I’m a professional and have to act accordingly and the goal is to get the job done and look impressive.”
Anthony Joshua: “You Kind Of Just Roll With The Punches.”
By: Sean Crose
“I would love to fight the great champions that the United States has produced,” heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua said on a recent conference call. “At the same time, I’ll fight anywhere. I’m fine staying in the UK, but America’s definitely at the top of the pyramid for sure.” England’s Joshua, who masterfully bested former longtime heavyweight king Wladimir Klitshcko at a packed Wembley Stadium last spring, is looking ahead to big things as the widely recognized top figure in his division. Still, the man has a fight this Saturday in Cardiff, Wales against the 35-3-1 Carlos Takam (Americans can watch the match live on Showtime).
It may not be a major bout, but the 19-0 (all by knockout) Joshua isn’t planning on underestimating his opponent. “You could put me with anyone,” he said. “What I’ve worked on in the gym and what I’ve built myself two of these last three months, I should be able to fight anyone.” Wilder was originally supposed to fight Kubrat Pulev, but Pulev stepped away due to an injury, opening the way for Takam. “I didn’t expect him to stand down the opportunity,” Joshua said of Pulev, “but I do understand that he wanted to be 100 percent.” Still, Joshua claims it isn’t easy for him to go from one opponent to another.
“It’s just switching up my mindset about the style of fight I’m going to engage in now,” he said. “That was the main disappointment.” Even though he’s focused on France’s (by way of Cameroon) Takam, it’s obvious Joshua has his eye on his American counterpart, one Deontay Wilder. “I say it’s definitely a potential for 2018,” Joshua said of a heavyweight superfight between himself and the 38-0 native of Alabama. “What else am I going to do in 2018 provided that I don’t have any mandatories?”
A Wilder fight appears to be more than just a matter of an open schedule for Joshua, who made it clear the matter of legacy is also involved. “I need Wilder to have a remarkable fight,” he said. “I need to be the one that steps up to make this dream a reality.” Joshua’s last bout, against Klitschko, was remarkable in its own right, with the fighter admitting that it was a learning experience. “When you watch,” he began, “a George Foreman and Ron Lyle kind of fight or an Ali and Foreman fight where a bit of their soul and spirit disappears, I always wondered how they were doing it and how they were taking those shots. You always question how, why, and what makes people do what they do. Until I went through it, I would always watch boxing but now I don’t just watch it, I understand it.”
Joshua made it clear, however, that he wasn’t feeling a sense of urgency when it came to facing Wilder. “There’s no time scale,” he said. “You kind of just roll with the punches.”
GGG: Canelo Fight “Is Special For Me. It’s Huge.”
By: Sean Crose
“It’s special for me,” Gennady “GGG” Golovkin said during a Wednesday conference call to promote his middleweight title showdown against Canelo Alvarez on September 16th. “It’s huge.” Indeed, his fight with Alvarez will be enormous, the biggest boxing event this side of Floyd and Conor. And team GGG made it clear on the call that it’s all been a long time coming. “We’ve had a terrible time getting people in the ring with him,” promoter Tom Loeffler said, adding later that “the other champions really weren’t willing to get in the ring with him.” Trainer Abel Sanchez claimed that landing the long awaited major fight with Canelo has had an impact on Golovkin.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
“There’s been a sparkle in his eye,” said Sanchez. “He’s been a little bit frustrated these last few years.” Sure enough, the long awaited fight with Canelo looked to be put off indefinitely, as fans salivated for a legitimate superfight between two decorated ring combatants. After besting Julio Caesar Chavez Junior last spring, however, Canelo – to his credit – finally announced (in the ring, with Golovkin present) that a fight between himself and the Kazakh warrior was a go. Now, with the biggest match of his life being only weeks away, Golovkin is clearly on a natural high. “A long time ago it was my dream to come to the United States,” he said. “Right now, my dream is real.”
For not only is Golovkin a known commodity among American fans of the sweet science, he’ll be facing Canelo at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas – the very Mecca of boxing. Surprisingly enough, this is the first time Golovkin will be in Las Vegas to fight. He’s made his mark in New York and California, but never in the neon city in the desert, where Canelo is known to fight to great fanfare. I asked him how he felt about most likely not being the fan favorite this time around. “In Vegas,” he said thoughtfully, “maybe the crowd will be for Canelo.” Yet Loeffler made it clear that fan bases can be localized entities. “In New York,” he explained, “ he (Golovkin) would be more popular than Canelo.” Sanchez also spoke on the issue as an Hispanic American, stating that “we just enjoy a good fight.”
