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Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter Media Conference Call Transcript


Ray Flores

Thank you very much, operator. We greatly appreciate the media joining us from around the world. We continue the countdown for the big night of boxing coming your way on Saturday, September 28. That is a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. This is a stacked card from top to bottom.

It is a loaded event and our main event, which we are joined by the main event participants, is hotly anticipated welterweight title unification matchup, the IBF Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. and the WBC champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter, get closer to their battle for welterweight supremacy.

The four-fight Pay-Per-View card starts at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. It is preceded by FS1 PBC prelims that come your way at 7:30 p.m. Et/4:30 p.m. PT. Tickets for the event are going quickly and they are promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions. They’re available right now at AXS.com or if you live in the Los Angeles area, at the STAPLES Center box office.

Now a man that has been very busy promoting big events all over the world, the President of TGB Promotions, a man who knows boxing better than anybody, here is Mr. Tom Brown.

Tom Brown

Well thank you, Ray, and thanks everyone for joining us today. Both Errol and Shawn are having great training camps. There’s tremendous excitement about this fight and both fighters are in incredible shape. It’s really a sensational matchup and one of the best fights that can be made in boxing’s hottest division, the welterweights, with two world champions, unifying the title.

Errol Spence Jr. is one of the most talked about fighters in the sport. Many consider him to not only to be the best welterweight in the division but the best fighter in the world. But he’s going to get all he can handle from Shawn Porter, who has always faced the best of the best in his illustrious career. This is really the type of fight that elevates the sport of boxing. So it’s going to be a tremendous night of boxing, a big night on Saturday September 28. We have a great card and I hope everyone joins us. Thank you very much.

R. Flores

Thank you very much, Tom. And as Tom pointed out, both Shawn Porter and Errol Spence, Jr. are in impeccable shape. Now this man I’m getting ready to introduce, one of the champions, captured his title last September with a victory over Danny Garcia, also holds wins over the likes of Andre Berto, also Adrien Broner and Devon Alexander, while taking on the best in the division throughout his career, most recently coming off a title defense victory against Yordenis Ugas live on FOX in March. He is originally from Akron, Ohio but now living and training in Las Vegas alongside his father, Kenny Porter.

He is a two-time welterweight champion of the world. I know he’s very happy on this Tuesday, especially with his Cleveland Browns picking up a very impressive victory over the New York Jets yesterday. His record 30 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, 17 win by way of knockouts. Please welcome the always entertaining and charismatic “Showtime” Shawn Porter.

Shawn Porter

What’s up, everybody? Thanks for having me on. We’re about two weeks away and I couldn’t be any more excited than I am right now. So I’m even excited to do these interviews right now with you guys, so let’s go, let’s do it.

Q

Where does that mentality come from you where there really does seem to be a genuine willingness to just look down the list and fight the best guys available that you and your team can make a match against, Spence being the next one?

S. Porter

It’s how I grew up. It’s how my dad raised me and it’s where I come from. We were never allowed to shy away from any challenge and that’s the way I’ve lived my life. So when it comes to taking on Errol Spence, to me it’s like taking on any other fighter. It’s not like taking on, as everyone has coined him, the boogeyman or the best welterweight in the world. To me I’m taking on another great, exciting fighter and I’m going to beat that great, exciting fighter.

Q

So it is Spence specifically that you wanted to fight or was it Spence was a guy that had one of the other world titles?

S. Porter

I think it’s Spence specifically. I think it’s specifically Spence because of not only him having a belt but who is and what he’s done in the sport so far. Being undefeated and, again, being coined as the boogeyman of the division I’m like, “Yo, I need that. I need to beat that guy. I need to fight that guy.” And so that’s where the hunger really comes from for me.

Q

So then what was it can you say that put that in your mind or had your dad put that in your mind? Did you ever talk about that?

S. Porter

Again, it’s how I was raised. I can tell you story after story that would confirm that that was how I was raised. But I was ten years old playing football against guys who were 12 and 13 years old and it doesn’t sound that big but back then when you’re ten going up against preteens it’s a big deal.

So even at that young age, my dad has always challenged me and made sure I not only put out my best but I was going up against the best. And you look up, I’m 31 now and this is 100% familiar territory for me because it’s where I come from.

Q

Did you just embrace fighting all those big names pretty much right off the bat as long as the business was right?

S. Porter

Yes. For me it was always about embracing the name or the opportunity or the fighter, whatever you may want to call it. I think for me coming into the game, the way that I came into the sport and the business being ran the way that it was ran for me, I was always told who I would fight and there was never really ever a fountain of guys to pick from. They were always hey this is who’s next, this is when, this is where, and so that’s how I’ve been bred into this sport.

So when you talk about fighting the mandatory challenger, Yordenis Ugas, and why would you fight him and a lot of different questions were posed to me, in my mind he’s the mandatory, he’s the guy they told me I had to fight. That’s who I’m going to fight. So, again, I think it’s the mindset that I’ve had a very young age from that seems to resonate for me.

Q

Tom, I was wondering if you could speak to that.

T. Brown

Where I really saw it with Shawn the first time was it was our second PBC show on March 13 back in 2015 when Roberto Garcia pulled out. We brought another opponent in. There was never any questioning; he was fighting. We brought Erick Bone in and he was a tough kid. Both Shawn and his father just said whoever you get, we’re here to fight. So that’s where he really showed me that he was a fighter, both he and his father, just what he talked about, the way he was raised back in Ohio.

Q

Could you talk a bit about your time fighting at that much higher weight and some of the fighters you specifically fought there and if that gives you confidence going into this fight with Spence?

S. Porter

I think fighting 165 pounds is no secret that the majority of the guys that I fought as an amateur were a lot bigger than Errol Spence, not just bigger than Errol, they were a lot bigger than Errol Spence and I’m talking about guys like Daniel Jacobs, who fights at 160 pounds, 168 pounds now. I fought against Oleksandr Usyk, who is unified champion over there in the Ukraine, a heavyweight now. I fought him at 165 pounds back in the day when we were about 20 years old and beat him.

I have wins against Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade. Me and Andrade were one and one in the amateur division. The last time that we fought we were 165 pounds and I beat him to go to a tournament as the amateur. The experience is there. The experience against taller, bigger opponents is there.

For me looking at Errol Spence, I don’t look at him like he’s a bigger guy than me. I don’t think he’s one of the bigger guys in the division. I think that he’s been matched up against guys who have made him look a lot more powerful and bigger and stronger than he is. Trust me when I say he’s met his match in this one.

Q

Can you talk about how you’ve balanced broadcasting and fighting and if you’ve had problems straddling those two professions and your focus going into this fight?

S. Porter

I’m blessed because FOX Studios is just a rock’s throw away from Vegas so I can get there in just an hour. I do my thing. I actually have workouts and routines set around the filming and then on the ride home after we film. So it really has not been a hard thing for me to balance at all, the even more blessed part about it is I know the majority of the guys.

I’ve seen the majority of the fighters for a long, long time, then as amateurs and now I’ve known them as pros. So when it comes to things like being there to talk about these guys even that part of it is not strenuous for me because I know a lot of these guys, I know their styles, I know what they do, what they bring to the fight. So usually for me I’m just kind of shaping up on their statistics more than I am on who they are and who they bring to the ring. So it has not been a hard thing for me to balance and I’ve enjoyed it very, very much to this point.

Q

I know a couple weeks ago you mentioned that you were going to spar with Demetrius Andrade. I just wondered if you had the opportunity to do that and how it went if you did.

S. Porter

We’re still working on getting Andrade to Vegas. We tried to get him in D.C. He had some family conflicts going on and now we’re working on getting him into Vegas in the day or two so that we can get that last little bit of great work in. He’s a tremendous athlete.

