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Joshua vs. Ruiz Undercard Fighters Press Conference Recap


By: Hans Themistode

This Saturday night on June 1st, Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) will look to defend his Heavyweight titles against Andy Ruiz Jr (32-1, 21 KOs) in Madison Square Garden. Although these two are receiving the lions share of the publicity, this won’t be the only great fight taking place that night as the undercard is filled with intriguing matchups.

WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) returns to the ring after more than eight months off to take on Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (37-3, 21 KOs). For Smith, it will be his first time in the ring since winning the World Boxing Super Series. Smith is more than eager to prove his worth against N’Dam.

“N’Dam is a really good fighter. He’s only been beaten by the top fighters. I feel as though I am the best Super Middleweight in the world and that should be more than enough to beat N’Dam and in spectacular fashion.”

N’Dam is trying to build off of the upset he pulled off in his last contest when he defeated Martin Murray. This will be his first fight at Super Middleweight, but that doesn’t seem to bother him in anyway.

“Fighting at Super Middleweight won’t be a problem for me at all. Also I am very familiar with the fighting style of Callum because we have worked together on several occasions. I will be fully prepared come fight night to achieve my goals.”

Callum Smith and Hassan N’Dam wont be the only championship fight taking place on the undercard. WBA, WBO and IBF Lightweight world champion Katie Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) will be looking to add the WBC Lightweight title to her collection when she takes on current champion Delfine Persoon (43-1, 18 KOs). To make this contest even more significant, the ring magazine title will be on thee line as well.

During Taylor’s short career she has been flat out dominant. Her contest against Persoon however, will be her toughest yet.

“Persoon is a great champion. She will by far be the toughest challegne of my career. I have had a really good training camp and I will be fully prepared. It wont be easy but I believe I will be able to get it done.”

The stakes are high for these undercard fighters. They have opportunity to be seen on the biggest stage of their careers. Expect them all to attempt to steal the show come Saturday night.

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Wilder vs. Breazeale Media Call Transcript


Thanks everybody for joining us. We have an exciting fight to talk about, certainly one of the biggest fights of the year.

Wilder vs. Breazeale is Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME. It’s the heavyweight championship of the world. It is at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING and it’s presented by Premier Boxing Championships. Tickets for the BombZquad event are available through Ticketmaster, barclayscenter.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.

Now I’m going to introduce Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming for Showtime Networks to make introductory comments. Stephen.

Stephen Espinoza

Thanks very much, Kelly. We are thrilled to be presenting Wilder vs. Breazeale on SHOWTIME a week from Saturday. Before we get there we are committed to this fight as if it were a pay-per-view because we believe that that’s where Deontay is in his career and this is the level of promotion that a fight of this caliber deserves.

So we will be premiering ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE on Friday, May 10th at 10 p.m. Following that will be a three-fight ShoBox telecast featuring Ruben Villa in the main event.

And those of you who know me know that I’m also a hip-hop music fan so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Wu-Tang documentary, “Of Mics and Men,” that’s premiering tomorrow. So it’s a big lineup tomorrow night on SHOWTIME – 9 p.m. is the Wu-Tang documentary followed by ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE at 10 p.m. and then ShoBox at 10:30.

Next week ALL ACCESS will be active a daily basis debuting new short form episodes every day during fight week. Then we get to the fight itself. Look, I’m not going to give you too much about this.

You have two s6-foot-s7 heavyweights with a combined 90% knockout ratio so you really don’t have to sell too much on this one. Since 2015, SHOWTIME has featured 14 heavyweight world title fights.. We are happy to see the resurgence of the heavyweight division. We’re proud for our role in it. No other network has been as committed to the heavyweight division and no other network has done more to bring about this resurgence.

So we are thrilled to be seeing the heavyweights back on this massive stage once again. As I mentioned combined record of these two fighters, 60 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw, 57 KOs. That is a knockout rate over 90%.

Deontay Wilder, obviously he’s coming off two of his most exciting and certainly career-defining performances – a Fight of the Year caliber fight against Luis Ortiz in March of 2018 and then his pay-per-view debut against Tyson Fury.

Those were two of the most exciting heavyweight fights that we’ve seen in quite some time. In Dominic Breazeale, Wilder will be facing a tall, strong, experienced and very motivated opponent.

At 6-foot-7, Dominic is one of the few heavyweights in the division who looks eye to eye with Deontay so that will be a different experience. With 18 KO victories in 21 professional fights, he has been on the world stage before taking on Anthony Joshua in the U.K.

And it’s no secret that there’s a personal rivalry from these two guys so there is no shortage of motivation. All in all we’re looking forward to this three fight card. Again, ALL ACCESS: WILDER vs. BREAZEALE will kick it off Friday at 10 p.m. followed by ShoBox and we will see all of you a week from Saturday in Brooklyn.

K. Swanson

Thanks Stephen. And yes, now we are going to turn to “Trouble” himself, Dominic “Trouble Breazeale”. He’s 20 and 1, with 18 knockouts. He’s a WBC mandatory challenger. He’s a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Glendale, California.

For this fight it’s his first fight training with Virgil Hunter in the Bay area. He previously challenged Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title in 2016 and he won his last three fights by knockout.

So without further ado, we’d love to hear from you Dominic and if you’d like to make opening comments before we open it up the press and just let us know how things are going and your thoughts on the fight a week from Saturday:

Dominic Breazeale

Thank you Kelly. Camp is going great up here in the Bay Area. Virgil Hunter’s done a great job of putting things in and implementing my game plan going into this fight May 18.

I’m definitely excited to be fighting on the world stage again for the WBC title. May 18 is going to be an explosive night. You’ve got two knockout artists, two big six-foot-seven guys.

I’m super excited to be involved with the event. I’m super excited to get a big KO win May 18. Like I said, the body feels great. Camp has gone up and beyond what I expected it to be.

I’m super ready. I can’t wait to get on this plane and get to New York and get this started.

Q

Deontay Wilder has turned out to be a pretty good heavyweight champion. What makes you think you can beat him?

D. Breazeale

Your opinion on him being a pretty good heavyweight champion, that’s your opinion alone. I don’t think anyone else agrees with you on that one. But I don’t see any fundamental skills. I don’t see any successes on his part.

He’s been champion for about four years. He hasn’t grown. He hasn’t changed. Yes, he’s got a big right-hand but don’t we all in the heavyweight division? We all have knockout power.

So I think I’m walking into a fight where I’m the more skilled, more athletic and bigger, stronger guy.

Q

You’re training with Virgil Hunter now. What has he brought to the table for you?

D. Breazeale

A little bit of everything. don’t see how I’ve come this far in my career, ten years of boxing now and haven’t learned some of the fundamental basics that he’s used to restructure me.

Yes, they’ve always been there but with this new approach training he was able to bring a lot more out in my fundamentals as far as when I use my jab and how I use it and other things that we plan on using in our game plan on May 18.

Q

How badly would you like a knockout in this specific fight given all the animosity that’s been going on between yourself and Wilder that stems back to your issues a couple of years ago in Birmingham?

D. Breazeale

Going into every fight is probably the biggest fight of your life. And I’m always looking for a huge knockout, something to impress the fans and impress the boxing community.

At the same time, I’m never looking for it. I’m never trying to surge and try too hard to get the knockout. I always let it come. But this one, it’s going to be a lot better success. It’s going to be a lot better sleeping May 18 the night after I win the title, if I get a knockout.

Don’t get me wrong. A win’s a win but at the same time I want to impress the world. I want to impress the boxing community with a big knockout. When I say big knockout one where my right hand, my left hand is going to make contact and he goes out. Doesn’t get back up.

Q

So what would be the personal satisfaction on that besides just the great accomplishment to win the heavyweight belt?

D. Breazeale

The personal thing from the outside of the ring makes the revenge factor. You approach myself and my wife and kids in a situation that was not boxing related.

The gratification and the fact that my personal revenge, knocking out Deontay Wilder is a lot bigger than just an actual win or KO on any other given night.

Q

How do you think that you can stand-up to his right hand, if Anthony Joshua was able to get you?

D. Breazeale

I’ve grown a lot in the last few years. The Joshua fight was an eye opener. It was good experience. I learned then that I was standing there a lot more and taking some damage that I didn’t need to take because of the big guy that I am.

As I said earlier, Wilder’s got a big right hand but so do I and I’ve got a big left hook. In the heavyweight division if you don’t have knockout power, you’ve got no reason to be in the division.

So yes, Wilder’s going to throw some leather and make some contact by all means. Boxing, it’s all about hitting and not getting hit. I don’t plan on getting hit a lot May 18 and if I do, I’ve been there. I’ve done that before.

At the same time I plan on putting on all the punishment. And if the right hand comes, so be it. I’ll deal with it. It’s part of boxing.

Q

We want to see the heavyweight champions fight each other. What is your statement on that as far as the way that people look at the heavyweight division right now?

D. Breazeale

I don’t disagree with you or the boxing fans just because I’m a boxing fan myself. Of course you always want to see the title holders fight each other.

But right now I think those five names you mentioned, myself, Andy Ruiz, Tyson Fury, Wilder and Joshua, we are the top of the division and the fans are getting exposed to what they want to see. They’re getting exposed to a heavyweight fight.

When I fight Wilder May 18 it’s not going to be boring. It’s going to be action packed. It’s going to be big punch after big punch. And the thing with Joshua and Andy Ruiz, I’m excited to be part of the division. I’m excited to be where I am now standing. I’m also super excited to be the spoiler.

Wilder’s had a great deal on the table, whenever he was working with Joshua and I think he should have taken it because come May 18, I’m going to ruin everything.

I’m going to put my name in that hat with Joshua and I definitely want my revenge against Joshua so we’re going to make some things up in the near future. My way to do that is to get my WBC title and that’s what I plan on doing.

Q

You think that fight against Carlos Negron might have knocked off some ring rust and maybe helped you prepare for the fight against Deontay Wilder?

D. Breazeale

Yes, anytime you have a little bit of layoff, a little bit of ring rust you don’t want that of course but I was glad I was able to do it December 22 against Carlos Negron.

I’m happy to be getting in the ring as soon as I am now for the WBC title shot. There wasn’t a long layoff between me in the ring December 22, taking a couple of days off for Christmas and New Years and getting right back in the gym in January.

So I think like I said earlier, I’ve had a great camp. I’ve had a lot less layoff than in the past and all cylinders are firing.

Q

Was it tough having to wait before you knew you would get that opportunity to face Deontay?

D. Breazeale

Yes, definitely tough. I won the WBC title eliminator against Eric Molina and then to be told that it’s going to be sometime, six months, seven months which turned into I think almost about a year.

That was very tough because I’m one of the guys who stayed in the gym. I’m sparing every other day or sparing once a week. I’m always in the gym and I’m always working. Sometimes that can take a toll on you.

But fortunately in my favor it worked out great. I got another fight against Carlos Negron and attended the WBC mandatory and here a year and a half later getting ready to fight for a world title. In a sense, it kept me motivated. It kept me working.

Q

What did you think of Deontay’s performance against Tyson Fury? Did watching that fight kind of give you a better idea of what you need to do to beat Deontay Wilder?

D. Breazeale

Yes, definitely. It gave me some better things to be focusing on and to hone in on at the same time. I was there in person.

I thought Fury won that fight. I know he got knocked down a couple of times but as far as the boxing, the world looks at him how he scored in a boxing match. Tyson outscored Wilder that night and won that fight.

Fury did some good things. He had some great defensive movements. He did some good attacks as well as counter punching. On the other hand, Wilder did the same thing over and over like he’s done in his last four, five fights – over the last four or five years is throw the one, two and hopefully hope and pray that the right hand lands eventually.

There were some things that I learned from the fight as well as some things I’ve continuously seen over and over, time and time again.

Q

What were your thoughts when you got found by Michael King?

D. Breazeale

The idea first came across in a phone call. Joe Onowar, he called me, he was the recruiter at the time. I completely thought he was crazy.

`There was no way in hell that I was going to pick up boxing at 23 years old after I’d done football, basketball, track, baseball, hockey, wrestling – all that as a kid. Never stepped foot into a boxing ring, then to pick it up as a sport at 23 years old when I was at the end of my career.

Honestly at the time I thought it was a real dumb idea but three months into it after I had my first amateur fight and 18 months later when I became a 2012 Olympian and now 10 years later now I’m fighting for the WBC World Title, I think Michael King was the smartest man on the planet.

For me to be the one that came out the man on top is special, there were hundreds of athletes that came to the door. I feel like the idea of turning a Division One athlete into a professional boxer. It was crazy then ten years ago but now, I think it’s a great phenomenal idea.

Q

Even Jim Brown thought that with a couple months of training he could fight Muhammad Ali. Why is it that football players have this idea that hey, if I’m good at football I can be just as good at boxing?

D. Breazeale

I think the idea of the contact was that thinking that I’m a big man. I’m aggressive. I’m powerful, that type of thing. In the football world you’d think of the defensive ends, the linebackers, the running backs, the left tackle, the guys that have the most contact on the football field would be the biggest, baddest guy in the boxing ring. Not true.

Here you are, you’re talking to a quarterback who usually takes all the damage and they always want to put a yellow jersey or a pink jersey on during practice and don’t touch the quarterback type of deal. The tables are turned and I’m actually the aggressor and I’m the knockout puncher now.

The guys in the football world believe that because they can hit somebody with their shoulder or they can make the big tackle that they can throw some gloves on and throw their lives in the ring. It’s a different story man.

And like Mike Tyson said it best. Everybody has a game plan so they get punched in the mouth.

Q

When you were quarterbacking at Northern Colorado, if you had gotten some feedback from

NFL people that you might have been a draftee in the top three rounds, would you have even entertained Mr. King’s offer to go into boxing?

D. Breazeale

No, not at all. Actually that was be the scenario. I was actually pursuing the NFL. Things didn’t pan out the way I wanted them to. And it turned out that Michael King was still there when the NFL door closed so that’s why I began to venture into the boxing world.

To tell you the truth, I actually started boxing to stay in shape for football camps but soon those doors closed and boxing was the only thing I had. And I’m grateful for it now. God’s put boxing into my life and it’s been a blessing in disguise.

Q

Did you ever doubt you would get back into the title picture and what does it mean now to get another chance at the heavyweight title?

D. Breazeale

Yes, going into depression sometimes and things like that. I’m a pretty positive, optimistic type of guy. My way of bouncing back from that title shot against Joshua was to study the film day in and day out.

I watched it round after round, minute after minute. I watched it in silence. I watched it with people. I watched it without people. And I guess I can say that the quarterback background in me kind of studying. And I wanted to see everything that I did wrong.

I didn’t want to see anything I did right because I understood there were things that were done right but there were a lot more things that were done wrong. I wanted to capitalize on my mistakes.

That’s what I did at the time. Me and my trainer Manny Robles went back to California and kind of restructured my boxing skills and they grew. And lucky enough that we were fortunate enough to have three big KO wins and here we are back again fighting for the world title.

I’m looking forward. I learned a lot more from that one loss than I learned from all my wins in my whole boxing career and amateur career. So that one lifetime experience in the summer of 2016 against Joshua was a lot bigger for my boxing career than anything could have been.

Q

Do you see the incident that happened with Wilder as motivation right now or do you want to get beyond that so you’ll be able to fight as clearly as possible when you face Wilder on the 18th?

D. Breazeale

It’s been the biggest motivational tool in this last camp. It’s the one thing that gets me up early in the morning to run. It’s the thing that gets me through the 10th and 11th and 12th round of sparring. It’s the idea of I want to achieve and stay focused.

It’s definitely been a huge motivator for camp. I think I’m going to close here pretty soon, the week of the fight. It’s more or less going to be the mental idea that I’m going into a heavyweight title fight to perform my best, to fulfill my best.

I’m not going to take any of that emotion or craziness into the fight because if you do that you’ve already lost the battle.

K. Swanson

Okay, great. That’s our last question for you Dominic. We really appreciate you taking the time as you finish up your training today to be on this call. Dominic, any last words?

D. Breazeale

Thank you Kelly. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I appreciate you all having me. I’m looking forward to having an explosive firework night on May 18. The fight week is going to be great.

I’m feeling great. Looking forward to travelling and can’t wait to get started Saturday night.

K. Swanson

At this time, I want to introduce everybody to the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World, none other than Deontay Wilder.

He is 40 and 0 with one draw and he has 39 knockouts. Representing his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, he’ll be looking to make the ninth defense of his heavyweight title that he won back in January 2015.

In 2018 he had two of the most exciting and memorable fights of the year. He defeated then unbeaten Luis Ortiz in March knocking him out in the tenth round of a back and forth war.

Then in December he dropped Tyson Fury twice, including in the 12th round of their clash that eventually ended in a split draw. This Saturday, May 18 he will be defending his title for the fourth time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and he has had knockouts in all three of his previous defenses there.

Also joining him on the line is Shelly Finkel, for any questions you might have for him. I’d like to introduce none other than the Heavyweight Champ of the World, Deontay Wilder to make his opening comments before we open it up to the press.

D. Wilder

Hello guys. How you guys doing? Thank you guys for coming along. What can I say that I haven’t already said? I’m excited about May 18. It’s been a long camp. It’s been a hard camp. It’s also been a fun camp. Very interesting as well too.

I broke myself back down to the basics and I’ve invested in myself more than I’ve ever done in my career thus far. It’s crazy this opponent has allowed me to break myself down and get back to the basics because I’ve already stated what I want to do.

I’m going to do what I said I was going to do just like I do all the time. With this particular fight I’m going to make sure I do it in the worst way possible.

That’s why I decided to break myself down and I decided to invest in myself so I make sure I do exactly what I said that I would do in intense fashion, in a painful way and on an elite level. So I’d like to welcome Breazeale to the elite level.

He’s never been in this level before. He thought he did with Joshua but Deontay Wilder is a whole different beast. I come with a whole different mindset. And we already know that I come with the right hand from hell.

Q

Can you maybe tell us some of the things that you did in camp that were different from before?

D. Wilder

Well like I said, I’ll start with a simple thing. I started back jump-roping. I started back doing a lot of speed bags, a lot of different things on the heavy bags.

