ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. SHAWN PORTER MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. SHAWN PORTER MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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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.

ABOUT SPENCE VS. PORTER
Spence vs. Porter pits unbeaten IBF Welterweight Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. against WBC Welterweight Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a 147-pound title unification that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The pay-per-view event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell facing unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov battling for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr. competing in a 10-round welterweight fight.

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

ANTHONY DIRRELL VS. DAVID BENAVIDEZ, PLUS MARIO BARRIOS CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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ANTHONY DIRRELL VS. DAVID BENAVIDEZ, PLUS MARIO BARRIOS CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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Ray Flores
Thank you very much operator and to the media joining us around the world as we are very excited because we are just under two weeks away until we have our mega event with Errol Spence Jr going head to head against Shawn Porter. Welterweight unification is on the line. That all comes your way on Saturday September 28. It is a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. What a main event but we have a sensational co-main event and a loaded undercard beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Today we’re going to be joined by fighters that are going to be involved in the co-main event which will see the WBC Super Middleweight Champion of the world, Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell taking on the former unbeaten World Champion David” El Bandera Roja” Benavidez. Also, in action and will be participating in today’s call, unbeaten rising sensation Mario “El Azteca” Barrios will collide against fellow unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov for the WBA Super Lightweight Championship. Tickets are going quickly. They are still available and it’s being promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions, Shawn Porter Promotions. They’re available at AXS.com.

Before we get an opportunity to hear from the fighters, let’s talk to one of the hardest working men in entertainment. He’s the President of TGB Promotions. TGB has had another tremendous year promoting events all over the world. Please welcome my dear friend, a man who knows boxing probably more than anybody, Mr. Tom Brown.

Tom Brown
That’s why I love Ray. Thanks everyone for joining us for this conference call today for what I believe will be an extremely exciting night of boxing all presented by Premier Boxing Champions on pay-per-view. it’s a big fight when you have it at the STAPLES Center, the home of big-time boxing. We have a spectacular undercard and it’s going to be non-stop action and a lot of excitement leading up to the highly anticipated Welterweight Unification plus the undercard with veterans like Josesito Lopez and John Molina.

Also on the pay-per-view portion of the show is unbeaten Mario Barrios taking on the unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov for the WBA Super Lightweight Title. And WBC Champion Anthony Dirrell against the unbeaten former champion, David Benavidez. Any one of these fights could easily steal the show so it’s going to be a great night. I’ll throw it back to Ray and thank you again.

R. Flores
Thank you very much to Mr. Tom Brown. Always working hard but we greatly appreciate his time. He’s very excited as is the rest of the world. Now with today being Mexican Independence Day I think it’s only fitting enough that we have one of the biggest Mexican stars in the sport here to kick off today’s call. David Benavidez has been quite active. He was on hand at yesterday’s huge festival here in Los Angeles celebrating the holiday and was a tremendous hit with the crowd — greeting fans, signing autographs, taking photos. He is just 22 years of age. Former Super Middleweight World Champion trained by his father, Jose Benavidez. They have tremendous chemistry with one another. Certainly a winning formula.

Talking about that winning formula, he was the youngest Super Middleweight World Champion in history when he won the championship in 2017 by defeating Ronald Gavril, most recently having coming off of a very impressive second round stoppage over J’Leon Love. That was a fight that co-main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View back in March. He’s undefeated 21 and 0, 18 wins coming by way of knockout. Originally from Phoenix Arizona, now training in Southern California. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome one of the fastest rising stars in boxing today. Here is David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez. David?

David Benavidez
What’s up guys? How are you doing? First of all, I want to say a Happy Mexican Independence Day. I was happy to see a lot of people celebrating Mexican Independence Day. The fight is less than two weeks away. Probably the biggest fight of my life and I’m just very excited to be here in this position.

Q
What about you has changed between now and a year ago?

D. Benavidez
What’s changed is that I’m getting older, I’m more mature. I feel like the situation did more good to me than bad. It’s made me realize that everything can be lost. It definitely took that to mature me and see that I had my whole life’s work taken away over one error. I’m more dedicated now, but I’m going to value things way more too. This is just a fight I want to look spectacular in.

Dirrell, he’s a great fighter, I take nothing away from him but I need these kind of opponents to reach my goals. I’m faster than last year, I’m smarter and my boxing IQ is higher. When I’m put in these types of situations, I never fold. The best comes out of me. This is my second pay-per-view fight that I’m going to be co-headlining and this is where I wanted to be my whole life so I’m going to take full advantage of this situation.

Q
My question to you is what should Los Angeles fans would look forward to come to see you on Saturday?

D. Benavidez
The fans can expect to see me in an exciting fight. I’m going to make it a war. I’m going in there and I’m looking for the knockout. I want to make my people proud this fight and it’s going to be a hell of a fight.

Q
Anything you would like to say to the fans that are going to come to see you from Los Angeles?

D. Benavidez
I’m fighting in my own backyard. I’ve got a lot of friends here, a lot of family here. A lot of people that support me. There’s a lot of Mexican people here so I’m definitely going to be putting on for them and it’s going to be an amazing fight. I’m going to try my best to knock Dirrell out.

Q
When you saw Anthony Dirrell win the title that you used to own, what did it make you feel? Do you feel like maybe he was not truly the champion and it made you all the more hungrier to show Dirrell that you are the rightful WBC Champion?

D. Benavidez
Definitely. I felt it as soon as he fought for the belt in February because when I fought was it two or three weeks after that. It was very hard just to go through seeing him win the title that was mine. But he’s the real champion and he fought for the Vacant Title so I’m not going to take that away from him. But knowing that that was my belt that I have, I’m just coming in this fight very hungry, very motivated. I have about three and a half months training. So I was very focused for this training camp. So this is the best thing that you guys are ever going to see. That you guys have seen actually, so I’m very excited to go in there and give a great fight and get my title back.

Q
Do you feel like when you made your return about against J’Leon Love that any ring rust was there that you knocked off? Was it enough time to really knock it off or do you feel like you really had to get that experience through your sparring sessions?

D. Benavidez
With the last fight when I fought J’Leon Love I wanted to get at least five rounds in. But I’m not going to complain for knocking this guy out early. But I’ve had so much sparring in this training camp and in the last training camp. For this training camp I’ve had at least over 200 rounds sparring. I feel like everything came into place. Everything is going really good and I’m just going to be extremely ready.

I’m not going to kill myself over the rounds because I didn’t get enough rounds for the last fight. I know exactly what I’m stepping into. We have an amazing game plan and like I said, I’m just ready to go.

Q
Was that sparring with Shawn Porter more to help out Shawn or did you feel like he was offering you something in the sparring that you were getting something that was useful to you as well?

D. Benavidez
Definitely if you’re a great fighter you can find things to try to help yourself. Obviously I’m bigger than Shawn Porter and heavier than him. So I wasn’t trying to kill him but the thing about Shawn Porter that makes him so good is that he’s a very good pressure fighter. So me, for what I was trying to do, I was trying to use a little bit more of my boxing skills, just to work on that in case I have to use that in the fight for Anthony Dirrell. So you kind of have to see in what areas you have to work on yourself.

I was boxing around a little bit. Trying to stop him with my jab, throwing a lot of jabs. So we both definitely walked away with something good from that sparring session.

Q
Final question, obviously there’s been a lot of chatter between Caleb Plant and you back and forth. Is it hard to block out the surrounding noise from a guy like Caleb Plant to focus on Anthony Dirrell or is that something that you’re use to and you just deal with it when time comes?

D. Benavidez
I don’t hear any chatter at all. I just hear some people saying that that would be a good fight. , to me personally he doesn’t tell me anything or I don’t hear anything from here. So it’s not hard to block something out when I don’t hear anything to start off with. But it’s the same thing as everybody else in the business. Caleb Plant, Anthony Dirrell, Callum Smith — there’s all these fights are great fights to be made. I just train and prepare for each fight that I have. So, yes it’s not hard at all. When it’s time for those fights to be made it’s going to be made.

Q
How important is it for you to make this effort to interact with the fans? Here you are training, the fight is coming up. You probably could have used a day off but you’re out with them. What’s that about to you?

D. Benavidez
It’s not only just for me, at the end of the day when I fight it’s for the fans, it’s for the coaches. There was a big celebration yesterday with Mexican Independence Day. They were celebrating that yesterday and they asked me if I wanted to be there. If I wanted to go sign some pictures for some fans and we ended up giving away some free tickets and shirts.

I’m in a position right now where I’m just blessed that people like to see me. When I was younger I didn’t really think I was going to get to this point but I’ve gotten so much love, not only from the father’s but from the kids, the mothers. Everybody likes to see me and they support me so definitely as much as they support me, I’m going to go and support them.

I have no problems signing and we signed a lot of pictures yesterday. We took a lot of pictures, gave a lot of shirts out, so it’s very important to me, just so I can be out there and they can see. They know that I’m out there and they know I’m not going to be that type of boxer that’s hard and never going to attend these events. I’m always going to attend these events. Because I feel like it’s very important to show the fans and the community that I’m out there for them just like how they’re there for me. So it’s very something – it was a very special day for me yesterday.

Q
How important also has it been this last year when you’ve been out of the ring to have your family around you, being a boxing family that understands what it’s all about?

D. Benavidez
It was very important. When we got suspended for a year we didn’t know what to do with our time. Obviously we trained but it’s like when you’re training and you don’t have anything coming up, you just train, you go home and talk about the mistakes that lead you to that point. And I felt like I matured a lot from that point, just talking to my father and my father being around me, supporting me and my family supporting me through this whole situation.

I feel like I’m very grateful just to have my family there with me always supporting me. At the end of the day, this is what I do it for. I don’t just do it for me. I do it for my family. Obviously I do it for my legacy when I get older too but I put my family before myself every time. So everything that’s good for me is good for them. I’m just very appreciative that they’re there supporting me no matter what.

Q
So you’ve been pretty vocal that you’re gunning for the knockout in this fight. I’m just wondering if you could talk about what gives you that confidence?

D. Benavidez
I’m 22 years old but everybody sees my strengths. They know I have a good speed. I’m very strong. I feel like with the confidence I have right now in my power, I feel like anybody who I hit, it doesn’t matter who it is, I’ll hurt them. I trained very hard for this fight. I had three and a half months I haven’t slacked on anything, my diet has been very good, my recovery has been very good, my strength and conditioning has been excellent. So all of these factors have given me so much confidence in my abilities.

Also what gives me a lot of confidence is knowing that Anthony Dirrell hasn’t been stopped. Knowing that nobody has knocked him out. So I want to push myself to the absolute limit and do something that not everyone has done. Anthony Dirrell has never been hurt, he’s never been knocked out. So imagine what that’s going to do for my confidence if I’m the only one who knocks Anthony Dirrell out, if I knocked him out in this fight, that’s what just keeps me going because I know I can. I know whoever I put my hands on I can hurt. It doesn’t matter who it is and I can do it a variety of ways. I can do it from body shots, I can do it from head shots, I can do it from liver shots, I can do everything.

So coming into this fight I know what I can do and I know who I’ve been there with. He has a lot of experience but I also have a lot of experience too. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been a professional for almost seven years now. I’ve been in big fights, I’ve been in 12 round Championship fights. I fought some great contenders. So as much experience as he has, I have as well. And I know I can hurt him, I just know I can hurt him. So it’s not of a matter of if I can hurt him but it’s a matter of when I’m going to hurt him.

I’m extremely ready, camp couldn’t have gone any better. A card like this in Los Angeles at the STAPLES Center, the stakes can’t be any higher man. I’m just ready to do this.

Q
Are you still developing in the gym? What do you have to say about that?

D. Benavidez
That’s why I’m so confident for this fight because this is a sparring session. This camp alone I’ve felt the strongest I’ve ever felt in my whole camp, in my whole life. That’s why I know when I’m going to catch Anthony Dirrell, I’m going to put him away because I just feel extremely strong. Last week I did 15 rounds in sparring. I think it was last Friday, no it was 16 rounds of sparring with four different guys. So I know I’m ready for this. This is the strongest I’ve ever been in my life and I just can’t wait.

D. Benavidez
I just want to thank everybody for the opportunities I’ve been put in, especially PBC, Sampson Lewkowicz, and my father Jose Benavidez. Everybody has been there with me even after those mistakes, they just still treated me really good. Nothing has changed. Like I’ve said, this is the biggest fight of my life fighting at the STAPLES Center and I can’t wait. I guarantee you there will be a new WBC World Champion come September 28. Thank you so much for everything.

R.Flores
This next young man you’ll be hearing from has an impressive record. He’s undefeated 24 and 0, 16 wins coming by of way of knockout. He’s continuing the great tradition of Mexican American fighters from the state of Texas. Another rising star looking to break into the title ranks. He’s a top 140-pound contender. He has gone ahead and rattled off eight straight knockout victories since moving up here to 140-pounds. Most recently having knocked out Juan Jose Velasco in two rounds in May back on FOX, he’s going to fight his toughest challenge to date in the fellow unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov.

He’s undefeated 24 and 0, 16 wins coming by way of knockout. Training in the Bay Area under the guidance of esteemed trainer, Virgil Hunter. Please welcome from San Antonio, Texas the undefeated Mario “El Azteca” Barrios.

Mario Barrios
Of course as a fighter, every training camp feels like the best one, but this one really has been a great camp. We left no stone unturned during this preparation for this fight. I’m aware this is my biggest opposition to date and I’m going to be exciting and go for that Vacant WBA World Title.

Q
I just was wondering from the moment that this fight has been made to now, what’s been going through your head? Has it been like a dream? Has it sunk in that you’re actually fighting for a Title?

M. Barrios
Yes, it’s definitely sunk in, which is why we really made sure we’ve done everything in this training camp in preparation for this fight. I’m well aware of the opportunity and what I’m facing. I’m well aware of the guy I’m going to be facing come fight night. If anything though, it’s been a lot of motivation. There hasn’t been any pressure whatsoever. I promised San Antonio a World Title a long time ago. The opportunity is now in front of me and nothing is going to get in the way of that.

Q
Do you expect nerves to be a problem? You’ve been on some big cards and some big venues. Are you doing anything special to battle the nerves? Do you expect that to be a problem come Saturday night?

M. Barrios
No, I don’t feel any nerves going into this fight. I’ve competed on some of the biggest fight cards in all PBC. This is my third time returning to the STAPLES Center. It’s always a great turn out there, especially, with the Mexican American fans and just boxing fans in general. I’m looking forward to it being a very packed night there but again, no nerves going into this fight. Nothing is going to stop me from going into the fight and dominating the way that we’ve been preparing.

Q
What would winning this title mean to you and to join that select group of San Antonio World Champions?

M. Barrios
Man, it’s one of the biggest I think accomplishments and biggest honors for me. Like I’ve said, taking the World Title back to San Antonio, to me I think only the fifth person in San Antonio history that’s been able to do that. Yeah so it’s going to be an indescribable feeling but first thing is first and that’s to go out there and take care of business next Saturday.

Q
What do you think you bring to the table that’s going to catch people’s eye?

M. Barrios
Not being full of myself but I think I could call myself an all-around fighter and then given my size in this division, I’m one of the biggest probably currently at 140-pounds. I use my size to my advantage and I can box very well on the outside. I work well off my jab but growing up in Texas I have a good amateur background as well.

I really learned how to fight in the inside, I guess you would say Mexican style and that I would brawl. So I’m able to box and brawl. People ask me about my style, I tell them I’m a boxer puncher. Because I’m not just a power punch. My last eight fights have been stoppages but it’s not like I’m just going out there and just winging shots and just catching lucky shots. Every fighter that I’ve stopped, they’ve been stopped in different ways, with different punches.

So I think this fight is going to continue to show the boxing fans about my presence and my place in the division and in the sport.

Q
Do you feel an advantage when you have a height advantage or a length advantage? I know some people say that they don’t feel one. Do you feel more empowered having a size advantage?

M. Barrios
Actually I would always prefer fighting someone that was closer to my height. A lot of times when I was early in my pro career I would fight some guys that were real short, almost too short and that actually presents a lot of trouble a lot of times but Akhmedov, he’s a good height, he’s not too short, not too tall. So whether he knows I’m fighting on the outside or whether it becomes a very busy inside fight, I’m ready for either one of those.

Q
I’m just wondering if you can talk about what the last few years of your career have been like?

M. Barrios
When I first started I was 18 years old when I turned pro and I turned pro at 122. So I was very new.

Most of my fights I was just going out there just and depending on my length and power to stop fighters as opposed to now I really, especially under the guidance of Virgil Hunter, I really gained an insight into all the little things that matter in this sport. When I started working with Virgil about three or four years ago, it really showed me a lot, because he was able to take me to that next level, that world championship stage, which is where we’re at. I think this time, being with Virgil and just maturing overall has been the biggest factors for me.

Q
Just wondering if you could give your assessment of Akhmedov in general and being an Eastern European fighter with relatively so few fights?

M. Barrios

Yes, Akhmedov he has an impressive amateur resume. He has the experience coming in with him but for one of the first times going into a fight, I’m actually the veteran. Of course the pros and amateurs they’re two different ballgames and come fight night I’m going to use everything that I’ve learned in past 24 fights and I’m going to put everything to use.

Again, I’m not saying I’m overlooking Akhmedov. I’m expecting the best version of him that has possibly ever showed up but, like I said, I’ve had a great camp. I know I’m ready to give him any kind of fight that he wants.

Q
Have you by any chance I know you said had kind of relationship with John Michael Johnson. Has he talked to you about fighting for a world title? Have you talked to him lately at all?

M. Barrios
No. I haven’t spoke to him in a while just aside from little comments that he will post on anything I post. But he gives his support which means a lot, especially coming from just my hometown.

All my family, my sisters, my parents, they’re all going to be there and then even just a lot of friends and family that are flying in for the fight. There’s quite a bit. it’s hard to even say.

I know my placement in my division and I know this fight it is a world title and it’s just going to propel me even closer to fighting the current champions.

I started boxing when I was six years old. As soon as I turned eight I started competing. So it’s always been a dream, but now that I’m here it feels surreal. I’m going to take this opportunity. , like I said, there’s nothing that’s going to get in the way of me and this world title.

Q
Is this fight being for the WBA title, was that sort of incentive for you to try and stay at 140 pounds a little longer or was that always plan to stay at 140 pounds through the rest of the year?

M. Barrios
That was my plan originally with the move up to try to dominate and to try to fight for as many of the world titles as I possibly could. Right now I’m still making the weight comfortably, so that goal is going to remain the same. There’s no doubt I’m going to move up to welterweight eventually but that time isn’t now.

Q
Is this fight a statement fight to those aforementioned champions saying that you’ve arrived and you have your case being made for being one of the best junior welterweights in the world?

M. Barrios
That’s exactly how I look at it. I wanted this fight. I felt I’d really proven myself in my past few fights but this one for sure, it’s going to put all the the world champions on notice that I’m right there knocking on the door to be fighting them next.

Q
I want you explain to the rest of the writers here what does Mexican-style boxing mean to you and how does it influence your style, your boxing style in the job you’ve put on for the fans?

M. Barrios
Yes I figure everyone’s general description of Mexican style is sitting there and pretty much just brawling. The body punches as well and just being able to mix it up and to keep that pressure. There’s no doubt that I possess those abilities as well as being a boxer.

But given the fight day close to Mexican Independence Day, which is actually today, I’m excited to go out there and put on for my people, for my city and just the boxing fans in general.

Q
What are you looking for to capitalize against this guy come fight night?

M. Barrios
Like I mentioned he has a great amateur pedigree so he has that experience but he doesn’t really have that experience in the pros. No matter which Akhmedov shows up and how he chooses to fight, I know that I’ll be able to adjust and use all of the tools that I’ve learned in my past 24 fights against him.

M. Barrios
I appreciate you all having me. I appreciate the media all coming in asking their questions and thank you to all the fans and supporters.

R. Flores
Next we will move on to Anthony Dirrell. He won his title by winning a technical decision over Avni Yildirim in February on FS1. His record is 33 wins, one loss, one draw, with 24 wins coming by way of knockout, he’s always in exciting matchups. He literally brings his best and brings everything that he has every single time he steps inside the ring. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the reigning and defending WBC Super Middleweight Champion of the World here is Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell. Anthony, opening comments.

A. Dirrell
How you all doing, how you all doing? You all can start with the questions. I’m just ready to fight. It’s been a long camp and a great camp and I’m just ready to get this job done.

Q
David says he wants to knock you out. Do you think he actually believes? What’s your take on that?

A. Dirrell
I think everybody is going in there looking for the knockout. Does that happen every time? No, but you’re going to go in there and look for the knockout. Boxers don’t get paid for overtime so of course you’re going to go in there and say we’re looking for the knockout. It makes sense everybody wants you to knock opponents out. That’s what I’m going in there for. I’m looking for the knockout. I think I do it every time and I’m ready for the 28th. I’m ready to defend my title and be successful at it.

Q
How do you rank the challenge of facing him compared to the rest of the fighters you fought in your career?

A. Dirrell
I think he’s a good fighter, but the toughest I don’t know. I haven’t been in there with him. Styles make fights. You can only can say how the guy is if you’ve been in there. But he’s a tough guy. He’s a tough kid. He’s 22 years old. He’s going in there to take what’s mine and I got to defend my title of course, and I’ll be successful doing that.

Q
Do you think that you have an advantage in that you can try to exploit maybe that inexperience against guys at the world level?

A. Dirrell
I think everybody has power, especially with 10 ounce gloves on. I don’t know what kind of power he’s got. Every fighter he knocks out, he was supposed to knock out, just like every fighter I knocked out, I was supposed to knock out. But, like I said, I think styles make fights at the end of the day. I’m going in there, looking for the knockout. I’m going in there doing what I need to do to win this fight. If I don’t get the knockout, I definitely can go 12, and I’m just prepared. I’m mentally amd physically ready for this fight.