It was clear that team GGG clearly feels a sense of satisfaction. It’s been a long haul and they now at least have the opportunity to shine on the largest scale imaginable. That’s true even in light of last week’s Mayweather-McGregor juggernaut, a fight which was brought up even on Wednesday’s call. Indeed, the fighter was asked what he thought of McGregor essentially accusing him of being boring. “McGregor,” said Golovkin, “he’s not a boxer.” Sanchez too had thoughts on the Irishman’s brash assertion. “I think, “ said the veteran trainer, “you have to consider the source.”
Mayweather-McGregor Post Fight Press Conference: “I wanted to Go Out With A Bang.”
By: Sean Crose
“I wanted to go out with a bang.”
So said Floyd Mayweather during the post fight press conference after besting Conor McGregor in the tenth round of their much ballyhooed boxing match. “Number forty nine wasn’t good enough,” the 50-0 fighter claimed. “Number forty-eight wasn’t good enough.” Here was a man who wanted to leave the ring in memorable fashion. “I told you I was going for the knockout” he said to the gathered media.
Photo Credit: USA Today
Mayweather was gracious regarding McGregor. “He was a hell of a fighter standing up,” he said, admitting the Irishman “kind of shocked me.” Mayweather still brought up McGregor’s dirty tactics throughout the bout, however. He also brought up McGregor’s notorious (no pun intended) big mouth. “Talking doesn’t win fights,” he said. “Fighting wins fights.” Mayweather went on to point out that he felt McGregor was wrong for complaining that referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight too soon. “The referee is thinking about your future,” he said.
One startling part of the press conference was when Mayweather admitted that he hadn’t trained as he previously had. “For the last month,” he claimed, “I didn’t do any sparring.” McGregor may be known for his confidence, but such a statement made it clear that Mayweather’s confidence is absolutely sublime. “I could have easily outboxed Conor McGregor,” he said matter of factly. “I felt I owed that (the stoppage) to the fans for the Pacquiao fight.”
It was clear Mayweather felt right at home in front of the media, but after a while, McGregor showed up and Mayweather graciously stepped away from the mic.
“To the podium,” he said. “I’d like to call up the notorious one, Conor McGregor.” The two men then hugged as McGregor stepped up to the podium with whiskey. Being gracious in his own right, McGregor gave credit to his conqueror. “I didn’t anticipate three game changes in the fight,” he admitted. “Much respect.” The gathered media subsequently applauded approvingly. “You’ve got to give your hat off to Floyd,” he said. “It was a bit of fun, right?” McGregor went on to ponder the differences between boxing and mixed martial arts, the sport he is most known for. “I don’t know what the fuck the difference was,” he said good naturedly, “but it’s different.”
Truth be told, McGregor seemed to be in a good place. He spoke of “dips” in his fights, where he runs out of gas, but he didn’t seem like a man who was broken internally. If anything, the guy is a student of life. “It was a great contest,” he claimed. “And it’s a lot of stuff I’ll take with me.” No doubt the man was telling the truth. “This was some buzz,” McGregor said in reference to Mayweather, “to come in and face this man.”
The two men embraced once more and posed for pictures, effectively ending the entire months long affair on a high note.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Final Mayweather-McGregor Press Conference: “Now It Comes Down To The Two Competitors.”
By: Sean Crose
“Now it comes down to the two competitors.”
So said Floyd Mayweather during Wednesday’s final press conference to promote his novelty boxing match with mma star Conor McGregor, which will go down Saturday night in Las Vegas. “That’s what it’s really about,” he added, “the best fighting the best.” Mayweather, dressed in a suit and sunglasses, was rather lowkey during what was actually a lowkey event (there auditorium was only partially filled – a great surprise). Indeed, even McGregor was somewhat subdued – for McGregor.
Photo Credit: USA Today
“I will break this old man,” the Irishman proclaimed, “I don’t see him lasting two rounds.” McGregor then went on to declare that Mayweather “messed up with them eight ounce gloves,” a reference to the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s unprofessional decision to allow eight ounce gloves to be used in Saturday’s bout, per Mayweather’s request. “I’m going to outbox his man at his own game,” the UFC star continued, “I’m gonna fuck this boy up.”
Although his words were sharp, the effect wasn’t the same for McGregor without his legion of screaming fans in attendance. Still, it was obvious the man has incredible self belief and sees himself as a rarity in the field of combat sports. “He’s not a quarter of the man I am,” he said of Mayweather, adding later that “ I think he has a big time gambling problem,” in response to a statement from someone in the media that Mayweather is betting heavily on himself this weekend.