We’ve used him time and time again when I fought southpaws and even when I fought orthodox fighters because he gives us such great work and he’s definitely a tough competitor and he makes it fun and enjoyable as well. So we do look forward to having him in Vegas and finishing up time with him in the next couple of days.

Q

Spence has said he’s going to knock you out and there are other people who have said that he’s going to be the first person to do that. Has that surprised your or driven you at all because you’ve always shown such a great chin?

S. Porter

I’m not surprised to hear him say he wants to knock me out. He’s even said I’m going to knock you out. I’m not surprised to hear him say that because I know his mentality. I know who he is as a person. He’s very, very driven and competitive, and I get that. The part about it for me is I think he may be trying to psyche himself out into thinking he can do it.

I think I have a proven chin. I’ve got a record for saying no fighter really wants to prove his chin. We never want to get hit, get hurt, anything like that but I’ve taken some pretty good shots from some top guys out there and I’ve managed to handle that and win and come out on top.

So when it comes to Errol Spence, I don’t look at his power any different than anyone else I’ve been in the ring with and I’m going to go at him like I’ve gone at Keith Thurman, like I’ve gone at Danny Garcia, like I’ve gone at Yordenis Ugas, Devon Alexander and the list goes on from there.

Q

Shawn, he said that you were a dirty fighter obviously in one of those FOX shows. Does that bother you or what was your opinion of that?

S. Porter

No, it doesn’t bother me. I think that’s his perspective. I think there may have been looking at film of me maybe and pulling on some things that he can take advantage of and he may think that my roughness, he’s misconstruing that for dirtiness.

If he can’t handle the roughness then you will find out real soon, and if that’s what’s working for us well then that’s what we’ll do. We’ll be rough, we’ll be hard, we’ll be rugged, we’ll keep the pressure on him and we all know pressure bursts pipes.

Q

Shawn, do you think it’s a psychological advantage for you a little bit that he’s thinking about that and that he’s mentioning this? Do you think that’s in his head a little bit or how do you view that?

S. Porter

At this point, I do. I think that there’s more than just that in his mind when it comes to fighting me. I think he knows that he’s up against a lot. I think that those certain things that he’s trying to be aware of or make the referee aware of, I think that that’s a mistake on his behalf. I think he may be looking at those things and overlooking other things, like my skill and my talent and my speed and my quickness and my boxing ability, So I think that he’s in trouble. I think it’s only a matter of time before the world finds out.

Q

When you look at Errol’s style, how do you see that faring against your style compared to when you fought Ugas? Do you see yourself having an easier or harder time dealing with Errol compared to Ugas?

S. Porter

No comparison. I think styles makes fights. I think you said it yourself. They’re two completely different styles. I think that they both have or in Yordenis’ case had, things that present problems for anyone that are in the ring.

I think for me I think my speed and my quickness against Errol Spence is definitely going to be superior. I think my foot movement is going to be superior and I think that it’s going to open up a lot more opportunities. I think that Yordenis in the ring with me was a little confused. He was expecting me to have a different style than I came to him with and I think that really shook him up. I’m expecting to shake up Errol Spence.

Q

One of the things I remember when we spoke a couple of months ago was that you wanted to have a pay-per-view main event on your resume and now that you got that, especially in a title unification, how does it feel being on this type of unique platform that so few fighters have had the opportunity to headline a pay per view?

S. Porter

It’s been a lot of fun. It definitely has been an eye-opener as well. Someone just sent me a picture telling me that the fights were going to be shown in theaters and I already knew that but to actually see it and have a preview of yourself at a movie theater is pretty cool. I’m at the theaters every other week so I’m going to do the best I can to sell the fight and let people know that they can go watch it at their local theater. I think that’s awesome.

It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to fight week. I hope it gets even more fun and gets more exciting. Fight week is something that I’ve been looking forward to.

Q

Given that the winner will have two of the four world titles, do you see this fight as the winner should be considered the number one welterweight in the world?

S. Porter

I do. I think that myself and Errol Spence, are the number one and number two guys. You call who you want to be number one and number two but the best part about it is one is about to fight two and one is about to get eliminated. I think that after I beat Errol Spence, especially the way I beat Errol Spence, I think that this will see me as the number one guy in the division.

Q

Will you talk to us about what you gained from that sparring with Benavidez?

S. Porter

That’s a big dude right there. That’s a fast dude. He’s competitive and honestly I really did enjoy the whole experience of being in the ring with him and being in the gym with him as well. He’s a dynamite guy. Being in the ring with him, I think at that point challenging ourselves and finding out where we were in camp and I think we found out that the conditioning that I was in at that point was great and we knew that we still had a couple of steps that we could pick up. But being in the ring with a big guy like that we definitely were able to find out that we were exactly where we wanted to be in camp at that point in time.

Q

Now I see that you predicted — do I have this right — you predicted an eighth round knockout of Spence next week?

S. Porter

Well someone else came on the line and they predicted that knockout. I did say I liked the thought of that prediction but I myself did not make that prediction, no, sir.

But if you’re asking me if I am going to knock him out, if I want to knock him out, heck yes. Do I have what it takes? Heck yes. And I think that we’ve come up with a great game plan and we definitely at some point will be looking at pressuring him and knocking him out.

Q

Is there anybody that you fought that’s maybe a little bit similar to Errol Spence?

S. Porter

If I had to say it would be between Danny Garcia and Kell Brook. I think that Errol Spence has great boxing ability, a great one-two, great basic fundamentals. He’s very, very fundamental structured, a lot like Kell Brook, and I think that that he tries to dictate the pace and do the things that he like to do in the ring, a lot like Danny Garcia. So I think he’s a mixture of those two.

Q

Does it bother you that people say that Errol’s on a whole different level as far as boxing and that you can’t box with him?

S. Porter

I’m from where LeBron James is from, northeast Ohio. He said in northeast Ohio everything is earned, nothing is given. With that being said, I know how it feels to prove people wrong. I know what it feels like to do the impossible and do the things that people don’t expect you to do.

So it doesn’t bother me that people don’t give me credit for my boxing ability or say things like me not being able to box with Errol Spence on the outside, things like that. It just leaves room for me to do what I do where I come from. Where I come from is proving people wrong and doing the impossible and that’s what I’m looking forward on the 28th.

Q

I know you’re always motivated but like is it motivations on another level right now because you want to prove so many different people wrong?

S. Porter

No. The odds, the betting odds, they don’t give me any more energy or drive to do anything different. It’s my understanding that I’m going to see a lot of people who say, “Hey, man, I bet on you, man. Thanks.” And there’s going to be a lot of people out there saying, “Man, I should have bet on you.” That’s always fun to hear and see. So I’m looking forward to that.

Q

Would you agree that the intensity in this fight is based on who’s the best at 147, it’s not personal. It’s more business?

S. Porter

I think it’s both and the reason why I say it’s both is because I think the business part of it is just about showing who’s the best fighter and who has the best style and who’s more determined, all that good stuff. But I think that at the same time we both are challenged to show that we have a great team, great families, all that kind of stuff. So, I think it kind of mixes a little bit. But in terms of there’s nothing personal in terms of me taking shots at him, at Errol or anybody else in the division based on what they do in their personal life. It’s all based around the business and the training and all that kind of stuff.

Q

Do you see the perspective that this is a legacy fight for you?

S. Porter

Yes, I think it’s cool to be in my position. I’m the only one that’s taken on all those guys and still here to continue moving forward. I think if anything if we do want to talk about the betting odds and things like that. I think you take into consideration what I’ve done and who I’ve done it against. And how I’ve performed. I think that if you take into account that I’ve fought Danny Garcia at in his prime basically, Keith Thurman in his prime basically. Just recently Ugas who is a great boxer. I think that if you take in all that into account you might say, man, like, alright I think this fight is going to be a little more competitive and harder to choose the winner than I think it is going to be.