Q
Is retirement or talk about retirement still somewhat in the back of your mind after you approach your fights or is that something that you’ve kind of put on hold for now?

A. Dirrell
You don’t think of retirement in a fight this big. You think of the fight. You think of the task at hand. Was I thinking about retiring after the last fight? Of course. I’m getting older and I want to spend time with my family, but I’m not getting old enough where somebody’s going to come in there and just whip me or beat me. I’m going in there prepared, fully ready for this fight and I can’t wait for it to happen on the 28th.

Q
How are you going to use your experience to outthink David Benavidez?

A. Dirrell
You’ll have to see on the 28th. I’m not going to sit here and talk about my game plan. You’ll just have to see on the 28th. I know it’s going to be a hell of a fight, especially with a guy like David Benavidez. He’s coming to fight. And everybody knows from my previous fights, even my last fight, I’m coming to fight also and that’s not going to stop me.

Age is nothing but a number. George Foreman did it at, what, 50? Bernard Hopkins did it at 50. You do it because you want to do it and your body is allowing you to do it. So me being this age is not an excuse. I’m going to go in there and do what I need to do to win this fight.

Q
Where do you think David Benavidez stacks in there with your opponents based on what he’s accomplished so far?

A. Dirrell
I don’t know. I have to get in there and fight him. I can tell you better after the fight but right now he’s a champion. He knocked people out he wasn’t supposed to knock out. He did what he was supposed to do. And I just feel I’m so much better, so. Like I say, on the 28th and all the talk is over with. It’s just the fight.

Q
It looks like that you fought at the STAPLES Center 13 years ago, it’s hard to believe it was that long ago, but you’re certainly going to be in an arena where most of the fans are going to be there for your opponent. Does that fire you up? How do you use that?

A. Dirrell
I don’t use it. It’s just me and him in the right. You can’t use that. You use that, you’re messing up your game plan. It’s me and him in the ring and that’s all the matters.

Q
How important is the family support to you and what does it mean to you to have them there?

A. Dirrell
It’s very important. My family’s been there through my whole career. I’ve been boxing almost 26 years and they’ve been there for our ups and downs, blood, sweat and tears so I’m really thankful for them, thankful for my wife. My kids even watch my fights. So I’m really thankful that they’re by my side and I’ve got a family that I can depend on.

Q
How much do you believe your experience will play a factor in this fight?

A. Dirrell
I think it’ll be a big factor. I think I’m a little more polished in that area and just going there and stick to my game plan and do what I need to do to win this fight, no matter how the win comes, as long as it comes.

Q
When you’re fighting do you develop a dislike for your opponent at all or is it strictly business?

A. Dirrell
No, it’s business. It’s strictly business. There’s no personal issues. It’s business. They’re trying to knock you out and you’re trying to knock them out. That’s all it is. I have no animosity or anything towards David at all. I think him and his family are good people. They’re respectful people and that’s good but on the 28th all that respect goes out the window.

Q
It’s been well documented that David Benavidez sparred Shawn Porter. Do you feel that that’s kind of a waste of time for him or what are your thoughts on that as far as in relation to your fight with him?

A. Dirrell
I think he’s sparred with Shawn one time. That has nothing to do with me. Shawn isn’t very tallwe don’t even have the same fighting style, nothing. Shawn can get something out of it but not David, I don’t think. But his sparring at the end of the day you spar who you can spar and just get the experience. Like I said, I don’t know.

Q
What’s the key to your longevity in the game?

A. Dirrell:
Just fight smarter, not harder. I think my last fight was a little hard. I made it hard. But you’ve just got to fight smarter and hit and not be hit, that’s the game. That’s boxing. On the 24th, will there be war? It might be. Will it be a boxing match? It might be. I don’t know. I’ll have to determine that when I get into the ring.

Q
Can you describe what “Flint Strong” means and what kind of energy does that bring into the fight with you being from Flint and being from a long line of great Michigan fighters?

A. Dirrell
“Flint Strong” is we’re all the city. We’re all one. We all support each other from Myles Bridges to Kyle Kuzma, Javale McGee and Monte Morris and many more. You’ve got a lot of people that are from Flint. You’ve got a lot of these athletes that rep Flint. If you look at any one of their tattoos, I bet they have Flint on them or A1O. it’s just us sticking together as a city as a whole and trying to make us better.

A. Dirrell
Just tune in. If you can’t get there, definitely tune in. It’s going to be an amazing show at the end of the day. The fans will win. The fans are who we’re coming out there to do this performance for and at the end of the day, they will win. And, like I said, if you can’t be there, order it. It’ll be a heck of a card.

ABOUT SPENCE VS. PORTER
Spence vs. Porter pits unbeaten IBF Welterweight Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. against WBC Welterweight Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a 147-pound title unification that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The pay-per-view event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell facing unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov battling for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr. competing in a 10-round welterweight fight.

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

ADAM KOWNACKI VS. CHRIS ARREOLA MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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ADAM KOWNACKI VS. CHRIS ARREOLA MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Click HERE for Audio

Ray Flores
We greatly appreciate the media joining us from around the world as we are very excited and thrilled for this Saturday’s FOX PBC Fight Night Live on FOX and FOX Deportes headlined by undefeated Polish star and Brooklyn native Adam Kownacki as he battles the exciting former title challenger, the hard-hitting, Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola in a heavyweight showdown from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

We get started 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, and feature unbeaten interim WBA Light Heavyweight Champion “Sir” Marcus Browne, also an Olympian as he battles the former world champion Jean Pascal in a 12-round matchup.

Also Brooklyn’s own Curtis Stevens dropping down to 154-pounds as he squares off against Wale Omotoso in a 10-round matchup. Tickets for the event, they are going quickly. You can purchase them at ticketmaster.com or also at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center and all brought to you by TGB Promotions.

It gives me great honor and pleasure to introduce the President of TGB Promotions – one of the smartest minds in boxing. Please welcome my dear friend, Mr. Tom Brown.

Tom Brown
Thank you, Ray, and thanks everyone for joining us for this conference call, for what should be an amazing PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes card presented by Premier Boxing Champions at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™ on Saturday night. BROOKLYN BOXING is now a very well-known brand in the industry because of the dedication to boxing and the support of Brett Yormark, the CEO of BSE Global.

I’m very excited about this fight. I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time. I know Adam and Chris have as well. It’s a very intriguing fight in the heavyweight division, a division which has certainly got a lot of attention and a lot of buzz lately.

So thank you everyone again for joining us, and I’ll hand things back over to Ray to introduce the fighters.

R. Flores
Let’s meet one of the participants in our main event of the evening. His record, 38 wins, 5 losses, 1 draw, 33 wins coming by way of knock out. From Los Angeles, California, a three-time heavyweight title challenger who’s gone up against the likes of Deontay Wilder, Vitali Klitschko, Tomasz Adamek and also Bermane Stiverne. Most recently in action at AT&T Stadium, a part of the Spence – Garcia FOX Sports Pay Per View Event. He finished off the previously unbeaten Jean Pierre Augustin in March. Please welcome, ladies and gentlemen, the always entertaining and the extremely dedicated and focused Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola.

Chris Arreola
First I’d like to thank everyone that’s out here right now and FOX for putting this great show on. I can’t wait to get in the ring with Adam. It’s going to be a fun night. It’s going to be a great night of boxing and I’m excited. I’ve been working hard, and I know Adam’s ready, and I’m very ready to get this show on the road.

R. Flores
Now for Adam Kownacki. His record, 19 wins, no losses, 15 wins coming by way of knock out. A 30-year-old who was born in Poland before moving to Brooklyn when he was only seven years of age. He is no stranger to Barclays Center. This will be the ninth time that he has sparred at Barclays Center but the first as the main event at Barclays Center. He had an impressive decision over former champion Charles Martin last September and most recently halted Gerald Washington in two rounds in January.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the entertaining Adam Kownacki.

Adam Kownacki
Hello. Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure. I can’t wait to put on a show on August 30.

Q
With the recent news with Dillian Whyte, do you feel like a convincing win on Saturday night would, help you possibly slip in there and get that fight with Wilder a little sooner than expected, perhaps?

A. Kownacki
Yes, I think so. I think what I heard was that Deontay had some other stuff coming up with Luis Ortiz, and the fight with Tyson Fury. So definitely, hopefully towards the 2020 I’ll be able to get a crack at him. But most importantly I’ve got to make sure I get past Chris Arreloa August 3 this Saturday.

Q
Chris, when you called Joe Goossen three months ago, you knew it’s going to be a hard training camp. Why Joe Goossen and what happened during those three months?

Adam, for many, many years the number one on your list was Chris Arreola. Why Chris?

C. Arreola
Well, the reason I went with Joe Goossen is first I’ve known Joe for many years. I’ve always been a fan of Joe ever since the Castillo – Corrales fight. And he’s part of the family. Dan Goossen was my old promoter, rest in peace. I wanted to keep it in the family. I like the way he works. I like that he’s an old school — very old school — kind of a coach. He’s very methodical and he makes sure that he’s there every minute of training camp.

It’s been very beneficial and it was a great experience for me. And I can’t wait to fight this Saturday so I can put everything on the line.

A. Kownacki
I think he’s still one of the biggest names in the heavyweight divisions. With all the great fighters he was in there with, he beat a lot of them. And then against the top ones he came up a little bit short. So I knew if I could beat Chris Arreola, I’m more on those sides that are really on the top of their game and top of the division. So I thinking beating a guy like Chris Arreola puts me up there in the top 10, top five category.

Q
I had the pleasure to speak with Joe Goossen last night and he said he doesn’t believe the fight goes past seven rounds. Chris, your opinion? Also Adam, you?

C. Arreola
I honestly agree on that. And it’s not saying anything negative against Kownacki because it could go either way. He can knock me out like I can knock him out. The thing is that we both have extensive amateur experience. We both know how to fight. We both just need a little window of opportunity to knock someone out. That’s all we need because we have the experience and we have the power. That’s the reason why Joe will say that because we’re both the fighters that – exciting fighters that are going to put it on the line.

A. Kownacki
Yes. I’m ready for 12 rounds but if I get an opportunity to make it quick or go for it, I’ll go for it. It’s like you said before, if you guys have been boxing for a while, you’ve seen Chris around for a while. You see me coming up with the past couple of years so it sounds like the perfect matchup, like a great matchup for fans. We’re both looking for a knockout, so there is definitely going to be a lot of heavyweight haymakers being thrown. It’s not one of us trying to get the finish, it’s both of us trying to get the finish.

Q
Chris, I wonder if you could speak to your experience of having that sort of pressure that was part of your identity of the guy trying to become the first from your heritage to become heavyweight champion, now the way Adam is trying to become the first from his background.

C. Arreola
See the thing is that he has the whole Polish nation behind him, and it is a bit of a burden. Not so much a burden, but it’s a big weight on your shoulders to be carrying around. And as for myself, it was. It was a hard burden and a hard weight on my shoulders for me to carry around. And now that Andy did it, I feel like the weight is off my shoulders now. Now I can just actually just fight.

I think Adam just needs to just fight and not worry about first this or first that because the main thing is is getting that win and getting that fight and not getting caught up in the whole being the first because it’s a bit overwhelming. If you let yourself be caught up in that situation.

Q
Chris did you get caught up in that the first time you fought for the title?

C. Arreola
The first time was really the most pressure, when I fought Klitschko. That was the biggest pressure. The second time when I fought Stiverne, I didn’t have any pressure. I didn’t feel like I had the pressure because I was actually in really good shape and I was ready for that fight. Just happened that I got caught, and it’s boxing.

I was actually worried about the fight more than worrying about making history. And that’s really what you really have to be worried about, is just the fight in hand, the task in hand, because if you don’t take care of the task in hand, then there is no history.

It wasn’t even on my mind at all against Wilder. My mind at that point was just on winning the title. I wasn’t even thinking about being the first Mexican champion or being the first anything. All I wanted to be is be the champion. I just wanted to be a champion.

Q
Now that Andy has done that and did so in a huge upset, what were your feelings about that?

C. Arreola
I was happy for him, for his family, because he deserves it. Like I said, I’ve known the kid since he was 17 years old and he’s always been hungry. He’s always worked hard. He’s always been a big boy, but he’s always been a big boy with skill. And I was elated for him. I was elated for the Mexican fans that finally we had a Mexican champion. And he did it, man. And honestly, a lot of pressure came off of me and I congratulate him. I’m happy for him.

Q
So no disappointment that should you get another chance to fight for a heavyweight title that you cannot accomplish that particular feat?

C. Arreola
Absolutely not. Not at all. I’m not a bitter man and I’m not a man that’s going to be a resentful man. I love it. And I appreciate him, and I love what he did for the sport because he didn’t just do something big for the Mexican people but he made something big for the sport of boxing and for the heavyweight division because now it’s wide open.

Q
How does it feel to be the veteran in this type of fight instead of being the younger heavyweight?

C. Arreola
It’s the circle of life, man. Everything goes around, right? Goes around full circle. I was once a young lion and now I’m the old veteran. That’s exactly how I feel. I feel like Jameel McCline against me, but I feel like I’m in great shape. I feel like I’m ready to put on a great show, and I don’t feel like this is the end of my show. I think this is just another chapter of my boxing career.

I honestly believe that Adam is a great fighter. I think that he’s a really good fighter, but I’ve got to keep my career going.

Q
Do you still look at this fight and this run overall where it’s still one loss and you’re done, you’re retired for good?

C. Arreola
Absolutely. Absolutely man. No disrespect to anybody, no disrespect to Adam, because I think he’s a great fighter, but personally, if I lose, there’s no reason for me to be in the sport of boxing. I’m in boxing to be a champion. If I lose, it brings me all the way back to the bottom, and I don’t want to keep crawling back up and keep crawling back up again. I’m too old to be doing that.

So it’s a make or break kind of fight. It’s a win or go home thing. I know Adam has intentions to retire me, and I’m not planning to retire no time soon. I know Adam worked his butt off to get me out of boxing, but I worked hard myself.

Q
How do you feel getting this opportunity and potentially maybe enticing a guy like Deontay Wilder to fight, especially if you get a big win over Chris?

A. Kownacki
I grew up there. I grew up in Brooklyn. So it’s a great feeling being the headline and having all my friends, all my family, the whole community there and having my back and supporting me making something of myself. Growing up in Brooklyn, it’s very tough but it’s very rewarding. But yes, this is just the beginning. I feel this is the step in making something even bigger and greater.

Q
You mentioned wanting to beat Chris quicker than when Deontay Wilder did a couple of years ago. If you do beat him in quick fashion, do you think that alone will be enough to get that world title opportunity? Or do you feel like maybe there’s a still a little more before you can fully convince the title holder that’s heavyweight before getting that shot?

A. Kownacki
I think so. We spoke about his fight against McCline earlier today. So maybe that’s what I’ll do to Chris. I know it took Wilder seven or eight rounds. So if I do it in half the time, I’ll be happy. Especially with somebody tough like Chris Arreola.

Q
Are you concerned about Adam’s home field advantage at the Barclays Center?

C. Arreola
No not at all, man. No disrespect to the Polish fans for anything like that because I appreciate every fan. Every fan that comes in there gives me added motivation. At the end of the day it’s going to be me and Adam in the ring. There are not going to be any fans in the ring. So I’m okay.

Q
Do you picture yourself and imagine yourself as a future heavyweight champion with all the money and celebrity that can come with that or do you really just take things one fight at a time?

A. Kownacki
That’s my goal. I have a mission to be the first Polish born heavyweight champion of the world, and that’s my goal. You’ve got to stay humble because a lot of times you know it could drop you down back to earth real quick. I remember being an up and coming fighter, being four and 0, four knockouts. And I had a little misfortune of breaking my left hand and I was out for three years. I felt my whole world came crashing down.

But it was a very valuable lesson to make sure I’m humble. The goal remains the same, to be the world champion. And the fame and all that stuff that comes with it great. Right now I’m just laser focused on becoming heavyweight champion. Chris is in my way so I’ve got to make sure I’m able to win on Saturday.

Q
What are some of the new things that maybe you paid attention to with Joe that you didn’t necessarily focus on in the past?

C. Arreola
One of the main things that Joe does is he is a back to basics trainer. He makes sure that you’re tall and jab right. So I think that my punches are going to come out of the pocket a lot smoother and he’s taught me a lot of new defensive movements. The main thing is doing this and making everything just flow.

Q
You debuted as a professional in 2003. It’s 2019 now and you’re 38 years old. How would you say our perspective towards boxing has changed from then to now?

C. Arreola
Well, my perspective from boxing, the main thing I have changed is the work ethic, the way you work. You really have to work, because boxing is my job, so I have to work like it’s my job. I have to treat my body right, like it’s a machine, because it is a machine. The main thing now, especially because I’m older, is paying attention to my body and working hard and not beating myself up where I ain’t going to have nothing left tomorrow.

Q
What’s the biggest piece of knowledge that’s been invaluable to you as a veteran?

C. Arreola
Well inside the ring, as far as inside the ring, the main thing is staying calm. You can’t get all wild and get excited because that’s just wasted energy. And outside the ring is just being open with the fans man. Because you’ve got to remember, you’re nobody without the fans. And just like that, they could pull the carpet under your feet and legs and you can land flat on your face. Got to be humble. Got to treat everyone the way you want to be treated. So that’s just my main thing. And moderation. Everything in moderation.

Q
Adam you and Chris are very physically similar to each other same height, same reach. What do you feel that you do that separates the two of you?

A. Kownacki
It’s definitely very similar styles. Obviously we fight very similar. We throw a lot of punches, we both come forward. So I guess it’s going to be a more experienced lion fighting a younger, hungry lion. You’re going to see whose lands on top. Me and Chris are so similar, like I said, so we have similar aspects from our height, our reach, the way we fight, but it’s going to be the experience could stopping the youth.

Q
Chris, do you think it’s a good thing for boxing to be able to kind of breakdown the sides of the street mentality?

C. Arreola
That’s the way it seems. Boxing is also good because everybody’s their own boss. I think what PBC is doing with boxing is great. It gives us a platform to perform. I think it’s got to be great for the fighters and there are a lot of great fights. So I think it’s just a better when everybody’s satisfied.

Q
Adam are you pretty confident those fights can still be made that are kind of cross that promotional divide?

A. Kownacki
Of course. The fights are going to happen it’s just a matter of coming to an agreement that satisfies everyone.

Q
Chris, being that Adam is a heavy favorite in the fight and you’re viewed as kind of the older guy, how much motivation has that given to you that you’re kind of in some respects being counted out this time?

C. Arreola
I don’t even pay attention to the odds to be honest with you. My main motivation is win or go home. That’s my motivation. My motivation is to keep fighting, to keep putting food on my family’s table, keep making a living off of boxing. That’s my motivation.

Q
Chris, do you view this as your last chance, basically, so to speak?

C. Arreola
Absolutely. This is my last chance, man. This is my last chance not because the media or anything like that. This is my last chance because I say so. If I lose, I go home, no matter if it’s a great fight, if it’s a great fight or great event or it’s a could have gone either way, plain and simple. I lose it, I go home. I stay home. One and done, no more. So this is my added motivation. This is all I want. This is what I’m living for.

Q
Adam, how much more dangerous does that make Chris being that he’s toward the end of his career and he does view this as his last opportunity to kind of get where he wants to go?

A. Kownacki
A lot. I think that a desperate man is a dangerous man and I think he’s very desperate to get in line for a title shot. He had two knockout wins in a row so I’m prepared for the best Chris Arreola. He looks like he’s in great shape. I’ve just got to make sure I have a better game plan and that I’m in better shape, which I know I’ve put in a lot of hard work for.

Q
When do you think you think your world title shot will come and what do you intend to do until then?

A. Kownacki
Keep training. Stay in shape. I could have had an opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua but I was out of shape. So I didn’t pick up the challenge. So from now on, I’m in boxing shape. That’s it. Because the title shot could come around the corner in a couple of weeks’ notice because injuries and accidents happen. So I’m definitely going to be in camp nonstop, always working and perfecting my craft.

Q
Did you regret not being ready when that call came just because Joshua was upset in that fight?

A. Kownacki
Yes, as I said I was not in any shape. I wasn’t in the boxing shop. I wanted to fight. It was my birthday. I found out my wife was pregnant, so I enjoyed life a little bit, which I regret because boxing’s my fulltime profession. And since that call I was, like, yo I got to get in shape and make sure that never happens again.

So it was a learning lesson which maybe stopped me from achieving my goal a little faster than I would have. But I kind of wasn’t ready so it was the right choice. I just got to compete to go down there. That’s what life is about. It’s about getting through our experiences, learning new lessons and making sure you’re always in shape. So I’m in pretty good shape now, and if that call comes again in the near future I’ve got to be ready.

R. Flores
All right, guys. We appreciate both Chris Arreola and Adam Kownacki taking out the time. Before we let them go as they get prepped for their showdown this Saturday FOX PBC Fight Night from Barclays Center in Brooklyn all promoted by TGB Promotions. We go live 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Final comments from Chris Arreola and Adam Kownacki. We’ll start off with Chris Arreola. Chris?

C. Arreola
You know what? I’m just ready for this Saturday. Let’s get this show going, man. See you guys this week. Thank you.

R. Flores
Adam, final comments?

A. Kownacki
No sleep till Brooklyn. I’ll see you guys on August 3.

MANNY PACQUIAO INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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MANNY PACQUIAO INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Click HERE for Audio

Ray Flores
Thank you very much to the media joining us from all over the world, we are beyond excited for next Saturday, July 20, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas — PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View — all starting at 9:00 ET/6:00 PT. It is headlined by the eight-division champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao battling the WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman in the main event.

This is a stacked car from top to bottom. It is the biggest event of the summer for boxing and it is can’t miss. Tickets for the event, they are going so fast. It is all being promoted by MP Promotion, TGB Promotions, Mayweather Promotions. They are on sale now. You can get them online axs.com, charge by phone 866-740-7711, or in person at any MGM Resorts International Box Office.