Most of the time my camps, there’s sparring with the mitts and that’s through all of them. If you go into other camps you’ll see them hitting everything in the gym but not hard. I get away with so much because I know my true ability and my training. A lot of these guys, they only look for one particular thing and that’s the right hand. That’s where they go wrong because I have so many different attributes about myself.

I’m athletic. I’m agile. I’m mobile. I’m hostile. I’ve got the heart of a lion. I am a king. I’ve purchased a lot of different equipment to enhance my body and to perform, like a Jacuzzi and strength training equipment.

I’ve got the top of the line Jacuzzi for therapy, different things like that. My home, in my basement I attempted to put a full gym, a personal gym, a real nice one. And it’s been amazing. 24 hours of training.

I had got to the point where I had to stop training so hard. My doctor advised me not to train so hard because it always kept me up. I went off to the gym and then I’d come home. And then when you have a gym at the house it’s like and you’ve got a fight coming up, it’s non-stop thinking.

So if you’re thinking about the fight, your body is going to react and so you go downstairs and start working out or start hitting the bag or start doing a lot of things. I’ve got massage table here and I’ve got a lot of different things here that I never thought about doing before.

But now, like I said, I want to bring the pain. I want to do so much damage to this guy that he’s allowed me to invest in myself, something I should have done a long time ago. But it’s never too late for new things and for me it just relit my career.

It relit the interest in boxing. I’ve been through so much in this sport ups and downs. And it took all this time. It took this motivation right here. It’s paid off outside of the ring

Everything I say I mean. And I do what I say. And that’s what makes me who I am. I’m the realest champion in the business and that’s where I am at this point.

Q

Deontay, what convinced you to make these changes? Is there any one thing that made you do that or is it a combination of things?

D. Wilder

I owe it all to Breazeale. I owe it all to him.

Like I said, I’m coming to bring the pain. If you don’t understand that, you’ll see. My actions speak louder than my words. I’m not one of these guys that just talks just to hear myself talk or who’s cloud chasing or just to say some stuff, because I am who I am.

I don’t waste my time. I’ve always been like that. This hasn’t just started because I’ve gotten into boxing. I became a champion.

Anyone that’s grown with me, anyone that’s been around me will tell you when Deontay’s speaking and saying something, even my managers and my trainers, they all will tell you when this guy speaks he means it. He don’t say nothing just to say it. Like he really means it.

And the thing is that when I’m outside of this ring, a man comes to my city and starts chaos like that and then telling a bogus story, try to sell sympathy and wants people to show sympathy and remorse. I don’t like that.

I don’t like that at all. He’s like one of these guys that will come into your establishment and waste water on the floor and slip on it just to sue you. What goes around comes around.

This May 18, it will be my time. It’s punishment time. It’s judgement time. And I am the judge.

Q

You’ve long been a critic of the epidemic of PED’s in boxing. It obviously came to the forefront with this Jarrell Miller and Anthony Joshua situation. What went through your mind when you see a guy fail three tests?

D. Wilder

Where do I start with it? I’ve always told people about Jarrell Miller. I’ve always said certain things. I know a lot of things about a lot of fighters, because I know the people that I’ve fought.

Like they tell me, the doctors tell me. They’re not my friend. I’m just here for the business. And that sounds about right. I give out subliminal messages. I’m not a rat. I don’t go around and call names out and stuff. But I’ve been saying a lot of things.

One particular time I said something about Jarrell Miller. I said, you better stop doing this, this and this. Somebody put out the video before. Finally, when things happened, people were saying, hey Wilder’s been saying that.

Yes, I’ve been saying that. Why can’t you believe me in the first place? I’m one of these types of people that people don’t believe things I say happened, which is okay because it’s too late.

Another thing about the situation. There’s so many things you can say about the situation. I’m just tired of talking about it so I’ll leave it as this. I’m always talking about what can happen in the ring. This sport, you know, killing a man in the ring.

This boxing is so dangerous, so brutal. When you get these guys on these PEDs and stuff like that, this is what they’re going to do.

Like I’m natural. I’m natural so I feel like I have the right to speak my peace because I am the one that’s entering the ring. I am the one and my opponent’s the one that’s risking their life.

But when you’re getting guys that are doing PEDs and asking their bodies to do things they’re not supposed to do – no one really just criticizes. Even with the organizations, when is there going to be a time when somebody puts their foot down and shows somebody?

There’s so much stuff you can say with that man. Like I said, it is what it is. It’s a brutal sport that we’re in and I love it. I love it. I signed up so I’ve got to suffer the consequences and deal with everything that comes behind it and I’m here.

Q

Dominic said that he doesn’t think anybody would agree with me that you’ve become a pretty good world champion. What are your thoughts on that?

D. Wilder

I mean that was what every opponent I’ve faced has said. Every one of them. If it’s been ten years, then for ten years they’ve been spewing the same thing for ten years – what have I been doing?

I’m still here. I’m still a champion. It’s different when you get in the ring with me then. Any guy that has gotten in the ring with me or that gets in the ring with me – when I say gets in the ring I mean a sparring partner.

The guys that have gotten in the ring with me, being future opponents, they will tell you, this man is not what you think he is. But it’s good that people think that way.

People are simple minded, people like him think that way because when you enter into that ring and you feel that first blow, you know that you’re in for a fight. My mindset is different. My mindset is so big that a spaceship can fit in it.

I am here for the long run. This is not a short run for me. I’m here for a generational one. I’m betting on myself. I’m taking control of my career in my own hands because I am the talent. I know what I possess. A lot of these guys wish they had what I have. That’s just an easy way to cop out. For ten years this is what he’s been doing with his right hand.

We’re going to find out and it’s not going to be long now either. He’s going to find out. So he’s going to realize that he’s never been in a ring with a guy like myself. He’s fought for the world title before and it seemed like he didn’t belong there in the first place.

Now he’s in there with a real killer. A real one who speaks that speaks his peace and I mean what I say. Nobody’s going to stop me. I mean what I say and I say what I mean and come the 18th he’s going to find out.

This guy is very nervous. I know everything that he wants to do. I know it all. And he should be nervous because I don’t mean no good for him. All bad intentions. If you’re a first time viewer of boxing, I don’t know, it depends on how you feel about seeing a body on the ground or seeing blood on somebody. You’re going to be in for a treat.

I hope you stick around for the next one and the next one to come because I’m the most exciting heavyweight in the business, period. Period. There’s no one that’s more exciting that brings the pain and that brings the drama as I. And I can speak it.

A lot of you guys, you know who want to be kind and soft and want to be politically correct and want to talk tough. No, I’ll tell you what I feel in the moment of time. I feel the energy in the room. I feel the energy in myself and I release that.

I tell you how it is and when the time comes for me to display that I do that as well and I do it in a great fashion.

Q

Is there any kind of competition within you to want to show the boxing public or the fans that you Joshua and Fury are all fighting within a 30 day period roughly and you want to be the one to show as the best performance of those three to sort of let people continue to gauge you against each other?

D. Wilder

I never even thought about that. Nor will I think about it after this conversation because I know what I possess. I know who I am and as you can see, I’m the most exciting out of all of those guys.

These guys don’t bring the excitement that I bring. Tyson Fury’s the most boring one of all or of us. So I think I just continue to do what I do and do what I do best and that’s knock these guys out silly. I’m not in competition with none of them.

They’re great guys. They’re great fighters themselves and I expect them to be themselves. Don’t add no pressure onto it. Do what you all do. And Deontay Wilder’s going to do what he does.

Q

How do you explain to the public why those fights are not happening at the moment?

D. Wilder

Well it’s simple. If they took the time and took a deep breath and sat back and reflected on their past and what has happened there. I know we’re in the present right now and the future’s bright as well too.

But if you look back in the past and sit back and see what Deontay has already tried to do to him and his team has tried to do, let’s start out with Fury first. With Fury since Fury felt like everyone got that perspective of him beating me from the commentary.

When you get new people come in, they don’t know what they’re looking at. They don’t’ know what’s going on so they’re going to look for the so-called experts of the sport and listen to them.

So let’s start from there. They carry away with that. So if I’m a fighter and I’m thinking, hey, I beat his ass, my first reaction is, I want an immediate rematch. I feel like they got that wrong.

You want an immediate reaction rematch because you know the second rematch ain’t nothing. That’s going to be simple. It’s going to be easy.

So what we did – I said, hey, I know what I did. I whipped your ass. I was more aggressive. I want to understand, what was the main highlight of the fight the whole night? I think we all can answer that. It’s Fury being knocked on his ass and getting back up. That was the whole highlight of the whole fight.

So in essence, I’m saying, hey, I won so I want a rematch. As a champion instead of moving forward I want to give you this rematch because I want to bless you. So what did he do? So if you’re a guy that knows that you’re beating me with a wild margin, you immediately take that rematch.

You don’t run or get other fighters. You immediately take that. Fury knows. I gave him a concussion. When you get a man that doesn’t understand how he got on the ground nor how he got up, his brain has been shocked. He don’t want that fight no more.

He don’t want to get in no more. As as a fighter we must promote ourselves. We must carry this type of ego like I’m the man and I did this and that because we don’t want people to look on us as punks or somebody’s that scared.

Because you’re a fighter. You’re not supposed to be scared. Well we’re human beings as well too. So if he’s on his side he knows the real reason. That’s why he’s fighting another guy. That’s why he had the contract in his face for five days to a week.

Then ESPN came along and all of them. He didn’t want that fight or I wouldn’t have had to fight my mandatory. I would have gone straight to Fury and then with Breazeale.

With Joshua it’s easy. Four months we tried. Four different occasions. Maybe five different occasions. 12.5, 15 flat fee. He said, I want 50/50. We gave that to him. Well, no, my country deserves for me to fight here so I’m going to fight here.

So he didn’t want to fight on his own so they had to step in and make the fight and then they had to come back and apologize because they weren’t prepared for us. That’s what – four or five times we tried to make the fight? Now they cry because they don’t have nowhere to do.

Go back and study it. Go back and see, who really is the king of the division? Who really tried to make these fights? Then when you come back you’ll find yourself in a better place and you’ll come with peace with yourself.

Q

The PR people sent this out and I found it to be very interesting. The fight that you’re going to have against Breazeale is going to be your ninth title defense. You’re starting to edge into historical names on the list of heavyweights that have made that many defenses, if you’re successful against Breazeale.

Nin is how many defenses Muhammad Ali made the first time he was champion. It’s the number of title defenses that Mike Tyson made in his first famous title reign. And it’s the number of title defenses that Lennox Lewis made in his second championship reign which was obviously when he was at his very best.

What would it mean to you to sort of put yourself in that list of guys to get to the ninth title defense in the heavyweight division?

D. Wilder

It means a lot. I means a great deal to me. It means a lot to accomplish that. It means that I’ve proved so many people wrong and still to this day I’m proving people wrong.

It’s going to be a great accomplishment not only in the past – so many great fighters that came before me but to continue to go forward to be the number one guy. I’ve still got a long way to go to do what I want to do in this sport.

I will accomplish everything I set forth to do. I’m an amazing fighter. I’m an amazing talent and I’ve got an amazing team behind me. And with that combination man, the sky’s the limit.

Q

I feel like this fight is a little more personal to you than maybe some of your past fights, do you agree?

D. Wilder

Oh, most definitely. Oh man and that’s not a laugh of joy. That’s an evil laugh. In an evil scene, the evil man’s got to laugh. That’s my evil laugh.

I think this is the most excited I’ve been and the most I wanted to hurt a man since 2015 with Bermane Stiverne. And we all know what happened to him. And the second time was just playing around with him.

With this one right here, the story that comes behind it, people have got to understand when you’re dealing with Deontay Wilder, I’m passionate about what I say. I’m passionate about what I do.

Dominic Breazeale better display himself on that night, because I put him on my card. He didn’t have to be on my card. But you come to my hometown and cause this mess? And like I said before you want to start this drama and act like you were the victim and your wife was the victim? He’s an opportunist and I don’t’ like that.

So I needed this boost as a champion of the division, I needed this boost. Like I said, I never thought of investing in myself the way I’ve done. To be a champion and get away with so many different things, man it’s been crazy.

But now I’ve turned every stone over man. This is the most precise camp that I’ve ever had, in my entire life. I feel it tops all camps and I needed this re-ignition in my life. I needed this extra boost because I will do what I say I’m going to do and that night I’m damn well going to try. I guarantee you that.

Q

Was it frustrating for you to kind of have to reset yourself and now think about preparing for other opponents that are going to be wanting to fight you starting with Dominic Breazeale?

D. Wilder

No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t hard for me. You’ve got to look at what I’ve been through. I keep talking about the past. You’ve got to see what I’ve been through with different guys disappointing me.

Failing drug tests. Making me lose out on a lot of money. And stuff like that. So I understand the business of boxing and I know that if you have something in place one minute, the next minute it could be gone just like that.

Once you go through this cycle and you go through it over and over again, you try to get the understanding, a better understanding of fights and what’s to come. Nothing is guaranteed until you’re in that ring and that guy throws the first blow.

As we can see even when the bell rings, it doesn’t start until that first blow is thrown because we’ve got guys that will get out of the damn ring at the time the bell rings.

So things like that have prepared me. I understand as a fighter why he made that decision. I hurt Tyson Fury very badly. I gave him a crushing.

Like I said, the man had memory loss and that’s not healthy. That’s not healthy for you and as a man, as a man with a family, hey, if you need a warm-up, a tune-up to see if your marbles are back in place, go do that. Take as many more months as you need.

We understand. He said he got three more fights and then be out of here. We all know why he’s going to be out of here because one of those fights leads up to me. And I’m going to finish it. I’m going to finish the job.

So I understand it all. I have a guy there that can’t understand things. Even in everyday life there’s someone going through something. I try. My mind, like I said is so big and spacious so when you are describing something and telling me something I try to take my mind in a virtual reality and put myself in your position.

I try to look at every aspect possible and try to go and understand. So I understand why he made that decision. I understand it all. And it’s healthy that I want the best Fury when that time comes, just like I want with all these guys.

Because I don’t want no excuses. I’m the only fighter that can come in with damaged arms and body mashed and still knock you out because I am blessed. My grandma said I was anointed by God. And she was so right.

Q

I’m just wondering if you’ll talk about this topic of betting on yourself and what the plan is on your career to maximize the value you can get out of it?

D. Wilder

Yes, most definitely. Like I said, if anybody’s going to take my career, it’s going to be myself. I understand we used to have a promoter and what comes in the contract with having a promoter.

But when you get to a certain point and you know you’re the talent and they’re coming to see your talent. And if you have the opportunity, why not take a chance on yourself?

Why not bet on yourself and I have a smart team that educated me and guided me through. No matter what people say about certain people, I have a wonderful team.

Me and Shelly and Jay Deas, we started together. We’re going to end together. And when we brought Al along, even more it made me and my team strong.

So who I’m with now? It’s who I’m going to end with. And they guided me all the way through. They’re going to make sure that not only do I go in history but they go in history as well as a team and it’s a blessing to have such a strong team in a business that’s so dirty.

That’s why I bet on myself. I have everything established and set for myself. My own promotion. And we’re looking forward to doing great things.

We’re very serious in the promotion. I know a lot of guys, oh, I’ve got a promotion coming up. Well that sounds good but what do you really want to do with it? And I’m in it for the long run.

I think I have the talent and ability to display myself in a way that can bring excitement in a way I’ve already done but the next step is to cement outside of the ring.

I think I’m going to be able to promote fighters and be able to talk about them and not talk about myself and be able to really promote fighters and bring the next Deontay Wilder or the next whoever they want to be.

I always say, even as I tell my brother I don’t want you to be just like me. I want you to be better than me. I’m the type of person that even if you do better than me, I’m happy for you.

And a lot of people are not like that because some people you do get equal to them or higher than them. That’s when the jealousy and envy come. I’m not that type of person.

My heart is of gold. I’m a provider and protector. And I love to see people do great even if it’s better than I.

Shelly Finkel

Deontay is willing to take the risk both in taking low money and he’s willing to walk away. One of the most powerful words in the world is no and he is strong enough to say no and believe in himself that whatever he said no to now would be worth a lot more later.

So far that has proven through and I don’t see any reason it won’t be going forward. He’s a very, very strong human, not physically but mentally. And when you’re with him, you’re with him and he’s with you. There’s nothing better.

People have tried to break us up. His strength of who he is, means he knows who was there for him whether it be Jay or Al or myself. And that’s who he sticks with. I’m just very proud of him and proud to be part of his team.

K. Swanson

What I’d like to do is ask Deontay if he has final thoughts before we hang up. And we look forward to seeing you next week in Brooklyn for Fight Week. Deontay?

D. Wilder

May 18 is the time. I think everyone is being patient with this little thing that we have going on in the heavyweight division.

Just look at it and consider this – the excitement is back in the heavyweight division. The fire is lit. I’m more excited than I’ve ever been in my career because of everything that’s going on with it.

So I ask people just to be patient. And with patience comes time. And you’ve got to be able to even both out, patience and time, because they all work together.

You’re going to get the main fight that you guys want to see. The great thing about it is that we’re all still in discussion. I can understand if it was a closed door and we’re not having no discussion with nobody. Then it would be something that really would be a laid out or drawn out thing.

But everyone is still in discussion and talking and it’s just going to take a little time but I just tell people, the fans of boxing, people that’s coming in boxing, everyone just to have patience. The big fights are going to happen.

You know that when the big fights happen, you know that Deontay Wilder’s involved in it because most of these guys they live by the motto of less risk with high rewards.

But we know that I’ve taken high risks with low rewards. We’ve gotten smarter. We’ve proven ourselves. And we’re doing our own thing. Like I said, we’re betting on ourselves and when I bet on myself, you’re going to get great response.

You’re going to get great shows out of me. And I’m looking forward to May 18. So I’ll see you guys there and I’m looking forward to you guys. And I also want to announce my new clothing line. I got it coming out that will be sold online. You can look out for that. That way you can get your gear and are ready for May 18 and support me.

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Transcript of Top Rank on ESPN Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan Media Conference Call


Top Rank on ESPN blow-by-blow commentator Joe Tessitore, analysts – former two-division world titleholder, Tim Bradley and former pound-for-pound two-division world champion, Andre Ward, participated in a media conference call yesterday to discuss the welterweight showdown between pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford vs. former unified 140-pound champion Amir “King” Khan. Crawford-Khan will mark the first PPV event under the Top Rank on ESPN banner on Saturday, April 20 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Madison Square Garden.