S. Porter

I’m looking forward to the 28th. I’m sure you guys are used to hearing that. But the thing you’re not used to hearing is the world is about to be shocked. Team Porter has done a fantastic job at getting prepared for Errol Spence. We are overlooking anything that he can do in the ring. But we definitely feel like we are the superior athlete, the superior fighter. And we are all looking forward to the 29th and shocking the world on the 28th. Thank you, guys, so much for the interviews. And I’ll see you all soon.

R. Flores

This next fighter just gets it done and at a very high level. As his level of opposition increases, he continues to wipe out his opponents, and he has a very tough test ahead of himself. His record, 25 and 0, 21 wins by way knockout. Please welcome the reigning and defending IBF welterweight champion of the world Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.

Errol Spence Jr.

Hey how it’s going? Happy to be here. Training camp has been really good. I am excited that it’s only two weeks away. It’s going to be a great match up between two great champions. I’m always ready to fight. So, I hope everybody’s coming to the fight. It’s going to be an amazing night and might be the Fight of the Year this year.

Q

Porter seems to be a guy that would be more your equal than maybe your past few opponents. What is your opinion of that?

E. Spence

I see him as a tough opponent. He’s the world champion and he throws a lot of punches. He is very energetic. So that’s why he’s a success. He’s a rough guy and he does whatever it takes to win. So from that aspect and him beating Danny Garcia, I see him as a tough test.

Q

How are you prepared to deal with that element of the physicality he brings that’s not necessarily to the exact letter of the rules?

E. Spence

I’m a guy that I feel like I can ward it off or write it off. Or may do the exact same thing. So I feel like I’ve fought opponents just as physical as Shawn, or just just as strong as him. I feel like that won’t really play a part in this fight.

Q

Were you disappointed you couldn’t get Pacquiao next and sort of settled for Porter?

E. Spence

I was just looking for the next available guy. I wanted a unification fight too. Shawn Porter was the easiest fight to make and the quickest fight to make. So, that’s why I decided with the fight, Shawn Porter.

I wanted the chance to beat Pacquiao. Pacquiao is a bigger name and a bigger fight. So, of course I wanted that fight. But Shawn Porter is the champion too. He has the build. So, I definitely wanted to unify too. I knew that if I wasn’t going to get Pacquiao there was going to be a good chance I was going to fight Shawn Porter.

Q

Mikey Garcia had maybe a little bit of a bigger name, maybe a bigger fan base. I think most people would look at the fight between yourself and Shawn perhaps is the more competitive fight. Where do you stand on that? Which is the bigger fight in your mind?

E. Spence

I’d say Mike Garcia is the bigger name than Shawn Porter. But as a fan friendly fight or as an entertainment fight and tough fight, I would say this fight with Shawn Porter is going to be I feel like way more entertaining than the Mikey Garcia fight. I feel like the Shawn Porter fight is bigger just because it’s a unification fight.

Q

Do you think that it’s been easier this time around just because you have the experience of preparing for a Pay-Per-View event against Mikey Garcia? Or would you say it’s more or less the same?

E. Spence

I think it’s a lot easier. Because the first fight I was traveling to New York doing things and going back to California doing things. So I was basically going in and out of camp. I would say the first time it was harder than the second go around.

Q

Do you believe the winner of this fight should be considered the best welterweight in the world?

E. Spence

Definitely. There’s no way around it. The winner is the unified champion. So, I definitely think the winner should be considered the top welterweight in the world and that makes me even more excited and hungry to win.

Q

This fight you’ve been a lot more vocal that you’re going for a knockout. Usually you’re’ more reluctant to say that. Just wanted to know if that has to do with his style how your styles will mesh, your overall respect for him as a fighter, or just the mindset you’re bringing to this fight?

E. Spence

It’s just my overall mindset and something I want. I feel like the way he fights and the way he comes forward, I think I can exploit that. But I can’t go in there and just force knock out. I’m going to try to work a bit and break him down.

Q

How do you prepare for that physicality that’s going to come with that fight?

E. Spence

Mostly by preparing mentally for it and having sparring partners that bring the heat and bring the pressure. I feel like I’m ready. And I know that Shawn is going to bring it but that’s why we work so hard to be ready for anything he brings at any time.

Q

Are you trying to probably make more of a statement in this fight, ?

E. Spence

Making that statement is something that I really want to do. It’s one of my goals in this fight is to knock him out. I’d be the first person and that would make it a real statement. I’m ready to go in there and deliver. I want it to be a great knockout.

Q

Do you feel beating Porter will give you that respect that you deserve or seek?

E. Spence

About the way I beat Mikey Garcia, because I just didn’t go in there. People thought I was just going to go in there and just bulldoze him. I just boxed and used my mind and made it a boxing match. So I think the people respect me from that standpoint. Where I just didn’t try to use my size to beat him up. But I definitely see how I want to win against Shawn Porter. I think people give me more respect and value my skills and my abilities.

Q

How you want to beat up Shawn Porter.

E. Spence

I just want it to be a calculated knock out. I don’t want to be going in just over anxious throwing a lot of punches and missing a lot of shots. I want to go for the knock out, be poised and pick my shots. I want to break him down and get a calculated knock out.

Q

What is it about Porter that has you working a little bit harder for this fight?

E. Spence

Porter’s a guy trains hard and of course he has dad in his ear pushing him. So he’s pushed to the limit every chance, every training. So that keeps me focused. Keeps me humbled. Because I know he’s going to come in shape. I know going to throw punches. And I know he’ll do whatever it takes to win. So, that keeps me basically on my toes. Keeping me training a little bit harder.

Q

How might Porter approach you as opposed to how he approached Ugás?

E. Spence

Shawn is the guy who just goes by the game plan. So I think the game plan is the try to beat me from the beginning and try to throw a lot of punches and bring me down. Try to stop me. So, I think that he’s going to be more aggressive than he was against Ugas.

Q

Did you think he won that fight?

E. Spence

I think either guy could of won. I think it was super close where either guy could have won.

Q

Did it surprise you that Shawn approached that fight the way that he did?

E. Spence

Yes, a little bit. I would have thought he would be more aggressive like he did in the later rounds, in the early rounds. But they tried that strategy. He still won at the end of the day. So, that gives him the motivation heading into this fight.

Q

Errol, do you think you have gotten under his skin by calling him a dirty fighter?

E. Spence

No. Because I’m not the first person to call him dirty. I don’t know if he’s a dirty fighter but he has a dirty style. A lot of elbows and things like that. But he’s good for a reason. Whatever works, he’s doing it.

Q

How important is it for you in your fight, Errol, in the beginning of the fight if things get rough and he does some of the things that you’ve mentioned to do that right back to him to let him know that you’re not going to tolerate that type of thing?

E. Spence

It could happen that way. But I’m not really worried about it. I think a lot of times, when he fights stronger, he isn’t dirty like that. Danny Garcia, he wasn’t dirty like that. I think he does that to fighters he can just push around. I’m not really concerned with his dirty tactics.

Q

How do you feel about getting this second pay per view?

E. Spence

Yes, of course. I started at SHOWTIME and I have a lot of love for SHOWTIME. Had my first fight on there. First title fight on there. So it’s a lot of first moments on SHOWTIME. So now FOX has had amazing promotion for all their PBC fights. Really getting bigger than getting slots in between timeouts for the NFL. So it doesn’t get bigger than that.

The promotion’s been great and getting all the commercial slots. We’re all very happy to have a promotion like this. It’s been a great ride.

Q

Can you talk a little bit about what role you play in having your hand on Man Down promotions? You have a couple fighters fighting on this card, if you want to speak on that a little bit.

E. Spence

Yes, I have Man Down Promotions co-promoting. We have a couple fighters fighting on the card. We’ve got Burley Brooks, Amon Rashidi and Fernando Garcia all getting in the ring.