Also on today’s call they are available for questions if the media has any questions for them is the President of TGB Promotions Tom Brown, who does an amazing job and works tirelessly. Also the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, a man who knows Manny Pacquiao quite well, Mr. Leonard Ellerbe.

At this time, it gives me great honor and pleasure to introduce the man who’s been involved in boxing for quite a long time and is very familiar with Manny Pacquiao, his long-time publicist Mr. Fred Sternburg.

Fred Sternburg
Thanks so much, Ray. Welcome everybody. Thank you for joining us today. Manny had an amazing camp. According to Freddie and according to Manny it may be their best camp in many years. They’re very excited. It’s the biggest challenge they’ve had in a long time.

Manny has spent about four weeks training in the Philippines. He is finishing his fourth week here in Hollywood at Wild Card Boxing Club. And Freddie Roach is on the call with us. Freddie, you’re just down the street from us where we prefer you to be. How did you think camp is going?

Freddie Roach
It’s a very good training camp, good sparring, and he’s ready to go. We have one more day of sparring today and then we close the camp down. Just getting ready for the fight.

F. Sternburg
Great. And Manny is here as well. Manny, you’re ready to join us? Here he comes. He literally just finished his run and if you were here at his house today, you would have seen about over a dozen people doing sit-ups with him in the front yard. Manny does things just a little differently here. Manny, welcome to the call.

Manny Pacquiao
Good morning. Training camp has been very good and I’m ready for this call.

Q
Did you ever think that you’d still be not only boxing professionally but still at a very high level at the age of 40?

M. Pacquiao
Yes, that’s what I’m trying to prove this time because we know that a lot of our fans and people in boxing were doubting my capability at the age of 40. So I have to prove something this time because at the age of 40 I’m not thinking about my age. I’m thinking about what I can do for the fans.

Q
What is it that gets you doing sit-ups in your front yard in the morning and running and putting in the hard work to train for these fights?

M. Pacquiao
I really love exercise. I’m addicted to exercise. And even if I don’t have a scheduled fight, I always most every day I exercise and I’m playing basketball four to five hours almost every day. So when this time comes and when I have a scheduled fight, then I’m so motivated myself to work hard, to train hard, and to focus to the fight.

Q
You could certainly exercise and do basketball and do all the things you just mentioned without actually getting hit, right?

M. Pacquiao
Yes. Actually after the fight I don’t go to the boxing gym. No boxing at all until I have a scheduled fight.

But I always exercise like playing basketball, sometimes jogging. But no boxing gym at all.

Q
Freddie, what do you see as the motivation for his continued boxing career?

F. Roach
Well, it’s still what he does best. It got him to where he is today. We want to fight a high level person. We’re not in this game just to fight anybody. We want to be the best. And we’d like another championship and I don’t think we’ll stop until we get that.

Q
Do you think Freddie that the opponent, Keith Thurman, is maybe the best of the opponents that Manny’s been with probably since the Mayweather fight?

F. Roach
You can say that. But I don’t think he’s the best fighter. We’ve fought a bunch of better fighters along the way. But yes, he’s a good, solid guy. And it should make for a very good fight.

Q
Do you feel that Thurman has gone over the line with some of the things he’s said to you?

M. Pacquiao
Well, it is kind of over the line for me, but I’m not angry with him. I’m somebody very motivated by all he says. The trash talk that he did, he made even my mom get mad. But it gives me more motivation to focus the training and to focus on my condition, how hard I push the training.

And believe me, this is a very interesting fight for me because it has been a long time that I have focused like this for a fight.

Q
How closely did you watch that fight against Josesito Lopez? And do you feel like watching that fight that he’ll be ready for you?

M. Pacquiao
I’m not considering his performance and style on that fight because he just came back from a long layoff of almost two years. So I understand that. This time, this fight I’m sure he’ll be in 100% condition and I’m sure he did a lot of things in training.

Q
At this point at 40 years old, in the event that you lost this fight would you consider retirement or would you like to keep fighting?

M. Pacquiao
I’m still okay. I can still fight. My body’s reacting well. My mind and everything is fine. And that’s a big favor from God. This is a blessing.

Q
Freddie, I wonder if you’re employing some reverse psychology when you’re saying no, you’re not predicting a knockout is going to happen for Pacquiao at this time. Is this a grand Freddie Roach plan reverse psychology?

F. Roach
No. Manny’s in great shape for this fight and we worked very hard for this fight. And someone asked me if we were looking for a knockout. No, we never look for knockouts. But if it comes, Manny’s in great shape right now and if Thurman wants to trade with us, he will get knocked out.

Q
Do you keep up on the politics and do you stay in touch with your vital political operatives and allies when you’re overseas in America getting ready for a fight? Or can you leave politics alone and purely focus just on the boxing?

M. Pacquiao
I’m focused on my training here in America. We have a long office break. So we resume the work July 22 which is the State of the Nation Address of the President. That’s the start of the work. That’s why after the fight I have to go back to the Philippines to work.

But I’m hearing from my staff in the office, what bills that we’re going to file and what we’re going to do, how many resolutions to file before the session start open.

Q
Are you going to fight one more time this year you think or is that still up in the air?

M. Pacquiao
Yes, there is a scheduled recess. But we will figure it out when the session starts.

Q
How do you prepare for someone that you really haven’t seen at his 100% best in at least a couple of years?

M. Pacquiao
I’m not basing anything off his last performances in his last fight because he was coming from a long layoff of almost I think almost two years. So I understand that as a boxer I really understand that it’s hard to start again. But this time around he worked hard, he’s well prepared for this fight because he’s not fighting Lopez but he’s fighting Manny Pacquiao. So I’m expecting him to work hard and prepare 100%.

Q
Yesterday at the media workout, I was reading that you said that Thurman remind you the most of Ricky Hatton of all the fighters that you faced in the past. And I’m curious to see why you think Thurman reminds you of Ricky Hatton?

M. Pacquiao
The style, the similar style like that. I think they have similar style. But not really the same but it does look like a similar style.

Q
Does it enter your mind as sort of when the window of this great run is going to close or that doesn’t really enter your mindset?

M. Pacquiao
In balancing my body conditioning, my mind, and how I work hard, it depends on how I focus and work hard in training. Right now, I still hunger and I’m still enjoying this and happy to do a training preparation for the fight.

Even my coaching staff, they’re very happy because they’re still watching me and having to tell me when to stop, not watching me to push to do more. But watching me to stop because I might over train.

Q
Has your style changed at all over the years or do you fight the same way?

M. Pacquiao
My style is still the same but I’m more experienced now compared to before. How I fight in the ring and my strategy, my footwork that’s not changing but it’s still the same. But I’m more experienced and my timing in the ring is better than ever.

Q
Freddie from your perspective as the trainer, what do you see is the biggest difference in terms of let’s say training and preparation for Manny at this age versus how you guys prepared back when he was younger?

F. Roach
His work ethic is unbelievable. He wants to work every minute of every day. He wants to do 40 rounds a day in the ring and so forth. We do have to hold him back a little bit. We’re on a five-day running schedule right now instead of six and we’re giving him a couple extra days off during the week trying to get him not to over train because he does have a tendency of wanting to do that.

We got him right where we want him right now and he’s in great shape. He’s ready to go.

Q
Is Keith Thurman the first opponent you’ve faced with a combination of both power and speed at the highest levels?

M. Pacquiao
In my experience, I’ve encountered many boxers that have speed and power. And this is not new for me. I think Thurman, he’s not really that quick but I have to be careful in the ring, in the fight. I have to make sure that everything is fine.

F. Roach
Thurman’s a strong guy and he’s a good puncher. Manny’s speed will overwhelm him, I feel. He hasn’t been in the ring with speed like Manny Pacquiao has and most people get overwhelmed when they face Manny. His speed is unbelievable and at 40 years old it’s as good as ever.

Q
What are your dreams in boxing right now Manny?

M. Pacquiao
I just want to maintain my name in the top of boxing and continue my career. I already accomplished what I want to accomplish in boxing. I’m continuing my career because boxing is my passion. I have lots to do in this, especially because God gave me these blessings and favor that they gave me good health and this is speed and power.

Q
How many fighters have you faced before that you think were better or more complete than Thurman?

M. Pacquiao
Thurman is a different style. Thurman I can say similar style with Ricky Hatton. But I won’t take him lightly. I have to make sure that I’m not careless in the ring.

Q
What about your son fighting?

M. Pacquiao
My son is starting to do some boxing and I am going to support him.

Q
If Thurman fights exactly as you expect him to are you going to knock him out?

M. Pacquiao
That’s going to be lovely if he fights toe to toe with me. Knockouts will come but I’m not saying that I’m going to have a prediction with this fight. I don’t want to be careless in the fight.

But if that chance is given to me, why not? I have to grab that possibility to knock him out.

Q
If Thurman fights you the way Jeff Horn did, would that approach really bother you or would you welcome that?

M. Pacquiao:
Actually, on the Jeff Horn fight I think I over trained. That’s why I have to admit that. But this time around my coaching staff, Freddie, Buboy Fernandez, Justin Fortune, they’re watching closely to not let me get over trained so that in the fight I’m going to be throwing a lot of punches.

After the Horn fight, we learned a lot. I learned a lot. And we changed really the training, not the whole thing, but I give my body rest because it’s hard to make my body recovery when you hit the age of 40.

Q
Freddie, Dan Birmingham and Keith Thurman confirmed that they’re coming directly at you and looking for a knockout early in the fight. Thoughts?

F. Roach
Yes. Talk’s talk. Let’s see who really shows up.

Q
Do you feel as though Keith Thurman gives you any different challenges than Broner did?

M. Pacquiao
He has a different style compared to Broner. And I think this challenge is different than Broner’s fight. But I know Broner is faster than Keith Thurman.

Q
Freddie you said yesterday it’s not like Thurman’s a world class fighter. Why did you say that?

F. Roach
Because I think Broner is a better fighter.

Q
Will we ever see that Manny Pacquiao fight in the Philippines?

M. Pacquiao
That’s what I’m looking for, I’d like to.

F. Sternburg
All right. We’re ready to wrap up here. Manny, any last comments?

M. Pacquiao
Thank you everyone for this interview and I hope to see you in Vegas. And I can’t wait to fight on July 20 next week. Thank you.

F. Sternburg
Freddie before you clean the gym up before Manny gets there today, any final comments?

Freddie Roach
No, he’s just running and trying to catch up to the slowest fighter in the world. No comment.
It’s ‘One Time’ versus ‘All Time.’

KEITH THURMAN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

KEITH THURMAN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Click HERE for Audio

Ray Flores
Thank you so much to the media calling in. We are just over a week and a half away from an amazing night of boxing on Saturday, July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

It is PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View all starting at 9 ET/ 6 PT with the main event of the evening featuring eight division world champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao taking on the WBA Welterweight World Champion, Keith “One Time” Thurman in the main event. This is the biggest event of the summer for boxing. It is can’t miss. Tickets for this event are available and the event is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions.

They’re on sale now going very fast. You can get them online at axs.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office. Make sure you get your tickets now or order it on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View.

We want to go ahead and we want to welcome a man who is a dear friend of mine. Talk about promoting events all over the world, he has been so instrumental in being a catalyst for boxing especially when it comes to Premier Boxing Champions. Please welcome the President of TGB Promotions, Tom Brown.

Tom Brown
Well thank you, Ray, and thanks everyone for joining us for this conference call for what should be an amazing Pay-Per-View boxing card presented by Premier Boxing Champions at the beautiful MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 20.

Now I look at everything as a matchmaker and this is a sensational fight, an incredible matchup of styles and one of the best fights you can make in the welterweight division. Obviously this showdown presents huge implications in the weight division, which has historically always been boxing’s premier division.

Neither of these fighters really require any type of introduction. This is absolutely the best fighting the best and it’s about as good as it gets. So thank you for being on the call and now I’ll throw it back over to Ray.

R. Flores
Thank you very much, Tom, greatly appreciate it. Another one of the promoters for next Saturday, July 20 is a man who’s been a part of some record-breaking events, please welcome the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe.

Leonard Ellerbe
Thank you, Ray. I can’t wait until next Saturday night. This is a terrific fight between two great fighters. Both guys I know for a fact are extremely motivated to give the fans a great fight and I think this fight will be an all-action fight from the opening bell. In Keith’s case, the one thing I know about the buildup to this fight in which I’ve been very, very impressed with him, is that he understands how to promote his fights. He’s extremely confident coming into this fight because he knows what beating a guy like Manny Pacquiao does for his career.

It not only adds a Hall of Fame name to his career, and Keith already has the best resume out of all the welterweights that are out there now, but this puts him on a whole another level. And based on everything that I’m hearing from Keith and what he’s been saying the whole promotion, he’s ready to bring it to Manny Pacquiao on a whole other level that has never been done.

R. Flores
Thank you very much, Leonard. When it comes to prize fighting, you need a great team around you and Keith Thurman, who’s undefeated, has a world-class team that is with him and has been a part of his career from its inception. It’s a great honor and pleasure to welcome his elite trainer, a man who’s been in the corner of Winky Wright, Jeff Lacy and also has been so instrumental in the career of Keith Thurman, a man who I think doesn’t get enough credit when it comes to being a world class elite trainer, it gives me great honor and a pleasure to introduce Dan Birmingham.

Dan Birmingham
Thank you, everybody for having me. Let’s get it on.

R. Flores
Thank you very much, Dan. Short and sweet and to the point. Well now we turn our attention to the WBA Welterweight World Champion, the former unified welterweight world champion, joining us from Clearwater, Florida. Talk about being a part of some big moments.

This young man has fought at such an elite level for such a long time, with notable victories over current WBC Champion Shawn Porter and two-division champion, Danny Garcia. And now he’s front and center next Saturday night, July 20. Please welcome the reigning and defending WBA Welterweight Champion of the World with an undefeated record 29 wins, no losses, 22 big wins coming by way of knockouts, please welcome Keith “One Time” Thurman.

Keith Thurman
This camp has been a great camp. I’m really just happy to be back in the beautiful sport of boxing, happy to be back in the limelight, happy to have the biggest fight of my career. This fight, in my opinion, has always been in the making. I always do my best when I’m an active fighter to bring you guys some of the most exciting fights of the year. This is definitely one of those kind of fights.

I’m just happy to be sharing the ring with a legend, Manny Pacquiao, and have this beautiful opportunity to be performing once again at MGM Grand and showcasing my skills and my talent to the world and just creating my own legacy and leaving my own mark in this beautiful sport of boxing.

Q:
From your perspective was that Josesito Lopez fight the kind of tough 12 round fight that you needed to get the rust off after the long layoff with the injuries?

Keith Thurman
It was good. I dropped him in the second round. I could have possibly had it finished in that round. They would have said, oh, Keith Thurman is back, he’s devastating, but, I wouldn’t have had a tough fight. I know what kind of champion I am and it just takes certain fights and certain challenges for me to prove how I can fight out of rough situations.

In the seventh round I showed once again that Keith Thurman is not a punk. If you want to fight me, fight me. You want to hurt me, hurt me. If you drop me, you drop me, but you better stop me. As long as you don’t stop me, I’m coming out the champion like I always do because that’s what I do; I box hard, I box smart and I’m always looking for the win. I’m always prepared to challenge myself. I was brought up in this sport, I’m a real fighter, I’m a real boxer, I’m educated and Manny Pacquiao is going to get a piece of it one on one.

Q:
The Pacquiao people might have looked at that your last fight and said, we’ll fight Keith Thurman because we don’t think he’s all that. So maybe your performance, maybe not your greatest, but actually helped you land this huge fight?

K. Thurman
That’s been the talk of the town ever since they talked about the fight. At the end of the day, who cares? This still is the most exciting fight of the year. Errol Spence versus Mikey Garcia and that didn’t hold up to the hype. When Keith Thurman fights, it’s a great fight. I think Keith Thurman makes all the great welterweight fights from here on out. It doesn’t matter who it is, when Keith Thurman fought Shawn Porter it was nominated for the Fight of the Year. When Keith Thurman fought Danny Garcia, the fans had a tremendous show.

When Keith Thurman fights Manny Pacquiao, if Keith Thurman fights Errol Spence Jr., if Keith Thurman fights Terrence Crawford, I think Keith Thurman is the new Manny Pacquiao. I think I am the most exciting fighter in the welterweight division today. I might show some weakness that might give them a little bit of confidence, but outside of that, like Ellerbe mentioned, Keith Thurman has the best resume at 147. Two years out of the game and I still hold the best resume at 147.

You can’t really take much away from me. You can throw some criticism and some shots if you want but, I believe that like I said, I bring entertainment to the welterweight division, always have, always will. If I win, I’m your entertainment, if I lose, I’m your entertainment. Keith Thurman is one of the greatest fighters in the welterweight division today hands down.

Q:
Talk more about your decision to drop out of high school and pursue professional boxing full time at around age 15 .
K. Thurman
Yes, at the end of the day, Keith Thurman is just not a 9-5 kind of guy. Know thyself. I’ve always known what I wanted for myself. I was 10 years old when I said nobody is going to be the boss of me. And I shocked a lot of people with that statement. I can barely listen to my own mother, how am I going to have a boss?

At the end of the day I was rebellious, I was a dreamer and I didn’t know it at a young age, but I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I was going to pursue boxing and hope that boxing opens up doors that allows me to live out my life as an entrepreneur. Luckily for me I’ve had great success and I believe that I will have a life after boxing as well.

At the end of the day, I’m a dreamer and you can tell your kids, you need this and you need that and I looked at every adult and said I need to dream. I need to live my dream and if I fail, I’ll listen to every little bit of advice that you have from here on out.

My dream comes first, and I’ll put my best foot forward and I’ll go back to school at 35 years old. I will pick up a book and I’ll be back on a college campus. At least if today I go to college, I can afford the tuition.

I don’t have to rely on my mother. I don’t have to rely on the government. So I’m just a different kind of breed and I was very passionate. To this day I’m still very passionate. I live off of passion. It’s a blessing to at a young age to understand your passions.

There’s many children who don’t have a sense of direction who don’t know what they want to do, don’t know what they want to be, and maybe they have a skill set. But, maybe that’s not what they want to inspire in life. So I’m a very fortunate individual and I’m very blessed to live the life that I live.

Q:
Do you think you’ll ever try to go back and get that diploma or is it not really worth it at this point?

K. Thurman
You ask me, I’m a doctor already. Educated in boxing.

Q:
What was in your mind Dan, when they told you about Keith Thurman’s focus and desire that at that age he would drop out of high school and go pursue professional boxing?

Dan Birmingham:
Well, I actually was around him. I was his assistant coach. Ben was his lead coach until his death, but I was his assistant coach for a long time. If you know Keith well, he’s self-educated. He knows a lot of things that you can’t pick up out of books. He learns it. He lives it. So, in that regard, education really wasn’t in his plans.

Q:
Do you feel that too much has been made about the difficulty you had in the seventh round against Josesito Lopez or do you understand why people are pointing to that from your last fight?

K. Thurman
I remember talking to Max Kellerman backstage after my first fight on HBO and I said, Max what did you think about the performance? He said, well, yes, you did good Keith. But what happens the day you get hit?

I always thought to myself, Max do you want to hit me and find out? You know what I’m saying? Because you don’t know Keith Thurman. You don’t know what I did at the age of 15. You don’t know the road that I’ve been on. But I said okay, respect.

There was a dude named Victor Ortiz at the time and he got beat up and he almost cried on national TV, but Keith Thurman isn’t a punk and I’ll show you one day. So, now, you’re asking the same question, what do you think about Keith Thurman, he isn’t going to say well Keith Thurman can’t take a punch because they’ve seen me take a punch.

You’ve got to talk about what you see. If you see somebody look weak, they look weak. If you see somebody look flawed, they look flawed. If you see somebody look unconditioned, they’re unconditioned. You have to report what you see, and I got caught. I got caught. I was in danger. I remember after I got caught and then I got caught again.

And then after I got caught again, I then got caught again. I got hit with three big shots that round. I said you better put your hands up. You better move your feet because only you know you’re okay right now. The whole world thinks you’re going to be knocked out. The whole world thinks you’re about to be knocked out. But just get out of this round and let’s show them what kind of champion you really are.

So, it isn’t about too much talk, it is what it is. It probably was one of my most vulnerable rounds of my career to date. A lot of fighters would not be able to get out of the round in the way that I did. And to me it’s just evidence of how great I truly am. They have a little saying in boxing, it’s not about when you get knocked down, it’s about what you do when you get back up.

I don’t even let them put me down. It’s just boxing. It’s just another black eye. It’s just a sport. I have an ‘0’ and I’m not afraid to let it go. If you can beat me, beat me. Josesito Lopez had it right there in front of his eyes. He couldn’t close the deal. He couldn’t close it.

Q:
Keith was that the most trouble you’ve ever been in, even in sparring or anything in that round?

K. Thurman
I was scared sparring Jeff Lacy when I was 16-years-old. Eventually he had to tell me, “We can’t spar anymore because you hit too hard and I’m a grown man. I want to knock you out and you’re 16 years old. I don’t want to have that on my conscious. So, you can no longer be my sparring partner because you do too much and I want to knock you out and you’re a kid. I don’t want to knock a kid out.”

So, we had to stop sparring. I knew he could knock me out. I wouldn’t let him, but if he actually connected, you don’t let people knock you out. So, at the end of the day I really respected Jeff Lacy for sitting me down and having that conversation and explaining to me why we will never share the ring ever again.

Q:
How will you be better in this fight?

K. Thurman
I try to explain to you guys from the beginning of the year when the Josesito Lopez fight happened. All of 2019 is just Keith Thurman getting back. This is still a get back year. At least I’m staying busy and I’m taking the momentum from one training camp into the next training camp.