A transcript of the conference call follows:

JOE TESSITORE: Thank you so much, and welcome, everybody. We’re thrilled as a production team to have this night. I sit there and you get the introduction there, and I hear we’re coming on the air with ESPN2 at 6 o’clock, knowing we’re coming on Pay-Per-View 9 o’clock.

So, now I’m sitting here looking at this bout sheet saying, holy cow, we’ve got to broadcast nine fights. This is unbelievable here, just the workload. But here’s what I love about Saturday night. And we’ll get into the main event plenty. When we put forth this relationship with Top Rank, one of the major themes was we’re going to serve the boxing fan really, really well.

And I think we all collectively feel good about what’s been accomplished since we went on the air with Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn from Australia a couple summers ago right through the past year, with the growth and development of ESPN+, with what we’ve been doing on ESPN. And I’m so sick of hearing my voice on a 30-second commercial promo right now on ESPN this week, and I’m sure everybody else is, too. But what it shows you is an unbelievable commitment from the network to put this sport forward the way it always should have been in the course of the last 25 to 30 years — that the role this support now plays on the landscape of American sports is back to what it always was, of being a very mainstream.

And this night really over-delivers to the fans, and we’re really excited about it. We just got done having our production meetings with all the fighters. And as much as we have arguably the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, an undefeated fighter, a generational talent in Bud Crawford against a global star, a well-marketed, former champion who still has tons of speed and skill and athleticism to make this a very competitive fight. We have a Pay-Per-View card that’s worthy of a Pay-Per-View card because you have rising undefeated stars, you have intrigue and next-generational talent kind of guys cars in Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez both taking step-up fights. And we feel like we’re going to over-deliver to the fans on Saturday night.

And I think in recent years — and, listen, this is ESPN’s first venture in this relationship of stepping into Pay-Per-View — in recent years you haven’t been able to say that about the sport, whether living in the corner of premium cable or whether living in the world of Pay-Per-View, which for the most part was economic relief for promoters and networks rather than really delivering a hefty night to the fans.

And we feel from 6 o’clock through or past midnight on Saturday night we are going to serve the fan. And that is first and foremost.

Now, the primary way we’re going to serve the fan is two very determined world-class fighters being in the ring at the end of all of that.

Just moments ago Bud Crawford and Amir Khan left the room that we’re sitting in now. I’ll let Tim and Andre tell you what they’re seeing, what they’re thinking, what they expecting in the fight. But here’s what I do know: We’re getting two guys at their absolute prime, at their absolute best, the version of each of them.

We got a very surly, and nasty Bud Crawford sit with us before, and we’ve had that version of Bud Crawford sit with us in production meetings before. And when you get that version of Bud Crawford, you get a serious ending to a fight that’s memorable.

And we have Amir Khan feeling that right now, 33 wins into his career, fighting in a weight class where he’s undefeated, feeling a sense of maturity, having a 12-week training camp with Virgil Hunter, he sits here and he tells us that he’s completely ready.

And then you hear the deference shown from Bud Crawford of recognizing Amir Khan’s physical gifts — his boxing skills, his legs, his straight punches, his fighting prowess — and I have a feeling that this fight, as it draws closer, is much more than how it was perceived when it was first signed.

Anytime you go up against a guy like Vasiliy Lomachenko or Bud Crawford, I don’t care who is opposite them, the early perception of the fight is, ah, man, we know what’s going to happen here. Listen, I have great intrigue as to what’s going to happen in the first six to eight rounds of this fight.

Much like we’ve seen other times with Amir Khan. Tell me about an Amir Khan fight that you’ve ever seen — listen, the guy went all the way up to 160 pounds against Canelo Alvarez; he’s never in a bad fight.

And I think we’re getting the absolute best version of him here. I want to turn it over to Tim.

TIM BRADLEY: I’m just glad to be here, one. And also after last week, looking at arguably the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the game, Lomachenko, now we’re coming back this week to look at Terence Bud Crawford, and we get to compare the two.

Different opponents but I love the fact that we get to compare the two, and the fans at home that’s going to be watching, they’ll get a show from Bud Crawford and Amir Khan.

I want to see if the fans at home can pick after watching Bud Crawford, their number one pound-for-pound — that’s what I’m interested in. And I want to see if Amir Khan still has a lot left in the tank. I want to see how well he prepared. And if he has the ability still to compete at the welterweight division.

ANDRE WARD: So I don’t know what else I can say that Joe and Tim haven’t said. But I will say I’m also excited about calling this fight on ESPN Pay-Per-View. I read a headline the other day that, basically it was a writer saying something to the effect — and he (writer) may be on this call right now — but something to the effect that he’s predicting or hoping for, you know, a failure for this Pay-Per-View.

And that’s just not the type of headline that should be written when we’re — the collective goal is to push this sport forward and to grow this sport.

And this type of card, this type of event is going to do that. And just like Joe said, from top to bottom, you have Verdejo, who is trying to reclaim the glory he once had. He doesn’t have one championship round under his belt. And he’s literally fighting for his boxing future to show the people that he’s still El Diamante, that he still has what it takes to be a champion one day.

Obviously you have a young man that I’m familiar with, Shakur Stevenson, who is — he wants to be in the top spot. He’s on the fast track. The team, Top Rank and obviously myself and the other managers, we’d like him to probably take a slower route. But in this day and age, man, the young fighters they want to move a lot faster. He has what it takes, but it’s not going to be easy against Diaz.

Diaz challenged for a world title not too long ago. He came up short. But he obviously showed that he’s in the running. He deserves to be in the race to be facing the top in the division. And he wants to show Shakur that Shakur picked the wrong contender to pick on.

You obviously have Teofimo Lopez, the co-main event. He’s in the peculiar position where, yes, he’s getting a lot of headlines; yes, he can fight. No doubt about that. But people still have questions, as they will for the course of his career, that’s how it goes.

How good is he and can he back up the big talk? And this is pressure that he and his father have heaped upon themselves. I respect it. It’s not an easy thing to do. You have enough pressure as is just being a young prospect with a hot name.

And they’re not only doing that, but they’re calling out guys like Lomachenko, who, again, depending on where you are on the pound-for-pound list or how you put either fighter, Crawford or Loma, he may be the best guy or number two, they’re calling for that guy. They’re not just saying we’re willing to face them; they’re demanding the fight.

That’s a lot of pressure to live up to and they’re doing it and I respect it. Whether you agree with it or not.

And then our main event, between Amir Khan and Terrance Crawford, I know Amir very well. It’s well publicized that he’s with my team. He has pretty much my whole team in the Bay Area.

Amir Khan is a silver medalist. The goods have always been there physically. But in the biggest moments he hasn’t been able to put it all together. And Amir’s issue is not information. It’s not knowing what to do or being told what to do. It’s always application; can he do it in the biggest moment?

And the question I would have for Amir Khan going into this fight is simply is it more important for you to prove to the people, the masses, the fans, the media how tough you are, or that you can take punishment, or that you’re a guy that has heart? Or is it more important to actually win the fight?

Because winning this fight, regardless of how he wins it, is really the only thing that’s going to extend his career.

Terrance Crawford, he has superseded just being in the discussion about fighting for titles. He’s done that. He’s been the undisputed champion at 140. He has plenty of belts. He’s in the position where every fight matters. And not just winning but how he wins, it matters when you’re in the discussion for pound-for-pound elite status, because clearly that is irrespective of weight class.

And every move, every performance is going to be scrutinized as it should be if you’re going to be in that discussion. So he’s not without pressure going into this fight. He not only has to win but he has to dominate and I would probably venture to say he probably needs a knockout to stay in that top conversation because of the history of Amir Khan.

Fans and media are going to match his performance up against every other top guy that Amir has fought. And that’s why I say — and I probably would never go on the record or at least up until this point I’ve yet to be on the record to say a guy needs a knockout — but because of Amir’s tasks he’s going to need that type of performance if he’s going to stay in the top spot or, for people who have number two, to supersede Loma. So here we are.

Q. Can you give fans your predictions for the fight goes the distance, many are predicting Kahn will KO. What if he doesn’t?

ANDRE WARD: If Khan is not KOed, I still believe Terence has more than enough ability to get the job done because of his style. He’s able to make adjustments in the ring. That’s why he’s considered among one of the best fighters pound-for-pound in the game.

Amir Khan has that amateur pedigree. He’s fought some tough guys. He does have a better resumé than Terence Crawford as far as opponents goes. But Amir Khan hasn’t really performed at the welterweight level, like Jake was saying, just yet. This is the big test at the welterweight division.

And if it does go the distance like I told you I think that Terence Crawford will win the decision without a doubt.

Bradley: I think I’ll answer the question. But I’ll reiterate what I said a few minutes ago. Obviously, a win is all that matters to Team Crawford. That’s what it’s about. That’s where the next payday comes. That’s where the next opportunity comes. You have to win. That’s first and foremost.

And I don’t believe personally that — obviously a knockout is better than a decision. That goes without saying. But I don’t think he feels like it’s a knockout or bust.

What I’m saying is in the eyes of most media members, and in the eyes of a lot of the fans, based on Amir Khan’s history, he’s going to be compared — the performance Saturday night is going to be compared to the other guys that stopped, the other three guys that stopped Amir Khan. And I still believe that if he dominated every round, he’s still at the top of the pound-for-pound list. But once again the reality is that the Crolla-Loma fight, whether you agree or not, whether I agree or not, is going to be compared to the Crawford-Khan fight.

So he’s in a tricky position, but this is a good position to be in. These are the waters you want to be in if you’re in the discussion, if you are dealing with the scrutiny of arguably being the best fighter in the world. That’s not something haphazard. That’s not something you just gloss over. That’s a big deal. But this is the kind of pressure that comes with it. We’ll see how the fight comes out.

TIM BRADLEY: And to piggyback off what Dre is saying, if you look at any of the top welterweights in the division — you know, you’ve got Errol Spence, Thurman and Shawn Porter — you look at these guys — Danny García, García has already knocked out Kahn.

If you match them with Kahn, you would bet that they would knock Kahn out. So it puts a lot of pressure on Terence Bud Crawford to get the knockout Saturday night.

ANDRE WARD: I’ll throw one more thing in there. If Canelo would have won a decision against Amir Kahn there would have been some boo birds. There would have been some people, a lot of critics saying, hey, this guy moved up to 160 — and I know it was two weight classes — but he moved up to 160 and you couldn’t stop him when he’s been stopped in the past?

Again, this is the reality of the situation. He’s going to be — this performance Saturday night is going to be compared not just to the other fights that Amir’s fought, but specifically the guys who have knocked him out. Everybody is going to match that up to the Crawford performance and say, oh, this is your pound-for-pound best. Well he didn’t do XYZ and that’s the name of the game and that’s how it goes.

Q. Tim, being that you’ve done big Pay-Per-Views and a lot of pressure has been on you, how much pressure is it on the Terence Crawford to deliver a spectacular performance even though he’s already knocked out the guy that knocked out Amir Kahn?

TIM BRADLEY: You know, being at the top level and to be mentioned in the top pound-for-pound, there’s always a lot of pressure. You know, this is Crawford’s second Pay-Per-View. There’s a lot of expectations from not only the media but also the boxing fans, the boxing world, (indiscernible) that he’s facing, Amir Khan, and the history of Khan in big fights and him being knocked out. So there’s a lot of pressure on Terrance Crawford going into this fight.

I have to say this, man. Khan is not as easy as everybody thinks. This fight is not going to be as easy as everybody thinks it’s going to be. Khan is highly motivated. He’s at a point in his career where he needs a fighter to get him up, and Terence Crawford is that guy. He’s that guy that, he has to dream about every single night for three months. And a guy that he should fear, because he knows what can happen because of the history that Khan has been in and has gone through. So Khan’s going to be ready more than what everybody thinks that he’s going to be.

He’s going to fight smart. He’s going to fight hard. He’s going to give Terence Crawford a challenge. There’s one thing that Terence Crawford does that kind of worries me a little bit is that when he’s in close, sometimes he pulls away with his hands out leaving himself exposed for a left hook from a little bit too close.

You can’t do that against a guy like Khan who is an Olympian, who has been in there with some top guys in the world without paying the price.

So I’m curious to see if Terence Crawford has fixed that. And I’m curious to see if Khan can make him pay for his mistakes.

Q. How much does a fighter think about doing a big Pay-Per-View like this leading up to the fight, how much does it factor into his psyche?

TIM BRADLEY: His psyche? Well, if you’re real, just put it this way, if you’re real you’ve got to be able to deal with the pressure. But I could tell you this: My first Pay-Per-View, when I fought against the best fighter pound-for-pound, Manny Pacquiao, at the time, I could tell you what Khan’s feeling right now, being the B side of things.

I felt like I was fighting against King Kong. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. Everybody was expecting me to get knocked out against Manny Pacquiao. It was a lot of pressure, man.

I just had to relax, put it that way. I spoke to some of my friends who have been around boxing for a long time. They told me, Tim, just relax.

But the lead-up, in your hotel room, when you step foot on the scale, after that, man, it becomes a reality, man. And it can definitely hinder your performance when you step foot in the ring.

I have to say, another thing is that last week when we saw Lomachenko against Crolla — Crolla can say whatever he wants about not being nervous and not being scared, he didn’t fight that way from the opening bell.

Crolla fought scared. The bright lights got to him. And that can happen. That could very well happen.

But I don’t think it’s going to happen in this fight. Khan’s been here before. He’s been here before. He’s been in big events. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think he’ll be fine.

Q. Andre, you said Crawford has a willingness to exchange, and this could be one of his emphasis. How can Amir Kahn exploit and capitalize on this?

ANDRE WARD: I think what I said was something to the effect of, Terence Crawford gets overeager at times, or if he gets hit he wants to get the punch back right away. So, instead of Terence in a particular instance showing 2s and 3s or a 3 and a 4, he’ll try to throw a 5 and 6. And on the 5 and 6 punch, he’ll exchange with the guys and he’ll tend to get caught at times.

That could be good and bad. The negative is you get hit. The positive is you were in range to do damage as well.

To sum this fight up in a nutshell, this fight is about the second and third adjustment. The first game plan they might match up evenly in the first round or two. But it’s the second adjustment that Terence is going to make, and the question and the burden and the onus is going to be on Khan — can he keep up, can he make the other adjustments?

And when Terence makes another adjustment, can Amir Khan make that adjustment? That’s where Amir sometimes gets left in the dust in those bigger fights against better competition, is they make the second or third adjustment. He doesn’t realize the process that, yo, this guy is setting me up for a big shot. Amir is going along to get along. He’s being sassed, he’s being what he is, he’s doing what he normally does, using a lot of athleticism, a lot of skill, the things he woke up and came out of the crib with.

But when it comes to digging deep mentally and saying, whoa, this guy is trying to set me up because he wants me to throw that right hand so he can come over the top with a left hook.

That’s what he’s been unable to do. I’m not sure if he can get that at this stage in his career. I know my godfather and my former coach has been working on that. He’s been doing his part on that. But, again, the issue with Amir Khan is not the information. It’s the application. He has the information. He’ll say the right things. He’s been in camp 10 weeks or 12 weeks, whatever it’s been.

I don’t have the entourage anymore. I’m focused. I know how important this fight is. So when the lights come on and the bell rings, and you get past that first adjustment where Terence starts to get out a little bit, what is Amir Kahn going to do?

Q. You mentioned you already met with Khan and Crawford. Anything standing with them looking in their eyes that changes or confirms your outlook for Saturday?

JOE TESSITORE: I’ll just reinforce the one observation I made a few times when we’ve had Bud in these production meetings. But there is a surly, mean streak that grows within him as you get closer to a fight like this, with Bud Crawford. And it was festering already today.

We usually have these production meetings on Friday where it’s very, very pronounced when you’re with him. It was already there today.

The other observation I would have is both guys are physically primed. When we throw, you know, the fit and ready around, they are fit and ready. So they’ve been on weight. So they’re comfortably eating, comfortably hydrating. You’re getting a very good physical version of both guys.

I would also say that Amir Khan as well as Virgil Hunter talked plenty about focus and discipline and attentiveness to what’s happening here. And Amir going so far as saying how much he’s even changed his fightweek norm, that last night that he found himself staying in and watching fights, watching some of his past fights, watching some of his sparring on tape and watching some of Crawford’s old fights. And he said in previous big fightweeks that would not be the case as to how he spent a Wednesday night. It would be family, it would be friends, it would be the gathering of everybody coming into town for the fight

So my personal takeaway is that you’re getting guys who are at their physical prime prepared peak and their mental prime prepared peak. That was my biggest takeaway.

Listen, we sit there, we go deep. I tend to think he’s conversations that we have in production meetings go far more philosophical and reflective than most any sport I do. And when I’m sitting there with Bill Belichick or Sean McVay getting ready to do Monday Night Football, it’s all scheme, all XO, it’s all personnel, it’s all where you are in the prep for the week.

These conversations go far deeper into the psyche, into the essence of somebody’s being. And with both of these guys you’re saying they’re A to A-plus, where they are right now.

ANDRE WARD: Just my takeaway, I’ll start with Amir Khan. You have to give Amir Khan credit because there’s not a lot of fighters that could have gone through what he’s gone through in the boxing ring and also the scrutiny he’s dealt with outside the ring.

And I’m talking about the personal scrutiny he gets, I’m talking about his in-ring performances. And he’s still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. He’s still hopeful. He’s still fighting to make the necessary adjustments in his personal life, as a fighter.

I wasn’t around his training camp. I personally stayed away. I wasn’t around Terence’s camp either. I’m friends with both guys. I wanted to stay neutral as possible.

But I know instinctively that Amir Khan didn’t have an easy camp with his sparring partners. I know he had to fight every single day to keep these guys off of him. And I respect that. And I know that there’s been a disconnect between the information and application, like I said earlier,
but he truly believes he’s going to win. Amir Khan, even in his worst outing, you haven’t seen a guy turn tail and go the other way.