I’m a guy that I don’t want to have a big stable of fighters. I want to have a few. So I can put my attention on just them and get them fights and make sure they’re busy and things like that. So I’m not looking to really find any more fighters than what I have now. So, I can be focused on them.

Q

How will you balance whether it a dog fight or a chess match against Shawn?

E. Spence

It’s just instinct. I feel like I know when to box and when to bang and how to pick and choose my spot and things like that. So it just happens naturally in a fight. I feel like at the first round, I’ll know definitely where it’s going. I’ll figure him out, break him down and tear him apart or I’ll beat him backing up.

E. Spence:

Everybody make sure you’re there. Make sure you order the Fox Sports PBC Pay-Per-View September 28. It’ll be an amazing event. I can’t wait. I’m in great shape. Shawn Porter, he comes to fight. And like I said, I’m looking for the knock out. So it might be Fight of the Year if he can withstand my punches for all 12 rounds.

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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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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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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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Canelo Alvarez Media Call Interview Transcript


OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Hi there, everyone. Thank you very much for joining us and for participating in the Canelo Alvarez international media conference call.

September 15 couldn’t be close enough. We are exactly about one month away from one of the most anticipated high-class action rematches of the middleweight division between Lineal Middleweight Champion Saul Canelo Alvarez and GGG, who is a WBC, WBA, IBO Middleweight World Champion. This epic event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time, which will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

For those of you who want to be present in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena, you can still get your tickets. There’s only a few tickets left, and you can access those tickets at www.T-Mobilearena.com or by calling 888-929-7849. The closed-circuit tickets went on sale today. Fight fans can watch live from the MGM Grand, the Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, and the Luxor, and tickets may be purchased at the MGM Resort International box office.

Photo Credit: Tom Hogan Photography/Golden Boy Promotions

We would like to highlight a couple of upcoming events. Next week on Wednesday, August 22nd, the media will get an opportunity to talk to Chepo and Eddie Reynoso, who are the trainers of Canelo, and you’ll be able to talk to Abel Sanchez, the trainer for Gennady Golovkin. Again, the date is Wednesday, August 22nd, and that will be at 1:30 p.m. ET/ 10:30 a.m. PT

Additionally, we have — we’re hosting an open to the public and to the media workout live from the brand new arena in Downtown L.A. It’s L.A.’s newest soccer club, the LAFC, which is called the Banc of California Stadium, and that’s Sunday, August 26. Both fighters will be hosting an open to the media and to the public workout. We expect thousands and thousands of people to attend.

Let me just take this opportunity to thank the sponsors. Obviously, the official beer of boxing, that’s Tecate, Hennessey, never stop, never settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events. Thank you very much for your continued support to the sport of boxing.

Now I would like to introduce to you. He is the world champion going against Gennady Golovkin for the second time. He has made an incredible career in such a short period of time, Saul Canelo Alvarez.

CANELO ALVAREZ: Greetings to everybody. We’re happy to be here with you again on this teleconference call. More than everything, we are ready. There’s only one month left. We’re very happy. We’re very focused in training. And we’re happy that we’re just days away from this fight.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Beautiful. Now we will open it up to the media for questions. Thank you.

Q. Hi there, my question for Canelo, this fight will represent what will be, if he wins, the 21st consecutive title defense for Gennady Golovkin, which would break the record that he currently shares with Bernard Hopkins, who, of course, is a partner in Golden Boy. I wonder, from Canelo’s perspective, how significant would it be for him — I know to win would be big, but how significant would it be to prevent his rival from breaking such a hallowed record?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Well, you know, Gennady Golovkin has his goals. He has his wishes, just like me. Mine is to win on September 15. I mean, whatever he wants, that’s his record, his desires. That’s why he’s training. That’s why he’s training to win.

All I know is that I’m prepared to win on the 15th of September, to give a great fight and make it absolutely clear that I’m the best middle weight in the world.

Q. Another question for Canelo. This will be Canelo’s first rematch of his career. Most top fighters at one point or another do have a rematch, but I’m just wondering if he has just any general thoughts on engaging in what will be his first rematch.

CANELO ALVAREZ: I’m very happy to have this tiebreaker. I’m very happy for this opportunity to make clear who is better. This is the opportunity to show who is better. So I’m happy, and I’m content, and I’m relaxed. I’m training 100% because, obviously, I know what I have in front of me. I know Golovkin is not an easy opponent, and I know what I have to add to my strategy. So, again, I’m happy to have the tiebreaker to make it clear who is the better fighter in the first fight.

Q. The first question is why do you think this rematch will be different? What will you do differently? What will be different to tip the balances in this fight in your favor?

CANELO ALVAREZ: The first fight gave me the guidelines to know what to do in the second fight, to know what to do differently. In the first fight, I realized a lot of things. I learned that I can knock him out. I learned that I can hurt him. There are a lot of things I learned in that fight, but also in that first fight, it was my first fight officially at 160 pounds, at the 160 pound limit, so I had to adapt. But now I’m more sure and more confident about what I can do in this rematch.

Q. How do you feel about the accusations from the other side, from Abel Sanchez, from team Golovkin, and how have you been able to deal personally with dealing with people like that?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, you know, I’m very bothered, and I’m angry at their accusations, but I will utilize it in my favor because I have experience in this. I know that, if I get angry and closed minded, that I might make some mistakes, and it will be wrong. So I’m going to use this in my favor to train harder to give that extra push, and I’m going to use that anger intelligently in my favor on September 15.

Q. Hello, everybody. Oscar, I have a question, and then I have one for Canelo, if I may. Oscar, you had two guys, notable guys, Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas, test positive after they fought you, and I know some of us reporters — and I don’t know about the fans, but I’m assuming some of them too, kind of never looked at those guys the same way after that because we were wondering, right? So in your mind, how concerned are you that, even if Canelo didn’t do this on purpose, that his legacy has become tainted by the dirty test?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: I’m not concerned one bit because this is totally different. Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas tested positive for steroids performance-enhancing drugs, and this is totally different. This was Clenbuterol that was in meat, in tainted meat. So, look, everybody in Mexico knows about the big problem they have with Clenbuterol in their meat, and in Mexico he’s a bigger star than ever.

So I don’t think his career will be tainted whatsoever. I think once he beats Golovkin in a spectacular fashion, then people will forget about it here in the states.

Q. Oscar, let me ask you one more thing, and I just have one for Canelo. The pay-per-view numbers were very good the first time. Is it safe to say, because of this controversy, that they could be even way better this time because everybody loves controversy?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Absolutely. This pay-per-view the second time around will be much bigger than the first time around.

Q. And Canelo, the same kind of question I asked Oscar, the first one. Is he concerned that people are going to look at him differently now with the test with the Clenbuterol?

CANELO ALVAREZ: No, the people who have always supported me have been there and will always be there. They know what it is. I’ve made all the tests. So they will always be there, my supporters.

Q. This is for Canelo. GGG is known for his knockout power. He has an 87 percent KO rating. Having felt this power, how does it stack up against previous opponents, and is he the hardest hitter you’ve ever fought?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Obviously, he’s a very strong fighter. He has a very strong hit in his punches. That’s his biggest virtue as a fighter, that he has that power, but obviously, I’ve fought other strong fighters as well. And despite him being a 160-pounder with respectable power, it’s nothing out of this world. I showed him the first fight that I can take his punches, and simply that, he’s a respectable puncher with respectable power, but nothing out of this world.

Q. You and GGG haven’t fought for a year. How hard is it to shake off the rust after a year of inactivity?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I feel well, and I don’t think the year off will affect me at all. I like to train. I like to stay active. So I feel good. The most I’ve lasted usually from September to May, which is about nine months. So I think three additional months is nothing. I stay training, and I stay active, and it’s not going to affect me for this fight on September 15.