I hired two strength and conditioning coaches and I’m really dedicated and I’m taking this seriously because being great requires great effort. We all know that Floyd Mayweather wasn’t one of the best ever because he was able to eat McDonald’s and make weight. It’s because he was running a lot of miles. He was doing standing sit ups. He was boxing his butt off and eating McDonald’s as well as making weight.

That’s what Floyd was doing. So, to be great it takes great effort. I’m applying myself in a better fashion and I believe that it should show in the fight. I should have a better performance.

L. Ellerbe
I think with Keith showing some vulnerability in that last fight I think that this is definitely going to help him in this fight because anytime that you show something like that then the whole mindset of people changes, because he might have been in most people eyes as the boogey man in the division.

When he showed that he got caught and he was able to come back the way he did, it showed great heart, the heart of a champion. The same thing happened when Floyd got caught with Shane Mosley, not that those are similar situations, but it just shows. We saw a different kind of Keith. And I think he’ll use that as momentum coming into the Manny fight and have a lot more confidence as well. Similarly, to what he had said, he needed to be more alert, to be more aware.

It’s the little things that that help you grow as a fighter and make you a better fighter. That’s one of the things that I had a discussion with Floyd about when he got caught with the big shot from Shane. It’s showing how you are going to respond back. He came back and he fought like a dog. He walked him down. Keith has that same kind of mentality.

Q:
How much better shape do you feel that you’re in for this fight than you were for the Lopez fight?

K. Thurman
I feel much better. People think I’m playing. I really train myself at night at L.A Fitness on a spin bike. That was my conditioning for the Josesito Lopez fight. No disrespect to Josesito Lopez, but I can’t recall the last time a flat-footed fighter, Latino fighter beat Keith Thurman.

The last two amateurs that beat me were Charles Hatley and Demetrius Andrade. They were not flat-footed, Latino fighters. Styles makes fights and I knew I could rely on my boxing IQ to be victorious in the fight. In the seventh round, I realized it was a little bit of a gamble. We got out of it and if I want to look better than that, I should train harder. That’s what we’re doing.

Q
Does it feel good being back in the groove preparing for fights, being in this type of environment instead of having long rehabs for injuries and surgeries that you’ve had for the last couple of years?

Keith Thurman
Definitely man. I’m living out my dream. This is my passion. I didn’t do a lot of interviews. I didn’t do a lot of talk in my inactivity because I like to talk positive. I like to talk action. Being an inactive fighter, to me, there’s not a lot to talk about. What am I going to talk about, my struggle or am I going to talk about my depression, my sadness? What am I going to talk about?

At the end of the day, I’m really, really happy to be back in the sport. It’s a beautiful opportunity. It’s a dream come true. And I’m just back living my dream. I love the sport of boxing. I want to have fun. This is my job. When you go to work you should enjoy yourself. If you don’t enjoy your job you should get a new job. I love my job and this is my entertainment.

Q
Do you view this fight as the one that does show who the best welterweight in the world is or do you feel like that’s something that needs to be decided with more fights among that elite group of fighters down the road?

K. Thurman
Don’t know. Don’t care. It’s not my job. It’s your job to report opinionated things. At the end of the day, I’m living a dream. I’m happy. We’re making money, we’re making history in a sport that I’ve always wanted to make history in.

All I want to do is leave my mark so that when I walk out from here, I can hold my head up high. All I want is for one day 20 years from now, when people talk boxing, they’ll argue this, they’ll argue that, but there’s going to be one dude who said you know who I really like, man I like that kid Keith “One Time” Thurman. That is my ultimate goal. I want be amongst the great names. I want to be amongst the names so that there’s some fan who will never forget what I’ve done.

Q
With Pacquiao’s last three fights, is one more important than the other or have you looked beyond those last three fights?

K. Thurman
At the end of the day, he’s come back strong after a loss. Maybe he underestimated Jeff Horn, maybe he really did fall ill overseas – they said that he was kind of sick the week of the fight and obviously no fighter is going to pull out of a fight.

Styles make fights. Pacquiao could have underestimated Horn, he could have not trained the same way. He looked terrific against Lucas Matthysse and he dominated Adrien Broner. Obviously he doesn’t think he’s done. He doesn’t like to talk about retirement. He’s going to come to dominate Keith Thurman, which is something no one’s ever done.

He is also inspired to win a world title, something he’s never won throughout his whole career because the last time he fought for the super WBA title was against Floyd Mayweather, upon which he suffered a loss. This is his second opportunity to acquire something that he’s never acquired before throughout his whole career.

Pacquiao’s got a lot going for him. He wants to prove his greatness, prove his legacy is one that will never be forgotten even though it cannot be forgotten win, loss, draw – it cannot be forgotten because he’s accomplished so much in this sport of boxing. But he still is reaching for greatness at the age of 40 and it’s admirable.

I’m young. I definitely want to do more and on the 20th, I’m going to show you more.

Q
Can you envision yourself fighting at 40 years old?

K. Thurman
No. My grandfather never liked that I was going to be boxer. My grandfather on my father’s side never liked that I was going to be a boxer. My family’s all from Ohio outside of Cleveland. My grandfather said, “If you’re going to do it boy, get in and get out.”

He meant it in a two-fold way. He meant if you can stop them, stop them and get out of the ring early and make your money and get out of boxing while you’ve got sense and you can talk straight. Because the big thing about fighters back in the day is the punch drunk syndrome which even Ben Getty used to talk to me about it.

I’m going to do my best to not take too many shots come July 20th. A few more of these paychecks and we won’t be here when we’re 40 years old. I don’t need $100 million in life. I just need a little bit of moolah.

Q
You are 30 years old. You are a decade younger than Pacquiao, you’ve had fewer than half the fights he’s had. There’s some conventional wisdom that you’re not going to take it easy in the early rounds, but maybe you save a little something, something for the championship rounds and see if a 40 year old man can take your best heat in 9, 10, 11 and 12.

So I’m curious to hear from you and your trainer if that’s been part of your thinking.

K. Thurman
I’m going to do to him what I did to Danny Garcia. I’m going to hit him as soon as I can hit him.

Freddie Roach is the only one that talks trash and that reminds me of the Danny Garcia fight. For him it was his daddy and his trainer. Pacquiao knows that it’s the hands that do all the talking. Ben Getty said, “Go out there and show them your power, boy.” He said, “I don’t care who it is.” He said, “when you hit them, they’re going to do a pretty little dance.”

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to destroy a legend and to create my own legacy. How can I not go for it?

If Manny Pacquiao is the man that beats me, he’s the man that beats me and I’m going to shake his hand after the fight and congratulate him. But when Keith Thurman steps into the ring, you’re dealing with Keith Thurman and he’s a bad man.

Q
One thing you said in response to a previous question was that you weren’t so inclined to talk when you were out of boxing. You didn’t want to talk about your depression, you didn’t want to talk about your sadness. You made it sound like it cut a little bit deeper than just the sort of general frustration of having to overcome an injury. Is that a fair assessment? Was this something that really got into your head and left you wondering about how this all might go?

K. Thurman
I’m a very passionate individual. I’m a dreamer. It’s human nature that not every day is going to be our best day and for me my thought process started to get a little morbid. I started having to ask myself the question are you ever going to fight again. Is your career over at the age of 28, 29 years old? Are you done?

Is that all that you will ever accomplish in your career? It was sad but I could still be proud about being a two-time world champion unifying the WBA with the WBC when I defeated the undefeated world champion Danny Garcia at the time.

I’m still in my prime so it was quite depressing to start thinking like that and obviously I got myself out of that chain of thought and getting into the gym also helps because as you’re not training, you’re not feeling good either.

As you train and you lose weight, you know everybody feels better about themselves and training is a natural way to increase endorphins in the brain. Not everything can be your best day and I had some depressing moments and some negative thought patterns at that time.

But luckily for me, my doctors kept encouraging that you will be back and I could have gotten back at the end of 2018, but I talked to my team, I talked to my wife and I was encouraged that nothing good was coming out of 2018. So let’s just wait for 2019. Let’s start fresh. Let’s hit it in January and patience can be a virtue sometimes and I believe we’re having a tremendous year and I’m obviously a lot happier to be back in the sport.

Q
Some people seem to be unhappy about the testing for this fight. Can you share your thoughts on that?

K. Thurman
I’ve always been a clean fighter. I’ve been tested throughout my boxing career at all times. At the end of the day, there has been testing and it was done through the promoters.

It’s not my job to create testing. I fight clean at all times ever since I was an amateur striving to be an Olympian. I’m prideful that even my boxing style is pretty clean. You don’t see Keith Thurman being warned for low blows constantly.
You don’t see me being warned for head butts or anything like that. I have always been a clean fighter. I always will be a clean fighter and it’s one of the least of my concerns. Manny Pacquiao, we’ve watched him. He doesn’t look 10 years younger. Pacquiao is a natural athlete who’s been active for the past year. He’s been very active and he stays in shape. He doesn’t look anything out of the norm. Whatever the promoters request, we do. There will be testing just like every fight at the world championship fight before and after the fight.

Q
How have you been incorporating yoga in your training for this camp?

Thurman
I have not. I’m definitely a fan of yoga. There’s a lot of athletes who are fans of yoga in today’s generation. Yoga has tremendous health benefits especially in combination with meditation. Meditation also has health benefits. It helps with your stretching. It helps with your centering. It helps with your focus. Yoga can help with your breathing, so I’m aware of a lot of the different ways it can be utilized by athletes.

But in this specific training camp I did not utilize yoga that much. I have a massage therapist who also stretches me and he opens me up and keeps my muscles moving well, keeps my body moving well. I stuck with those basics and a lot of hard training. It’s hard to train twice a day and find time to stretch for an hour.

Q
So was it specifically something you decided to not do this camp conscientiously because it didn’t work for you previously or what was the thought process in not going with the alternative and spiritual training programs that you usually go with?

K. Thurman
I never do it. I don’t think you’ve ever seen me do it on film in a training camp in the past. For the Shawn Porter fight, Shawn Porter did more yoga than I did. I like yoga. I’ll participate in yoga but I’ll do it more in my off-season than when I’m in season. I like to focus on my boxing, my strategy and my technique to win each and every fight. I have a stretching guy who will stretch me and keep my body open and moving properly. It’s really hard for me to fit yoga into the overall regimen because I’m focused on training hard, strength and conditioning and losing weight.

Q
Pacquiao is known for his stamina, his energy, his speed. How have you been preparing to kind of face an opponent that probably you haven’t faced before from a stamina standpoint?

K. Thurman
Watching the tape and just knowing Pacquiao, he is a guy who will produce numbers as long as you let him. Movement can always make it difficult for a fighter like Pacquiao to put out the output that they might want to put out or an output that they’re used to putting out.

But movement can also neglect the activity of an overall fight. I just know how boxing works. If I ever feel like he’s getting off a little too much maybe I will increase some of my movement. At the same time, his conditioning is always great. But when I look back at films there’s not a lot of people that go to Manny Pacquiao’s body. I don’t know if that’s because of his small, short size. I don’t know if it’s difficult.

I remember Ellerbe making a statement that Manny is an awkward fighter and that Keith might find himself in the ring having a little bit more difficulty than what he’s mentally prepared for. That can happen or it can work in my favor. We’ll find out real soon.

Q
Were you a fan of Pacquiao during his prime?

K. Thurman
No, I was not a boxing fan at a young age. I was not a boxing spectator fan. I’m not a big fan of almost any sport because I’m not a spectator.

I love participating in sports. I’m not one that sits down, watches games. I live too much of an active lifestyle. I want to be apart of the action. Put me in the game coach. Give me a piece of the action. I started watching more professional boxing when I knew I was going to turn pro. The first fight I really remember from Manny Pacquiao off the top of my head would happen to be Pacquiao-De La Hoya.

Q
Does this feel like a new phase of your career, a new level of accomplishment to get to fight against an all-time great in Pacquiao?

K. Thurman
I wanted this fight six years ago at the MGM Grand. I just always thought that it would be a beautiful fight. I would always love the opportunity and to have the opportunity right in front of me, we’re counting down the days. It’s just beauty man. It just shows that dreams do come true. With hard work and dedication you can make anything happen.

I fight in the ring wearing red, white and blue because when Thurman’s in the ring he’s living out his American dream. I do not change my colors because I have pride. I have passion and I’m just grateful to live this life. This is just an amazing, amazing opportunity.

Manny Pacquiao has almost 70 fights in his record. It’s as if I’m fighting Sugar Ray Robinson himself. It’s as if I’m fighting Roberto Duran. This is Manny Pacquiao. It’s just a tremendous, tremendous feeling and it’s going to feel even greater when my hand is raised at the end of the night.

Q

R. Flores
At this time we really appreciate Keith taking out precious moments from his training camp. He is always very kind and friendly to the media around the world. Keith before we let you go if you have any final statement before you get set for your showdown next Saturday, July 20, against Manny Pacquiao, PBC on Fox Sports pay-per-view.

K. Thurman
Thank you guys for being in support of this tremendous event. This is one of the biggest events of the year. I’m here today. I’ll be here tomorrow. I’m not afraid to let it my ‘0’ go. If he beats me, he beats me. But I’m going to be putting on a show July 20. Don’t miss it.

DANNY GARCIA VS. ADRIAN GRANADOS INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

garcia granados header

DANNY GARCIA VS. ADRIAN GRANADOS INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

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Ray Flores
Thank you very much, Operator. First of all I want to thank the media for joining us all around the world as we get set for PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes this upcoming Saturday from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. What a venue for a tremendous night of boxing.

Our main event, the two division world champion, Danny “Swift” Garcia, goes head to head against the ultra-competitive and always entertaining, Adrian “El Tigre” Granados.

The broadcast begins at 8 o’clock Eastern, 5 Pacific Time. Also on the main card — what a card that we have — as we have heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. going head to head against Alexander Dimitrenko in a 10-round matchup. That is the co-main event.

To open up the broadcast, a young man who is quickly making his way up the ranks, the brother of Omar Figueroa, unbeaten contender Brandon Figueroa goes head to head against Venezuela’s own Yonfrez Parejo in a 10-round matchup for the WBA Interim Super Bantamweight Championship.

Tickets are going quickly as Saturday night’s event is brought to you by TGB Promotion and Mayweather Promotions in association with DSG Promotions. You can purchase them at axs.com or the Dignity Health Sports Box Office.

The first fight gets rolling at 3 o’clock. So all the fights end in Southern California — get there early — and then we go live with PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes at 8 Eastern, 5 local time.

After the FOX broadcast, we have plenty more action PBC FIGHT NIGHT – EXTRA on FS1 and FOX Deportes at 10:30 Eastern, 7:30 Pacific time.

It’ll feature a matchup between Jeison Rosario and Jorge Cota plus Karlos Balderas, Alfredo Angulo and more. You do not want to miss it as we go wall to wall on FOX, FOX Deportes, and FS1 this upcoming Saturday.

Right now without further ado it gives me great honor and pleasure to introduce the man who no-doubt will be a part of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has promoted events all over the world and he understands how to find talent, takes someone from 0 and 0 to being the World Champion and subsequently a Hall of Famer.

Please welcome my dear friend, the President of TGB Promotion, Mr. Tom Brown.

Tom Brown
Well, thank you, Ray, and thanks everyone for joining us in this conference call for what will be an amazing time presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday nights, and as Ray said the Garcia-Granados fight will be televised live on primetime network television by FOX and FOX Deportes.

The Dignity Health Sports Park has been home to some modern classics in Southern California to replace the famous Olympic Auditorium, and the main event with Danny Garcia vs at Adrian Granados is a sensational fight, incredible matchup, and tough styles, and really one of the best non-World Title fights you can make in the welterweight division.

The late great Hall of Fame matchmaker, Teddy Brenner, said about matchmaking t’s not simply a matter of putting the number one and number two guys in the ring. Anybody could do that. It’s a matter of first determining whether the styles of the two fighters blend and in this fight that’s a hell yes.

Then you have to decide if it’s an important fight. In other words, will the winner move on to a bigger fight, absolutely and, thirdly, he said as a fan is it a fight that I would want to see because the fans want the best fight, and that’s another hell yes.

So I can’t wait for Saturday night. Now I’ll toss this back to Ray. Thank you very much everyone for joining the call.

R. Flores
Thank you very much to Tom Brown and, look, I’ll tell you this, when Tom Brown gets excited for a fight you know it’s something special. And speaking of special, this man I’m getting ready to introduce has been a part of some of the most special and some of the biggest events in combat sports history. Talk about been there done that, he’s promoted the biggest event in the history of the sport of boxing. Please welcome the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Mr. Leonard Ellerbe.

Leonard Ellerbe
Thank you, Ray. I’m really excited about this Saturday night. We have a terrific fight. We got two guys who are really never in a boring fight and their styles really mesh well, so we can really expect a hell of a fight this Saturday night. Both guys come to the fight with something to prove in my opinion.

I think when you look at Danny, Danny wants to really look spectacular because he really wants to show the world he’s still one of the best welterweights in the world and a scintillating performance this Saturday night will do just that.

On the other hand with Adrian Granados, never ever have we seen Adrian in a boring fight. He’ll be looking to get that career defining win that will immediately catapult him in the mix with all the other big money fighters that are out there in the welterweight division.

So both guys will be looking to make a statement come this Saturday night and the fans can expect a great fight. Back to you, Ray.

R. Flores
Thank you very much. Thank you so much Leonard. I really appreciate it.

Right now, as we get set to meet the main event combatants, it gives me a great honor and pleasure to welcome in a guy who has a record of 20 wins, 6 losses, 2 draws, from Chicago, Illinois, been involved as a professional for a decade.

He’s won two straight. He has stepped inside the ring with the likes of Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner, Javier Fortuna. When it comes to classifying this guy, I have to look at him as a throwback fighter because he will fight anybody and everybody and he’s constantly bringing you pressure.

He’s of Mexican descent, and he’ so emblematic of what a Mexican fighter is all about, and no doubt he will be in his best condition and ready to put on the performance of a lifetime. Please welcome Adrian “El Tigre” Granados.

Adrian Granados
Hey, how’s it going everybody. Thank for having me. I’m excited for this Saturday. It’s going to be a good fight. I know me and Danny both got a lot to prove in this fight and I know that our styles mesh well.

I know, you know, Dignity Sports Park is known for giving good fights and I feel like we’re going to give a classic. I’m coming for the win.

It’s going to be a great fight, and may the best man win and in this case I feel like I’m the best man. I’m not going to back down from a fire fight and I’m going to do whatever I got to do to win this fight.

I can guarantee a great fight and may God bless us both and take care of us and yeah, man. Let’s get it on.

R. Flores
Thank you very much, Adrian, greatly appreciate it. And also, it gives me a great honor and pleasure to introduce his opponent.

So we have Adrian Granados who is of Mexican descent, and this man is of Puerto Rican descent. So you have the Mexico against Puerto Rico rivalry that’ll be on display on Saturday night, but this man is a two division World Champion, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 31 years of age from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 11-year Pro. He’s been in the ring with the likes of Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, defeated the likes of Lucas Matthysse, Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Paulie Malignaggi, trained by his father Angel. He’s also a throwback fighter, bites down in his mouthpiece, comes forward, and always puts on a sensational show for all the boxing fans around the world.

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Danny “Swift” Garcia.

Danny Garcia
How you guys doing? Thanks for having me on. I can’t wait. It’s been a long camp. It’s been a long hard camp. I put in a lot of hard work. Now it’s time to go in there this Saturday and handle business and give my fans another great entertaining fight.

Q
Which fight do you think is going to be more entertaining as you guys go head to head with this Crawford-Khan?

D. Garcia
Oh definitely my fight. You know what I bring to the table. I always bring fireworks, speed, power, entertainment, blood, and guts. So I prepare myself for a classic fight. I train hard for 10 weeks straight and I’m ready to go in there and show the world who’s one of the best and why this fight’s a fight to watch.

Q
Adrian, do you have a feeling that basically this is kind of, like, your moment?
A. Granados
Yeah, most definitely. I know that I’m known for putting on great fights and just coming up short. Whether it is over a controversial decision or any other controversy. So yeah, I mentioned it to Leonard Ellerbe, I’m tired of it. So I’m definitely going out there to put on a dominating performance, and I know I have a hard work ahead of me so definitely I’m ready for the task at hand.

Q
How do you feel about the skills of Danny Garcia?

A. Granados
I’m expecting the best Danny Garcia. He’s made it clear. He’s trained very hard for this fight and that he’s not overlooking me, and that’s definitely what I want and that’s how it should be.

I always want to fight the best and I’m never going to back down from the best either. So it’s going to make for a great fight and we’ll be putting on a classic this Saturday.

Q
Adrian, what can you really do to make sure that you don’t come up on the short end of another very close decision?

A. Granados
Well, just plain and simple, I got to take it out of the judge’s hands. If I get Danny hurt then I’m definitely going to step on the gas and try to get them out and if not I’ll just have to put on a dominating performance.

I know it’s going to be hard. I know it’s going to be a tough fight but I’ve also trained very hard and I’m ready to deliver.

Q
Adrian, one of the greatest assets Danny’s shown in his career is his chin. Do you feel you can get him out of there?

A. Granados
Yeah anybody could get anyone out of there. I respect to who’s he’s been in there with and he has showed a great chin but anything’s possible in that ring and anybody can be stopped at any time

Q
Adrian, what did you think of his performance against Shawn Porter and how might you maybe compare how you fought against Shawn Porter?

A. Granados
He fought a tough fight, it was a close fight but I had Porter just out pressuring him and out working him and there’s some things that I guess I could take from that fight but I’m going to win my fight Adrian Granados style.

Q
Danny, what do you think about Adrian saying that he would be able to get you out of there?

D. Garcia
As a fighter, he has to be confident but in reality I faced the biggest punchers in the game, I faced the most – the fastest and strongest, some of the best fighters in the game and I’ve never been down in my career, and that’s just to show you how hard I work in the gym.