You haven’t seen a guy quit like — if you beat him, if you even stop him, you’re going to do have to do what a Canelo did, what a Danny García did. That’s literally what you’ll have to do to make him stop fighting. And even though stylistically and technically things aren’t perfect all the time and that’s the reason why those things happen, I respect the moxie and the willingness. And Amir Khan has shown more willingness by taking this fight than a lot of champions have shown over the last three or four or five years. And their efforts or lack of efforts to face the other top guys in their division.

Terence Crawford, I don’t mean to inject myself into this — but I see a lot of myself in him when I look at him two days before a fight, a day before a fight.

He’s not a guy that’s just fighting for bills, he’s not just fighting for money. That’s fine. That’s part of it. It’s prize fighting. He comes to get that as well. But he’s fighting for respect.

And when you have that chip on your shoulder, when you have that inclination that you’re not getting what you feel like you’ve rightfully earned, that’s a different type of fuel. That’s like what you saw in Aaron Pryor when he fought Alexis Arguello the first time and even the second time.

Alexis came in as the golden boy and everyone praised him. And Aaron Pryor was the young guy who had done a lot but yet didn’t have the respect. He came from the ghetto of Cincinnati. And it was one thing that set him off. And that really led to Arguello’s demise in that fight, if you watch “Legendary Nights,” is the ring announcer said, “Mr. Arguello” when he announced Alexis, and he just said “Aaron Pryor.”

It was that small thing that 99 percent of the people watching on television, the people inside the stadium would have missed, but because he felt marginalized, because he felt slighted, because he felt like the just due had never really been there even though he earned it, it was that little bit of fuel that caused him to do what he did to Alexis. And that’s the same material that Terence Crawford has inside of him.

Q. For Amir, fighting late in your career as an underdog, what’s going to be the physical/mental mindset to succeed on Saturday? And also in the blog world, people are saying even the best Amir Khan, Amir in his prime, that they would still pick Crawford over him. But is this version of Amir, the veteran that’s hungry to return, is this the best version that has the best chance of winning against Crawford?

TIM BRADLEY: Absolutely. At this point in Amir Khan’s career, when you have won championships, when you have earned the money, like I’ve said before, you need these type of fights to get you up for it, to get you back doing what you used to do.

And he went back with Virgil to get that education to be ready for this fight against Terence Crawford.

I can’t praise Khan enough, just like Dre (Andre Ward) said, his willingness to fight the best fighters in the world all the time is hard, fighting against Danny García, who is undefeated, and Marcos Maidana, and still, Khan passed on a big fight with Kell Brook for millions and millions of dollars to face the pound-for-pound, my number one pound-for-pound fighter in the game, Terence Bud Crawford. So that speaks volumes for a guy like Amir Khan. And what I saw during the fighters meeting, I saw a focused, very determined Amir Khan — kind of changed my outlook on the fight.

This fight I think is going to be a tougher fight than what everybody are saying. I think that Amir understands what he has to do and what he has to be. I think he had great preparation for this fight, after talking with him, after speaking with him.

And I think it’s going to be a very competitive fight very early. He just can’t get caught with the big shots. Amir Khan, I believe, will be in this fight if he doesn’t get caught with the big shot from Crawford.

And as far as Crawford goes, it’s always the same with him. He can destroy. That’s the only thing on his mind right now. It’s fightweek. He’s a very humble guy. But you don’t want to get under Crawford’s skin the week of the fight. One of my colleagues here asked the wrong question or said the wrong thing to him and Crawford snapped off at him and said, “Don’t you disrespect me. Don’t you disrespect me.” And it was just as simple as, hey, this is your first Pay-Per-View fight. And he’s, like, no, no, no. It’s my second.

He’s determined to hold onto his status as one of the top fighters in the game. No other welterweight wants to step up and face Bud Crawford. They keep saying that they’re the best, and Crawford is willing to prove it and to step up in the ring with him.

But these guys, they keep running from him. They don’t want to fight Terence Bud Crawford. So Crawford is fighting Khan now because he is the only one man enough to stand up, to face Bud Crawford. And like I said, I think it’s going to be a great fight. I think everybody’s sleeping on this one.

Q. Tim and Andre, what did you find the toughest thing about making the transition from the ring to being ringside calling the fights and doing commentary?

TIM BRADLEY: For me, the toughest thing was not giving away the fighter. When you break the fighters down, sometimes we can say a little bit too much about the fighter and expose them. That’s been the hardest transition for me.

And also just the flow. The flow alone has been really tough, the commentary, the flow — getting your words together, saying things the right way has been a challenge, very challenging for me.

ANDRE WARD: You mean more like what the actually craft of being an analyst or just personally, like what did you mean exactly?

Q. Craft first but personal observation is welcome.

ANDRE WARD: I’ve had the opportunity throughout the years to do this. I worked at HBO for many, many years, Showtime back in the day. I actually started off with the “World Series of Boxing.” I would fly out to LA. I did it for free just to get the reps in.

But this is a whole other level in terms of the platform. This is a whole other level as far as, like, how many shows I’m actually calling. Like, I would do maybe five shows a year with HBO. This is on a whole other level.

And the quality of the product that ESPN is demanding that we put out, it causes you to have to get better, have to raise the bar. Joe Tessitore, I tell him all the time, I’m just so grateful for just a mentorship. Joe Tess is who he is. We all know who he is and what he’s accomplished and what he’s currently doing.

But he’ll be in the middle of his prep, he’ll stop typing and look over to us and talk to us for however long we need to talk and then he’ll resume his preparation.

So the standard is high. The product should be high. But it’s also a good thing, too, for — I’ll speak for me and I’ll probably venture to speak for Tim, too, tell me if I’m wrong — like, this is good for us, coming from where we came from, the competitiveness, the need to have a mark and try to meet that mark. It’s been good for me, because that same competitiveness, I like to call myself a recovering perfectionist.

ANDRE WARD: But I have moments in here where one thing will be off and they’ll see me just be hypersensitive over it. And Joe will just look at me and say, ha, I got a glimpse of the fighter Andre Ward and what his trainer had to deal with.

That part is good. And then just emotionally I would say it’s good that — I would say that I have some nights where I’m calling a fight, and I’m, like, huh, I’m glad I’m on this side of the ropes and not inside the ring. I don’t want to have to deal with that anymore.

And there’s other nights where I’m, like, man, I wish I was the one walking out from that curtain and I wish I was the fighter they were talking about.

So it’s a process. But it’s a process that all of us — guys who were going to retire at some point — we’ve got to go through this, whether we’re over the hill and retired too late or we retired at the right time.

So I’m embracing it. I’m happy to be a part. But it’s a good thing for me to have a challenge at this point in my life.

TIM BRADLEY: Yeah, this is definitely keeping me out of the ring and returning back. And also, one more thing, it’s hard sometimes not to be a little bit too critical on the fighters coming up and the fighters in the ring.

It’s hard to really find the balance for me, being just kind of, just a little bit too critical on what they’re not doing or what they can improve on. So I’ve got to — I’m still trying to find that balance where I’m giving praise and I’m also being a little bit critical.

Q. Joe, you’ve worked with a lot of athletes turned commentators. Give these gentleman a grade.

JOE TESSITORE: It’s interesting you say that, because this is obviously our first full year of being a broadcast team together in a three-man booth, and I’m just coming off a Monday Night Football season with a three-man booth, which was highly scrutinized as has been a cottage industry off to the side of Monday Night Football, going back to the days of Cosell and Meredith and Gifford.

And in the span of one year I’ve had this experience of “retired hall of famer coming to broadcasting three-man booth in one sport and retired hall of famers coming to broadcast in a three-man booth in another.”

And the greatest difference with Andre and Tim is how comfortable and natural they are meshing and grooving together like the same way they would be sitting on a couch watching a fight. And it happened right away with them. It didn’t have to evolve. It didn’t have to grow.

Yes, as every week goes by there’s refinement and things are smoothed out and the TV acumen and skill set and television IQ fully develops. But, right from the start you’re dealing with two guys who understand how to mesh together, and their boxing brains are so elite and they’re so comfortable that it makes my job really, really easy.

They’re very coachable. They both want to be coached. They both sit back and they broadcast — as I often talk to my analysts, no matter what sport I’m doing — of broadcasting with your eyes up, of just looking, being aware and reacting.

The reason that they’re hired is because they’re two of the foremost experts in the world. They’re two of the best that have ever done it generationally recently. And when they broadcast with their eyes up and see and say and tell us the why and how and the what to look for, they’re excellent, which is what they’ve done.

I sit back oftenand if you listen to our broadcast style as a crew right now, what you often get is I sit back and listen to these two great champions just talk and observe.

And then when it’s necessary I will get in and give you the blow-by-blow or advance the storyline, as was the case with our Lomachenko fight the other day, where we have the great flurry by Lomachenko, the punishment against the ropes, the technical knockdown scored, the confusion, was it a TKO or not? And these guys are smart enough to lay out, let me do my job and get out of the way.

But with how young they are and how hard they work and the positions they now hold in boxing, because the broadcast landscape of the sport drastically changed in the course over the last 12 months. HBO World Championship Boxing is out of business. ESPN Top Rank is in business.

So these seats that had been held by years and years by so many familiar faces from Larry Merchant on through are now held by these two men. And they’re more than worthy of it, and I have a feeling that we’re going to be having this conversation 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, as now multiple generations will go forward as fight fans with Tim and Andre being the voices and the brains and the faces of the sport.

And that’s a very good thing for the sport because they celebrate the athlete. They’re able to be critical. They are able to be analytical.

They give you a reason to watch. Tim is one of the ultimate characters, so joyful, absolutely irreverent, he doesn’t care what he says or how he says it, he’s going to be his natural self.

Andre is so analytical and so smart and so cerebral and has a boxing computer for a brain. And I would tell you what he’s doing now with his ESPN+ work, which is ESPN’s commitment akin to what we have with Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez and Peyton Manning, he’s as good as I’ve seen the sport put forth in my years of being in the sport.

And the more you watch that material, the higher education you have as a fight fan and the more interests you have in watching the fight. I couldn’t be more thrilled with both of these guys.

You want to sincerely grade them out right now, I would tell they’re B pluses to A minuses with, in a sense and a trajectory that undoubtedly will have them as straight A broadcasters for years and years to come.

And I truly believe that. And I’m just honored to be able to work with them at this stage of my career, where I can play a little bit of a role of mentor and lodestar and educate them on television production and be by their side as colleagues and friends.

So that’s a very long answer to say you’re about to see a long run of the two biggest guys who are going to be kicking ass in broadcasting boxing on television for the next 20 years.

Q. Andre, you had a great point about Amir Khan, how fighting is more — he has the information, but it’s more about the implementation. Why do you think that is? For both of you guys, if you want to piggyback that question, why do you think that is?

ANDRE WARD: You can focus outside the ring. Lack of focus outside the ring will lead to a lack of focus inside the ring. You can point to efficiency, in the way you start. You can rope and pull for a lot of different things, but nobody really fully knows what that missing link is.

But it’s clear when there’s a link missing, a wire missing that’s stopping the whole mental functionality that he needs to go from round 1 to round 12, the way he needs to. Doesn’t mean he won’t get hit or dropped or have moments, but it’s not a catastrophe all of a sudden. That’s a lack of focus.

Personally, I know it’s easier said than done, but I actually did it so I can say it. I saw what Canelo was doing before he did it. I knew that was the shot he wanted.

And I could see Amir Khan slowly getting drained by the body shots, by the foot pressure, by Canelo cutting the ring off. Even the shots that Canelo missed took a lot out of Amir because he was able to work so hard to get out of the way, but then he could hear the punch whizzing by his face.

That’s all for us to dream. And then I would see Canelo doing the things he likes to do where he’ll slick a jab out to the side just to get your attention over there as a diversion but the shot he really wants is the right hand.

So I saw it coming, but for whatever reason in that moment, or in those moments, it’s been very, very difficult for Amir Khan to process what’s happening, compute it, and then make the adjustment.

TIM BRADLEY: What he just said, I think it’s a technical flaw in that Amir Khan still has that amateur pedigree, never really escaped it. He throws combinations. He opts in, opts out with combinations. He’s a one-trick pony. He has the speed, he has good punching power in his right hand, but for some apparent reason, he doesn’t have the sense of judging distance. So you see Amir Khan every now and then, there’s knockouts. You see him standing still, coming in, getting out, trying to escape from a shot and gets hit in the process or gets hit while in the process of punching.

And that has a lot to do with how he was taught. As far as discipline goes, staying focused, staying concentrated, that’s just something that you have to practice. You have to practice that in the gym.

That’s the reason why I think going back to Virgil, Virgil Hunter is more cerebral. He’s about the fundamentals and getting into his fighter’s head and controlling them to do what they need to do to win a fight, a round like this.

And that’s the reason why I think Kahn has a really good chance of winning this fight because he’s with Virgil. And if he can just stay focused for every minute of every round, I think he can compete with Terence Crawford with the skill set that he brings and also the hand speed and power.

Q. Both you guys have had signature wins in your careers. Obviously you guys are a first round hall of famers. For Terence Crawford to obviously legitimize himself as number one pound-for-pound, is this fight with Amir Kahn, is this the signature win that you guys think he needs to solidify himself as number one?

ANDRE WARD: I think that both these guys, I think Khan and Crawford needs this fight. The reason why Crawford needs this fight is he needs a marquee name on his resume.

And the fact that Amir Khan was the only that was willing to step up and face him in the welterweight division, you can’t dismiss the fact that Crawford, hey, I’m stepping up, this is what I get. None of these other guys want to fight me. So if it’s Amir Khan, then so be it. But the fact that Khan hasn’t lost in the welterweight division yet, the fact that Khan has a good name, you know, he’s fighting Crawford, I don’t think that — just put it this way, if Crawford doesn’t get rid of Khan, then there’s going to be a lot of people talking.

A lot of people are going to be talking. And probably including yourself, because when you really look at the landscape, when you really look at the landscape of the welterweight division — you know, Danny García, Thurman and Errol Spence — all these guys should, if you match them up with Khan, should knock him out. There’s a lot of pressure on Crawford to get this knockout.

TIM BRADLEY: I already have Terence Crawford at the top of my list, so I don’t think he’s this victory to solidify. In my mind he solidified at least at the moment. But I do think this is good for the naysayers. This is good for the record to have a guy like Amir Khan on the record if he’s successful on Saturday. I think it does a lot for just popularity. There are some Amir Khan fans that if Terence wins will become Terence Crawford fans. And there’s some people who loosely follow the sport that will tune in because they like Amir, they’re hearing a lot about the promotion, and they’ll tune in and become a Terence Crawford fan.

When you’re facing a guy with a big name, even though, like Tim said, Khan hasn’t fought a top welterweight to this point, he still has the name recognition from the Olympics, to everything he’s done as a pro. He still brings the UK with him. He still brings the European market. I think it will do more for his namesake than it will for anything else.

Q. Terence Crawford a while back made a very, very strong claim about black fighters having to be more vociferous or more boisterous to get the recognition. What do you guys think on that? Do you think that he was fair in that statement?

ANDRE WARD: Listen, I’ll say this, and I’ve talked about this in the past, there has been a difference. If you look — it’s not every media outlet. It’s not the order of the day as it pertains to boxing, but there are times, and I’ve experienced it, and studied the sport long before I became a professional, I’ve studied the Floyd Mayweathers and studied certain things in certain fighters throughout the course of their careers.

And obviously I had my own experience when I turned pro. There are moments where smiling and waving and being soft-spoken doesn’t seem to be enough at times for African-American fighters and then you will have fighters who may come from another country who come to the United States, the land of opportunity and maybe they don’t speak English and they’re still learning their English, they get promoted and they get pushed. You don’t always see that with an African-American fighter and some of that has to do — some of that is not on the press. Some of that is not on the media, it’s on African-Americans. Its on, you know when you look at like Floyd Mayweather, Floyd Mayweather was Pretty Boy Floyd for many years. He wasn’t accepted as Pretty Boy Floyd. He didn’t sell Pay-Per-Views as Pretty Boy Floyd. But when he became the villain and became Money Mayweather, then all of a sudden this is a guy we’d love to hate and we’ll tune in to watch him lose. It worked for him.

Personally, me, I wasn’t willing to compromise my beliefs. I wasn’t willing to compromise who I was as a person, and I was — I always fought in my career with the end in sight. I knew — I knew instinctively the day is going to come when I walk away from this sport, and what am I left with? I wasn’t willing to sacrifice being able to go to my kids’ school and be respected.

I wasn’t willing to create some monster that I was going to have to live with when my career was over for the sake of selling a few more Pay-Per-Views and selling a few more seats.

That was my stance on it. So now you have Terence Crawford who kind of feels the same way. He’s a soft-spoken guy, and I think the question he’s asking — that’s not for me to answer — is why don’t I get this? Why don’t I get the respect I deserve or at least to the level in which I feel I deserve it, even though I’m soft-spoken when maybe guys over here get it and they’re soft-spoken.

So yes, I have seen some of this. I’ve spoken about this in the past. But I want to make it clear, it is not for every media outlet. And it’s not for every fan. There are a lot of objective fans. And there are media members who do a great job and they’re objective and race never comes into the equation; it’s just about the fighters and how good they are and what they’ve done and haven’t done, and that’s where it should be and that’s where it should stay.

TIM BRADLEY: I just think it’s funny you say that because Floyd Mayweather got criticism for many years and still is getting criticism because he’s a defensive fighter and people say the style he runs, he’s always running, he’s not entertaining.

But you’ve got a good like Terence Bud Crawford that’s knocking out everybody he gets in the ring with and still not getting the exposure he feels and some people feel that he deserves, rightly deserves. All I can tell you is that all he needs to continue to do is do his job and he can worry about everything else, let somebody else worry about everything else because Terence Crawford continuously delivers and it doesn’t matter who he fights or what he does, he still doesn’t get the recognition that he feels and that I feel as well.

It’s just a process, man. I’ve been in it. When I fought, I fought guys — still my career right now, after my career people try to downplay what I’ve done in the sport of boxing. And I gotta bring it to their attention and tell them like, hey, I’ve done this, I’ve done this, you must have forgotten.

It’s really quick for people to not remember, to forget once you leave the sport, what a person did at their time, at their era. In their generation. So I don’t know what it is, bro. I don’t know why it’s this way, but it is.