Mayweather, on the other hand, completely switched gears from this summer’s tacky and loud international press tour to promote the bout. After thanking God and those who support him (including, of course, boxing guru Al Haymon), Mayweather actually moved on to complimenting McGregor. “Conor McGregor is like myself,” he said. “In the octagon he’s undefeated standing up.” He also claimed that “he’s a hell of a fighter,” adding that “ It’s not going to be an easy fight. It’s going to be blood sweat and tears Saturday.” Mayweather took note, though, of McGregor and others claiming that he wasn’t taking the bout seriously. “For you guys to think that Saturday I’m not taking it serious…,” he said, momentarily letting his words trail off.
The 49-0 legendary fighter had some pointed words, for his opponent as well. “He’s gonna bring his best,” Mayweather said of the Irishman, “and it’s not gonna be easy, Connor, it’s not gonna be easy.” The undefeated superstar went on to note his own ability to take a punch. “One thing about me,” he said, “I got a granite chin.” He then offered McGregor some final parting words. “The same way you give it,” Mayweather claimed, “you’ve got to be willing to take it. Remember this.”
Although the entire affair was subdued, there were indeed moments of ridiculousness. WBC honcho Mauricio Sulaiman Jr, for instance, announced to the world that a completely gaudy and undoubtedly expensive belt will be bestowed upon the winner of the fight. Why? Why knows. Also worth noting was the fact that McGregor showed up extremely late, so late that the relatively small and professional crowd waited in virtual silence for a while for the man to arrive. McGregor offered no apologies, however, opting instead to get into a foul mouthed jawing session with someone in attendance.
Yet there seemed to be a kind of mutual respect shown between the two men at the end of their protracted staredown (was that a short bow McGregor gave to his opponent?). Hey, top athletes can certainly show respect to one another. So can very rich ones.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Floyd Mayweather Media Call: “This Is My Last One”
By: Sean Crose
“This is my last one, ladies and gentleman.”
Photo Credit: USA Today
So said Floyd Mayweather during a Thursday call to promote his August 26th superfight against UFC superstar Conor McGregor. “I gave my word to Al Haymon,” he added, “I gave my word to my children…I’m going to stick to my word.” At least some on the call (it seemed like more) didn’t appear to want to talk about the fight itself. Floyd’s legacy, for instance, was important to one of the reporters who spoke. Racism, not surprisingly, is what obviously interested the caller from the New York Times. Floyd, however, remained the same laid back guy he has largely been with the media in recent years.
“I haven’t had time to focus on anything but this event,” he claimed, which anyone who has closely followed Mayweather knows is most likely true. Yet Mayweather also made it clear that he was as serenely confident as ever. “I’m not really worried about the outcome,” he said, referring to the match itself. Floyd, however, was still Floyd, no matter how over the hill he wants to come across to the media these days. When asked about his early struggle to make it as a star, for instance, the 49-0 slickster suddenly came alive.
“Floyd Mayweather has never been struggling,” he asserted. “Me and (boxing guru) Al Haymon joined forces.” When asked about the notorious Paulie Malignaggi – Conor McGregor sparring session the public has seen clips of, Mayweather also made it clear that he found McGreggor to be a dirty fighter. “A lot of shots were illegal,” he noted. When queried as to whether he was worried about McGregor fighting dirty when they meet in the ring, though, Mayweather stated that he’s “pretty sure the referee is going to be fair on both sides.”
Truth be told, Mayweather is always interesting to listen to speak. Love him or hate him, he’s an fascinating individual. If McGregor rides on overdrive with the media, Mayweather likes to sprinkle his talks with interesting asides. For every boast (“My real estate portfolio is truly amazing.”) there’s something telling about the man that’s offered. Like the fact that he refuses to watch his own fights. “When I look at them,” Mayweather said, “I’m like I could have done this better I could have done that better.” There’s also his interesting take on Rocky Marciano, the man whose 49-0 record most assume Mayweather will best in a week from Saturday.
“Rocky Marciano is a legend,” he claimed. “Rocky Marciano did it his way. I just want to do it the Mayweather way.”
One interesting side note:
No one – not a single person – asked Mayweather why he chose a man who has never had a boxing match in his life as his supposed last opponent. Perhaps those who spoke already had asked that question previously. Or perhaps those who were allowed to ask questions didn’t think it was important.
Or perhaps they simply didn’t want to hear the answer.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor Media Call: “We Are Prepared For Every Possible Outcome.”