I’m always in great – I’m always in tip top shape. I’m a high-level fighter. I’ve faced a lot of adversity in my career and I highly doubt that he can stop me. I got a lot of skills. I’m in great shape so if anybody’s going down this fight, it’s definitely going to be him, not me.

Q
Danny, how much do you feel going into this fight coming off a loss in what was a close fight against Shawn Porter but a loss. How much do you feel people are kind of doubting you at this point?

D. Garcia
I don’t know nothing about that. I feel really good. I think this camp right here was better than my last two camps, the Porter camp, and the Rios camp. I feel like this is one of my best training camps and I am in great physical shape for this fight and I’m going to come and prove that and show that Saturday night.

Q
Danny, why was this training camp better than the last couple of camps in your opinion?

D. Garcia
I was a lot more disciplined. I gave it the extra grit. I worked on new things.

I was more discipline on my diet, I got a new conditioning coach who worked on learning a lot of things. So you know, it just felt new. It felt good.

I got great sparring and I think everything we did – I know everything we did in this camp was perfect and it’s going to show Saturday night.

Q
After your last couple of fights, Danny, did you consciously make that decision that I need to add a nutritionist or whatever you added to your team to help what is the way to go for you for your next fight?

D. Garcia
Yeah, definitely. I felt like I needed to work on things as far as conditioning. My other skills are always there, the stamina is over there and the road work was over there. We just needed to work on different muscles and things to help me improve and make me a stronger fighter, and I felt like we did that this camp.

Q
When you’re fighting a guy whose record isn’t what the other guys you fought is, how challenging is that sometimes or is it just that you know Adrian is such a tough guy that you couldn’t do that?

D. Garcia
No. At the end of the day, I don’t look at it like that because you can’t overlook nobody in this sport. In this sport, if you’re better than him, you got to go in there and just be better than him. I can’t go in there, train easy, and make it harder than making it supposed to be.

So that’s why I train really hard because I’m going to go in there and show the world that I’m simply just better than him.
Q
You’ve been in the ring with Amir Khan. You’ve knocked Amir Khan out. You’re well aware of how good Terence Crawford is. Do you give him any chance in a fight at all?

D. Garcia
Khan is not an easy style to prepare for. He has fast hands and he has quick feet. So it’s definitely going to be an entertaining fight.

Terence Crawford is not a really a pressure fighter. He’ll try to knock you out one punch or try to break you down and take you out of the lead.

I honestly believe it’s a 50/50 fight. I think Terence Crawford has more momentum going into the fight then Khan, but I honestly think it’s a 50/50 fight.

Q
How do you compare the mindset heading into this bounce back fight compared to the fight that you had against Brandon Rios last year?

D. Garcia
I’m a winner. So it’s always tough when a fight doesn’t go your way, but I try not to think about that. I know there’s a great fight and the future is now, so I can’t worry about what happened in the past.

My mind set is just simply winning on Saturday night and everything else it just doesn’t matter to me.

Q
How much do you kind of think about a potential rematch against Keith Thurman or Shawn Porter given how close both of those fights were on the scorecards?

D. Garcia
Yeah, definitely. Those are definitely fights I want to avenge. I want to avenge on those fights because I obviously feel like I did enough to win both of those fights but I can’t worry about that right now.

I feel like those fights will always be there in the future, in the near future. So I just have to make sure I go in there Saturday night and handle business, first.

Q
Adrian do you kind of look at this fight and think to yourself that this is maybe not your last chance but maybe a great chance to sort of prove anybody that may that would win you this fight?

A. Granados
Yeah, most definitely. I’m coming to win this fight. I’m tired of the controversy. I’m tired of them finding any way to not give me the win.

I definitely got to come in and really just take the fight, they’re not going to give me the fight ever. So I’m going to go out there and have to take it.

Q
You’ve got this fight ahead of you this Saturday against Adrian and this one is looking to be fantastic but a lot of buzzing about Manny Pacquiao potentially being in your future. How do you handle that kind of speculation heading into a big fight?

D. Garcia
It’s definitely exciting when a legend like Many Pacquiao says he wants to fight you. It’s always been a dream of mine to fight Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, two World Champ great legends and just him saying my name definitely motivates me to make sure I handle business Saturday night.

So that’s why I took the fight very serious and I know it’s a big fight for me. So I have to go in there and make sure that I win this fight hands down.

Q
What does it feel like right now as boxing continues to get deeper and deeper? What do you think that means for your division?

D. Garcia
Yeah, definitely, I’ve been in there with most of the other top guys and I’ve been in there with Amir Khan already, Porter, Thurman. I’ve been in there were a lot of guys at 140, 147 already so it definitely interesting. There’s a lot of great matchups to makes so whatever fight you make at 147 is going to be interesting, especially with so many styles in Mega fights and I’ve been a part of a lot of mega fights and I love the training so I can go handle business Saturday, because that set me up for those big fights.

A. Granados
Yeah, this is a big fight. This is my big fight and I know that Danny knows that this is a big fight for him too. I could definitely knock him out of all those plans.

I understand that he’s a bigger name than me and they have a lot of things set up for him, you know, but I come out on Saturday and upset him, as they would name it an upset, that throws my name into the hat with all those fights.

I myself would like a fight with Manny Pacquiao. I would fight anybody and boxing knows that and that’s why this Saturday is a huge fight for me. It’s a must win opportunity for me because winning this fight definitely change the landscape for my career.

Win or lose, most definitely, I’m going to put on a hell of a show and I know that but definitely, I’m not trying to leave without a victory.

Q
On Saturday night will you be satisfied to go the distance in other competitive fights, or you determined to come away with the win at all costs and those fights decision didn’t go your way, are you really fighting to get the win this time?

A. Granados
Most definitely coming out with a win. That’s what I’m focused on. That’s what I got my mind set on and that’s what’s going to happen.

I know that it’s going to be a good fight and I know I’m going to put on the show and I’ll be there, the whole fight but I definitely need this one and I’m coming out for it.

Q
Is it exciting to be back on network television again? Are you motivated to get back on to pay per view after this fight?

D. Garcia
I think this is great for boxing. I definitely think just fighting on regular TV is great for boxing. I think that’s what made a lot of great fighters like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, all those guys were on regular TV so I think this gives us a bigger platform, it intertwines boxing with all the other sports that come on that channel. Like football, basketball, baseball, so I think anytime you mix up boxing with all the big sports on a regular TV channel is great for boxing. So I definitely love being on FOX and regular TV.

Q
You think you’ve been unfairly left out of those conversations at welterweight? Is it frustrating for you to see that he might get a fight with Errol Spence next or do you feel like this is just kind of how boxing works, that you need to take this fight with Adrian first?

D. Garcia
No, I mean, I feel like it’s all about timing. One thing I learned about boxing it’s really all about timing because if you look at it like that, you’ll be frustrated. You’ll always question like why am I not the man; wow, how did he get it before me and I’ve been here longer. I’ve been in the game for longer.

So I know how things work. Boxing is all about timing. I have to make sure I handle this business first and then we’ll definitely get some pay per view fight in. Not the end of the year or maybe next year for sure.

Q
Mr. Granados, can you talk to us and share with us what Ed Brown means to you and how much of him will come into the ring with you on Saturday?

A. Granados
Ed Brown means a lot to me, that’s my little bro. Definitely I was raised through the boxing ranks with him. I went to a lot of amateur tournaments together. We used to always represent the Great Lakes in the Midwest.

He’s always there with me. He’s like a guardian angel. I feel like his life came up short because of the gang violence in Chicago, and the gun violence. Yeah, no, I carry him around with me all the time in my heart and I definitely I miss him, and I know he’s looking out for me.

Q
What would a win this weekend over Garcia mean to you, controversy or otherwise?

A. Granados
It would mean a lot. I need it. I’m tired of the controversy, I’m tired of the drama in my career. I had to go out and get a dominating win and a satisfying win it would be.

Q
Why do you believe you’re the best man to win this fight against Garcia?

A. Granados
I think just overall that I’m a better fighter. I think there’s a lot more that I could do in the ring and Saturday night I’m going to show that.

Q
Will you talk about the addition of your new strength coach, and then how do you feel these tactics have made you stronger. Can you feel that strength? And if so, how?

D. Garcia
Yeah, definitely work on new things, a lot of explosions, working on explosiveness and a lot of twitch muscles, working on different things and I definitely feel like there is going to be another show come Saturday night.

Q
What are the goals that you set? Will you share those with us?

D. Garcia
Yeah, definitely, well I’m going to go in there and win this fight. I’m going to go in there and dominate this fight and show the world why I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I trained hard and I’m hundred percent sure that I’m going to go in there and do that.

Q
What does it mean for both of you guys to be the main event at this venue?

D. Garcia
I feel great. It feels great to be in there. I actually fought at the StubHub when it was the Home Depot Center I believe on Oscar De La Hoya versus Stevie Forbes. So I fought there one time already. It was a great atmosphere. So I’m definitely looking forward to going back in there and show out so.

I won the welterweight title in LA too in 2016. So California has always been good to me so it’s definitely a great atmosphere for me, and I can’t wait to go in there and perform.

A. Granados
Yeah, no, I’m excited. I’m excited for the fight. I know it’s going to be a great atmosphere. I’ve watched plenty of good fights there over the years.

I’m excited that it’s in LA. There’s going to be a high Mexican population. So I know they’re going to come out to support and it’s just it’s known for a great atmosphere for fights and I feel like that’s what’s going to happen to Saturday. It’s going to be a great show and definitely going to be a great fight between me and Danny.

Q
Would you guys like to see yourself more active moving forward once the result comes in on Saturday? At least fighting, trying to not make three or four times a year, just to stay sharp.

D. Garcia
Preparing for high level fights is a lot of hard work. I got a daughter now. I have a family so, I’m happy if I can get three times that would be great, but I think two times is great for me, especially at a high level, give my body sometime kind of rest.

This will be my 37th fight of my career come Saturday night, and I definitely take my body to the extreme and push myself to the limit every time I’m in training camp. So I definitely consider two times – I’m happy with two times. If I get three, that’s a blessing but two times is good for me.

A. Granados
Yeah, no, I’m fine with fighting busy or fighting when the fights come to me. Definitely I’d like to stay busier but I got to take whatever God gives me and I’m very appreciative of it.

I’m happy and I live a good life and I’m thankful for everything I get. So yeah, I know it just basically, I’ll take them how I can get one.

Q
What do you expect from Adrian that’s a little bit different from Brandon Rios in terms of the fact that maybe he’s a fresher fighter?

D. Garcia
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I compare our styles to a couple of people I fought. He’s kind of like a Robert Guerrero type fighter, he’s a durable guy. He likes to come forward. He’s just not southpaw.

They seem like they have same type of speed, same type of power. Definitely more like Brandon Rios where he comes forward, just a little fresher.

So I know what I’m up against and I prepare myself. I spar with guys like this, I fought a guy that gets me answers, and I know what I’m up against, so I’m prepared for this fight and I know what I got to go in there to do to win this fight.

Q
Do you see that as something that you can build off of being the pressure fighter that Rios was?

A. Granados
Yeah every fight is going to be different. So, I’m not going to completely compare myself with Brandon Rios.

It was an exciting fight for as long as it lasted. Definitely, I was surprised with how much success Brandon had against Danny but Danny broke him down and caught him with a good shot but I definitely see myself doing a lot more than what Brandon did and all respects to Brandon Rios who’s a great fighter but I’m Adrian Granados.

R. Flores
Excellent. Well, thank you very much Operator for that and before we let both Danny Garcia and Adrian Granados still want to once again remind the media PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes, we go live from Dignity Health Sports Park, 8 o’clock Eastern, 5 o’clock local time. Tickets still available axs.com. I’m going to open up the floor to Adrian Granados and Danny Garcia with closing comments.

A. Granados
Yeah, no just definitely excited for a great fight. It’s going to be a war and I’m coming with everything and I’m definitely coming for a win.

I’m coming for a dominating win and I’m coming to just turn some heads. You know people are writing me off in this fight and definitely that’s not what’s going to happen, and I plan on delivering Saturday night

D. Garcia
Well, I want to thank the media for taking the time out to ask questions and make the fight the biggest fight.

All the talking is done, all the hard work is done. It’s the final stretch, the last couple days till weigh-in and then fight night. I’ve been here plenty of times, and I can’t wait to go in there and show my fans why I’m one of the best fighters in the world, and I put the work in, and I can’t wait.

All the fans buy your tickets. Make sure you tune in, record it on FOX because it’s going to be a great night of boxing and a legendary night for Danny Garcia.

MIKEY GARCIA & CHRIS ARREOLA INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL & AUDIO RECORDING

Spence Garcia

MIKEY GARCIA & CHRIS ARREOLA INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL & AUDIO RECORDING

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Richard Schaefer
Thank you and welcome to all the media members. It’s Fight Week, I can’t wait. I have been waiting for this for so long and I know many fighters have as well.

I want to first off thank FOX and FOX Sports. They are really rolling from one big weekend this past Saturday where we saw a tremendous card in Los Angeles to now a history making weekend in Dallas.

This is without doubt the biggest pay-per-view of the year. I mentioned it last week, top to bottom an unreal card of a combined 207 wins against 9 losses when you add up the entire card — 155 of those wins by the way of knockout.

So I don’t remember if we ever did a card top to bottom which packed that much of a punch. It really is one of the best pay-per-view cards top to bottom I can remember and we certainly have done some big ones.

Today we have Mikey Garcia and Chris Arreola on the call to talk about camp and the excitement of fight week and they will be available for your comments.

But first up I would like to introduce to you Tom Brown President of TGB and co-promoter of this event who really is largely responsible for almost week after week putting together these stacked cards on FOX and SHOWTIME and all the other platforms.

So Tom please if you would like to make some comments and then introduce Chris as well.

Tom Brown
Thank you Richard. Everybody at TGB is honored to work once again with Richard and Ringstar Sports. Not only is Chris Arreola a fan favorite, he was one of my brother-in-law, Dan Goossen’s, favorite all time fighters.

He will be taking on an undefeated opponent Saturday night in Jean Pierre Augustin who is 17-0-1. Arreola’s last fight as we know was back in December on the Wilder Fury cards so it’s great to have him back so quickly as he makes another run at the heavyweight title.

It will be opening fight on PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View so it gives me great pleasure to introduce the former heavyweight title challenger Chris Arreola. Chris?

Chris Arreola
Hey, how are you guys doing? It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m more than ready for Jean Pierre. I’m excited. It’s a big fight and it’s time for me to jump in and make a noise in the heavyweight division again.

Q
Chris, it’s been almost two and half years since you fought Deontay Wilder and then you returned last December, how did it feel being back in the right after such a long layoff?

C. Arreola
I was actually the main event that night. I was literally the last fight while the people were putting their chairs up and stuff like that so it was a very, very humbling experience. It was nice being backstage and watching everybody fight.

The atmosphere, I missed the whole atmosphere, the whole comradery that people had in the backstage. It felt great being back in the ring, man.

I didn’t feel any ring rust. I felt the one thing that I did feel the most is the excitement, all the commotion, all the people and so I was more than ready and happy to fight that day.

Q
Do you look at this as maybe perhaps your last chance at getting another shot at the world heavyweight title?

C. Arreola
Yes. Absolutely. So I am approaching 40 years old. But I had two years off and in between I took some time off, so I don’t feel like I’m so much of a beam or a worn fighter.

This is my last title run. This is my absolutely last title run and I have to make it count. I’m in boxing again to leave a legacy and to leave something behind. I don’t want to go out the way I did in my last fight against Wilder.

So yes. I’m chasing the title. This is my last title run and I’m going to give you hell. I’m working my butt off because hey, it’s better late than never.

R. Schaefer
By the way I think you are only 38, right? So at that point we don’t just round up because I think by the time you are going to be 40 or well before you are going to be heavyweight champion again. Let’s round down.

C. Arreola
Exactly. I strongly agree with you Mr. Schaefer. I have the experience, I have the ring knowledge and like Schaefer says, you know, let’s round down. The reason being because I have the ring knowledge, I have the ring smarts.

Q
If you get a victory on Saturday who are you looking to face next?

C. Arreola
First and foremost, I will fight anybody. I’m not looking for one name in particular. The one thing that I am looking for is to stay busy this year because I want my name to resonate through the heavyweight division. When they talk about names like Breazeale and a name like Kownacki and stuff like that I want my name to be mentioned also.

And it’s a great time. It’s a perfect time to come into the heavyweight division again because, yes, all these fighters are making names for themselves and the reason being because Wladimir Klitschko is out of the picture.

Ever since Klitschko was out of picture these titles just opened up and a lot of fighters were hungrier to get one of those titles. So it’s a beautiful landscape right now in the heavyweight division. Even though the fight we want to happen is not happening God willing it’s going to happen soon.

Q
We should expect you to keep bringing the fight going forward not only with this fight but with everything else, correct?

C. Arreola
Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. But the main thing now like I said earlier I have a little more knowledge than most of these fighters. First off I’m a little bit smarter and not taking unnecessary punishment. So it’s time for me to incorporate a lot of more of the boxing skills that I do have that I have never really used.

And so it’s time for me to fight a little smarter and when the going goes to get tough and it’s time for me to get the nightmare going that will come out with no problem.

Q
Your time away from the ring how much did that help you prepare for this fight and going forward with your career?

C. Arreola
The main thing is my time away from the ring gave me time to see everything in perspective as far as my boxing career and as far as my family, as far as life, you know.

The way I see it now, we have one last chance and we have got to do it right. We have got to leave a legacy. We have got to leave something behind. I can’t waste my life.

So I’m a big Mexican and I’m lucky and I’m blessed we have had a father that stayed with me and made me box when I was a kid. So it’s time for me to do something with it. So that’s why I I’m fighting and this is my last roll like I said before and I have got to make it happen.

Q
How much more important is it to you to kind of send a message that this isn’t just like a last comeback but that you are really here to be a contender?

C. Arreola
This is very important. Like I said, I have to make noise in the heavyweight division. I’m not here to just make money. I’m in here for a reason. I’m in here for legacy. I’m in this for a title.

And the one time if I look bad and I look stupid in the ring man, I will retire. I don’t need to be in this sport to make it look bad. To make myself look bad and to make the sport look bad. So yes, this run is very important for me. Very important.

Q
Do you see a way to kind of use it to your advantage that actually the top heavyweights aren’t fighting each other because it seems like everyone is getting a shot these days?

C. Arreola
You know what? Absolutely man, because there are more than enough heavyweights out there to make noise with. Why can’t I fight every two or three months and fight a heavyweight? There is plenty of heavyweights out there to make noise with.

There is plenty of good heavyweights, not just heavyweights but good heavyweights, built for heavyweight, heavyweights with names, heavyweights that know how to move, heavyweights that once played basketball and now they are boxing because, they had no other choice.

The heavyweight landscape it’s in its best as it’s been in years. I believe that has a lot to do with PBC, the way PBC presents fights, the way PBC makes fights happen. If you know in the beginning of PBC there were a lot of young fighters up and comers. And now those up and comers, now they are champion.

Spence was one of the first ones that was up and coming on PBC and now he’s on the brink of being a star. So boxing is in the best part right now that it has been thanks to PBC.

Q
Could you tell us specifically what changes you have made this time in preparation for this fight?

C. Arreola
Yes. The main thing is that I know that Jean Pierre is a very crafty and a young fighter that’s very hungry. And for that reason alone man, I had to get my cardio up, I had to make sure that I started boxing again. And what I mean by boxing is not being a brawler. Being able to move. Being able to chase a man down and being able to be light in my feet because this man he is a good mover.

He’s a good fighter. He’s one of those crafty fighters they are going to cut a stick and move on top of things and I’m going to have to be chasing him down. So I have got to make sure that my cardio is up. I had to make sure that I’m able to go the 10 rounds at the pace that I want to go.

So the main thing is my cardio is up. The sparring is the most important thing because shoot, you could run a marathon but that ain’t never going to get you ready for a fight. So sparring, a lot of good lefty sparring. That’s one of the main things that I had to work on.

R. Schaefer
Excellent. Okay. Thank you very much Lisa. And I just want to add that I saw Chris last week at the Garcia Gym. My reaction was the same reaction as everyone else who was at that gym, it was wow. I have never seen Chris in such an incredible shape physically and mentally I think you heard that today

His comments as well on this call show that this is the best Chris Arreola I have seen and that is exactly what he needs to beat the undefeated Augustin with 17 wins and 12 knockouts. And I can’t wait for this fight and I know so can’t Chris.

Thank you very much Chris for being on the phone and I will see you in Dallas tomorrow.

When we first announced this fighter Spence versus Garcia virtually everyone picked Spence to win. In fact, Spence was in the Vegas sports book an eight to one favorite. Now that we have fight week the odds have clearly changed.

In Vegas we are slowly but surely getting close to a 50-50 fight. This morning while I was taking coffee I heard some news flash over my screen. It was from ES News who asked three iconic boxers Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather about their picks.

Here is what they had to say. Mike Tyson, “Oh, man. Forget it. Mikey Garcia is the man. He’s just great. I was telling my wife, watch this. He’s one of those special fighters who comes along once in a long, long time.”

Sugar Ray Leonard, “Mikey will beat Spence this weekend. You know why? Because he’s Mikey.”

Floy Mayweather, “I want to see Mikey Garcia and I don’t care what I have to do or what it takes. He will be undisputed world champion.”

So I saw Mikey this weekend at the fight in Carson and what jumped out at me was his calm confidence. Something which you cannot learn. Something which was instilled in him through his family legacy. For his early days on when we could barely walk he was already throwing punches in his parent’s living rooms. We all have seen these pictures.

Since then he has become a four division world champion. But since then he has as well captured the hearts and the minds of fight fans and sport fans. And with this crossover fight this coming Saturday he wants to capture the heart of the general public and show everyone that with hard work and determination anything is possible. Or as we say in Spanish ‘si se puede’. Yes, we can.