ANDRE WARD: And I’ll just add to what Tim said and also add to what I said earlier, the race thing is very tricky. And you have to be very, very sensitive, because you may not be getting credit for a particular fight you won or just in general you may not be getting your just do, and it’s not always race. You have to be very careful. That’s a heavy coat to put on any one person.

That’s a heavy coat to put on a particular writer or a particular website or particular YouTube blogger. If you don’t have real proof that that person is a racist, you have to be very careful to put that kind of thing out there. I personally try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

And I may have a thought about something but it’s not something that I’m going to speak about, because again you’ve got be very careful about that.

But that being said, I stand by what I said earlier throughout the course of my life and how I’ve studied the sport in that particular area about guys, some guys being soft-spoken.

And let me just sum it up this way: There’s a notion that if you don’t do a certain thing, if you’re not Floyd Mayweather-esque, if you’re not throwing money at the camera, you’re not Tim Bradley (laughter), talking about a fighter, building up a fighter, if you’re not doing that and not showing us your house, you’re not showing us your Bentley, if you’re not showing us your jewelry then, you know what, you’re boring; we shouldn’t tune in to watch you.

But then it’s not always the case on the other side. That’s what Terence is saying. I have seen some of that. I can subscribe to some of it. But I will not say that every piece of criticism, every critique, every person that’s not giving you your just due is a racial issue. They just may not like you as a fighter.

And you have to live with that. So it’s a very fine line to walk. And I’ll personally try to be very, very careful about this. Listen, I’ve spoken about this, I’m a biracial kid, like I’m not pro black and people get mad at me when I say that. I don’t have a preference towards people. I prefer everyone. And I love everyone. And if there’s a white person that’s in the wrong, well, that needs to be addressed. If there’s a black person that’s in the wrong, they need to be addressed. So it’s a very fine line — I know it’s uncomfortable for people to talk about, but Terence has some points in what he’s saying, for sure.

Q. How close do you think is Teofimo Lopez to being the same level of Lomachenko? And how good is it for boxing that these young guys are calling out the big guys like Lomachenko?

ANDRE WARD: We don’t know how close he is. This is unscripted. You don’t know until they fight the fight. And this is something that I told Teofimo’s father today in the fighters meeting, I said, I respect what you guys are saying.

And the eagerness to want to face not just another champion but to face arguably the best fighter in the world in Lomachenko. I said but you do know that it’s — I said — I think I prefaced it by saying, phrased it by saying: Do you know the magnitude of what you’re demanding? In other words, I can give you a list of young fighters who took that big step up one fight too soon and they were ruined.

You see some guys like Muhammad Ali when he fought Sonny Liston. He was The Big Bear. He was feared. Everybody thought Ali was going to get killed. And look at Floyd Mayweather and Genaro Hernandez.

You look at those types of fights where they took the leap, people thought they were crazy but they were actually the ones that were right and they were geniuses.

It’s a very fine line between being right and being wrong, but they’re great consequences or there’s great reward if you’re right. We don’t know. He has to fight the fight. I hope he’s seeing what he’s telling everybody he’s seeing. I’m talking about Teofimo’s father.

But it’s not going to be an easy task for him to face Lomachenko. Lomachenko is who he is, and he’s in the discussion as one of the best in the world for a reason. It’s not easy, but I do respect the fact that he’s willing to take that leap. He just better be right about it.

TIM BRADLEY: For me, I like what Teofimo is doing. I like the fact that he wants to challenge the best guys out there. I think it’s too premature.

I think he needs to win a world championship first and then move in position if he wants to fight Loma, then he can fight him.

You have to earn your stripes before you get that praise from me. I see the skill set. He’s very skillful. He’s been in there with memorable competition.

The competition hasn’t been that great. He’s going to get tested Saturday night and see how well he performs. And then from there we’ll make our assessment and go from there. But, like I said, he needs a championship first in order to get a shot at Vasiliy Lomachenko in the near future.

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Canelo Alvarez Discusses Showdown Against Daniel Jacobs


By: Hans Themistode

With current WBA, WBC and Lineal Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) showdown with fellow champion, IBF belt holder Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) less then a month away, Canelo took sometime to address several topics including how difficult this matchup will be and how much he is looking forward to it.

In 54 professional fights Canelo has faced just about everything in the ring. From gifted boxers in Floyd Mayweather and Erislandy Lara to power punchers in GGG and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Canelo has faced them all. His matchup with Jacobs however, could pose him an entirely new threat. Canelo has never faced someone that not only has the supreme boxing skills that Jacobs possesses but also the ability to end the fight at any point with his power. Canelo, admitted as such.

“I believe Jacobs has a unique style. He is an opponent that is very complete. He can box, punch, tall, he’s agile but I’ve fought all the styles out there. I believe at my level with my experience, you put it in front of me and I can adapt and adjust.”.

It’s true, Canelo has seemingly been able to adjust to just about any style. He has after all graced the ring with numerous hall of famers. With that being said, Jacobs could present him with his most difficult challenge to date. For Canelo, these challenges fuel him to no end. He does not simply want to be one of the best boxers today but one of the very best in history.

“I want to be remembered as one of the greats. That’s why I continue to take these fights, so I can make history.”

Fans are always looking ahead. Assuming Canelo gets past Jacobs which by all means is no guarantee, they want to know what is in his immediate future. A third fight with GGG is rumored to be next on his agenda. Canelo made it clear what would have to happen in order for a third fight to happen against GGG this year.

“The objective this year is to win all the titles. If GGG has a belt, we’ll fight him. If not, we’ll fight someone else.”

Unifying the titles seems to be the number one agenda for Canelo Alvarez in 2019. Before he can achieve that goal he will need to get pass Daniel Jacobs come Cinco De Mayo in what could be his toughest opponent.

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Conference Call Transcript: Crawford, Khan, and Arum


Thank you everyone for joining us on the international conference call as we get ready for the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view broadcast, Crawford vs. Khan, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

The stacked undercard features lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez in a 12-round test against Edis Tatli, 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson versus former world title challenger Christopher Diaz in a 10-round featherweight tilt, and a crossroads 10-round lightweight battle between Felix Verdejo and Bryan Vasquez.

Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

AMIR KHAN: Training is going really well. I am here in San Francisco and really liked getting back with {head trainer} Virgil {Hunter}. I really believe he knows me better than anyone else – than any other trainer. In fact, I was with {Joe Goossen} because Virgil was a little sick, and I had to make a quick change. Now I am back with Virgil. I have had my best performances in boxing with Virgil, great wins, and I couldn’t wait to join with him again. Since we began camp, everything has been going really well. We are sparring hard, training hard, and going to be in great condition because we know that Terence is a great fighter. I respect the way he fights, and I respect that he’s done it again and again and he’s one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. Also, my conditioning coach Tony Brady is here. The camp I have had is great and I’m happy with it. About Terence Crawford – I am not taking this fight lightly and I am not taking it to be a number because I know I can win this fight with my boxing skills, being smart, and I can go in there and cause a big upset. I know I have a lot against me, but this is where I like to be. This is where I like to be because I am the underdog. I am at my best when people are looking over me. This is the time where I can come and prove everybody wrong, and I feel that timing-wise, this is the perfect timing for this fight. I always wanted to be up there in the pound-for-pound rankings. I am 32 now and I feel strong physically and mentally. I am prepared for this fight, so this is perfect timing for me to take this fight and win the fight as well. I had another fight in the UK against Kell Brook, but {I believe} this fight is stylistically better for me. Obviously, this is with ESPN, who I want to thank as well. I think that being on ESPN, the fight will be even bigger, and it will be good for my recognition for me as well in the future. Yes, training is still going strong three weeks away from the fight, and I am going to be more than ready.

You had a fight in the UK against Kell Brook that you could have taken and would have been huge there. How did you come to take the Crawford fight?

AMIR KHAN: I love fighting in the States. I have had some big performances here, and I wanted to come back here and put on a big show. New York is one of my favorite locations in America, so when this fight was put to me, I knew it was going to be a big fight, so I decided to take this fight with both hands and make sure that if I take this fight I am going to win this fight.

Breaking down the fight, Terence is a very skillful fighter, and I always do well against skillful fighters. This is going to be like a game of chess at times. He comes forward and can punch well and likes to fight as well. So, it’s the best of both worlds and he doesn’t fight the same as me. I have fought at welterweight, so I am basically the bigger guy physically. I have been in the division longer, so I’ve got that advantage on my side. I’m the bigger guy so that is on my side. People may think from my last performance against {Samuel} Vargas I’m going to be the same, but that was very bad. I thought I could just go in there and win the fight. It’s hard to motivate yourself against guys where you are supposed to win. All you have to do is turn up then because you know you have better skills. But this fight, this is where I have to bring my ‘A’ game, make sure that I cannot make any mistakes. I’ll go in as the underdog, prove myself and win this fight.

Were you thinking that “this is a huge opportunity against a great fighter in a huge PPV and at Madison Square Garden” and that Kell Brook will always be there?

AMIR KHAN: Well, I don’t know. I don’t know if that fight is still going to be there. I have seen numerous times in the media that {promoter} Eddie {Hearn} is saying that the Brook fight is dead and it’s not going to happen. Hey, look, who knows, time will tell. I take it fight by fight. Let’s get this fight out of the way first and then we take it from there. That fight may never happen, but it may happen, so I just take it one fight at a time, as it comes really.

Bob, when you were looking for Terence’s next opponent, was Khan at the top of your list or were there others?

BOB ARUM: The first thing is, ‘What’s the best fight we can do,’ and I have always been an Amir Khan fan. I don’t say this now because I am promoting him in this fight, but I remember back in the day years and years ago when Amir Khan joined Manny Pacquiao in his camp and was a tremendously skillful partner. Amir knows we were – he was in the Philippines when he participated in that camp – so look, I know a little bit about boxing and our matchmakers are tremendously skilled, but I’ve been around over 50 years in this sport and I know what makes a good fight, and what’s a competitive fight, and I’m telling you that Amir Khan versus Terence Crawford is a hugely competitive fight. Styles make fights, and this is the first pay per view event that we are doing with ESPN and we value tremendously our relationship with ESPN. And I want going in, and at the fight, going out, everybody to say, “It was a great, great fight.” I really believe that the fight will be a tremendous, interesting, competitive fight. That’s why we made it. That’s the truth. There are other fighters, other welterweights, that are coming along that will one day step up to fight for a title, but this fight, instinctively, I know, and my matchmakers agree, was a very competitive fight. You have to understand there are very few fighters that have the boxing skills of Amir Khan. Very, very few, so I look at this as a very competitive fight.

Does fighting in New York bring back any special memories or give you motivation?

AMIR KHAN: My in-laws live in New York and I send a lot of time over there. My {second WBA super lightweight title defense} was at MSG, the smaller one, and that was a great performance against Paulie Malignaggi. And ever since. all of my fans have been saying, ‘why don’t you fight in New York again?’ A lot of my fights have been in Vegas and LA – on the west coast. I think this is the time now where I come back for the big fight.

Have you watched Crawford’s Benavidez and Horn fights?

AMIR KHAN: The fight is going to be a tough fight. He is a very good skilled fighter with power. He’s durable, he moves well, and he boxes well. For me to win this fight, I have to be on my ‘A’ game and not make any mistakes, but he is still maybe quite new in the welterweight division. But you can see he is quite filled out, and for the welterweight division, his height is good. I am not going to go in there thinking I am stronger and a physically bigger fighter. I am going to in there and use my skills to win this fight. That’s what is going to win this fight – not the size or the power – it’s going to be my IQ and my skills.

How did you decide this fight warranted being on pay-per-view?

BOB ARUM: It’s really a combination. The match-up warrants a pay-per-view. and it is such a big fight. This is professional boxing, and the fighters have to be compensated because it is such a big fight, and therefore you cannot rely on a network to constantly come up with big, big money as a rights fee. So, if the fight is big enough, you then have to go to the public and say to the public, ‘Hey this is a terrific fight, you have to support the fight.’ Sometimes the public says no. If we have confidence in the event, they will say yes. That’s really what it is about. We can stop playing the games of whether the fight should be pay-per-view or shouldn’t be pay-per-view. The first question is, ‘Is it a really good matchup, an interesting event,’ and secondly, ‘Is it affordable on television? Can the rights fee support the fight?’ In this case, we have a splendid event and we have fighters who have to be, and should be, compensated for their performances and therefore you go to pay-per-view. That is the mindset. Everything else is noise.

Does the media attention affect you as you get ready for this fight?

AMIR KHAN: My first fight as a professional, I was the main attraction on television and I had all the media and the press conferences and the conference calls and everything. I have had a lot of media attention from day one as a professional and I have been going 14 years strong. The big media coverage {comes} with it. I love that kind of pressure on me and to cope with that pressure and to deal with that pressure really helps me when I go into the camp. When I go into a fight, I make sure that it is not on my mind. That’s the last thing I think about, all of the pressure. One thing I want to say is there is a lot of talk about Crawford with Spence, who just came off a fight. All of those people should be talking about Spence against me. I’m not just a number. I know when I have to turn it on. I can turn it on. Maybe in previous fights, I won the fight, but maybe I didn’t look the best. But I know I belong at the level of both. I am one of those fighters that if I am fighting a guy that is supposed to be at the top of his game that will bring me to the top of my game and bring the best out of me. If Crawford is talking about maybe that fight happening and overlooking me, it’s going to be a big shock. I’m going to be ready. We’ve both been hurt in fights. I am a fully-fledged welterweight. This division is hard, and I’ve had good knockouts. I’m an unbeaten welterweight fighter and it is the weight I feel comfortable at and the weight where I feel stronger, as well, and the speed and the perfect size.

I fought Canelo and that was maybe too much, but even that fight I think I was winning. When it comes to boxing skills and being smart and knowing that I couldn’t make any mistakes, I got hit with a big shot that probably would have knocked out any welterweight. But this is where I want to tell everybody I’m not just a number – I’m not just going to come into this fight to just make it a night of boxing. I’m coming to win this fight.

How much did fighting at the Garden factor into your decision to take this fight over Kell Brook?

AMIR KHAN: New York is where my wife is from. I have a big fan base there. I enjoy walking the streets of New York and getting loved by the boxing fans. I love the place and have been spending a lot of time there. Also, MSG is the Mecca of Boxing and all of the great boxers that have fought there back to the beginning – I want to be amongst them. One day when I am walking the streets with my kids and I’ll be walking past it and say, ‘Look, I fought there.’ It means a lot to me. New York is a place I will always be attached to.

What has been your favorite venue to date?

AMIR KHAN: There have been a few looking back on my career. There have been many, but Madison Square Garden will be at the top. It is the Mecca of Boxing, and there have been some huge fights there and to get a win there will be even more amazing and it would be one of the biggest fights of my career. I have fought at MGM and T-Mobile and I also fought Chris Algieri in Brooklyn. As a boxer, I have had the opportunity to fight in all of these locations, but MSG will be up there as the best, I have to say.

How do you relax to ready yourself for a fight of this magnitude?

AMIR KHAN: I have been in this game for 14 years and 10 years fighting at the top level, so I just learn as I go along. I am no spring chicken where I am young and still learning. I have been through this numerous times and have learned when to rest, when to talk and when to do things right. It comes with age, and it comes with experience to be in this position and learned over the past 10 years.

What is your plan for after this fight?

AMIR KHAN: I never look past fights. I made the mistake of doing that when I was younger, and I only take it fight by fight. There are a lot of big fights out there for me; it just depends on how long I want to be in the game for. I want to spend time with my family so let’s see. After the fight and after the press conference is when we can talk about this.

We have seen that Crawford actually likes to fight as southpaw even though he is right-handed. How do you plan to fight Crawford and how do you plan to counteract?

AMIR KHAN: We have been bringing in different guys in sparring. Some of the guys are southpaw and some are orthodox. I am not leaving anything behind. I am working with four guys. If he wants to fight me {as a southpaw}, then so be it. We are ready for anything he brings to the table. We are not leaving anything behind on this. I am not going to go into the fight and say, ‘wow, I didn’t expect this.’ I have been learning a little bit from each of my training partners.

Twitter world is wondering if Bob Arum writes his own tweets and maybe you can set the record straight right here…

BOB ARUM: People think I don’t know how to work Twitter? We all know how to work Twitter. The President of the United States uses Twitter. Yes, I work Twitter, and I think it’s a great service. You can say a lot of things on Twitter, and fans read them and respond. Sometimes they like them and sometimes they don’t like them and sometimes they say the most horrible things in response to them. I think it is a lot of fun and it is the modern way to educate fans and to reach fans, so yes, I am a big Twitterer myself and I do three or four tweets a week, so yeah, I plead guilty to writing my own tweets.

So this may be the only time you have agreed with the President of the United States…

BOB ARUM: Yes, that is really true, but I use it better than he does.

Terence Crawford enters…

BOB ARUM: Before Terence takes the questions, I just want to say what a privilege it is to have him on and have him on this promotion. You have to realize that 40 years ago I promoted the great welterweight of that time, Sugar Ray Leonard, and now, 40 years later, I have the honor of promoting the successor to Sugar Ray Leonard, Terence Crawford. I believe Terence Crawford is the best welterweight in the world. Certainly a contender for pound-for-pound the best fighter in the world, and I believe he is in a real fight with Amir Khan, who I have explained to everybody that I have been a fan of. He is a terrific fighter and that’s what Terence wants – challenges – as he goes on with his great career.

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I appreciate all of the support that I have been getting. I am looking forward to April 20 at MSG.

How do you feel about having your first pay-per-view fight against a big-name fighter?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: This is not my first pay per view fight. I fought Postol on pay- per-view and the significance of the Postol fight cannot be denied.

What are your thoughts on Amir Khan?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: This is a big fight. Amir Khan never lost in the welterweight division. He knows what he is doing in the ring. He boxes really good. He is really crafty. He is a veteran. His is going to be a tough fight.

They have a common opponent – Breidis Prescott. What do you take away from the fights each had with him?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: I don’t take that into consideration at all because that was a different fight and that was a while ago and Amir has bounced back with some great wins. When Terence fought him, he wasn’t the best junior welterweight at the time. When Amir fought him, he was alright. They were two totally different fighters and Prescott did a totally different fight against Amir Khan than he did against Terence.