Q. Obviously, with the Clenbuterol, it may have hurt your image, but you deserve credit for being clean throughout your entire career and a very decorated career. But despite all of that, do you feel there’s added pressure to show because you’ll be under the microscope more for this fight?

CANELO ALVAREZ: No, I don’t feel any pressure at all. I have nothing to show in that respect. All I have to show is I’m the best. In the first fight, it wasn’t demonstrated because, obviously, it ended in a draw. But that’s the only thing I need to show, that I’m the better fighter than him on September 15.

Q. What is the lesson that you have learned from these months and from being a year off? You’re 28 years old. Obviously, you’ve had good things, but this is obviously that moment. What have you learned from this experience?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I learned a lot. I learned who was really there for me. But I also learned — I got a lot of experience so that it doesn’t happen. The only error that I made is I didn’t educate myself properly on the situation with meat in Mexico, and I have to learn from that so it doesn’t happen again.

Q. I started out with my questioning of Canelo asking about the prospect of stopping GGG from breaking the record that he shares now with middle weight defenses with Bernard Hopkins. I wanted your perspective on that. I know he’s your partner. I know you guys have a long relationship with each other. But how satisfying would it be for you to see Canelo stop him from breaking his record?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Bernard Hopkins wouldn’t be any happier if Canelo — when Canelo stops him from breaking his record. Obviously, that’s a huge seat in his career. Even 21 defenses is huge. Bernard Hopkins, the fighters he’s faced, the opposition he’s faced, and then being able to defend his title 22 times is incredible.

So September 15, I’m pretty sure Bernard Hopkins is going to be rooting for Canelo even more so because his record’s on the line.

Q. I also wonder from you, Oscar, when you’ve talked to Canelo about the fight, is there anything that you saw in the first fight, as an experienced fighter yourself, that you saw that you gave him a tip about or something that maybe you saw in the way that Golovkin fought that you think that he can exploit or do better in the rematch with? And if so, what was that?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yeah, there’s always — you can always do better. That’s the beauty about boxing, and he knows what he has to do. I believe he fought a great fight. He fought his own fight, and I had him up two points. So, obviously, the second time around — and that’s the beauty with a rematch is that you can change up your style. You can adjust to your opponent’s style, and that’s the beauty with Canelo is that he knows how to adjust, unlike GGG that only fights one way, and that’s coming forward.

Q. Obviously, after this first fight, how many times have you seen this first fight on tape? And the real question is what did you see that you liked? What did you see that you’ve been able to work on that you’ll be able to utilize for this rematch?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve seen that fight about ten times, and what I think I needed or if there was an error, it was that I defended punches and I didn’t take advantage to counter that. I have to add that to this game plan. Every chance I get to hit him, I have to hit it. Every time I slip or dodge a punch, I have to come back. That’s what I needed in this fight, and that’s what I’m going to do on September 15.

Q. After this rematch against Golovkin, do you think that this will close the story or end the story between you two, or do you think there will be a third fight between Canelo and GGG?

CANELO ALVAREZ: As with the first fight, we have to see how this fight is going to take place and how it’s going to pass. After the first one, we needed the second one because it was a draw and because the fans wanted it. Personally for me, I want it to end here. I want it to define very clearly who’s the best in this rematch.

Q. First question is for Canelo. GGG had said that he had lost a lot of respect for you after what happened in February. Do you still have respect for him? And if you don’t, will you have respect for him regardless of what happens after September 15?

CANELO ALVAREZ: No, in the same way actually, it’s going to be worse. The respect that we had was lost. He crossed the line with his statements, with what he said, with the excuses, with all the crying from his team. So the respect, it was completely lost, and that’s how it will continue. In fact, this loss of respect and their statements and what they all said, this will help me to give 100 percent and give that extra push to leave it clear that I’m the better fighter.

Q. Based off of that, a lot of people have taken what he said, and they’ve taken it to heart. Do you feel you’re fighting for your reputation coming up on September 15, I’ll go in with a cold and calm mentality.

Q. Oscar, back when you fought Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum started a Mexicans for Pacquiao campaign and was quoted as saying, you have to understand that Manny is more of a Mexican style fighter than Oscar De La Hoya will ever be. Does it bother you that ten years later we’re still using this Mexican style gimmick? And what advice did you give Canelo, having gone through this yourself?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, it’s obviously all a gimmick. It’s a gimmick to win fans over. I did it with fighting hard and beating the best out there and fighting the best out there. Canelo did it the same way. He’s a Mexican national, and the Mexican Nationals love him. So all this gimmick stuff about Mexicans for Golovkin and Mexicans for Pacquiao, that’s all it is. It’s a gimmick.

It’s sad to know there are a few fans that fall for it, but it’s really nice to know that Canelo has Mexican fans that love him and support him 1,000 percent.

Q. In the first fight with Golovkin, what was the thing that most surprised you and most disappointed you in that first fight?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I knew that he was strong, and I knew that he could take punches, and I knew that he could assimilate well. Nothing surprised me. I knew who he was. I knew he’s strong. And he’s going to be strong in this fight. I know he’s going to be strong in this fight, and that’s why I’m training.

But more than that, the first fight showed me what I can add to my game plan to beat him on September 15.

Q. A lot of people think this fight’s not going to end by knockout, that it’s going to go the distance. Do you agree with that assessment, or are you going to go out there and look for the knockout?

CANELO ALVAREZ: From the beginning, I will work him to look for that KO. That’s what I’ll be doing from the very first round, and that’s why I’m training and I’m mentally prepared to do that. Obviously, you know, that’s the way I want this fight to end by knockout, and for them to raise my hand after that knockout victory.

Q. Obviously, you talked some about some political concerns before. As the biggest star, what do you think about the new president in Mexico?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve always reserved myself to speak about political issues. The thing with Trump, well, I had to speak out against what he said about Mexicans. My opinion is what I have, that we’re not all the same. So I never really get into political issues. Hopefully, this president is good and that he makes well on his promises and that he can represent us very well.

Q. You haven’t fought in about a year. What has been the hardest thing about that year off? Especially since you’ve said that you love training and that you love fighting. What’s been the hardest thing?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, it’s been a year off. That’s the hardest thing. I’m more anxious than ever to get in the ring and throw punches, especially with all that has taken place surrounding this fight. But I always stay training, and I always stay active. I like training even if I don’t fight, and I stay active.

Q. Has he taken more tests, anti-doping tests after what has happened?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve always had tests. I’ve always participated in these tests since 2012. I’ve been in tests and voluntary tests for each training camp, and they keep doing it whether or not what took place — whether or not I tested positive. They can come every week, and they can come at any time, and they don’t let you know, and it’s all voluntary — not obligatory. I voluntarily do these tests. And they have done it 15 or 20 times since that day in February, and they keep doing it. And any time they come here, I’m ready to take those tests.

Q. Hello, Canelo, from San Diego. We’re happy to have you here, as always. You are by far not only the most familiar, famous fighter in Mexico, but you’re also a role model for all the young fighters that Oscar has there at Golden Boy. How do you feel about the responsibility knowing they’re all looking up to you as a role model? How do you proceed with that, and how do you manage that knowing that they are all looking to you?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I feel well, and I manage it well. I do it by being calm, by being disciplined, and those two attributes maintain me as an example. I keep training hard, and I keep giving good fights, and I’ll keep doing that so that I continue being a role model for these young fighters.

Q. Oscar, I’d like you to weigh in on that question because you watch him interacting with your younger fighters. What do you see in their interaction together?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that’s exactly what it’s all about is looking up to fighters that you want to be like when you grow up yourself. That’s what every sport has. Every sport has a hero. Every sport has an athlete that they look up to. Saul is the one on top right now. He’s the one who is look upon. He’s the hero. And so everybody — every young fighter looks up to him and wants to be like him. So that’s the beauty about boxing is that, when you have fighters like Saul who can come up and be those role models, it only makes boxing better, and it gives these kids an opportunity for them to realize their own dreams.