It’s a pleasure for me now to introduce to you the legendary four division world champion, the undefeated Mikey Garcia. Mikey?

Mikey Garcia
Thank you Richard. Good morning everyone. We are in fight week now and the fight is just a few days away so I’m just very happy, very excited and can’t wait to get in the ring, you know.

Q
Has there been a bigger emphasis on building up your body to handle the sense of power at welterweight for this weekend?

M. Garcia
Yes. There was a bid more of a physical change and we needed to make sure that moving up to welterweight would be a good decision by adding weight in the right areas, the right amount of muscle mass.

So that’s why we did go those five weeks up north at SNAC to work and I wanted to make sure that I gain the weight – the right weight. But we also didn’t want to lose the speed, we did not want to lose the reaction time, the explosiveness.

And that’s what we worked with with Victor Conte. We made a program that could help me to gain a little bit of mass but at the same time, improve my speed, my reaction, my reflexes and all the things that I will use on fight night.

Q
Do you feel that the winner of this fight should call themselves the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world today?

M. Garcia
Well, look, when I took on this fight and I wanted to get this fight, I was not doing it for any reason other than to prove to everybody that I’m the best and that I can fight anybody and I’m not scared to fight anybody even in the welter division.

I’m going to move into welterweight and just be considered one of the best. And if that puts me number one fighter in town then that’s extra another accolade. But there is no other fighter doing what I’m doing.

There is no other fighter moving up in weight and back down and back up and keeping weight classes, fighting champions, undefeated champion. No other fighter is doing that.

So I mean, when you talk about pound-for-pound well I’m actually proving it. I’m doing it in different divisions. So I mean that’s kind of why people will remember me for, that I was willing to fight anybody in any division.

Whether you put me number 1 pound-for-pound or not everybody has an opinion but there is no one else doing what I’m doing.

R. Schaefer
I just want to add on this quickly. I think it’s important when you look at the fact that Spence and Garcia are both right now top five pound-for-pound fighters, they are both undefeated, they are both champions. And there is no other pound-for-pound fighter who really has a signature win like Garcia would have if he beats or Spence would have if he beats Garcia.

These are two prime fighters in their absolute prime and I think that is what will elevate them – the winner of this fight to pound-for-pound the best fighter in the world and that’s why I do call it the coronation in Dallas.

Q
What about this fight do you feel conditioning wise you have been able to attune moving up three weight classes?

M. Garcia
Well, look, we did all the work like I mentioned for those five weeks with the SNAC team. And then we finished my training camp here and stayed with my brother. We got all the sparring in, we got the best sparring with big guys that can really push me and get the best out of me to be in the best shape possible.

We also worked with natural welterweights that are fast and quick and sleek just so I can be sharp and explosive. So I have all the confidence in all my abilities and I have all the confidence in my boxing and my abilities because I know I did all the work, I know I’m in great shape and I don’t worry about the size.

That’s something that I was willing to challenge myself and prove to everybody that you don’t win fights just with mere size and weight. There is a lot more that goes into it. And so that’s why I chose this fight to overcome that challenge and prove to everybody I’m the best.

Q
Do you feel the scrutiny pushes you forward and allows you to fight in an elite level?

M. Garcia
I think I need a fight like this to get the best out of me. I meet an opponent that will challenge me, that will push me and is matched almost identically to me. I keep telling people I love his fight.

He’s almost like similar to me, like, he reminds me of myself. He does everything well, he’s very effective, he’s strong, he has very good footwork, good combination, very similar to the way I fight. Nothing crazy, flashy out there like the flashy speed or hand speed or footwork. Nothing like that. But everything is done very well, very effective and I need someone like that to allow me to perform to the best of my ability.

And that’s why this fight is so important and that’s why it’s such a big fight. It deserves to be in the stadium, it deserves to be getting all this coverage and all this attention because you hardly ever see two of the best pound-for-pound fighters, in their prime, undefeated champions fighting each other.

It’s rare that you get that and I totally knew that this is the fight that I wanted and I’m just very happy that I was able to secure it and we are only a few days away from me making history.

Q
When you look at the welterweight division do you see yourself sticking around after this fight?

M. Garcia
I will definitely have options. The great thing in my position is that I can move up in weight, come back down, I will have options and different names in different divisions.

And I will look to see who the best name, who the best fight, for me, if it’s a lighter weight class I will move down, it’s a welterweight I will switch back. I know the welter division has many names, many great fighters so I could possibly stay here.

I don’t know what I’m going to do yet but I’m very happy to be in the position that I am.

Q
When was it exactly that you decided you wanted to challenge yourself against Errol Spence?

M. Garcia
Look, I was watching him fight Kell Brook and I saw him really turn the fight around and showed to everybody why he’s the world champion and why he deserves all the credit.

And then I saw him fight Peterson. And we were watching with my dad and my brother and I told Robert my brother and my dad that after a fight or two I want to fight Spence. And they all thought I was crazy and just joking but I was serious. I told them, “I’m going to move into welterweight because I’m coming I’m moving to welterweight. I will fight and challenge Spence.”

I saw his fight with Peterson and even though he did great I just feel like there is a lot more that I can do. People keep asking me what did I see in him. Was there a particular fight? Something that I saw in his game? Some holes in his game? No. It’s not even about that.

It was just what you guys haven’t still seen in me and I know what I can do and what I’m capable of and that’s what I’m betting on. That’s exactly why I took this fight because I know there is a lot more to my game that you guys still haven’t seen.

Q
How convinced are they now that you can go out there and get this job done?

M. Garcia
Spence and his camp and his trainer obviously have the confidence and that’s the mindset that they have to be in. You know they are champions and they believe in themselves, they believe in the fighter — much like my dad and my brother have always been in my team, my corner and they always believed in me and that’s why we agreed to this fight.

My dad and my brother wouldn’t allow me to take a fight if they didn’t believe I could pull it off, if I didn’t have enough to do this. So they analyzed the fight – they analyzed and studied Spence more in depth and they both agreed that I definitely have everything that it takes to beat Spence. And that’s why we are confident in our boxing and my training and that’s why we are here.

Q
So how now that you are going to try and settle into the welterweight division does that play into the fact that naturally your weight when you would hydrate from the lower weight classes was kind of around that welterweight limits. Did that play into how you went about building mass for this fight?

M. Garcia
I’m naturally a smaller guy so yes, we had to build a little more mass, a little more muscle leading up to this fight. But we did not want to compete against Errol with size and muscle. I want to use my other talents. I want to use my other attributes like my speed, my reaction time, my explosiveness.

Like I keep saying, there is a lot more that goes into winning fights. And I did need to gain a little bit of weight for that reason to move to welterweight but I do not want to be slow and sluggish.

We want to make sure that we kept all of my feet and muscle work and everything. And I feel very good with the results. We had a great training camp and I don’t think the size is what I’m going to be using. So that’s what we have focused on and making sure that everything else was done in the right way and I’m just very happy with all the results.

Q
Is that playing in with the use of your jab as far, like, your timing and all that and being able to use your jab as a range finder?

M. Garcia
Look, we made sure that we work on the things that we will need on fight night. And we had to figure out how to use my range and my timing against a bigger guy, against a left handed fighter, so we had to pick some different things like finding the range and the speed, the timing.

We had to make adjustments but I’m just very happy with everything. We had great range finders. I have speed and skills and we have some guys that are bigger and stronger, way bigger than me just so I could be prepared for whatever Errol Spence bring on fight night.

I needed to make sure that I was in the best shape and I had the best training camp and I’m just very happy with everything.

Q
How does it feel being in this big fight for you and your career and you my family and what kind of transition would that be for you?

M. Garcia
This is the biggest fight of my career and I’m very happy and very excited to be able to do this. We’re a few days away from making history where I will definitely leave my legacy and my name in the history books.

We are about to make history being a four division champion is no easy task and I’m a kind of fighter that gets motivated by challenges. Challenging myself to move up to welterweight is huge and I’m going against everyone’s opinion and it’s going to be great to prove to anybody that I’m much more than they have ever expected or ever seen in me. So I’m just very happy and excited to be here. I’m excited to be able to accomplish this with my family together which is just unbelievable.

Q
What your daily routine is in the lead up to the fight?

M. Garcia
Oh man, just a lot of rest. Look, we did all the hard work, for example already all the hard rounds of sparring, all the tough parts are done with. This week we would like to rest as much as we can, and just kind of wait patiently but we will still do a little bit of workout just to stay loose.

Maybe do like a stretch, some nice good stretching and just to keep our body flexible. We don’t want to injure our self by punching anything hard or doing strenuous activities that could hurt me for fight night. So maybe like light stretching and light shadow boxing is all we need.

Q
Are you expecting to come significantly under the welterweight limit? Do you have to cut weight? What are your expectations in terms of that?

M. Garcia
No. You know what? We did the work and I did gain weight. I was up at 160 actually at one time. But then as we started training and sparring we noticed that – I was just getting too big or at least I didn’t feel as comfortable as I could.

So we started to get more spurring, more training and the weight came off just because that’s the way we started working harder. And I’m very comfortable right now.

I’m very good. We are just big enough to be a welterweight but not big enough where I will be slow and sluggish.

R. Schaefer
All right. Before turn it over to Mikey to make a few closing comments I want to thank you all from the media. Its fight week, I can’t wait to see you all there starting tomorrow Tuesday March 12 at 5:00 pm Dallas time Central Time at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel, the fight hotel.

We will have the fighter arrivals and the media workout. So I will see you all there. Mikey, closing comments?

M. Garcia
Well, like I said, we are about to make history so make sure everybody comes in and watches the fight. If you can make it live it’s going to be amazing. The energy is going to be amazing and just the whole experience to be able to be fighting at AT&T Stadium in the home of the Dallas Cowboys in front of all my fans like that.

When when people talk about some of the greatest, you talk about the Ali, Frazieer, you talk about, Leonard and Hagler and some of these fights like that. Well, this is going to be one like those. It’s going to be one of those fights.

So we obviously invite everybody to come out and watch this live. And if they can’t watch it live then make sure they tune in pay-per-view because this is one fight you don’t want to miss. It’s going to be history on Saturday night. We’re making history.

ERROL SPENCE JR. & DAVID BENAVIDEZ INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Spence Garcia

ERROL SPENCE JR. & DAVID BENAVIDEZ INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Click HERE for Audio Recording

Richard Schaefer
Thank you, and welcome to all the media members for being on today’s call. They say everything is bigger in Texas and well, we had to bring a very big card to Dallas, and that’s exactly what we did. One week to go for the best card, top to bottom of the year taking place March 16 from the legendary AT&T Stadium, in the first PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View.

The card, when I say top to bottom, the best I can remember, combined records of the four televised fighters, 207 wins, 155 by knockout, I’ve never seen that, and only nine losses. I’ve never seen anything like that.

I want to thank as well FOX for an unreal promotion by FOX. You watch FOX. You see commercial after commercial. It’s really refreshing to see how excited they are about the sport and how they put all their resources behind it.

The different shoulder programs on FOX such as PBC Fight Camp and Inside PBC Boxing, are generating huge ratings. In fact, the ratings are so big that they exceed in fact most boxing telecast on other networks and platforms by far, and you’re just talking about background shoulder programming providing better ratings than actual fights on other networks.

We anticipate therefore a huge pay-per-view audience and a huge live audience in Dallas, and I can’t wait. We have one week to go. But today we have David Benavidez and Errol Spence on the call. But before we’re going to turn over to them, I just want to spend a couple of minutes on the other two televised bouts.

Chris Arreola versus the undefeated Jean Pierre Augustin is an amazing fight, amazing showdown as well. I saw Arreola this week at the media workout with Mikey Garcia. He’s in unbelievable shape. I’ve never seen Chris like that. He’s mentally, physically ready to go and he knows that he’s going to have a tough task ahead of him with Jean Pierre Augustin.

Then Luis Nery versus McJoe Arroyo, believe me when I say that Luis Nery is the best bantamweight in the world and absolutely must see TV. He’s so exciting. I think there are tremendous fights for him, and this one here with McJoe Arroyo is his first one under the PBC banner.

With Arreola, Nery, Benavidez and Mikey Garcia, we have four of the top five Hispanic fighters on this card, and all of them are in dangerous and meaningful fights. The man who is largely responsible to bring us these mouthwatering matchups week after week, is our co-promoter Tom Brown of TGB. And I want to thank Tom Brown for the excellent job he is doing.

Now, let’s move on to David Benavidez versus J’Leon Love, clearly one of the best matchups and most exciting matchups that can be made in the Super Middleweight Division. It’s a pleasure for me now to introduce to you the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, to say a few words about J’Leon Love.

Leonard Ellerbe
Thank you, Richard. J’Leon Love vs. David Benavidez is going to be a very, very exciting fight. In my eyes, it’s a terrific match up. It’s a match up that J’Leon has wanted. He’s had an eye on Benavidez for quite some time. I think that with J’Leon coming in as being the underdog, he’s going to lay it all on the line.

He’s highly motivated and I think it’s a terrific opportunity for him to make a great statement fighting the very brave, talented David Benavidez. Everyone knows what Benavidez brings to the table. He’s a very, very exciting young fighter who had a tremendous amount of success at a young age, and he’ll be looking to establish himself by showcasing his skills out there to the world as he’s the best super middleweight out there. And again, this J’Leon vs. Benavidez fight is going to be a very, very exciting fight and I think the fans will love this fight.

R. Schaefer
Excellent. Thank you very much, Leonard. I want to now introduce to you David Benavidez and I want to acknowledge as well his promoter, my good friend Sampson Lewkowicz. He has a tremendous eye for talent. We all know that.

With David Benavidez, we have clearly pound-for-pound, one of the most exciting fighters in the world, and he’s here to reclaim the throne as the best super middleweight in the world. He’s determined to steal the night on March 16 in Dallas.

And it’s a pleasure now for me to introduce to you the former WBC Super Middleweight World Champion, El Bandera Roja, David Benavidez. David?

David Benavidez
Hello Richard. Thank you for introducing me and I just want to thank you guys for this opportunity. I’ve been in training camp three months in preparation for this fight. This is also a fight I wanted for some time now. And it couldn’t be in a better venue than in AT&T Stadium.

I’m just very blessed to have this opportunity, and I’m not going to let it go to waste. And I’m going to get a spectacular knockout come March 16. It’s really going to be amazing.

Q
David, do you still see yourself as the definitive WBC Super Middleweight Champion?

D. Benavidez
I definitely see myself as the WBC champion. Nobody beat me. They’ve got to come get me, and they’ve got to come beat me to crown themselves champion. I definitely still see myself as WBC champion.

Q
If you win this fight against J’Leon Love, after this fight, is that the plan to go after Anthony Dirrell to win back the title that you’ve never technically lost?

D. Benavidez
Yes, that’s definitely the plan, but for right now, my mind is 100% on J’Leon Love. He’s still a veteran. He’s still a dangerous fighter. So I can’t overlook him at all. First things first, I’ve got to take care of business next week on March 16, and then we’ll think about what’s going to happen after.

Q
Leonard, J’Leon Love’s last fight against Peter Quillin was judged by unanimous decision. And from what has J’Leon Love taken from that loss that he feels could help him in this fight against David Benavidez?

L. Ellerbe
Yes. Not to make any excuses, he had a lot going on in his life, a lot on his mind. And a lot of times what happens is, when a fighter is not focused, they come into a fight and they’re not fully prepared. But again not taking anything from Peter Quillin, outstanding fighter, but that was then.

Thankfully he got this opportunity to fight a great young fighter, David Benavidez. And J’Leon is focused. He’s an expecting father. He’s highly motivated. He’s laying it on the line. He had a terrific camp and I’m just very excited to see him get this opportunity to go on there, and we know it’s going to be a tough fight because we know what Benavidez brings to the table. But I’m very confident that J’Leon will win this fight.

Q
David is this a fight about regaining confidence as a fighter after such a long layoff? Or is this a fight to make a big statement on a big platform on this pay-per-view?

D. Benavidez
Obviously the confidence never went away on my part. I feel like this is a big stage and a big venue, so it’s making a statement. I feel like if I get a spectacular knockout on pay-per-view, my stock is going to go all the way up. Obviously I haven’t been in the ring for a while. It’s just going in there, seeing where I’m at the first few rounds. Then going back right where I left off as being comfortable in the ring, getting a few rounds in, and then obviously going to the knockout.

Q
How would you rank yourself at 168?

D. Benavidez
Obviously I see myself as the best super middleweight in the division, but I have to prove myself. I do see myself at least in the top five. And I think when I get the opportunity to prove myself, I’ll show only to myself and to the world that I am the best, once the opportunities come up.

Q
If given the opportunity, how many times would you like to fight this year?

D. Benavidez
If I had the opportunity to fight three times this year, that would be perfect for me. I feel like that’s the route I want to take. If I get two or three fights, that would be perfect.

Q
How do you prepare to fight in a venue like AT&T stadium? Are there any difficulties that come with being in that kind of environment?

D. Benavidez
There’s no real way to prepare yourself to fight in a venue that big. You just kind of have to go by how it feels. The last time I fought at the Mandalay Bay, there was a lot of people there, but once the fighting gets to going, you really don’t really feel the crowd or see the people. You kind of just focus on what’s in front of you.

Q
Being around Errol, in the buildup to this fight, what’s your impression of him been throughout the whole process?

D. Benavidez
He’s a very nice guy. He handles himself in a really professional way and every time I see him, I shake his hand. He’s a really nice guy. I really look up to him in that sense. He’s a great champion and I want the best for him.

Q
How excited are you about this opportunity to fight in Dallas in front of the fans and just the magnitude of this event and where you think this will catapult you in terms of getting into the bigger fights?

D. Benavidez
I feel very confident I’m going to put on a great performance. I just want to thank everybody for keeping me in mind and putting me on this card on pay-per-view. It’s basically like a dream come true. So I’m confident that I’m going to get a spectacular victory. If I do that, there’s going to be so many people watching that.

Once I get a spectacular victory, I’m in line for something big. If things go the way I think they’re going to go, people are going to want to see me, no matter what. And I think that’s going to set me in line for the big fights coming up.

I just want to go back to where I was, having my belt back, fighting the best of the best. And I feel like PBC and my promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, they’ll take care of all that. I’ve just got to do my job and look spectacular and everything will take care of itself.

Q
Any thoughts on maybe going up to 175 soon? How are you feeling about getting yourself at 168?

D. Benavidez
I’m very comfortable at 168 right now, but 175 is definitely an option. If there’s an opportunity to fight for a title or an opportunity for a big fight, we’re definitely going to go up. But as of right now, my thought is to stay at 168 and capture all the titles.

Q
I want to go back again to when you got stripped of the title and what was that moment like? What was that experience like of having getting something you worked so hard for, get taken away from you?

D. Benavidez
It wasn’t a good feeling to have everything you worked for taken away from you in an instant. But it happened and it just made me hungrier and more motivated to keep working harder and to get back what’s rightfully mine.

Being on the sidelines, seeing my belt won by another person I know I could destroy, kind of did it for me. We’re not going to take any more steps back. We’re working hard and we’re going to reclaim what’s ours and we’re going to put on spectacular performances and that’s how it’s going to be.

Q
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself in these last 13 months?

D. Benavidez
Just the hunger. Just being hungrier, being more dedicated now, being closer to my family. And I just owe it to the people who’ve been supporting me since the beginning. I just want to be a better person and a better fighter for them, so they could have that fighter that they could be proud of.

Q
Do you feel this fight coming up is a redemption fight?

D. Benavidez
Yes, definitely. This is a fight for the fans, just so they could see that, I don’t want nobody to lose faith in me because I know I’m the best I’ve ever been right now. I just turned 22 years old. I feel stronger than ever and I feel this training camp has been amazing. So this fight is definitely going to be for them, so they don’t lose faith in me.

Q
Who do you think wins that main event and why?

D. Benavidez
It’s going to be a great fight. Both fighters are world class fighters. Errol Spence is a monster. He has a lot of power. Mikey Garcia is more of a technician. He has a lot of tricks underneath his sleeves. And I think this is going to be the fight that defines them.

So we really don’t know what Mikey Garcia is going to bring to the table. I’m pretty sure he’s working on so much stuff. Errol Spence is too. I just expect it to be a great fight. I know both guys. They’re really cool guys, but I just feel like the people are really going to be the ones that are really going to win with a great fight. It’s going to be a great venue, the crowd is going to be electric and I just can’t wait for the fight.

Q
Were you surprised that the reaction to you owning up to the drug test and that it was met with such a favorable reaction?

D. Benavidez
I definitely owned up to it because it’s something that a world champion shouldn’t be doing. It was just something I shouldn’t have been doing. Now I’m smarter. My father, me and my team, we’re just not going to be around stuff like that. We’re just going to stay dedicated to our sport.

Q
I know you’re looking at J’Leon Love, but with a win next Saturday, it’s like any fight that you want is right within your reach without having to worry about boxing politics. Does that kind of put your mind at ease going into each fight?

D. Benavidez
Yes. It actually makes you more motivated too because this fight’s going to be made in an instant after my fight. So I’m very excited and very motivated for the fights and opportunities that are sitting on the table for me. Both Caleb Plant and Anthony Dirrell are great fighters. They’re world title holders. So it’s going to be amazing just seeing what’s next for the future for me.

Q
From Mayweather Promotions standpoint, what do you think of David as a fighter, and what it is about him that you see something beatable that you keep sending new guys after him?

L. Ellerbe
I’m not sending guys after him. David Benavidez is one of the most exciting dynamic fighters in the entire sport, not just in the super middleweight division. He’s a guy that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. I’ve had a very upfront and close look at him for a couple of fights.

I’ve actually followed his career up until and before he fought Ronald Gavril. He’s a terrific fighter, but just like any fighter, fighters make mistakes and they have flaws. And J’Leon saw some things in the fight that he’ll be able to take advantage of. He’s a young veteran and he’s excited and motivated for this fight and it’s going to be a terrific fight.