It seems as though that was the fight that kind of launched Terence into fighting more as a southpaw…

BRIAN MCINTYRE: That’s 100 percent on Terence because he will switch when he feels the need to switch. We don’t tell him in the corner when to switch – that is left up to the fighter. I am not going to take credit for him becoming one of the best southpaws ever. I give all the credit to him because he does it when he needs to.

Did you ever think these two would meet in the ring?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: Yes, Terence is always looking to fight the best fighters out there and right now I believe Khan is ranked in the top 10 as a welterweight, so we are going to fight him. We are going after the best ones and Khan was available so he is next up on the chopping block.

Where do you see Khan in his career right now?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: Right now, looking at his last two fights, he is like a determined fighter that wants to get the job done. He is coming off two wins for himself; he’s coming in on top and trying to upset Terence. At no time is Terence going to take Khan lightly.

Looking at all of Terence’s opponents, you could say that Khan is the most accomplished. Where do you view him compared to all of Terence’ opponents?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: I would rate Khan in the top five of the opponents that Terence has faced. He has accomplished a lot of things in his career. He’s got experience, he’s knowledgeable, he knows what to do in the ring at times, he’s got good ring IQ and good ring generalship. So, I would put him up there in the top five.

Who are the others in the top 5?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: He beat two {Olympic} gold medalist, he beat a few of those undefeated champions. Hey, he’s up there.

Do you see it as Khan is a good fighter and it is a tough fight, but it is only a matter of time until Crawford puts a good hit on that chin?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: Well, we would want to say that going into the fight, but Amir Khan is still dangerous with the attributes he brings into the ring. We don’t know what he’s doing over there with Virgil Hunter. We don’t know what he’s doing with his strength and conditioning coach. So, we would want to say that, but we can think that going into the ring. The only thing in our minds is getting a win.

Bob tweeted about fighting Spence and talking to Haymon about it. How realistic do you think that is?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: Right now, our total focus is on Amir Khan. Bob is doing his thing, trying to make the fight happen. So, hey, let Bob do his thing and let us do our thing and when the fight is done we’ll sit down with Bob and hopefully the other guys will come to the table.

What sparring partners do you have coming in for this camp?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: Well, that’s a little bit too much information to be giving out. You’ll find out after the fight.

What does a win for Terence do for what comes up next?

BRIAN MCINTYRE: Well, everyone has been saying Terence is a small welterweight and he’s not big enough for that weight class. Amir Khan is a solid welterweight so after Terence does his thing does his thing on April 20 it will solidify him as a natural welterweight.

Your careers have sort of paralleled each other, but Amir was a weight class ahead of you. Did you ever see this fight coming?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: Not really. I didn’t see a fight between myself and Amir Khan happening because, you’re right, he was the bigger guy fighting in higher weight classes. He fought Canelo at a higher weight class and we thought he would be at 154. Right now, I am excited to share the ring with him.

Khan seems to be a big underdog in this fight. What do you see in him that will trouble you? He has a lot to win and you have a lot to lose in this fight…

TERENCE CRAWFORD: He is a big welterweight. He has a big name in the sport of boxing. Right now, I give him a shot at the title. He has done some great things in the welterweight division. He has never lost at the welterweight division. We look at all of those types of things.

How has the evolution of you fighting as a southpaw happened since the Prescott fight?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: They are all different fights. It just depends on the moment. I can fight great in both stances. I have been fighting more southpaw and I believe a lot of people forget that I am orthodox. But that goes to show how well I am doing in my second stance.

How do you compare yourself to a southpaw now to then since you have improved a lot?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I have gotten a lot more experience as a southpaw in big fights and have been fighting tremendously in the southpaw stance.

You are fast, he is fast – do you think it will come down to who punches harder and who can take the best shot?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I wouldn’t say that. Amir Khan might be fast, and he might have good movement, but I am a great boxer myself and I am not the slowest fighter by any means. I believe in my skills and I don’t believe that it is my punching power that is going to lead me to victory. I believe it is my whole overall skills and mindset that will lead me to victory on April 20.

While you are doing that, showing your skills, do you feel it is only a matter of time before you land the big shot and he crumbles?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: No, I don’t look at that. I go into the fight looking to get the win. If the knockout comes it comes but that’s not what I am focusing on or looking at. It is boxing so anything can happen. We prepare to go 12 hard rounds and that’s the way we are going to take it.

Bob tweeted that when you win this fight he wants to make the Spence fight happen. What do you think about that? Is it makeable?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: Of course it is makeable. I believe it would be the biggest fight in the welterweight division. But like you said, I have this fight against Amir Khan. After the fight, we can talk about Errol Spence and Al Haymon and Top Rank doing business together. But right now, I am not even thinking or worried about Errol Spence.

Are you competitive on the business side that would make you want to beat the Spence-Garcia PPV numbers of 350K?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: At the same time, I have no control over that. I don’t know where a lot of people are getting their numbers from because I believe that is private information. They can say whatever they want, but if they did that much, more power to them. That is good for them. But like I said, I am not worried about that. My focus is to go in the ring on April 20 and solidify a good performance and get the victory. The numbers should be good. Amir Khan is a great fighter, fighting a great fighter in myself. I think the fans will enjoy a great night of boxing.

You hear the noise that you are a heavy favorite. Do you worry about that while you prepare?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I am never going to be complacent. I know about the threats that he brings into the ring and the troubles that I can have if I overlook Amir Khan. He’s got everything to gain so we have to take this fight real serious because the fights that slip out of a fighters’ hands happen when they think the fight is in the bag and it didn’t even start yet. We are going into the fight 110 percent focused and ready for the best Amir Khan come fight night.

Do you consider Amir Khan the toughest opponent you have had so far?

TERENCE CRAWFORD: I don’t know. I can’t say because I haven’t fought him before. I am looking for the best Amir Khan come fight night and we will handle everything accordingly.

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Canelo Alvarez and Daniel ‘Miracle Man’ Los Angeles Press Conference Quotes


Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion, and Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs), IBF Middleweight World Champion, completed the final stop of their three-city press tour with a spectacular press event at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live.The 12-round unification fight will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday May 4 and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

Below is what today’s participants had to say at the event:


Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/DAZN USA

CANELO ALVAREZ, WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion:

“I know Jacobs is a tough opponent and it’s going to be work, but I’ve always believed to be the best you must beat the best. I love challenges. I want people to experience a good fight when they come watch my fights. I may lose, but my heart is a winning heart and I want to give the fans a spectacular finish and I’m going to put up a good fight.”


DANIEL JACOBS, IBF Middleweight World Champion:

“I have the will and desire to go inside to go in that ring and be victorious and I see myself with my hand raised by the end of night. I know the odds are stacked against me and Canelo’s resume speaks for itself, but he’s never faced a tall, fast and big guy all at once and that’s what I’m going to give him. We’re going to give you what you’re looking for and the fans going to get a great fight come May 4.”

EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer and Manager of Canelo Alvarez:

“Our objective this year is win all the belts and become the first Mexican to win the all the world championships.”

JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Trainer and Manager of Canelo Alvarez:

“The moment he set foot in the gym we knew he was something special, the day he debuted he was great, but the day he retires the world will know how great of a fighter he is.”

ANDRE ROZIER, Trainer of Danny Jacobs:

“Jacobs is the best middleweight walking on this planet, his capabilities, skillset and gentleman ship will be what wins the fight on May 4.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:

“I guarantee this is going to be the fight of the year. You have two fighters who don’t have a quit in their game, this is a fight for the ages. The fact that Jacobs and Canelo both want to be great, there’s no other way than to make this one great for the fans, they will get their money’s worth come May 4.”

FRANK SMITH, CEO of Matchroom Boxing:

“We believe Jacobs will unify all of those belts and he’ll take on Canelo and win that fight.”

JOSEPH MARKOWSKI, Executive Vice President, DAZN North America:

“We’re deeply honored and proud to be exclusively showing this champion versus champion fight in the U.S.”

RICHARD STURM, President of Las Vegas Sports & Entertainment

“We are tremendously excited to bring the Canelo versus Jacobs fight to Las Vegas; it’s going to be a great event.”

Canelo vs. Jacobs is a 12-round fight for the WBC, WBA, Lineal, Ring Magazine and IBF Middleweight World Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.

Tickets for Canelo vs. Jacobs are one sale now and are priced at $2,505, $1,505, $1,205, $805, $605, $405, $305, $205 and $105, not including applicable service charges and taxes. There will be a limit of 10 per person at the $2,505, $1,505, $1,205, $805, $605, $405, and $305 price levels with a limit of two (2) per person at the $205 and $105 price levels. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.

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Frank Warren’s Press Conference Notes


By: Oliver McManus

In front of a convened press pack at the BT headquarters in London, Frank Warren held an hour long press conference on Monday to discuss the forthcoming plans for his promotional stable. We take a look at the key announcements and what they could mean.

Tyson Fury signing a co-promotional deal with Top Rank came as the headline announcement and, indeed, the most surprising. The deal, worth a reported £16million per fight, is a multi-year arrangement that will see him continue his working relationship with Warren whilst putting him in a prime position for a Stateside splash. Set for three fights throughout 2019, just one of those bouts will be on home soil with the remaining two set to be headlining ESPN cards.

The agreement is one that you can’t criticise Fury for taking, the money, opportunities and exposure afforded to him as a result are clear to see but what does mean is that, as with Anthony Joshua, another great heavyweight is off to conquer the American market. Furthermore what with Matchroom’s relationship with DAZN and that of Deontay Wilder with Showtime, the egg-shell nature of the heavyweight love triangle just became even more fragile.

That being said the key quintuplet of Warren, Fury, Wilder, Arum and Shelly Finkel all seem convinced that this new agreement shouldn’t be seen as a stumbling block in any negotiations and, rather, could make talks even easier. For that we’ll have to wait and see. What we do know, however, is that The Gypsy King is moving on over to America to play with the big boys.

Following on from that there was news that Nicola Adams had been forced out of her world title challenge to Arely Mucinio – scheduled for International Women’s Day – due to an injury obtained whilst training. The bout will be rescheduled for later in the year. This, combined with the cancellation of February 23rd’s show, saw a change to the makeup of that Royal Albert Hall card. Principally was the fact Anthony Yarde’s bout against Travis Reeves now finds itself taking place on March 8th.

Despite the repeated claims of Warren at the conference, Anthony Yarde is neither ranked #1 nor the mandatory challenger to, WBO champion, Sergey Kovalev with the unbeaten prospect slotting in at #2. The imperious physique of Yarde has seen him amass a record of 17 wins, 16 via knockout, without defeat but the opponents en route have been more than questionable. Tony Averlant, Dariusz Sek and Walter Sequeira are the trio of opponents to step into the ring with Yarde throughout 2018.

Reeves, then, is seen as a step up by way of the fact he fought, former European Champion, Karo Murat in the early stages of last year but this is another fight in which Yarde should find himself unrivalled.

With Yarde off the Leicester card, rescheduled for March 23rd, that bill will now be headlined by Sam Bowen’s maiden British title defense. The super featherweight has been slated to defend against Ronnie Clark on two occasions but both times the fight has been kiboshed owing to a Clark injury. It is believed Warren initially tried to get Craig Evans brought in as a replacement but the lightweight, WBO European champion, didn’t get the all clear from the British Boxing Board of Control. Ryan Wheeler was then approved for a shot at the title but, as of publishing, no opponent has been confirmed for the new date.

Sam Maxwell will contest his first title on the show when he faces Kelvin Dotel for the WBO European Super Lightweight title. Maxwell, a former GB Lionhearts representative in the World Series of Boxing, has made an impressive start to life in the pro ranks with ten emphatic victories. Nathan Gorman continues to be touted for a prospect-vs-prospect fight with Daniel Dubois and he’ll kick off 2019 in Leicester looking to be build an appetite for that particular fight.

The final announcement regarded the future of Billy Joe Saunders with the WBOs 160lbs mandatory challenger opting to step up in weight and contest the vacant super-middleweight title. That title became vacant when Gilberto Ramirez opted to step up to 175lbs, in doing so dethroning Yarde at the top of the rankings, although the Mexican has subsequently claimed he did not step away from the belt.

Nonetheless, as it stands, Saunders will be up against Shefat Isufi – a 29 year old German resident – who is the organization’s Intercontinental champion. Looking at his record won’t fill you with much optimism as to his ability – opponent after opponent littered with losses – and nor will watching any footage of his fights. I don’t think anyone is expecting anything but an easy night of work for Saunders.

Rather ironically the contest is taking place at Wembley Arena on April 13th which makes it 1-0 to Warren on delivering “big fights” at Wembley in 2019.

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Joshua, Miller, Engage In Hostile Presser


By: Sean Crose

Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller decided sportsmanship wasn’t his thing at Tuesday’s presser to kick off his June 1st heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden. No sooner were the two men face to face, than Brooklyn’s Miller gave the champion a hard shove. Joshua, for the moment at least, was cool as ice, as is generally his way. Overall, however, the presser was a mutually hostile affair which, while being good for business, also led some to feel there is genuine dislike between the two undefeated hitters. Joshua, clearly the more easy going of the two men, even got wrapped up in the moment.


Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account

“I got a picture on my wall of Anthony Joshua,” said Miller. “I wake up in the morning with Anthony Joshua.” Miller’s talk got tough when it was Joshua’s turn to speak. Calling his opponent an “Uncle Tom,” a cheater, and someone who shouldn’t be considered a role model, the 23-0-1 New Yorker pulled out all the stops in order to get inside the British multi-titlist’s head. Joshua was not one to be outdone. “Miller’s a little bitch,” he said. “I am going to knock him the fuck out. He is a drug abuser…I am going to knock him out.”

A presser involving mother jokes – and this was just that kind of presser – often isn’t a serious affair. Both men had some serious things to say, however. Miller spoke of his tough upbringing, while Joshua let it be known that he would have his man finished by the fourth round. “I am going to throw this jab down his throat,” claimed the 22-0 Englishman. “This is going to be a show. Come out and watch this one, New York. I am not up here playing the gangster role. I really knock people out. Look at his little hands.” Joshua also brought up Miller’s drawing power. “This is the first time he will sell out a show,” he said of his opponent,” and it’s because of me. Of course, he spends all day thinking about me and watching my fights — he has to — but it still won’t be good enough.”

This will be the first time Joshua has fought in the United States. An enormous attraction in his homeland, Joshua – along with promoter Eddie Hearn – is hoping to extend this superstardom to the United States, where the heavyweight champion of the world hasn’t been a well known figure in years. The Joshua-Hearn battle will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.

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Broner Clashes With Al Bernstein At Final Press Conference Before Pacquiao Bout


By: Sean Crose

“I don’t need to continue boxing,” Manny Pacquiao said during the final press conference before his WBA welterweight title showdown with Adrien Broner on Saturday, “but because of my passion for the sport, I am here.” Pacquiao, now forty, is being presented as the lion in winter as he sets off against the flashy, but uneven Broner, whose being portrayed as a man taking his last shot at glory. “Me and Broner,” said Pacquiao, “we want to make sure the fans on Saturday will be happy.” While this certainly may be true, Broner himself claimed to be put off when it was his turn to speak at the microphone.

“I really ain’t up here to talk a lot of shit,” the Cincinatti native said in his colorful, crude manner. “I put in the work. I’m pissed off for real.” Broner went on to indicate he feels slighted in the leadup to the Pacquiao fight, that he believes the press is writing him off as a mere tuneup for Pacquiao on the road to an inevitable rematch with Floyd Mayweather. “I just feel like y’all trying to play me for real,” he snapped. “To my recognition, Floyd is fucking retired, man.”

Both men, however, made it clear that they were eager to get in the ring on Saturday. “We gonna have a hell of a fight,” claimed Broner. “I trained my ass off.” Broner also made it clear that, despite his reputation for not taking the fight game as seriously as he should at times, he’s well prepared when it comes to facing Pacquiao. “I play a lot,” he said, “but when that bell rings, I’m going to be ready.” Broner co-trainer Kevin Cunningham openly exuded confidence in his fighter. “I’m guaranteeing that he (Broner) will send Many back to the senate beltless,” he said.

It was obvious throughout the press conference that these were entirely different men. Pacquiao was calm and seemed happy – the picture of an elder statesman for the sport. The Filipino legend wrapped up his time at the mic with a Bible Quote. Broner, on the other hand, engaged in vulgarity, as well as flashes of humor, as is his habit. Both men thanked God and seemed to respect each other, at least on a professional level. The fight, which will go down at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will be aired live on Showtime Pay Per View.

After both fighters spoke, Showtime’s Al Bernstein got up and asked them questions – or at least attempted to.

“I ain’t gonna lie to you bro,” said Broner after Bernstein asked him a question. “I don’t fuck with you bro. I don’t fuck with you. You be talking too much shit about me on twitter, bro.”

“Who, me?” asked Bernstein.

“Yeah you, bitch ass nigga,” responded Broner. “I’m gonna let you know. And I’m just being real, bro. I just already feel like you against me.”

“I’m not against anybody,” Bernstein retorted, “but this isn’t about me, it’s about you.”

“I’d rather Roy Jones or Stephen A Smith ask me some questions,” Broner said. “I don’t fuck with you.”

Afterwards Bernstein tried to get Broner’s team to respond – to no avail.

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Canelo Alvarez DAZN/Golden Boy Promotions Press Conference Quotes


At Madison Square Garden in New York on Wednesday afternoon, Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and Golden Boy Promotions announced an 11-fight deal with global sports streaming leader DAZN. As part of the partnership, Golden Boy Promotions will put on up to 10 high-caliber fight nights per year that will stream live on DAZN beginning in early 2019. The new era will begin Saturday, Dec. 15 when Alvarez challenges Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) for his WBA Super Middleweight World Title. This groundbreaking deal is the richest athlete contract in sports history.

In a press conference, the fighters and key executives took the stage to discuss the record-breaking deal as well as the upcoming fight at Madison Square Garden – Alvarez’s first in the iconic venue.

John Skipper, DAZN Group Executive Chairman

“Today represents a major shift in OTT sports content. Until now, fans haven’t received the value from these platforms that they deserve. DAZN is here to completely change that.”