Q. Out of all the statements and the craziness that occurred with the positive testing, obviously, the other team is using it to get you out of focus. Do you think that you will use it in your favor so that Golovkin’s side is the one who will be out of focus for this rematch?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I don’t know what they intend. I don’t know what they’re intending to do or what their intentions are. All I know is that I want to get in the ring and defeat him, and any error that he makes, I’m going to take advantage of on this fight and in this rematch.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Okay. Thank you very much, Saul. Thank you very much, everyone. All the media, just want to let you know that August 26nd we want to make this the biggest workout event live from the Banc of California Stadium. LAFC plays there. We want to make sure that everyone goes, all the media, and spread the word to the public.

Obviously, September 15 can’t come any faster. Thank you very much. Gracias.

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Canelo vs. GGG 2 Press Conference Transcript


MAURICIO PEDROZA: To everyone, watching on Facebook Live today, we want to hear from you. Leave your questions for the fighters, the promoters in the comments section below for a chance to have your questions answered live on the air today.

So stay tuned for that. All right. Let’s get this started. Let’s go straight to our fighters, to our promotors and we go live to Guadalajara, Mexico.

Both fighters have already started their training camps and we will introduce everyone around this fantastic fight. Joining Canelo from his gym in Guadalajara is his manager and co-trainer Jose “Chepo” Reynoso, his trainer Eddy Reynoso, and the and chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya who will open our press conference with a few remarks.

Oscar, welcome.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much. Thank you for having us. I want to express my gratitude to everybody around the world watching us live for the first time ever holding a press conference on Facebook. We greatly appreciate the support, and today, as of 10:00 in the morning, tickets went on sale. They are going extremely well, extremely fast, and we are grateful to all the fans who can be watching live on September 15 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

I want to thank Team Canelo. I want to thank Team GGG for making this fight once again for the fans. The fans got to witness an incredible, incredible fight the first time around, and we strongly believe that the second fight will be a continuation, round No. 13, of their first fight televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

The telecast does begin at 8:00 Eastern. This will give an opportunity for the fans across the globe to watch this fight at an earlier time. So we want to thank HBO and their teams.

Mauricio Pedroza: Thank you, Oscar.

Joining GGG live from the summit gym in bear, California is his trainer, Abel Sanchez and promotor for GGG, Tom Loeffler, who will also begin with a few remarks. Tom?

TOM LOEFFLER: Today, this rematch really feels like it’s a much bigger event than the first time. There was a lot of controversy around the scoring for the first fight, and both guys don’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands this time.

We’re up here where Abel Sanchez has his training camp in Big Bear, California. GGG is training to make a much more decisive victory over Canelo the second time around. You see we have all the titles here.

GGG is the champion, and if Canelo wants to become a champion, he actually has to fight and try to take the titles away.

So we are looking forward to seeing everyone September 15 at T-Mobile and on HBO Pay-Per-View.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Tom, thank you very much.

So first question is for you, Canelo. What happened, and what would you like to say to your fans that were disappointed in you?

CANELO ALVAREZ: The reason for the cancellation, we all talked about that. The main thing is the fight got here, the fight got done. I did it for the fans. This is the fight you wanted to see and come September 15, I can assure you it will be a much better fight than what you would have seen in May.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: How disappointed were you the fight didn’t happen in May?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Of course we were all disappointed. I was disappointed and the fans were disappointed that this first May 15 bout didn’t happen, but right now everybody is happy that we all agreed to have this next fight on September 15.

So both us and our fans should be happy.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, do you really believe the reason Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol was tainted meat?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: First of all, I respect the fighters of the level of Canelo, and the fact that they screwed up, it was not my decision to disqualify him, and I think it was a team failure, but it doesn’t matter right now. It doesn’t matter right now. It’s important that we’re going to have a fight.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel Sanchez, do you believe the reason Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol was tainted meat? You were very vocal when this news first came around that Canelo might be suspended.

ABEL SANCHEZ: We had been waiting for the commission to do their investigation, and come on, whatever the findings were, unfortunately they made a mistake. We have a fight on our hands September 15. They found him innocent of anything, any wrongdoing, so we have to go with that.

My personal feelings have nothing to do or should have nothing to do with the actual findings of the commission.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: But why are you saying you think they made a mistake? What mistake did they make?

ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, they felt that he made a mistake. They felt that he ingested some bad beef. Hopefully this time that they are in Mexico, he doesn’t do that again. We’d like to have a fight on the 15th and the fans deserve that.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Even though your rematch against Canelo Alvarez says was cancelled, you still fought in May in Los Angeles at the StubHub Center against Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan. What were you trying to prove in the fight?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Well, because I like to be active, I like this box, I like this sport, and I like the fans. You know, the fans wanted me to fight, and why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I fight, particularly on such an important day, May the 5th.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Did you watch GGG’s fight in May?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes. Yes, I did see the fight in May. Of course I would. He’s the opponent that I have at hand and that’s my job to watch him.

As far as what I thought about the fight, look, you can’t call that a fight. You have no opponent. That’s not my level of opponent. I didn’t pay attention as far as that being a fight.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, could you take us through the negotiations that have taken place over the last few months?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: The negotiations are the negotiations. The bottom line is that we have a fight. Obviously we know who the A side is, and that’s Canelo Alvarez.

We obviously know that all of Mexico is behind Canelo Alvarez. Everywhere I go, everywhere we walk, the Mexican National is behind Canelo Alvarez, and I strongly believe that, look, Canelo going into the ring last, wanting to win those belts, for honor and pride.

You know, he’s going to show it up in the ring, and we strongly feel that you know, it’s a big advantage and once that first bell rings, you know, we have a fight.

So we strongly feel that, look, whatever the negotiations were, we’re extremely happy with and the fans are going to be even happier when they see a fight on September 15.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Tell us why is it so important for this rematch to take place on September 15? So important, that you had to put up your own money to make happen.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that was the big hail maker — I mean, you know, we can all here talk about percentages and this and that but there was a few things that I had to throw in myself.

But the bottom line is, is that look, Canelo has the bigger piece of the pie, and because he’s the champion, he’s the draw. He’s the one that brings in the people. On September 15, you will have millions and millions of fans supporting Canelo and supporting GGG, as well.

But this fight had to be made because we didn’t want to experience another Hagler/Hearns or Hagler/Sugar Ray Leonard because we didn’t see the second fight that didn’t take place. We didn’t want to see – like Trinidad and myself, we didn’t see the second fight.

So this fight had to take place. The first time was a draw and finally we have it. September 15, will be such an important day for boxing. I strongly feel that the way this fight is going to turn out, the fans are going to be extremely happy, extremely proud and boxing will once again rise to the pinnacle of where it should be.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Why is it so important for GGG, for this fight to take place and to make the compromises GGG has had to take in order to ensure the rematch? For example, letting go of your position that the percentage for the rematch should be an even and even split.

TOM LOEFFLER: On our side we know who the champion is. It doesn’t matter who is announced first. Doesn’t matter whose name appears first on the poster.

GGG is the champion. He’s going to walk in with his belts and the important thing is he’s going to walk out with his belts. There were a lot of back and forth with the negotiations but again, we have to give both fighters credit. We have to give GGG credit. We have to give Canelo credit. We have to give Oscar and Golden Boy Promotions credit.

The bottom line is, we are not just talking about the rematch. We are actually seeing the rematch happen September 15. A lot of fighters can’t even fight the first time, and here are two of the biggest stars in boxing fighting the rematch.