And I’ve got respect for Benavidez, but J’Leon is coming to win the fight and he’s confident that he’s going to get it done.

Q
Davis, with the stuff that has happened, is it almost as if you look at that and really wish it hadn’t happened and you could just go back in time and do it all over again? Or actually no, do you feel like you learned from it and it’s kind of a situation where you have that which does not kill us makes us stronger?

D. Benavidez
It’s a little bit of both. Obviously those things that happened to me, I wish they wouldn’t happen, but in reality, it did happen. So I learned a lot about myself, me and my team. It just made us stronger.

I’m not happy, but the way things played out, it just made us stronger. We’ve got good opportunities on the table and we’re just willing to take advantage of what we have in front of us. March 16 is going to be one of the biggest fights I’ve ever been in, probably that I’ll ever be in.

I’m just truly blessed to be here. We’re taking the negatives and turning them into a positive. I’m just extremely ready for my fight next week.

Q
Who are some of the guys that you’re looking at and kind of licking your chops and saying, I definitely want that fight?

D. Benavidez
Right now we’re going to take care of J’Leon Love, but obviously I do have some fights in mind. First I want to get Anthony Dirrell. And then if everything looks good, maybe I can unify with Caleb Plant in the near future. Each one of those guys has the belt. So that’s what I’m going to be interested in right now.

Q
Did you pay close attention to social media and what fans and other fighters had to say about your situation? And if so, what were your thoughts as far as what you read?

D. Benavidez
I really don’t pay attention to social media too much because at the end of the day, I feel like that’s not real life. When I wake up, I train, I get my running in. That’s what really matters in the day. I’m not going to sit here and kill myself about what people say on the internet. Because in reality, that really doesn’t matter.

Of course a lot of people have a lot of things to say and they’re entitled to their own opinion. I can’t control what somebody says. I’m not going to get angry about it either.

Q
Could you tell us a little bit more about what your training has been like and perhaps who you’ve been sparring with over the past few months?

D. Benavidez
Yes. My training has been really good. I’ve been getting a lot of good strength and conditioning training. I’ve been getting a lot of running. When I was in California, I was sparring Dmitry Bivol. I sparred him for about a month, and I sparred a lot of other good fighters in California. And then I’ve been in Texas right now for about three weeks and getting some good work with some guys out here.

So I could say, this training camp has really been one of the best training camps I’ve been a part of. I’ve been eager to get back in the gym and I’ve just been eager to show the people what I have, what I’ve been working on. I’m looking to get a spectacular victory on March 16.

R. Schaefer
Thank you very much, David. Thank you very much, Leonard. I’d like to ask Leonard and David maybe to make a few closing statements, and then we are going to move on to Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia.

L. Ellerbe
Thank you, Richard. I want to thank everyone for joining the call today. There’s going to be fireworks come next week and I’m very excited. It’s going to be a great fight.

D. Benavidez
I also want to thank everybody for giving me the opportunity, just to have me on this conference call as well. I want to also thank the guys the main event. It’s going to be a great fight. It’s going to be a great night of boxing. There’s definitely going to be fireworks come March 16. Thank you so much.

R. Schaefer
Thank you guys. Now we are ready to move on to Errol Spence Jr. Saturday March 16. I call it the coronation in Dallas. Boxing fans, sports fans, and thanks to FOX, the general public will witness who will be crowned as boxing’s new pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.

As we all know, there are two sayings in boxing. The first one is, a great big man always beats a great smaller man. If that holds true, Errol Spence Jr. will be crowned in Dallas. But there is another saying, made famous by none other than Floyd Mayweather, that skills pay the bills. And if that holds true, Mikey Garcia will be crowned.

When the fight was announced, I would say that 98% of the boxing media, boxing experts and fight fans, picked Errol Spence to win the fight. Last week I made some calls and was checking around a bit, and it seems now we are getting close to a 50-50 fight. This is evident as well in how the odds have changed and dropped in Las Vegas.

It’s pretty simple. This is the fight to see. How often do we see two undefeated world champions, two world champions in their prime, two world champions universally recognized among the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world?

In almost 20 years promoting the biggest events, I do not remember a single one event which delivered an undefeated in their prime and top five pound-for-pound fighter. It’s a fascinating match up. And that’s why I think, as I mentioned before, with all the support from FOX and the excitement building, we will have an unbelievable pay-per-view come March 16.

Both of these young men are an asset to our sport. They are great ambassadors for boxing, and all of us involved in the sport of boxing, can be proud that we as an extension of it, are involved in a sport which has two such amazing young men.

Errol Spence is clearly the man at 147 pounds. He’s undefeated. He’s the king of his division, and he is today without any question, pound for pound, one of the best fighters in the world. It’s an honor to introduce now the undefeated IBF world champion, Errol Spence Jr. Errol?

Errol Spence Jr.
Hi. How is it going? Happy to be on this conference call. It’s been a great training camp and I’ve been 100% focused and hungry and can’t wait to put on a great show March 16.

Q
Errol, I am curious if you have noted, like Richard Schaefer said, that more and more pundits are seeing that it’s possible that Garcia beats you. Have you noted that? Have you heard people, more people saying, no, I give Mikey a good chance to beat Errol? And if yes, why do you suppose that is?

E. Spence
That’s not something I pay attention to, it’s tight enough from what I’ve seen. I can’t worry about that. I’ll just worry about what my camp thinks and how our preparation is going and my focus is 100%. I’m just ready to put on a great show. So I don’t care if that changed in his favor for all I care. It just means he’s going to get in the ring and fight.

Q
You’re up in DeSoto, right, not actually Dallas?

E. Spence
Yes, but I grew up in Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and I grew up in Dallas. So I went first kindergarten all the way to fourth grade in Dallas, and then I went to Cedar Hill and then I went to DeSoto for ninth grade all the way to 12th.

Q
You said you went to two high schools. Could you list those two high schools for me?

E. Spence
Cedar Hill High School and DeSoto High School.

Q
I know when you and Derrick first met, I know you guys talked about how you kind of were in the ring against each other. Do you remember the name of that gym and the city where located?

E. Spence
Vivero Boxing Gym. It’s the same gym that Vergil Ortiz started at too.

You and Derrick often talk about your big sparring partners, sparring middleweight, sparring heavyweight, things like that, just wondering if you guys took a different approach to this fight, if you aimed for smaller, faster sparring partners, and if there are any you can name specifically?

E. Spence
We have added some lighter spars, 140 pounders and guys that fight at my weight. One of them is Amon Rashidi, and he’s fighting out on the undercard and he’s 5-0. He’s pretty much the same height as Mikey Garcia. But we’ve been still adding in bigger guys, just for the physical approach and just getting good work out of those guys.

Q
When Mikey first started talking about fighting you, what was your inclination about wanting to fight him?

E. Spence
At first I didn’t really care too much for fighting him, it got to a point where he started talking a lot more and a lot of other welterweights. I was pretty much busy, like Shawn Porter, like Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, they all had their dates. Manny Pacquiao too. They were the obvious options for me. Then when I found that I could be fighting at AT&T Stadium, then it just made sense.

Q
If this fight wasn’t proposed to be at AT&T Stadium, would you have taken the fight still or would you have wanted to go in a different direction?

E. Spence
I don’t know. Everything happen for a reason. So it’s at AT&T Stadium. I don’t know what I would have decided if it wouldn’t have been at AT&T Stadium.

Q
If you do win, if you get by Mikey, that you are the best fighter in the world?

E. Spence
Like I always say, it’s not just about winning. It’s about your performance and it’s how you win. So if I have a spectacular performance, then I do rate myself as pound-for-pound just the best fighter in the world too.

Q
Do you subscribe to the theory that has been running out there since this fight that Mikey doesn’t have a chance? He’s the little guy. You’re the bigger guy. Do you subscribe to that David and Goliath theory? Or do you feel Mikey is a great fighter, he brings more to the table than people really think?

E. Spence
I think he definitely brings a lot to the table and I don’t – I mean people who say that he doesn’t stand a chance I feel like don’t really know anything about boxing or don’t know the history of boxing, just to say he doesn’t have a chance. He does have a title at 140.

That’s just one weight up from 147. So he does have experience fighting at 140. So I mean everybody has a chance. He does have a chance. He does have a lot of skills and he is fundamentally sound. He comes from that boxing pedigree. So he definitely has a chance.

Q
Is this the biggest fight of your life? Bigger than the Kell Brook fight?

E. Spence
It’s kind of hard to say because without that win and especially going overseas and fighting someone considered one of the best welterweight in the world and beating the man in his hometown, that added to a lot of experience in different things that have led me to this point and led me to the victory I’m going to get next Saturday.

I think this is the biggest one, just where it’s at and it’s on pay-per-view and it’s been hyped up to be really big. I think this might be the biggest win of my career right now.

Q
What are some of the flaws you’ve seen in Mikey’s game between now and start of training camp?

E. Spence
Mikey is tough and I like that. It shows that he’s really coming to fight and it’s going to be a great fight. They can feel however they feel. So I definitely have a game plan to exploit my strengths. And me and my camp, we’re working hard.

My coach has been watching him and we have a game plan ourselves. In the ring we’ll find out if my reach and my size is going to be an advantage or not, or maybe I just have really good ability. So we’ll see.

Q
Fighting at AT&T Stadium, does that put any added pressure on it, or is it another day at the office for you?

E. Spence
Well, me personally, it’s another day at the office, but it’s definitely a huge fight just exposure wise and becoming the superstar that I want to be. So I mean this is a huge fight. But for me, that’s another day in the office. I don’t really think about that till after the fight and the magnitude of it till after the fight. So I don’t get caught up in the moment but it is a huge fight, especially for my career.

Q
Do you really expect Mikey Garcia to be able to go 12 rounds with you?

E. Spence
If he goes 12 he goes 12, but with me, my mentality is, I train hard for a hard 12 round fight, because I don’t want to not expect something and then something else happens. I always tell myself that to make sure that I’m fully prepared, not just physically but mentally for a grueling 12 round fight.

So even if I do get the knockout, all through camp we’re focused on training hard for a 12 round fight. If I get the knockout, then good, but it’s something in my mind that, I want to be prepared if I have to go 12 rounds.

Q
Do you admire Mikey Garcia for wanting to step up and fight you, taking on this challenge?

E. Spence
I respect him. I really respect Mikey Garcia and his skills and his talent. It’s apparent. But other than that, I’ll respect him after the fight depending on this whole game plan and things like that. I definitely respect him for taking the fight and now that he’s rising to the challenge, he challenged me.

I don’t know who I would be fighting or where I would be fighting at if he didn’t call me out. So this is a great fight and the magnitude of the fight is great too.

So I’m just grateful to have this big fight of this type of magnitude on FOX pay-per-view. So I’m happy to be at the here right now.

Q
Are you just as excited to be in this fight as we are to see this fight?

E. Spence
I’m definitely excited. I was excited as soon as I found out where it was going to be at and basically it was just an easy fight to make. I wanted to fight, and it made sense for it to happen here. I’m excited to be fighting at home again and especially because we’re fighting at AT&T Stadium.

Q
What concerns you in your game plan about Mikey Garcia the most?

E. Spence
Nothing really. I feel like I’ve seen every style there is to see. Especially a guy like Mikey Garcia who’s very traditional and has a good full body of work. But at the end of the day, he’s very traditional. I’m very familiar with his style and what he does, things like that. I’ll be prepared for anything that he brings to the table.

Cameron Buford: Thank for answering the questions. And man, you mentioned those names before. Are those some of the names or some of the guys you would be looking at fighting after you fight Garcia next weekend?

R. Schaefer
Okay. I’m just going to have Errol make some closing comments. But I just want to add something. Errol Spence is one of those throwback fighters, a fighter who we all know is going to fight anybody and everyone.

Being as good as he is, being pound-for-pound one of the best, being undefeated, there are not too many other guys calling him out. So for Errol Spence Jr. to be headlining, to have his opportunity to headline his first pay-per-view event, to headline a pay-per-view event from the AT&T Stadium.

He’s also headlining the first PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View, the first time that a free over the air network, television network is entering the pay-per-view space, and Errol Spence is there and they’re doing it with him. And then to have the opportunity to fight an undefeated fighter, one of the best fighters in the world as well, a fellow top five pound-for-pound fighter with Mikey Garcia.

You look at all of these opportunities, Errol Spence Jr. is perfectly situated to really become the face of the sport and be the face of the sport. He has the skills, he has the talent and he has an opportunity, and he knows all of that. So I can’t wait to see you next week, Errol, it’s going to be a big week, and it’s going to be an exciting week. Let’s start the journey to make history here. I’d like to turn it over to you again, Errol, to make some closing comments.

E. Spence
I thank everybody for coming on the conference call. This is a real boxing event, a real boxing match between two great fighters, two top 10 pound-for-pound fighters who are undefeated. So that’s rare to have in today’s time, especially in boxing. So I hope everybody tunes in. You can get your tickets on SeatGeek.com.

It’s going to be an amazing event. And I can’t wait to put on another amazing performance. I’m 100% ready. I’m in tip-top shape. I’ve been training hard. I’m on crazy focus and I’ve basically got tunnel vision, straight to Mikey Garcia March 16. So make sure you are tuned in. It’s going to be an amazing event. Thank you.

 

Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz International Media Conference Call Transcript and Audio Recording

Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz International Media Conference Call Transcript and Audio Recording

Click HERE for Audio

Kelly Swanson
Thank you everybody for joining this call. I’d like to kick the call off and commend Premier Boxing Champions, Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and the network for saving this really special card that’s going to take place Saturday, February 9.

Everybody’s aware of the unfortunate injury to Abner Mares, who was going to fight Gervonta Davis, but fortunately a great replacement was found in Hugo Ruiz. Now I’m going to turn it over to Stephen Espinoza to make opening comments.

Stephen Espinoza
Thanks very much. By now all of you are aware of the substitution. I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that Abner was heartbroken at this development about the injury.

The Davis fight was a fight that Abner asked for, that he pursued and is a fight that’s in his backyard. It was well on its way to breaking the attendance record and it remains to be seen whether that will happen or not but certainly had the cards stayed together it almost certainly would have broken the attendance record based on the trajectory of ticket sales.

At this point the priority was in fact saving this card. We’ve got a whole host of various fighters who’ve been training very hard for this. They all want to remain active. Davis wants to remain active so it was a priority to save this card and to find the best possible, available opponent.

There were a number of options pursued, a number of calls went out to a variety of different fighters. Not surprisingly it wasn’t easy to find someone who was willing to take on Gervonta Davis on ten days’ notice. Thankfully we did get Hugo Ruiz interested and he immediately accepted after he understood the situation.

Hugo Ruiz obviously was on our January 19 PPV on the Pacquiao vs. Broner undercard at 126-pounds. He will be moving up in weight further and I realize that there has been some concern about that. But the one thing that gave us comfort in approving this opponent was the physical size. Hugo Ruiz has a significant height advantage and reach advantage over Gervonta Davis.

Yes, this will be his first fight above 126 but his body frame gave us some confidence that he would be able to be competitive in this fight. In fact, with his reach advantage and height advantage he presents some problems to Davis that Abner did not. So we’re looking forward to a very competitive fight.

We know Hugo is here. He was disappointed that he did not get the title shot that he expected to on the Pacquiao undercard. And in a certain way there’s karma is repaying him in that he gets a title shot here on February 9.

K. Swanson
Thank you so much Stephen. Now I’m going to introduce Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions to make a brief comment of just about the card in general. Leonard?

Leonard Ellerbe
Thank you Kelly. I’d like to thank everyone for joining today’s call. As Stephen mentioned with Hugo Ruiz being a last-minute replacement, his reach and height advantage, that does create somewhat of a problem obviously because anytime as a fighter when there’s a last-minute replacement you haven’t trained and prepared for this particular fighter.

So Davis is going to have to obviously make some immediate adjustments for those things with the height and reach advantage that Hugo brings. Again Hugo is a proud Mexican warrior and we expect a very, very entertaining and exciting fight for the fans.

K. Swanson
Okay thanks so much Leonard. At this time I’d like to introduce Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions to make the introductions for Hugo Ruiz. Tom?

Tom Brown
Well thank you Kelly. I want to say thank you to Sampson Boxing who is the promoter of Hugo Ruiz. Sampson’s always got these guys that we’ve never heard of and they step up and they’re household names a few years later.

It’s also great to be here at the former StubHub Center, the premier outdoor boxing venue of the United States at Dignity Health Sports Park. And three out of the last six Ring Magazine and BWAA Fights of the Year have all been at the Dignity Health Sports Park. And let me tell you they weren’t all Fight-of-the-Year candidates going into the fight.

I know Hugo Ruiz very well. He fought two absolute wars for me back in 2015 and 2016 for the WBC title against Julio Ceja. And a couple weeks ago, as Stephen said, he didn’t blink an eye when there was a last-minute opponent change.

Ruiz is a more experienced guy and experience matters. That’s what he’ll need to rely on in this fight. So it gives me great pleasure to introduce the former world champion, Hugo Ruiz.

Hugo Ruiz
Well first of all good afternoon to everybody, this is Hugo Ruiz and I’m very happy with my promoter Sampson Lewkowicz to get this fight. Sampson told me keep yourself ready, there might be something coming down the pipe and that’s how I got this fight to fight for the 130-pound championship. I’m very happy, training hard.

I also want to thank my father who’s going to be in my corner. So this is a big opportunity for me for this fight that’s taking place on February 9 and I cannot wait for the February 9 date.

Q
Have you had time to sort of process what these last two weeks have gone for you?

Hugo Ruiz
Basically I was preparing to fight a southpaw before my opponent was changed on the PPV bout. So I had that change and I’ve been basically still training for a southpaw in the last two weeks. I’ve been feeling very strong and very active. And that last fight was basically, it was more like a training then a real tough fight, so I’m ready. I’m rested and I’m good to go.

Q
Aside from your size what else do you think you have that makes you think you can beat Gervonta Davis on February 9?

H. Ruiz
I’m very hungry. I want to of course be a champion at 130. Those are the other attributes that I have besides what you stated. The height advantage that I have I feel very comfortable at 130. Sampson has taken me to be a champion at 118, 122. I’m close to 126 but also this is a big challenge for me I understand that, but besides the height, it’s the hunger that I have to be champion at 130.

Q
If you fought on January 19 what day did you get back to the gym after that fight?

H. Ruiz
I was back training that Tuesday after the fight, I was back in the gym.

Q
How familiar are you with Davis?

H. Ruiz
I’ve seen him fight of course a few times and I know he’s a counterpuncher. He looks for the knockout just like me. So this could be very electric starting early because as you well know I’m also a guy that looks for the knockout from the first round immediately. So that’s what I’ve seen and it should be exciting.

Q
Are worried at all that Davis might have the natural advantage in strength and size?

H. Ruiz
No not really. I feel very comfortable at this weight. If I was 126, if I was planning for 126 this Saturday coming up, the 9th of February, I wouldn’t have made it because I’m already going to make 130. That’s how strong I feel at this weight so that does not pose a problem for me against Gervonta Davis.

Q
Why did you go back so quickly to the gym after your last fight?

H. Ruiz
I usually take maximum five days off a week after a fight but with this fight with Guevara there was really not that much physical abuse from my part. I didn’t receive that many hard hits. So I started training right away.

My promoter Sampson told me, “Hey stay active there might be something coming up the pipe.” And that’s what happened. So I’m glad that I started that Tuesday after the fight.

Q
If the fight on the Pacquiao undercard would’ve been a little more taxing this wouldn’t have been possible for you?

H. Ruiz
That’s correct, if the fight would’ve been more physical draining if it would’ve been a toe-to-toe battle where I would’ve received a lot of punches and stuff then maybe I would’ve not taken this fight. But I continued my training leading up to the fight with Guevara and I just continued it because again, I felt physically well after the fight. There were no major damages.

Q
How much of a factor do you feel maybe rust will be for Davis?

H. Ruiz
Yes, definitely I think that rust might show. I’ve been very active. I fought in August, November and just a couple of weeks ago. You lose a lot of rhythm when you don’t fight for a while so that might definitely be an advantage that I have going into this fight.

Q
Can you use your boxing style that you currently have to defeat Davis or do you feel you need to adopt another style and how quickly can you adopt that style?

H. Ruiz
No my style will definitely not change. That’s been my style. I didn’t think this fight would come so soon but I definitely was looking at being champion at 130. This is a great opportunity that’s been given to me to fight this upcoming week. My style will not change. I will look toward the knockout against Gervonta Davis. If you’ve seen my 39 wins, 33 have come via the knockout. So I’m going to maintain my style, that’s the way I fight.

K. Swanson
Thank you so much Hugo for joining us for that part of the call.
.
Now we’re going to turn it back over to Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions to make the formal introduction for Gervonta Davis and his trainer Calvin Ford.

L. Ellerbe
Thank you Kelly. This next gentleman, he’s really more than a coach. His call of duty, it really goes far beyond the ring. And because of his actions, he really gained and earned respect from many different people including myself, in addition to all the young kids that are out there, all the teens and a lot of fighters that he mentors.

He’s really helped people through the streets of Baltimore. He’s done a phenomenal job in playing a vital role in Gervonta’s entire career. He sets a really positive example for all the youth that are in that particular area. There’s not enough accolades to go around to say about Calvin. So without further ado I’d like to introduce Calvin Ford, trainer of Gervonta Davis.

Calvin Ford
Training camp has been going great. We’ve made a transition here to Los Angeles. Everything is going fine and whatnot. We were looking forward to fighting Abner Mares. Just looking forward for that, but this happens in a fight. I hope he gets better so we actually get another chance at him but right now we’re just concerned about this new opponent we have in front of us.

I think he a little bit stronger and I know from watching some of his, he’s going to come to put on a good show for this upcoming fight with Gervonta Davis.