“Oscar de la Hoya, as a boxer and a promoter, has been the most important figure in the history of pay-per-view. Right now, Canelo Alvarez is the most important fighter in pay-per-view. His next 11 fights will be available exclusively and internationally on DAZN. During the course of this deal, five years and the next 11 Canelo fights, DAZN will return premiere boxing matches to fight fans for a reasonable, affordable subscription price, and we will build a robust subscription base off of the demonstrated existing demand for these fights.”

“Adding this exclusive arrangement with Golden Boy and its quality roster of fighters to our Matchroom UK and Matchroom US fights gives us a year-long schedule of premium events for boxing fans. We add our Bellator, Combate MMA fights, and our World Boxing Super Series dates to provide a superior and affordable annual offering for fight fans.”

“Today I am thrilled to be here as we announce the beginning of a new era in boxing and the U.S. harbinger of a global transformation to a fan-centered and fan-friendly presentation of sports in OTT subscription services.”

Eric Gomez, Golden Boy Promotions President

“As we all know, the sport is undergoing an enormous change. We at Golden Boy Promotions have taken a major step forward to adapt to this change by signing this historic partnership with the leader of sports streaming DAZN. This is a direct and unprecedented partnership between two major global companies in the sport, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN.”

“As a Golden Boy fighter, Canelo became the undisputed pay-per-view king. But now Canelo is starting a new era in the sport by having his next 11 fights on this amazing platform. We are committed to making this sport as accessible and affordable as possible for all the fans. The most remarkable thing about this deal is that fans will not have to pay any extra to see the biggest name in boxing, Canelo Alvarez.”

Canelo Alvarez

“I’ve always said, when one door closes, another door opens. And we’re very happy with this new alliance that we’ve made with DAZN. Forget about the prices, the amount of money we’re making. The most important thing is that fans can enjoy this fight at a very low price. Thank you very much DAZN and Golden Boy, I’m very happy.”

On the fight: “For me it’s a challenge. It’s a new challenge to move up a division. We know the challenge we have in front of us and we’re going to train real hard to enter the history of Mexican boxing.”

Eddy Reynoso, Manager and Head Trainer to Canelo Alvarez

“We’re very happy about the news with Golden Boy and DAZN.”

“On December 15, we have another important challenge in the career of Canelo Alvarez. Rocky Fielding is a very tough and strong fighter who’s coming off a nice string of good victories. We know it’s a big challenge to be moving up to 168 pounds. And we know that we will fight a strong boxer who’s well-schooled. We want to make history and we want to let everyone know that Mexican boxing will always be number one. We will prepare as always 100%, and we hope to make Canelo Alvarez a three-division world champion.”

Chepo Reynoso, Manager and Trainer to Canelo Alvarez

“On December 15, we will see another great victory so that Mexico can be proud of him. We’ll see you on December 15 with a great victory in the arena of MSG.”

Rocky Fielding

“Everyone wrote me off, no one gave me a chance, and I went there, believing I could do it, and I got the win. I’ve worked so hard all my life to get to the world stage. And now I’m fighting the biggest name, the biggest star in boxing. It’s every fighter’s dream to fight at MSG. I’ve worked so hard all my life for it. I respect Canelo, I’ve watched him over the years. I’m going in there to win. I’m coming in as a world champion. I want to give everything. Expect a good fight and I’m coming to win.”

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director

“We joined up with DAZN, our biggest global boxing partners a few months ago, and when we give you our commitment, we give you our heart, we give you our blood, and we had a mission to make sure the DAZN platform would work and be a success. We launched the platform with Anthony Joshua, the first show being live on DAZN, and now through Golden Boy and DAZN, they bring Canelo Saul Alvarez. This is a gamechanger for the world of boxing and the way boxing fans digest content.”

“Things are about to change. The whole game is about to change.”

Jamie Moore, Trainer of Rocky Fielding

“I believe I’ve got the right sort of fighter in my hands in Rocky Fielding. He’s got massive self-belief, he’s got a lot of attributes that we believe will cause Canelo Alvarez problems.”

“I believe the 15th of December, we’re going to get the biggest win that the gym’s ever had.”

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Terence Crawford Conference Call Transcript


Evan Korn: Live from Omaha at the CHI Health Center on Oct. 13, Terence “Bud” Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBO welterweight world title against Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-0, 18 KOs).

Crawford vs. Benavidez will air live and exclusively on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m. ET with the entire undercard streaming live in the United States at 7:00 p.m. ET. The weigh-in will be broadcast Oct. 12, live on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Nov. 29, 2014, Omaha,Nebraska — WBO Lightweight champion Terence Crawford ,”the Pride of Omaha” wins a 12-round unanimous decision over Ray Beltran of Mexico Saturday, November 29, at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha,NE. — Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2014

To kick things off, I would like to welcome the President of Top Rank, Todd duBoef.

Todd duBoef: It’s great to get everybody on the call, and obviously, to see the return of Terence coming back after dominating Jeff Horn. Benavidez also performed very well that night against Frank Rojas, so I think everything is really dialed in for a terrific show.

These guys have had some public words. Obviously, you saw the 30-second spot where these guys were talking smack to each other, and I think this thing is very much a personal battle. Benavidez has been, from when we took him out of the amateurs, very highly skilled and has had a nice career. And this is his defining moment.

At this point, with Terence Crawford, this is the gold standard in boxing. He has just electrified everybody with both boxing skill and power, taken all challengers. And just anecdotally, when Terence Crawford gets in the ring, it’s like Alabama in football. He is that dominant, and he’s going to have his hands full with a guy that is not going to back down.

Q: It’s a little bit of maybe a grudge match here. I’d like you to just give me your point of view about that confrontation that you guys had in Corpus Christi, where he was on the undercard and he accused you of ducking him. You got a little heated. Calmer heads prevailed, but can you explain that situation a little bit and what happened?

Terence Crawford: Pretty much nothing. He just came up to me, told me that I was ducking him, and I never wanted to sign a fight, I never signed a contract, and I was scared of him, and he was going to knock me out. So I told him, I said, ‘Man, don’t you got a fight? You need to focus on your fight before you focus on me right now. You need to be focused on your fight.’ Then just a little heated discussion.

Q: Did you find it a little bit unusual that a fighter like Benavidez who, as Todd said was a good fighter, was a tremendous amateur but has not the sort of serious fight in terms of a name opponent as a professional so far would go up to a guy like yourself whose had high profile fights and accuse you of ducking him when he hadn’t done anything yet to be mentioned alongside you?

Terence Crawford: That comes with the territory when you’ve got people that, you know, want your spot. They want to get the opportunity or the chance to prove their worthiness, to make a name for themselves. So that’s how I take it. He’s trying to piggyback off of my name to make himself bigger.

Q: What was it that made you decide to give him the opportunity?

Terence Crawford: Oh, why not? Why not? You know, talk is cheap. We’re in the same division, same promoter. It’s an interesting fight. He’s always saying that I’m fighting smaller guys, so this is a chance to see what you are made of.

Q: Anything special that you’ve seen? He did have a very good first-round knockout on your last undercard when you fought Jeff Horn and beat him in June.

Terence Crawford: Come on now, we all know who he fought.

Q: I’m just asking. I’m not talking about that fight, just in general.

Terence Crawford: Well, what about it? I had a spectacular knockout, too.

Q: No, I was asking if you see any particular special qualities about Benavidez, not just about his fight with Rojas, but just in any fights of his you may have seen over the years?

Todd duBoef: Terence, you’d say he has a good mouth, right?

Terence Crawford: Yes, that’s about it.

Q: All right, Todd, that was pretty good.

Todd duBoef: If he’s not going to give him any flattering qualities, I’ve got to tell him the most obvious one.

Q: Obviously this pound-for-pound thing is pretty important to you, Terence, and you say that hands down, you are number one. How important is that to you, you know, to be recognized as number one and not number two by any other people that try to rank such things?

Terence Crawford: Well, it depends on who you ask. Some people rate me number one, some people rate me two. I can’t complain. I’m in the top two and almost everybody is rating me, so I’m just blessed to be in the top two.

Q: Another thing I wanted to ask you about is the welterweight division, which is extremely deep right now. Because Top Rank is with ESPN and your fights are on ESPN, a lot of those other guys are PBC fighters and there’s a divide in terms of trying to make some of those fights. How frustrating is that, a talent-rich division, and there’s obstacles to making some of the fights you’d like?

Todd duBoef: Can I answer this for him? I just want to make this crystal clear. We have said this following our recent announcement of re-signing Terence. Regardless of your affiliation, we will take on all comers. That’s it. We don’t care where you are, what you do. We will go and take on all comers, right? Terence is an elite fighter. He is at that class. In fact, when there was a big welterweight fight, a nice welterweight fight in early September, all they did was talk about Terence Crawford. We thank them for that.

We’ve done the biggest fights with the biggest complications of all time. He wants to take on the biggest. We want to provide the biggest. So, Terence, now you can chime in if you want. Sorry.

Terence Crawford: Well, you took everything out of my mouth. So, there’s nothing more for me to say. There you have it.

Q: How do you feel physically coming out of that Jeff Horn fight compared to when you fought at 135 and 140 pounds?

Terence Crawford: I feel stronger. I feel like my body is growing into the weight division. This is only my second fight at the welterweight division, so I feel like I’ve got a little more growing to do, but as far as strength-wise and how I feel, I feel great and I feel strong.

Q: When you’re looking at the welterweight division, and of course, one of the things that when you signed this new deal with Top Rank is that there’s the possibility that you could fight some of the other champions at 147 pounds. Between guys like Errol Spence, Shawn Porter, and Keith Thurman, who of the other champions would you like to fight next if you had your pick?

Terence Crawford: Those are the only champions. So, there are no other champions but them. So, I don’t know what champions you’re talking about.

Q: Well, I mean there’s still Manny Pacquiao. I don’t know if that’s…

Terence Crawford: He’s not a champion in my eyes. He don’t have the super belt. That’s the champion in my eyes. I look at the number one champion in the division. I don’t look at the WBC Silver and the interim belts and all that. I look at the super and the actual champion of the division.

Q: Benavidez, he won an interim title at 140. And he used a controversial tactic at that time. He hung on the ropes. Do you anticipate him trying to do that again and how would you counter something like that?

Terence Crawford: I don’t know. I don’t know if he’ll try that against me. I believe he’s going to come out, try to make it a fight being that it’s in my hometown. He don’t want to take any risks, and if he does do it, we’ve got a game plan for that as well.

Q: I wanted to actually ask a question to Brian and to Todd because I know that Terence is not going to want to talk about the future because he’s got the fight coming up on the 13th. But Brian and Todd, if you guys could talk to me, what do you view as sort of the rough outline, so to speak, game plan let’s say, for Terence’s next couple of fights? I know Todd, you said you guys are willing to make a fight with any of the other guys across the street however it may shake out. But what’s realistic in your mind, Todd and Brian?

Brian McIntyre (Crawford’s Trainer/Manager): Realistically, we’re going after the champions, man. You know, I don’t see any reason to be fighting the number six dude or number seven dude. We want the best fighters out there at 147 so, you know, I’m glad Todd is on this call because we’ll put the heat on him. He wants to make those fights happen. He can go to ESPN and make those fights happen. Terence wants those fights to happen. Let’s go!

Q: But because of the complications of you’re not going to want to leave ESPN to go to Showtime and/or Fox. They’re not going to want to leave their home base to come to ESPN. And so, therefore, it would seem as though those fights would have to be done in conjunction with each other as a pay-per-view.

So, if you had your choice in guiding Terence as a manager, as a trainer, who would you like to match him up with, the big name that you think would be the best and biggest fight to get Crawford sort of the major, major fight that I know he wants very much?

Brian McIntyre: Right now, the biggest name in the welterweight division is Errol Spence. So, what we would do is, and I’m glad Todd on this call, they just put the pressure on ESPN as a leader in sports. They want to be the leader in boxing. If they want to be a leader in boxing, they’re going to go out and make those fights happen. And so that’s what Terence wants. They want Terence to be the number one fighter in the world.

Q: And I mean, look, Spence would be a great fight. I think every boxing fan would love to see it, but what do you think is an actual realistic goal for the immediate future or beyond the Benavidez fight?

Todd duBoef: I think we’re asking everybody to look into a crystal ball, right, and project out what somebody else’s needs are and what somebody else wants to do. We’ve established what we want to do, all right. We’re not going to come up to a press conference and I mean I don’t want to get – this conference call is about Terence Crawford. I’m not going to divert it like they did about – they were giving us all the attention.

We’re going to go after all those guys. We’re not allowing anything, no politics, no nothing, to get in the way. They want to do it. We want to do it. Let’s just get it done. We’ll figure out a solution.

Q: Would you agree then that it would be pay-per-view then because of the network situations?

Todd duBoef: I’m not going to make a judgment today right now on a phone call without having a conversation with everybody involved, including them on the one side and us. We are open to anything. We are open to anything to make those big fights happen for Terence and BoMac. That’s what we’re up for, too. We are not going to be siloed into a formulaic way of doing things. We are open to everything.

Q: How are you making sure you’re not distracted by all this other talk about other fighters, and networks, and all that stuff?

Terence Crawford: I don’t pay attention to it. My main focus is on Benavidez. As you can see, he’s been doing a lot of talking, but while he’s talking, I’m working. So, I’m not worried about nothing that he’s saying or that he’s trying to hype up. I’m focused and I’m ready to go next week.

Q: Other guys who have annoyed you in the past or gotten under your skin a little bit have paid a price for it. Are you surprised that Benavidez has taken this approach based on that?

Terence Crawford: No. He’s confident in himself and his abilities, and on top of that, I feel as if he’s trying to boost his confidence up even more by telling himself these thoughts in his head that he’s one of the best. But come fight night, all that is going to be out the window and we’re going to have to fight. And then it’s going to be put up or shut up.

Q: How do you view it when an opponent talks trash to you, Terence? Do you like it? Does it motivate you more? How do you approach that?

Terence Crawford: Of course it motivates me more because, as you know, I’m cool, calm, collected. I never said anything to the guy. He approached me, so now it makes the victory more enjoyable to go in there and hit him in his mouth and shut him up.

Q: Terence, I know in the past you’ve said that you want to fight all over the world. But how much do you appreciate what you’ve built in Omaha where the people have turned out for all of your fights?

Terence Crawford: I appreciate it a lot. Omaha has given me tremendous support since my amateur days. It’s actually a blessing to have your own city turn out the way that they do for me to make it seem as if I only fight in Omaha. That’s how big the turnouts are. Everybody thinks that all I ever do is fight in Omaha because of the turnout. So that shows a lot right there.

Q: Could Todd and Brian speak on that too, what Terence, all of you guys have built together here for Terence in Omaha.

Brian McIntyre: It’s tremendous. It’s tremendous, man. When an opponent fights here in Omaha, you’ve got to fight against the crowd, too, because the crowd is so pro-Crawford, pro-Terence Crawford, and that’s a good thing I like about fighting in Omaha. It’s an extra push for Terence. It’s an extra push for the coaches. It’s just an extra push for even the promoters to put on a good show because, you know, it’s going to be a show-off to the world. And people enjoy it and they want to come back. They want to see Terence Crawford. They want to see the next Terence Crawford.

I’m excited with what Top Rank and Terence has done for the city. I just say let’s keep doing it.

Todd duBoef: Yes, I mean one of the things I would say to BoMac and to Terence is this is really is a credit to all the work that they do, too. They are really focused on creating his brand and not depriving his fan base and we started that from the beginning together. And I’m going to say this about Terence. A lot of fighters can talk about their hometowns, but he’s got a home state. I mean, we went to Lincoln and we kicked ass there, too.

So, it’s not necessarily Omaha. He is an icon for the state and a wonderful representative for all of Nebraska and the Midwest, and he’s fast becoming a major global star. And to take the energy that he creates and the connection to all of his fans at his home and transmit that throughout the world just perpetuates it even further. But it’s really a credit to BoMac, his team, and Terence for being that persistent and helpful in creating the brand there.

Q: Terence, can you comment on your relationship with Top Rank?

Terence Crawford: I have a great relationship with Top Rank. Since they picked me up from TKO Promotions, we’ve been partners and we built a lot of great memories together, and they got me to where I am right now. And all I can do is thank them.

Q: Obviously, you’ve done really well, Terence. With ESPN as a platform, what do you feel like can happen now that you’ve established yourself as one of the premier fighters with the new deal with Top Rank and ESPN, and where can this fight in particular take you as far as your exposure nationally and internationally?

Terence Crawford: It can take me wherever I want it to go. All I’ve got to do is keep doing what I’m doing, and everything will follow.

Q: Terence, for this fight in particular, obviously you and Benavidez have known each other for quite a while. Can you talk about the relationship and/or non-relationship that the two of you have had and what’s kind of led to this bout taking place?

Terence Crawford: I really don’t know the guy too much. But just from Top Rank, we don’t have no history but arguing with each other. So, we’re going to get it in come next week.

Q: I guess I was more referring to the fact that from his mind, he’s been calling for this fight for the last few years, even when the both of you were at 140. In your mind, I guess how does this now take place that you are at 147 after I guess it seemingly being brought up for at least a couple of years, at least from his team?

Terence Crawford: Like I said, talk is cheap. Come next week, all the talking and all the answers that everybody want to ask about the fight will be answered. I really don’t have nothing to say about the guy. Come fight night, you know I’ll be ready.

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Vargas vs. Dulorme Post Fight Press Conference Quotes


In a night full of knockdowns from Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme fought to a majority draw after twelve rounds of back-and-forth action on Saturday night. DAZN’s first-ever boxing card from the U.S. also featured stoppages by Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, IBF Light Heavyweight Titlist Artur Beterbiev and WBA Super Bantamweight Titlist Daniel Roman, as well as Jessica McCaskill capturing the WBC Female Super Lightweight belt.

Post-fight ringside and press conference quotes, as well as the main card’s results are below.

Jessie Vargas

On the fight overall: “He was better than I expected. All credit to him – he’s a very good fighter. He comes and gives it his all in each and every fight. Unfortunately we went in with a draw. I was looking forward to the victory.”