Neither side wants to let it go to the judges. Canelo is predicting a KO. GGG doesn’t want to go through the same thing he went through last year in September — where his fate is in the hands of three people. He wants to make sure he controls his destiny and wants to make sure there’s going to be no question who walks out of the ring as the champion on September 15.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: We heard Oscar describing why Canelo Alvarez is the main man in this fight, so why do you think you deserve a 50/50 split?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: I always believe that and I know Oscar says, and I not always agree with what Oscar says. For example, I don’t believe all Mexico will be rooting for Canelo. I understand that all Oscar think that Canelo is the main locomotive behind this fight, but I think we’re both worthy of this fight.

As far as the 45 to 55, yes, we made a concession. I think that we make a big concession, but I think it’s right now, it’s the most important thing that we are going to have a fight and our fans will love it.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, Gennady just said he doesn’t believe that whole of Mexico will be rooting for you. Do you agree, and why do you think GGG believes he has some part of the Mexican fans behind him?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I’ve always had detractors, regardless I’m fighting him or who I’m fighting. There’s always that side of the fans that are the detractors, but I have much more, many more, that love and support me.

And now, that little respect that I had or that we had, it’s been lost, and come September 15, it’s just him and I in the ring, whether I have the support or not. It’s just going to be him and I, and he’ll see.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Now I want to go back to Oscar De La Hoya. As a fighter, does being in a fight like this motivate you more in training camp, especially when you just heard Canelo saying he doesn’t respect GGG anymore?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that’s exactly what a fighter needs, and that’s exactly why this fight is going to be such a great fight.

Like Canelo said, the little respect they had for each other is out the window, and when you’re a fighter and you have no respect for your opponent, magic happens. Magic takes place inside the ring. You train harder in the gym. You run extra miles. You assure yourself that you’re in tiptop shape but more importantly it’s mental, the mental aspect of it is at its highest level. That’s why I think that these bullfighters are going to be in tiptop shape come September 15 and we will see an amazing fight.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: As a fight fan and promotor, how excited are you for the fight and how excited shot fans be for the fight?

TOM LOEFFLER: Not only as a promotor but as a boxing fight, this is the fight everyone is looking forward to. This is the fight the fans are looking forward to, that the media has been asking about.

And GGG, I get a lot of comments, a lot of messages on social media from fans in Mexico saying, please knock out Canelo, don’t let it in the judges’ hands this time and GGG is going to come out that way.

I know Oscar is down there in Mexico with Canelo. Make sure, Canelo, less Mexican meat, more Mexican style this time, September 15. Make sure everything goes the right way.

There’s two warriors getting in the ring. The gloves are off this time around. Both guys, you know, feel disrespected by what happened last May 5, so I think the fans are going to win coming up September 15 when these guys get in the ring with each other.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar De La Hoya on May 15 Tweeted the following, “In the meantime, @GGGBoxing making 3million and #Canelo making 40million without you. #signthecontract. #scared. #CaneloGGG2. #stopcrying.”

We just talked about respect. Gennady, how do you respond to this, to what Oscar De La Hoya had to say about you on May 11?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Oscar De La Hoya can say a lot of things, and it’s not always correct.

As far as the money concerned, I’m a fighter, and I go and work, do my work. I fight. As far as Oscar De La Hoya, I suggest that he should take care of his own fighter and if he wants him to make more money, let’s have a fight. Put him on the ring.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: I want to go back to Abel. This quote from Canelo Alvarez, this past week on RingTV.com, “The truth is that this fight means a lot to me because of all that has happened and all that has been said.”

Alvarez said, Friday, one day officially before tickets go on sale, “I will prove with my fists that I am the best and Golovkin will eat all his words and speculations. I will demonstrate who the best when I defeat Golovkin soundly on September 11 during Independence Day weekend, and I will make it clear that Mexican boxing is the best.”

Abel, do you think Canelo has what it takes to knockout GGG?

ABEL SANCHEZ: All those same things were said prior to the first fight and it ended up being a track meet.

I think that on the 15th when Oscar and Canelo were having breakfast, Oscar needs to remind him, he needs to bring his courage to the venue that night because he’s going to need it.

If he intends to knock out Golovkin, he’s going to have to fight him. And if he fights him, he’s going to get knocked out. I said that before; he would have gotten knocked out the first time, but he decided to make it a track meet that night.

But if he comes to fight and if he comes to knock out Golovkin as he said he’s going to; if he doesn’t defraud the fans again, then he’s going to get knocked out. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, you just heard Abel saying you didn’t want to fight the first time. I want to go back to you now and let you answer that statement because it seems like from GGG’s camp, you were never willing to engage during the fight. Will this time be any different?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I did my fight. I did what I set out to do. I did what I trained to do but I did a great fight.

But on September 15, I’m going to do the necessary adjustments and the necessary things to win. This man just likes to talk. He likes to talk a lot and bring up every excuse possible, but you’ll see, on September 15, what Canelo Alvarez is all about and what he’s capable of doing.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, you just heard Canelo saying that was his fight, that was his strategy, but he says it’s going to be different.

How about from your side? How different is your strategy going to be to face with Canelo once again?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: As the champion, I know my strategy and of course in this upcoming fight, a lot will depend on Canelo and the more Canelo had show, the more interesting will be the fight.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Eddy, why is your fighter the better fighter?

EDDY REYNOSO: He’s a fighter with more arguments. He has more talent and is more versatile. He knows how to walk in the ring and make you miss, counterpunch, attack. I mean, he has the total package.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Chepo, what did you learn from that first fight that can expose GGG’s weaknesses?

CHEPO REYNOSO: He’s an intelligent fighter and regardless of what people thought, I thought he clearly won the fight, clearly but come September 15, I can assure you two things. Not only is he going to take away GGG’s undefeated record, he’s also going to shut up Mr. Abel Sanchez.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel, you just heard Canelo saying, we’ll see a different Canelo, even Chepo Reynoso said we’ll see a different Canelo. What did you learn from Canelo Alvarez on the first fight, and do you think we’ll see a different Canelo Ãlvarez September 15?

ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, in the first 40-some fights we saw Canelo fight, he fought a totally different fight and he promised the fans he was going to give them the same type of action against Golovkin. After the first couple rounds, he found out he couldn’t.

I hope September 15 coming up is different because I think the fans deserve what we have been promising them. Golovkin fights in his style. He’s the champion. He’s going to go at Canelo, and if Canelo thinks he can knock him out, then I think we’ll see a classic fight.

It doesn’t matter how smart Canelo is, when he gets hit and he get hurt, he’s going to be knocked out. Smarts have nothing to do with it. He’s going to get hit and get hurt.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Several times Sanchez called Alvarez a cheater after all the controversy surrounding his suspension. How did that make you feel, and what do you think of Abel Sanchez as a trainer?

CHEPO REYNOSO: I think Abel Sanchez likes to talk. He talks too much. At the end of the day it’s going to be Canelo Alvarez and GGG fighting with their fists and not with their mouths. He likes to be the star of the movie, and it’s not him.

This is about Canelo and GGG. And what we need to do as corner men, as trainers, is do our job quietly because it’s not about us.

Abel, learn to be quiet, please.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, what have you seen so far from Canelo’s team and the way they are preparing for September 15?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, it’s clear that for team canal low, it’s a totally different mind-set. It’s a totally different fight. Just being an ex-fighter myself, I know what type of preparations you must do in order to fulfill your goal, to fulfill your goal come September 15 against GGG, and I can assure you, I mean, it’s clear that Canelo is in a stronger state of mind. There’s obviously bad blood, and therefore, that’s why it’s going to be an amazing fight.

Look, Canelo, yes, he can box. He can move. He’s the more skillful fighter. He can do all that stuff, but he can also fight. And GGG hasn’t seen that, but I’ll assure you one thing: Come September 15, it’s all business. It’s all going in there and proving not to everyone who is watching but proving to GGG that he’s the better fighter.