L. Ellerbe
He became the youngest reigning American champion in 2017 obviously fighting on SHOWTIME after knocking out Jose Pedraza at just 22-years-old. He became also the youngest two-time world champion last April when he knocked out Jesus Cuellar in round three.

So without further ado, he’s earned the reputation in sports and entertainment as being the next PPV star, the WBA Super Featherweight Champion of the World, Gervonta “Tank” Davis.

Gervonta Davis
I just want to say I’m excited for February 9. I’m looking forward to my new opponent. Sorry to the fans who purchased tickets thinking that I was fighting Abner. My main focus was fighting Abner.

February 9 I’m just trying to give them an action-packed fight no matter who I fight. I’ll put on a great performance for the fans so they can enjoy the fight and go home with something to talk about.

Q
What was your mindset when you first heard that Abner got injured?

G. Davis
I was actually asleep when I got a call that Abner pulled out. At first I thought he was lying but then I had to think, if I was in his shoes I knew his health means more than our fight. Hopefully he will be okay and we’ll get another shot at fighting him sometime in 2019 but my main focus is on February 9 and on my new opponent.

Q
Why do you truly believe that Ruiz is a stronger opponent than Abner?

G. Davis
I believe that he’s stronger because look at his knockout ratio. He’s 39 and 4 with 33 knockouts. That had to play a big part. And I didn’t even know he was coming up from 126. I didn’t know that. I just knew that they gave me a new opponent. I didn’t know who he was, I’m just excited for February 9.

Q
How relieved are you knowing that everything you have set out for 2019 is going to stay on course?

G. Davis
I’m actually in a better space knowing that I. I never had dates lined up like this with me being the main event. I have my dates and I’m just super excited. This camp I really haven’t been down, so I’ve been happy knowing that I have a big future and three big fights lined up for me. I’m just excited. I’m just soaking it all in, making sure I’m training hard so every fight I bring excitement to the sport. I’m just, I’m in a great space right now.

Q
What do you think is the main difference between Hugo Ruiz and Abner Mares stylistically if there is any?

G. Davis
I believe that Hugo, he’s more aggressive than Abner. I think he has more pop on his punches. I just watched a little clip of him. I haven’t studied him like that. I just watched a little a clip once I knew who I was fighting just to be aware of what I have in front of me.

Q
Did you actually get a chance to watch Hugo at all when you were there at his last fight?

G. Davis
I was doing a SHOWTIME interview right after. So my main focus was the SHOWTIME interview so I didn’t watch his fight.

Q
Gervonta have you heard the criticisms that you replaced one guy moving up in weight for another guy moving up in weight? How would you respond to that?

G. Davis
My mind was focused on Abner. Not to throw any other fighter under the bus but, Vasyl Lomachenko, he fought someone that was two weight classes under him and not only one time, he fought another person that was smaller than him, Rigondeaux and Miguel Marriaga.

But I’m just excited to put on a great show no matter who I’m in there with. It’s all about the performance that Gervonta Davis puts on and I’m here to put on a great performance.

Q
Leonard was it in your mind and belief that we will absolutely salvage this show and find somebody for Gervonta Davis?

L. Ellerbe
Most definitely. That was definitely the mindset. Obviously he’s a prideful champion. He’s been off for, it’ll be ten months when he steps in the ring and he needed to fight. So Hugo was the best available guy that we could find. He’s in shape. He’s ready. He’s a proud Mexican warrior. He’s going to put on a very entertaining fight for all the fans in attendance and all the fans that are watching on SHOWTIME.

Q
Have there been any changes in preparation or training camp by the time you guys found out about the new opponent, or since it was too close to fight day have you guys been pretty much sticking to the same routine?

C. Ford
No we’ve been sticking to the same routine. We didn’t change anything. Actually Gervonta has various different sparring partners in there because I’m still a student of the game too and I always say you never know when a fighter is going to change their stuff. If you look at when Gennady Golovkin fought Danny Jacobs, he went southpaw. So you have to prepare yourself for anything that’s going to happen that night. So we look at different looks and just like you prepare for anything else. Most coaches and trainers want to prepare for any situation that’s going to come so you’ll be prepared for it.

G. Davis
This camp I actually sparred different type of guys. I sparred someone that’s come after me. He was much taller with a longer reach, so I thank him for the work and things like that because now I needed it. I’m excited. Nothing other than training. We’ll adapt to whatever was in front of us, so. I’m just excited to see what he brings February 9.

Q
Is there a lot more excitement for this fight considering that it’s been a long time since you last fought?

G. Davis
I’m just excited. This is my first main event in the US, so like I said I’m in a great space right now. I know that 2019 is very big for me and I’m just soaking it all in. I don’t feel like I should be nervous though when you have good food on your plate. I’m just, I’m ready.

Q
How will you take advantage of the taller fighter with the longer reach, how do you plan to take advantage of this guy?

C. Ford
We’re not going to try to take advantage, we’re just going to see, what type of fight he’s going to bring. Tank, he’s in a good spirit. He’s been great this camp. He’s been coming in doing what we asking him to do. If you look at his Instagram he’s been posting how he’s coming along. Everything has been on point.

So when we look at a situation of opponent change, we want to roll with it. The main thing is, we want to put on a good performance, because at the end of the day that’s what you all are going to talk about especially after the long layoff.

So we’ve been preparing for the long layoff. We want to make him look sharper and like he never was off the ring. That’s going to show that he’s not looking past this opponent right here, but to let everyone know, man he’s the truth and that’s what we trying to show. Tank is the truth. Gervonta is the truth.

Q
What do you consider a good performance?

C. Ford
Like I always say if you watch any of my interviews it’s what the opponent brings to Tank because you all still haven’t seen the best of Tank. Watching him sparring with certain people and doing certain thing, it gets real exciting there. So I’m just waiting to see what Tank does.

Tank is like Michael Jordan to me in the ring. He puts on a show and makes you watch what he going to do next. So that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking for a great performance from him.

G. Davis
For me it’s just getting in there to do what I do best. I want to just capitalize off of that mistake and make them pay for it all night, that’s all. Show them that I’m not just best in my weight class, I’m probably like one of the best fighters on TV, if not the best.

Q
Leonard what assurances did you get from each other that that everything was going to go smooth this year?

L. Ellerbe
It’s actions. He knows firsthand that in 2018 a lot of things happened and a lot of things people don’t know about and that those were personal things. Again he’s a young man. He made a few mistakes and he stepped up. He owned those mistakes and he’s moved on.

He wants to have a phenomenal year and everything’s in place for him to do that. We think the world of Gervonta Davis. We think that he’s going to eventually be the biggest star in this sport and right now he’s the most exciting fighter in the entire sport.

So that’s what we’re looking forward to, him just getting back. That’s why Floyd was very adamant to me when Abner fell out. He called me it was, like really the wee hours of the morning and he said, “Tank has to fight.” And we’re all on the same page with that.

He’s young, he needs to be active. He wants to be out there showcasing his skills to show you that he is what he is. And again come next Saturday night I think we can expect another sensational performance from Tank.

Q
Leonard was Ruiz on that short list immediately or did you initially reach out to other fighters who ultimately declined?

L. Ellerbe
Yes, there was a short list but I want to give props to Tom Brown. With Tom being a Hall of Fame matchmaker and an excellent promoter, and again with having the resources and having worked with a lot of these fighters, being in his position, it made things that much easier.

So there were a few options, a few guys we looked at but this was the best guy who was available. We know style-wise that he brings excitement. He’s a very aggressive fighter with a bunch of knockouts. And he’s coming to bring the fight for the fans. He’s a proud Mexican warrior and we know there’s going to be a very entertaining fight. His style and Tank’s style are matched very well and it’s going to be a very, very entertaining fight.

Q
Gervonta how are you maintaining your focus with the opponent change?

G. Davis
I’m not tripping off of changing opponents and things like that because when I actually first started, they used to change my opponents a lot. A lot of fighters used to pull out and things like that. And also I came from the amateurs. We used to fight five times a week and with different opponents then.

So I’m not really tripping off the opponent change. All I’m here to do is put on a good performance on February 9 and we’re looking forward to it.

K. Swanson
Okay great. Gervonta we’re all looking forward to it and we appreciate how great of a boxing star you are for this sport and the sports world in general. So congratulations on your careers to date and we look forward to seeing you fight on Saturday night. Thank you so much to the media for joining us and we will see you next week at the fights.

 

Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner Media Conference Call Transcript & Audio Recording

Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner Media Conference Call Transcript & Audio Recording

Click HERE for Audio Recording

Kelly Swanson
Thanks everyone for calling in for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner media conference call for their fight on January 19 live on SHOWTIME PPV® from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

I’m more than happy to introduce Leonard Ellerbe, Chief Executive Officer of Mayweather Promotions to begin our call. Leonard?

Leonard Ellerbe
Thank you Kelly. I would like to thank everyone for joining the call today. We’re nine days away from what I consider to be the biggest fight of 2019. These fighters are fresh off of two outstanding media day workouts yesterday in California. Both guys seem very focused. They are both in great shape.

We have an unbelievable fight coming next Saturday night. We’re really looking forward to it.

K. Swanson
At this time, I would like to introduce Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming for Showtime Networks Inc. Stephen?

Stephen Espinoza
Thanks Kelly and thanks Leonard. Look, all of you guys are very well-acquainted with Manny and Adrien, you’ve covered them for years. They’re two of the biggest names in the sport so I don’t need to tell you anything more about them.

What I will do is give you some brief programming updates. Episode 2 of “ALL ACCESS” premieres this Friday 9:30 ET/PT on SHOWTIME. That is immediately before ShoBox, which is a three-fight card headlined by Devin Haney.

Then, once we get into fight week — as has become our hallmark — we will be distributing a whole variety of premium content across social media platforms, on SHOWTIME and elsewhere.

We’ve got the four installments of “ALL ACCESS DAILY.” That’s a daily digital series throughout fight week on YouTube and Facebook. We’ve got a daily series created specifically for Snapchat that is going to start even earlier than Fight Week.

We’ll also have livestream coverage of the Wednesday press conference, the Thursday press conference, the Friday weigh-in, as well as the Countdown Live pre-fight show.

So, as we get into these last nine days before the event, there is a variety of content available to satisfy every boxing fan’s need.

Both SHOWTIME subscribers and non-subscribers alike can purchase and live stream this event directly through the SHOWTIME app on a variety of platforms — plus, of course on traditional pay-per-view distributors — making this event available virtually everywhere and anywhere sports fans want to consume their content.

K. Swanson
Now we’re going to hear from Manny Pacquiao and to introduce Manny Pacquiao we have Fred Sternburg. Fred?

Fred Sternburg
Thanks Kelly. Well, I think Stephen said it best, “No introduction needed for boxing’s only eight-division World Champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade.” So, let me present to you Manny Pacquiao.

Manny Pacquiao
Hello everyone. Good morning. I feel so happy and excited for the fight on January 19 and we’re ready – it’s all set.

Q
Manny, you’ve been now a professional for 24 years and I wonder, as all the big fights that you’ve had, what it is that still motivates you to keep boxing?

M. Pacquiao
I’m still passionate about the sport of boxing and boxing is my passion and that’s why I’m still here continuing fighting. I really love boxing and that’s why I’m always excited and preparing for my fight to be settled on January 19.

Q
Are there any things particular that you still want to accomplish?

M. Pacquiao
Talking about accomplishments, I really have accomplished what I want to accomplish in life. What I want to do is to maintain and stay at this level.

Q
Manny, are there any concessions or changes that you’ve had to make due to your age?

M. Pacquiao
The routine of my training is the same. Jog in the morning and train in the afternoon. But we have a couple of adjustments in training specifically for recovery.

Because sometimes we push ourselves heavy in training in the day and then I we’ll see if overnight I can recover, and then we’ll push again.

But if I cannot recover then I let my body rest so that the following day it can push again and work hard.

Q
What was it that lead you to take fights away from the Unites States?

M. Pacquiao
I think it just happened that some promotors and some people are most of the people they wanted me to fight there to see me live in-person. So, that’s an opportunity for them that they can see my fight.

Q
I just got off the phone with Freddie Roach and he said he thinks that you have the old killer instinct back. Is there indeed the return of a killer instinct and do you have more of a mindset of going for the knockout in this fight?

M. Pacquiao
That’s true I still have that killer instinct and the fire in my eyes is still there. That aggressiveness, the interest in this career is still there 100%. The speed, the power are still there. I’m so thankful to God.

I’m not saying I’m going to predict for this fight. I will do my best and I look forward to this the same as the last fight. But no prediction, I will do my best with what we did in training camp.

Q
Would you tell us what you said to Floyd Mayweather when you saw him at the basketball game the other day?

M. Pacquiao
Surprisingly, I didn’t know that he was there at the game. I was invited on that Filipino Heritage Night at the Clippers’ game. I didn’t know that he was there and then when they were throwing t-shirts to the crowds I saw him. And then I just say, “Hello.” That’s it.
Q
Regarding the Floyd Mayweather fight whether or not it’s going to happen. Has it gotten to a point where you kind of feel a little annoyed with the question?

M. Pacquiao
You cannot avoid the people that will ask if there’s a rematch with Floyd Mayweather because I think they have a big question mark in their mind and also in their heart about that what happened in that fight.

I’m just answering them that I don’t have a plan yet. I’m very focused on this fight January 19 against Adrien Broner because Broner is a former champion and he’s the kind of fighter that you cannot underestimate or take him lightly.

Q
What did it feel like having Freddie Roach back in your corner helping you prepare for a fight?

M. Pacquiao
Freddie’s never out of Team Pacquiao it just happened that I wanted Buboy to experience being a head trainer in one fight.

But it’s a good thing that we’re working here again and I like to be back here in Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles and back again in Las Vegas for a fight. I think that it’s good for us to be united and focused for this coming fight next week.

Q
Was the talent at welterweight a bit of a motivating factor to sign with PBC and potentially get those types of dream matches and turning them into a reality?

M. Pacquiao
I think after this fight it’s easy to talk about my next opponent. That’s very easy but right now my plan is one at a time, because — as they said — I am 40 years old.

I’m focused for this fight against Adrien Broner. One at a time. After the fight on January 19 that night then we can talk about my next fight.

Q
Could you rank your top five opponents as far as preparing for the fight and degree of difficulty?

M. Pacquiao
I think my top opponents are Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather, Erik Morales and Ricky Hatton.

Q
What challenge does Adrien pose?

M. Pacquiao
We know already about his counter-punching. I know that he will wait for me and counter like Marquez did. I’m prepared for that and it will not happen again. I learned in the past and I have to correct my mistake.

Q
Can you talk a little bit about what you felt when you saw Mayweather fight on New Year’s Eve and is there any comparison between Adrien Broner and Floyd Mayweather?

M. Pacquiao
Adrien Broner is not a tune up fight. He’s a former champion. He’s fast, he moves fast and he’s a good boxer. And that’s why I don’t want to talk about my next fight until we finish this. I finish this business against Adrien Broner on January 19.

And about the exhibition of Floyd Mayweather in Japan, it’s my first time to see an exhibition that you knock your opponent out. Supposedly an exhibition is just to entertain people and nothing serious for three rounds. That’s what I understand about exhibitions.

Q
Do you have the desire to once again to be the undisputed Welterweight Champion?

M. Pacquiao
Let me take care of this January 19 and then I have to worry about who is my opponent next. I have no problem to fight anybody as long as there’s not a problem about negotiation. But my plan is just one at a time.

Q
What do you think of Adrien Broner as an opponent and as a person heading into January 19?

M. Pacquiao
It’s unfair to him that people are thinking that he’s not a serious challenge for me. No, Adrien Broner is a good boxer, he’s a high-caliber boxer. He’s a former champion and he’s the kind of fighter that you cannot underestimate or take him lightly.

K. Swanson
Thank you so much Manny, for answering those questions, we appreciate it. We’re so happy you’re back fighting in the United States for all of us to be able to come and watch you.

M. Pacquiao
Thank you, guys. Nice to be back here in the United States. Thank you, God bless.

K. Swanson
Thanks, Fred. Okay, now we’re going to transition over to Adrien Broner. I’d like to introduce Ravone Littlejohn. He’s the CEO of About Billions Promotion and he will make the introduction of Adrien Broner. Ravone?

Ravone Littlejohn
At About Billions Promotions we’re happy to be promoting this fight as the premier event that we’ve had in our infancy as a company. Adrien has trained very well and very hard. He’s more than ready for his opportunity. We’d like to thank all the promotional entities who are involved in this fight. And at this time I’ll go ahead and pass it over to Adrien.

Adrien Broner
What’s up with everyone? What’s good? Training camp’s been great. I’m training my ass off. I’ve been focused and I’m just ready to go out there and prove all the naysayers wrong.

Q
Adrien are you motivated by being am underdog in this fight?

A. Broner
It’s real motivating, but I don’t worry about it. I just don’t let it get to me. I just can’t wait for the bell to ring January 19.

Q
If you beat Manny Pacquiao how much would that erase any bad feelings or negativity associated with your losses?

A. Broner
It definitely would. In life they say you’re only as good as your last performance, so it’s definitely going to sweep a lot of things under the rug.

Q
What would it mean to you then to get that caliber of a victory? How big in the scheme of things would that be for you?

A. Broner
It’s going to be huge and I’m taking full advantage of it. I’m well-prepared and I’m just ready to go out there and perform.

Q
There’s there’s been some news reports about some of your legal issues. Has that in any way impacted your training or focus on this fight?

A. Broner
No, that’s just something I’ll take care of after the fight. Right now I’m 100% focused on this fight and I’m just ready to come to the ring January 19 and get a victory.

Q
My question is for Stephen Espinoza. Hey, Stephen, how are you? Just briefly, this event is a SHOWTIME PPV event on January 19. Do you have any comments on specifically Eddie Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya saying that PPV is dead in boxing?

And furthermore, do you think on a microeconomic level that PPV and American professional sports is dead?

S. Espinoza
Sure, I’m happy to. Look, on the concept of PPV we’ve consistently said that it’s a useful tool when it’s necessary, when you have a premium event. If you’ve got a filet mignon event, you’re going to have filet mignon prices. You don’t get filet mignon at the price of ground beef.

I think a lot of the blowback and the negativity around PPV comes when networks are trying to sell people PPVs that don’t belong there.

I didn’t hear too many people saying that Wilder versus Fury was not a premium event, a special event, a Heavyweight Title fight, an International Worldwide Title fight that deserved to be PPV

Likewise, on January 19 you have two of the biggest stars in the sport. Manny has a long history on PPV and the way this event was able to happen was through that tool. So these two events, plus Mayweather and McGregor, are the only PPVs we’ve done in the last three years.

So, I understand what Eddie Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya are saying. It’s a great marketing ploy and that’s really all it is is just a catchphrase because both of those guys rely on PPV and have relied on it as an integral part of their business in the past.

Eddie on one hand will say that they’re are terrible thing and they’re dead, but if we look at his U.K. business it’s basically all built on PPV.

Oscar himself while he’s saying that boxing PPVs are dead is simultaneously selling an MMA PPV. So, the reality is, it’s a useful tool. It rewards the fighters for taking tough fights and it allows some fights to happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen without that tool. But it should be used sparingly.

Q
Adrien, has that been frustrating for you that some people may not be taking you seriously?

A. Broner
No disrespect but I don’t care at all about Mayweather and Pacquiao or any other fights people are talking about. I’m focused on Adrien Broner and Pacquiao. I’m focused on getting this victory. And then I’m going to go to the drawing board with my team and make bigger moves.

Q
Did you get a chance to see Pacquiao’s last fight against Lucas Matthysse? And if so, what do you think of Pacquiao and how his skills have sort of translated now being 40?

A. Broner
Pacquiao’s a legend. He’ll always go down as one of the best in the boxing business. But I just feel like it’s my time to take over this sport and I’m coming to take the throne from Pacquiao.

Q
I just asked Manny on the previous call what his top five fights were in terms of preparation and degree of difficulty. He listed about six or seven and the top one was Oscar De La Hoya. You weren’t on the list. What do you think that says about him and do you think he’s in for a rude awakening?

A. Broner
I’m just focusing. I’m just ready to go in there and have a hell of a night and start a new chapter in my career.

Q
Do you think that your counter-punching ability is the antidote to his style of speed, jumping in, being aggressive?

A. Broner
It’ll definitely play a big part but we’ve got more in store to beat Pacquiao and I will show that January 19.

Q
What is the difference between the Adrien Broner who lost three fights and the one who is going into this fight?

A. Broner
My dedication to the sport. People who have seen me would 100% vouch for me. I know what’s at stake. A win over Pacquiao could take my career somewhere that I can only dream of. So I’ve got to take it seriously and I just really feel like it’s my time.

Q
What are the things you’re looking at in camp that gives you the confidence that you can knock Manny out?

A. Broner
The knockout is good but I’m definitely just going for the win. I just want to win, pointblank, period. Everybody goes into a fight wanting to knockout. Who doesn’t want to knock someone out? But, you know, things will unravel on January 19.

Q
Do you think that this is a must-win fight for you?

A. Broner
At the end of the day, if you’re a boxer, every fight is a must-win fight. You don’t ever want to go to a fight trying to lose.

As a competitor, as an athlete, when I prepare, I go in to win. I’m trying to win. It’s always a must-win situation.

Q
I’m wondering what you perceive the stakes to be when you ponder this and say to yourself, “Okay, I’m going to beat Manny Pacquiao.”

A. Broner
I don’t look at that. Boxing is a sport where you’ve got to go a fight at a time. So, I’m focused on Manny Pacquiao and after that we’ll look at other things and other avenues.

Q
Can you speak to the fact that you say this fight is for the ‘hood and how important it is to you to come out victorious?

A. Broner
Where I come from, man, we barely have seen someone to come out and be at the top level where I am today. So that’s why I’m doing this for the ‘hood to give back hope and show the young kids that they can follow their dreams.

That motivates me to just go in there and do my best. We’re going to go in there and get the victory.