On his 12th round knockdown by Dulorme: “It really caught me by surprise, I’m not going to lie. I was really confident in the 12th round, thought I had everything in control. I started with a punch and then I went on the attack, I saw him coming, backed up, he caught me with the punch and I was knocked down.”

On the two cuts over his eye: “I’m scarred for life, but it comes with the territory. I don’t complain. It was a couple head butts, and I knew he was going to do that frequently, unfortunately it did happen and there was nothing I could do to avoid it.”

On how he feels on this draw vs. the Broner draw: “This one was a good fight. The fans liked it. The last one brings a sour taste. This one I felt like I had the edge but I can’t complain about the draw. If that’s what the judges saw, all I can do it respect it.”

On his next fight: “I’m going to leave that up to my promoter Eddie Hearn and my advisors. Whatever they say goes. I’m looking forward to coming back real soon, but for now, it’s back to the drawing board.”

Jarrell Miller

On his TKO win: “I noticed that my size in coming forward, he missed a couple shots and he was winded from just missing. And so I know he knows I’m this big guy, I’m not going to be a sitting target, I’m going to keep coming forward. Have fun, that was it, go to the body, and mix up the middle a little bit.”

On a potential fight against Anthony Joshua: “When it comes to boxing, there’s boxing and trying to maneuver. Eddie Hearn is still keeping him away from me right now, but I think the AJ fight is going to come through sooner rather than later. It’s gonna be crazy, I can’t wait.”

On what he’s going to eat post-fight: “If Adamek invites me for dinner, I’m going to eat some pierogis too, Polish style.”

Artur Beterbiev

On how he feels about his TKO win: “This is boxing. It’s one experience for me, my career. I’m happy. I’m happy for that fight. I win. I won by a KO. It’s good, I think so, no?”

On when he got knocked down briefly by Johnson: “It’s boxing. Everyone can one time down, but it’s important if I win. I just remember he hit me not too strong. I remember that.”

On who he wants next: “I like to first see some proposals. I’m happy to take a unified fight. I’m happy to again defend my belt, no problem. Everything. It’s my work. It’s my job.”

Daniel Roman

On his TKO win: “It was a great test, Gavin McDonnell is a hell of a fighter. I didn’t take anything away from him, he gave it his best, it was my night.”

On who he wants next: “I want to challenge all the champions, I want all the belts. Rey Vargas, Isaac Dogboe, and the new IBF champion Terence Doheny – let’s unify. I want to fight the best in my division, and they’re considered the best. Let’s do it.”

On if he would entertain a fight with Diego De La Hoya: “Let him get a belt, and then we’ll make it happen.”

12-round Welterweight Bout @ 147 lbs.
Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme
Jessie Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs) and Thomas Dulorme (24-3-1, 16 KOs) fight to Majority Draw
115-111 for Vargas, 113-113 113-113

12-round IBF Light Heavyweight World Title Bout @ 175 lbs.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson
Artur Beterbiev (13-0, 12 KOs) def. Callum Johnson (17-1, 12 KOs) by TKO at 2:36 of Round 4

12-round Heavyweight Bout
Jarrell Miller vs. Tomasz Adamek
Jarrell Miller (22-0, 18 KOs) def. Tomasz Adamek (53-6, 31 KOs) by TKO at 51 seconds of Round 2

12-round WBA Super Bantamweight World Title Bout @ 122 lbs.
Daniel Roman vs. Gavin McDonnell
Daniel Roman (26-2-1,10 KOs) def. Gavin McDonnell (26-2-2, 5 KOs) by TKO at 2:36 of Round 10

10-round WBC Female Super Lightweight Title Bout @ 140 lbs.
Erica Farias vs. Jessica McCaskill
Jessica McCaskill (6-2, 3 KOs) def. Erica Farias (26-3, 10 KOs) via unanimous decision
98-92, 97-93, 96-94

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Final Press Conf Quotes: Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme


At TAO Chicago on Thursday afternoon, the boxing world saw a preview of what will prove to be a fully stacked Oct. 6 Matchroom Boxing USA fight night, as headliner Jessie Vargas will face off against Thomas Dulorme at the Wintrust Arena in one of four title fights on the card. In a press conference, Saturday night’s fighters gathered to discuss their preparation and predictions ahead of the big night – which will be the first live U.S. boxing event for DAZN, which will be broadcasting it exclusively.


Photo Credit DAZN Twitter Account

Jessie Vargas

“We are building something strong and I’m en route to becoming a world champion once again. The WBC gold belongs to Shawn Porter but I look forward to challenging him very soon, in the near future. Then again, I’m not looking past Thomas Dulorme. He’s a tough task and I have to make sure that I come out victorious and continue my path to success. He’s a tough fighter and I know I have to be on point, every minute and every second of the fight.”

Thomas Dulorme

“I’m ready for the fight. Everybody, put your eyes onto Puerto Rico vs. Mexico. It’s the best fight Saturday night.”

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director

“I’m very proud to be before you today for the first Matchroom Boxing USA event. Obviously we have a lot to thank DAZN for, the new home for boxing and for giving us the opportunity to build 16 fight cards across the U.S., and to build a great stable of fighters. I think by just looking up here you can see what we’re trying to do in terms of entertainment and value for money for the sport of boxing. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Wintrust Arena or watching on DAZN, I promise you, you will not leave without a smile on your face!”

Joseph Markowski, DAZN SVP, North America

“This is a historic moment: the first ever Matchroom USA event, broadcast live on DAZN, following our launch a few weeks ago. Our U.S. boxing journey starts here in Chicago, with a stacked fight card and what’s sure to be a memorable night in one of America’s greatest sports towns.”
“If you signed up for DAZN before the Sept. 22 Joshua vs. Povetkin bout in the UK, you’ll get 14 boxing and MMA events before your free month wraps up. That’s tremendous value and entirely indicative of what’s to come. We came in to disrupt the status quo, and it’s been interesting – to say the least – to see how boxing evolves with various broadcasters stepping up or switching up their game. It’s an exciting new era.”

Jarrell Miller

“It’s been a long road. Every fight is more important than the next. I did not look past Adamek because of his age, or because he’s gotten his butt whooped a couple times in the ring. Did not look past that! I made sure I went to the gym, trained hard, to make sure I put on a good show for you guys. I’ve said before sometimes as a fighter, the wrong story comes across because we talk smack. I have nothing but respect for this guy…It’s nothing about disrespect, it’s about two fighters coming together and beating his behind.”

“You had too much food in here man, this is ridiculous! You have a bunch of guys in here who can’t eat no food, you got chicken lo mein, and sour chicken, and chicken duck, and everything chicken. This is messed up.”

Tomasz Adamek

“Thirteen years ago, I came to the United States in Chicago and got the title shots. I won, thank you god. Thirteen years later, I get proposed to fight again in Chicago…and I said “Absolutely!” I’m here, we had a good camp, and I’m ready for the show. It should be a good fight for everyone.”

On why he wanted 12 rounds instead of 10: “I’ll never go into ring not in shape because I’m a smart man. Twelve is twelve. When I win the show I want to give you something bigger. When I go into the ring I want to be best and show who is better.”

Artur Beterbiev

“I’m not a big talker, but hopefully in the ring on October 6th, I’ll show you everything.”

When asked by Eddie Hearn on if the fight will go long or short against Johnson: “Eddie, I’m interested myself, and that’s why I’m here.”

Callum Johnson

“I’m ready to come here and upset the odds. I’ve done everything in preparation to be able to do that and it’s something I’m really, really looking forward to Saturday night. It’s a dream come true for me – fighting for a world title in America – and I plan on taking that belt home and shocking the world.”

On why he stepped up to challenge Beterbiev: “It took me all of half a second to say yes. I’m not in the game to turn opportunities down like this. I know I’m fighting a real good fighter, he’s a feared man, but I fear no man. When it’s all said and done, we’re both human beings, we’re both going to be in that ring, we’re both looking for power and it’ll be what it’ll be.”

Daniel Roman

“Expect a great fight from me. It’ll be my third defense and I plan on taking the belt home, no disrespect to Gavin. I know he’s a great fighter. He fought for the world title before so he’s going to come at me with everything hungry, but we’ll be ready and we’ll be taking the belt back home.”

Gavin McDonnell

“As a fighter we always want to fight in America. It’s been a dream of mine to fight here in Chicago. It’s a lovely place and this is where my dreams are going be made.”

“It’s up to me to go out there Saturday night and achieve my dream, which is what I plan on doing. I plan on stepping on the world scene and making a big statement Saturday night. My journey is just going to start and Britain is going to get a new champion.”

Erica Farias

“I’m very excited to be here, the first time I’ve been in the United States. It’s a dream come true to represent!”

“I’ve always thought about when I would have the opportunity to fight in the States. Now, it’s here with this amazing card and amazing event, and it will happen Saturday night with these great champions and facing Jessica McCaskill.”

Jessica McCaskill

“I’m really excited about this fight. I love the atmosphere that all the boxers bring. It’s nothing about disrespect. We have high goals for female boxing, boxing in general, and there’s nothing but love up here but we do want to beat each other up. That’s just how it goes. So thank you for coming.”

“To all my friends and family in St. Louis, get DAZN if you want to see my fight! Get DAZN, it’s on-demand afterwards. You can rewind, watch it, rewind, watch it.”

On potentially becoming a world champion is Chicago: “It means everything to be part of history. I feel if you’re going to do something like this and put your body on the line, it should be for great things. It’s great to win and it’s great to have a belt, but it’s amazing to be part of history and that’s what I’ve been trying do my whole career. Because of the lack of female boxing there’s been a lot of opportunities to do that, so I’m excited for the opportunity and excited to fight!”

Tony Bellew, Interviewed Offstage by DAZN Hosts Ak & Barak

On his Nov. 10 unification fight against Usyk on Nov. 10: “This is a really, really hard fight, a defining fight in my career and his. He’s trying to make his name big in the UK, because the UK audience is huge and the US audience is now also open with DAZN. So, this is a mega fight. I’m a name, he’s a name, I talk, he listens, and we’re going to see how it’s going to go on November 10thand I can’t wait. I know I can beat him. I can beat any cruiserweight in the world. There’s only one cruiserweight that would have whooped me and he’s long gone and that’s Evander Holyfield.”

On rumors of his retirement after the Nov. 10 matchup and what that would take: “Boxing’s a hard game because even when you win, you lose a piece of yourself. I’m hoping to lose the fight in me on November 10th. I’m going to win, but I’m hoping that it’s so hard that I’ve had enough.”

On why he’s in Chicago other than his fight camp nearby: “I’m here to support my gym mate, Gavin McDonnell, in a world title fight against Daniel Roman. It’s a stacked card and a brilliant event. I’m looking forward to not just my gym mate winning a world championship, but there’s also many other fights on the bill…I’m looking forward to seeing it all.”

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Tyson Fury’s Antics Turn Wilder Press Conference into a Circus


By: Sean Crose

First things first – boxing press conferences, especially for big matches – need to be more exciting. They can be tiresome affairs, more like homework than electrifying events. People no one’s heard of speak on behalf of businesses and corporations no one cares about. It can all be tiresome. In truth, the UFC does a far better job than boxing when it comes to bringing the heat to media events. Ultimately, however, the UFC goes too far. Conor McGregor, entertaining though he is, is essentially a high school bully in the body of a thirty year old professional athlete. His press conferences rile up his legions of fans, but they’re like the kind of crap you witnessed in the school cafeteria as a kid. And frankly, that’s not really fun after a point – unless you’ve never matured beyond your teenage self.

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury had a nice press conference going in England on Monday…until Fury decided to stomp on down the McGregor path and ruin it. Each man was quipping off the other, landing shots, while letting shots roll of his chest. It’s was a fun leadup to a big match between two tough professionals. Unfortunately, Fury had to spoil things by challenging Wilder to punch him. Once again, we were all transported back to high school. Wilder took the bait and the two men had to be broken up before real chaos ensued. It was idiotic and unprofessional.

Frankly, I blame Fury for this – not because I’m a biased American defending my countryman, but because Fury – like McGregor – is a bully who likes to win the fight mentally before it even begins. Wilder, however, appeared to be bully proof on Monday, so the giant Englishman felt he had to up the ante. Fair enough. But fans shouldn’t be happy getting a half baked fight in October when the real one’s going down December 1st.

Some of us have really been looking forward to Wilder-Fury. Both men are vastly underrated and have personalities as big as their frames. It’s pretty clear Anthony Joshua wants no part of either man (or at least Wilder), so it’s exciting to see two of the three best heavyweights in the world getting it on. Boxing is a serious sport, however. People die. People get brain damaged. Theatrics are fine. Idiocy is for high school. Let’s leave it there.

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Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury London Press Conference Quotes


The Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Press Tour got off to a combative start as the two heavyweight giants went face-to-face in London on Monday, exchanging verbal jabs ahead of their December 1 showdown for the WBC Heavyweight World Championship live on SHOWTIME PPV from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Amidst the back-and-forth jawing, the 6-foot-7 Wilder and the 6-foot-9 Fury had to be separated when Wilder refused to back down from Fury’s challenge to engage in a sparring session.


Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Showtime

“I want to feel the power,” Fury said to Wilder. “You’re going to feel the Fury, I want to feel the Alabama slammer.”

“I’m going to show you the full power”, Wilder quipped back. “This ain’t no game!” Watch the confrontation HERE

Wilder vs. Fury tests the raw power of Wilder against the unmatched size and mobility of Fury. America’s only heavyweight champion since 2007, Wilder has 39 knockouts in 40 professional fights, including knockouts in all seven of his title defenses. Fury is a former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world champion who is undefeated in 27 professional fights and holds boxing’s coveted lineal heavyweight title.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, go on sale Wednesday, October 3 at 12 p.m. PT. Tickets are priced starting at $75, plus applicable fees, and are available via AXS.com.

In anticipation of the biggest heavyweight event in the U.S. since Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis in 2002, the Wilder vs. Fury International Press Tour continues Tuesday at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York and concludes Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Below are flash quotes from today’s event at BT Sport Headquarters in London:

DEONTAY WILDER

“I believe every word that I say. When I say I’m going to knock a man out and tell him where and how he may lay, it comes to pass. I’m all about devastating knockouts, that’s what I do. There’s no pressure on me. You just need to be there to witness it.

“He has two months to get ready. He’s lost a lot of weight but he needs to lose a little bit more. He already knows he’s going to get knocked out. He can hoot and holler, he can build himself up but he needs to take my advice and speak it, believe it, receive it. He’s going to feel pain he’s never felt before.

“Some people don’t even think I should be fighting Fury at this point in time. Whether they want to see another fight or they don’t think he’s ready right now, we can’t live off other’s opinions. When you come to see a Deontay Wilder fight, you’re only coming to see one thing and that’s me knocking somebody out. You all are looking at the 41st person that’s going to be knocked out.

“The antics aren’t going to work against me. I’m not (Wladimir) Klitschko, this is Deontay Wilder.

“I definitely think I’m the No. 1 heavyweight in the world. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel I was the best. I’m not worried about any other fighters or what they’re saying or how they are hyping themselves up. I already know I’m the part. All you have to do is tune in. I’m about to put him in the oven and make a muffin.”

TYSON FURY

“I am no challenger for no man. I am the lineal heavyweight champion of the world. That means I’m the best of the best. The elite champion. This is two champions colliding, this is equal-rights champion vs. champion.

“I’m savoring nothing. The only thing I’m savoring is smashing Deontay Wilder’s teeth in. The press has all turned up today to see the biggest fight of our generation between two undefeated giants, and boy are you going to get a fight. You’re in for a real treat, don’t worry about that. I’m in no mood to dance around the ring. There’s not a 15 stone man on the planet that can beat Tyson Fury.

“I have no concern at all about my lack of fights in recent years. If you can fight, you can fight. I picked this fight. I said to Frank, get me this fight. I could have fought another 10 bums and won them too. Nobody forced me to fight Deontay Wilder, I picked him because I believe he’s an easy touch.”

“I will stand right in front of him and prove what I will do. I will punch his face seven days a week and twice on a Sunday. If we fought 30 times, I’d win 30 times.”

LOU DIBELLA

“It’s been a long time since the heavyweight division has had two giants like this. Two champions at the top of their game, at the top of their division willing to fight one another. It’s not rocket science making a fight. Deontay spent a lot of time trying to make a fight with another guy from England who didn’t want to fight. When Fury got himself back into the ring and got himself in the shape he is in now, Shelly (Finkel) and Frank (Warren) were able to make this fight very quickly.

“When two great champions want to make a fight, the fight happens. That’s why December 1 is happening. We’re going to know right then and there who the best heavyweight on the planet is until proven otherwise. The winner of this fight will be the best heavyweight on the planet.

“Fury is an interesting guy who has had to overcome a lot of adversity. I think he should be proud of himself for getting his life in order and being able to turn things around. What he’s done in the last six months has been remarkable. I’m still going to admire him after he gets knocked out on December 1.”

SHELLY FINKEL

“I have nothing but respect for our challenger, Fury. When I was handling Klitschko, we didn’t think Fury had a chance against him. He proved me wrong. He won’t prove me wrong twice.

“We didn’t pick to fight Tyson because we thought he was easy, we believe he’s the best out there. We want to fight the best, and only the best. We have respect for you because your countryman didn’t want to fight even though he was offered a fortune to fight. When it was presented, he said no. I commend you for stepping right in.”

FRANK WARREN

“These are the two best heavyweights because they’re willing to step in the ring together. That’s what great fighters do. We are going to see something special on December 1. I think it’s going to be a fight that nobody expects. This is not going to be cat and mouse, it’s going to be a war. Tyson has a fighter’s mentality. He’s not trying to duck out through contracts, through a backdoor method. He wanted the fight and Shelly and I worked together to make this happen. You cannot miss it. This will be one of the best heavyweight fights for a long time.

“Fury is traveling to the other guy’s backyard like he did when he went to Germany and took Klitschko to school. He’s going to take Deontay’s belt and this is a fight you cannot afford to miss.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA

“This is a fight that has captivated America and will continue to captivate America. We have two mythical figures and that’s what people love about the heavyweight division; they are almost superheroes. In particular, these two individuals are the two largest men in the heavyweight division and I mean that in a physical sense as well as their personalities. On paper, in the ring, on the press tour, it’s a phenomenal matchup.”

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