So will Canelo be in different shape? Will he be in better shape in will he be stronger, faster? He’s going to be all that, and then some.

So on our side, we strongly feel they haven’t seen Canelo the way they are going to see him September 15. We have seen GGG. We know what he does. All he does is come forward and fights and that’s it. Canelo has many other things he does, so come September 15, you’ll be able to witness them.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, I want to give you a chance to respond to one of Tom’s comments, also Gennady’s comments, when they say that Mexico is actually split. It’s divided. Not everyone is rooting for Canelo, and some Mexicans are rooting for Gennady Golovkin.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Everybody has their fans. Everybody has their fans. There’s a reason why when Canelo fights on HBO Pay-Per-View, which he’s the only Pay-Per-View star in boxing, there’s a reason why they support him. There’s a reason why he generates the numbers he does. There’s a reason why the gates are so high. There’s a reason why the numbers are so high.

Look, every fighter has their naysayers, and every fighter has their non-supporters, but the truth of the matter is that Canelo has millions and millions of fans all over the world just like GGG.

But we have to recognize one thing; that Canelo is the Mexican champion, the star of Mexico, the star of boxing.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: GGG, you just heard Canelo Alvarez saying how he has lost some respect for you. Let me ask you something. Have you also lost respect for Canelo Alvarez, the boxer, or even the person?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Respect is respect. We have different mentality. We have different understanding of what respect is. I think Canelo team, by doing what they did, and they lost some respect from their fans. But it’s not important.

I do have respect to all the fighters, all the athletes, all the champions who fight at this level, and I think at the very end, we will find a way to shake each other’s hand, regardless what the outcome, regardless what we think before the fight. As two men, we should be able to stand against each other and shake each other’s hand at the end.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: I remember before the first fight, you both were behaving in a very respectful manner. Why does this time feel like more personal to you, actually to both of you, but for you, is this personal this time?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, absolutely, it’s changed, totally. They disrespected me for everything they have been saying, everything they have been doing, all their actions. Now it’s different. It’s personal.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: A lot has been said from both camps about you and GGG, but one of your biggest critics so far is Abel Sanchez, and you haven’t really talked to him yet, so we’ll give that you opportunity to address him correctly.

What do you want to say to Abel Sanchez who is listening to you right now live?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I have nothing to say to him. He knows what I think of him.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel, what do you think about Canelo? He’s listening now. You’ve talked a lot about him, as well.

ABEL SANCHEZ: I talked about him because of what his actions have been and I think the consequences it has caused for us as a team here, the GGG team.

He’s an exceptional fighter. Two guys at the top of their game are going to duke is out on the 15th. I hope we get the kind of fight that we are expecting.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, is there anything you would like to say to him?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Well, I want to tell him that we should be ready for the fight. You know, we should be ready for his fight for us. We should be ready for his fight for our fans. We should get ready. I think we should both be in the best shape for this fight, and the better we will be for this fight; the more, the sweetest taste the victory will have for us.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, you have the floor. What do you have to say to Gennady Golovkin?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Nothing. We’ll see you September 15.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: And to all of you watching, is there anything you would like to say to GGG? Is there anything you would like to say to Canelo? Let us know in the comments section below for a chance to have your questions answered directly. But before we check out what the fans have been posting in that comments section below, let me ask you one question to all of you in our Facebook Live broadcast.

I want to start with Gennady Golovkin. Why aren’t we all hanging out in the same room? Why are you in Big Bear, California? Why is Canelo in Guadalajara, and why aren’t we shaking hands in person?

GGG, I’ll start with you.

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: We are in a space, we are in a room where it’s best for all of us and which is more comfortable for all of us. It’s better to meet on September 15 and show all the best of what we can demonstrate.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, usually when we are promoting a fight, we have both boxers looking at each other, sometimes shaking hands, sometimes having a little more action than that.

Why didn’t you want to face Gennady Golovkin before September 15? Why didn’t you want to be in the same room with him at the same time?

CANELO ALVAREZ: I assure you we’ll see each other face-to-face before September 15. We already got the tour and we already got the promotion. It wasn’t necessary for this one. But I’ll see him very soon.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: That’s fair. Well, we certainly have a lot to look forward to this September 15. In just a moment, we will open the phones to ask questions from members of the media.

Q. This is for Canelo. As a Mexican, do you believe Abel Sanchez deserves a handshake? Can you actually shake Abel Sanchez’s hands?

CANELO ALVAREZ: He deserves that and much more.

Q. Canelo, real quick, do you feel like the things that Abel and Gennady are saying to you about making this a toe-to-toe fight just a tactic to draw you in, when it may make more sense for you to box yourself to victory in this fight?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, that’s probably their tactic. You know what, the sentiment that I have inside of me, it’s going to help me a lot, intelligently, to bring out what I have to do. I know what I have to do.

Q. This first question is for Canelo. There are lots of rumours that have spread around about you wearing a knee wrap in different pictures. Is there anything wrong with the knee and can you address that?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Simply put, it’s a brace just to support. I’ve been training really hard. It’s part of rehabilitation and I’ve been working really hard, and that is not going to be a problem, trust me.

Q. The numbers from your last fight show that GG out-landed you by 49 punches and out-threw you by 198. Do you feel that you need to increase your work rate in order to win the rematch?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, that’s part of the plan and part of what we are working on. Yes, we know what we have to do, and yes, we have to throw more punches. To win fights, you have to throw punches, and that’s what I do in all my fights.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Now it’s time to take a look at the questions and comments for the fighters and their teams on Facebook Live. We’ll go straight to that. We’ll start with Rob.

Q. Asking them both, what will be the difference from the first fight? Gennady, what do you think will be the difference from fight No. 1?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: I think this fight will be interesting. It will be tougher fight. It will be fiercer fight and I think we made our conclusion from the first fight, and this fight will be more colorful and more interesting.

Q. Canelo, what do you think the difference will be from the first fight?

CANELO ALVAREZ: Without a doubt it’s going to be a different fight. It’s going to be a better fight.

Look, we know what we have to do. I’m going it take even a stronger strategy, a better strategy, and it’s going to be a much better fight. We already know each other. Now we know what we have to do.

Q. To Team GGG, are you doing anything different in this camp from the last time you fought Canelo?

ABEL SANCHEZ: We prepare ourselves and we prepare Gennady to be the best Gennady can be. We won the first fight. A lot of people know we won the last fight. He knows he won the last fight.

Some adjustments obviously will be made in camp but Gennady fights in a style that is not only fan-pleasing but a style that he has mastered with a 23-knockout streak, in, what, 20 defenses, making it the 21st on the 15th. I think that’s the best in history. He’s tied Hopkins’ record. He’s got a knockout ratio, the best in middleweight history. I think the changes are going to be minimal. But I think it’s all going to defend if Canelo brings his courage.

Q. Gennady, are you doing anything different for this second fight, this rematch?

GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: No. As always, I’m going 100 percent what I need to do and I’ll be ready 100 percent for this fight.

Q. Can you talk about your impressive footwork and mobility in the first fight, and now that you’ve had surgery on your knee, do you think your footwork might be even better in the rematch?

CANELO ALVAREZ: That’s always been part of my arsenal. I know how to move inside the ring. The knee is not a problem. We’ve been working hard now and we’ve been training here and it hasn’t given me any issues and if it does come up during the fight that it gives me problems, we’ll already have a Plan B, a strategy, behind that, as well.

MAURICIO PEDROZA: Thank you, everyone, for joining us today watching this special Facebook live GGG special event. A reminder that tickets for September 15 are on sale now and they are going fast. You can also join Canelo GGG September 15 live from the T Mobile Arena on Pay-Per-View.

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