By: Sean Crose
It’s doubtful he’d ever admit it, but Conor McGregor is different on a conference call than he is when all eyes are on him. The McGregor who spoke to the media on a Wednesday call was polite, smart…and actually somewhat likable. Incredible, I know, but true. While it’s a fact the smack talk of lore was still evident (“I don’t not see him absorbing the blows in the first few rounds…I’m ready to put him away in the first ten seconds”) the McGregor of Wednesday was most distinctly not the same man seen strutting about the outrageous press tour of several weeks ago. With his August 26th megabout with Floyd Mayweather less than two weeks away, the McGregor of Wednesday came across often enough as thoughtful and at ease.
Photo Credit: USA Today
With that in mind, it was still clear McGregor is something of strange man. “It is what it is,” he said in regards to Bud Crawford and others making fun of his training methods online. “It’s lighthearted and I don’t take it personal.” Then, however, McGregor went on a tangent about why his way of doing things is legitimate, replete with some anger against his antagonists. There was little doubt, however, that McGregor is taking Mayweather seriously. “It is what it is,” he once again claimed (it was clearly a favorite phrase of his) of the fact that many in the boxing world are essentially writing him off. “I use it as motivation…but, at the same time, I get it.” McGregor went on to speak of “earning my respect in this game (boxing) also.”
As for training camp, the Irish UFC star made it clear he’s feeling confident as fight week closes in. “We’ve had one hell of a camp,” he said, “now we are closing in on the weight cutting phase.” McGregor was also obviously aware of the differences between boxing and mixed martial arts, the sport which has made him famous. “You’ve got to factor in there’s not as much grappling,” he said of boxing. “We’ve stretched it (his preparation) out to accommodate the twelve three minute rounds.” Things got a bit awkward when the New York Times acted the part of the New York Times by bringing up the race issue. “It’s give and take here,” McGregor claimed in response to the accusation he can get away with things Mayweather can’t. “I’ve been given my fair share of hate and my fair share of love also.”
There was, however, one particularly odd statement that came from McGregor’s mouth, one that made this author take note. “We are prepared,” McGregor claimed, “for every possible outcome.” Was McGregor, the very picture of confidence, showing a bit of uncertainty – even unintentionally so? Or was it all just a slip of the tongue, an off way of putting things, something that might be misinterpreted?
That’s something only that perhaps only Conor McGregor knows
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Mayweather: “I’m not going to get involved…if I think I’m going to take a loss.”
By: Sean Crose
“I’m not going to get involved in anything if I think I’m going to take a loss.”
Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime
So said Floyd Mayweather at Thursday’s Media Day at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas. The event was, of course, to help Mayweather promote his fight with UFC superstar Conor McGregor. Mayweather held court as always. Indeed, the man seemed to revert to the more laid back demeanor he’d been showcasing over the last several years. Gone was the ugly trash talk of the endless press tour. This Mayweather, the one who acts like a professional and an adult, spoke of helping young fighters, of training and of aging. “I think it’s more rest,” he said, referring to training in his forties. “I can train two or three days, but let the body rest a couple of days.”
The 49-0 pound for pound great also spoke of his public persona. “I decided to go to the other side,” he claimed, referring to the fact that he chose not to portray himself as an all American hero. Indeed, Mayweather was to point out Thursday that McGregor himself has been taking a page out of the Mayweather playbook, a point that’s hard to argue, as the Irishman loves to present himself as a materialistic villain. Mayweather, however, also made it clear that he wasn’t taking the mixed martial artist lightly. “I can’t overlook any opponent,” he said. Sure enough, Mayweather later claimed he’s been studying his foe in preparation for their August 26th throwdown. “Even right now,” he said, “I know how much Conor McGregor’s down to – his weight.”
A very overlooked aspect of Mayweather is the fact that he’s one of the smartest athletes in the world. Illiteracy rumors aside, the man knows everything he needs to in order to be successful. A study of the man in interview’s like Thursday’s shows someone who is quick and funny when need be – but also deliberate and willfully cool under pressure. Not just anyone can possess such traits. Which, of course, brings us back to the comment about avoiding anything that will lead to a loss. Was Mayweather giving away the show? Was it a rare slip? Or perhaps something more? “I’m going to tell the people what I truly believe,” he said after his notable statement.
Whether he thinks he stands a chance of losing or not, however, Maywether made sure to try to sell what many believe will be a one sided fight. “A fighter’s a fighter,” he said of McGregor. “We’re both confident in our skills. We’ll just have to see.” The man said something else rather telling during the course of the Q@A. Asked what he would think if the fight went twelve rounds, Mayweather made it clear it would reflect poorly. “It is a victory for him,” he said, referring to the possibility of McGregor going the distance. We’ll see if Mayweather says the same thing after the fight. The guy has a knack of winning by decision, after all. “August 26th, after the fight is over, everybody’s going to be happy,” he said.
That may or may not be true. There are two individuals out there, though, who are definitely going to be rich.