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Marcos Maidana and Robert Garcia media conference call

K. Swanson – Thank you everybody for calling. We are talking about “The Moment” and this, to me, is one of the big moments we’ve been waiting for. We have one of the participants of our main event. That, of course, is Marcos Maidana, the WBA Welterweight World Champion.

Also on the call we have Robert Garcia, who is a former world champion and the Boxing Writers Association of American 2012 Trainer of the Year; and, also, Leonard Ellerbe, Chief Executive Officer of Mayweather Promotions; Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports; and last but not least, and to make the introductions for the call, and to start us off, is Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. Oscar?

O. De La Hoya
Thank you, Kelly. Thank you very much everybody, everyone on the call. Yes, it is “The Moment,” the biggest event that everybody has been waiting for. It is, once again, a privilege to be working with Mayweather Promotions and Leonard Ellerbe and Showtime PPV. It’s going to be one of those events. Once again, when you have the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world facing another dangerous opponent, we know that people are anxiously waiting for May 3rd, as I am. We are truly, truly humbled and honored to be working alongside Mayweather Promotions. It is my pleasure now to introduce to you to make some opening remarks. You all know him. He is the Vice president of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza. Stephen?

S. Espinoza
Thank you, Oscar. I’ll be brief here. We’re very excited to kickoff this part of the promotion. We’ll be hearing very shortly from Marcos Maidana.

Just a few words about Marcos. I’ve seen the first episode of All Access and I’ve seen what a remarkable story he’s got. Not many have been exposed to this story, although we’ve seen Marcos in the ring many, many times. We will be seeing a new side of Marcos and learning some new things with our All Access series, which does premier this weekend, 9 p.m. Eastern, immediately preceding Hopkins versus Shumenov.

The Marcos Maidana we know is a world class fighter. He’s been in the ring with elite competition. We all know this. Sometimes we forget it because there is so much focus on his game-changing knockout power, but he has been operating at a high-level within boxing for years and has simply elevated his level of performance with the addition, a few fights ago, with Robert Garcia.

When people ask, why this opponent? Why is this an attractive fight for the network? It’s very simple. The combination of the caliber of competition that he’s faced, the team that he has behind him, his knockout power and, above all, his relentlessness. As we all saw in the Adrien Broner fight, there is a ferocity and a relentlessness that Marcos Maidana fights with. I think that’s the biggest asset that he brings to the table for this fight. It is for that reason, and almost that reason alone, that I’m very, very excited to see the fight between Marcos Maidana and Floyd Mayweather. Oscar, I’ll hand it back to you.

O. De La Hoya
Thank you very much, Stephen. As we all know, the undercard has become a special tradition for all fight fans across the globe and this is obviously no exception. We’ve put together a tremendous, tremendous card along with Mayweather Promotions who has been doing a tremendous job in making sure the fight fans are the ones who are ultimately happy, having Amir Khan fighting Luis Collazo, which will be a 12-round for the vacant WBC Silver Title.

Also, a fighter who is always entertaining and explosive and people are wondering, what is going to happen? Is he going to rise to the occasion? Is he going to fight even harder, come back even stronger, especially after fighting in such a terrific, terrific fight against Marcos Maidana? That is Adrien Broner going against Carlos Molina.

The opening bout, a fight actually that I truly, truly am looking forward to because it’s going to be one of those fights that you always think, this one can steal the show because it’s so competitive and so entertaining. That’s J’Leon Love versus Marcos Antonio Periban. That will be a 10-rounder for the Super Middleweight match up.

Obviously, this fight will be at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions. I want to really thank and appreciate the sponsors who really do a tremendous, tremendous job. That is Corona, O’Reilly Auto Parts and AT&T, who have just done a tremendous job in marketing the fight and making sure that the grass root markets and making sure that the message is sent across the globe.

Tickets, as we know, are priced and they’ve obviously gone fast. They’re priced at $1500 all the way down to 750, to 350, I’m sorry. The 550 and 350 are sold out. You can still get tickets, but they are going like hotcakes, that’s for sure. I also just want to mention Fathom Events. Once again, the moment when you have a Mayweather event along with Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, you’re going to be in for a special treat.

Any fight fan that wants to go down to the movie theaters and watch this fight, and have a very unique experience, you can log on to fathomevents.com and you can see which movie theaters, across the nation, will be showing the fight and experience it with other fans and fight fans. It truly is a unique experience, which I would definitely recommend.

At this time I would like to turn over the call to – he is the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, who, like I said before, has done a great job in making sure this event goes smoothly. He put it together and did a tremendous job. That is Leonard Ellerbe. Leonard?

L. Ellerbe
Thank you, Oscar. I would like to thank everyone for coming on the call today. I had a chance to go see Marcos, his media day yesterday. Like I said, I wanted to stick my head in it and see what all the noise was about. I hear he’s been having a tremendous camp and he’s preparing really well. I was quite impressed with the fan support up there and how hard he was working. This is going to be a tough fight for Floyd.

A lot of people have paid attention to the odds, but when it comes down to a fight, we know that Maidana can end this thing with one punch. We saw it happen, almost saw it happen, in the Shane Mosley fight a couple years ago and I had a chance to see Marcos yesterday. I know he’s preparing really well. Like I said, this is going to be a great, great fight.

O. De La Hoya
Thank you very much, Leonard. At this moment, let’s get to the fighter. Marcos Maidana, what can you say about him? You all know he’s an action warrior. He’s a fighter that never gives up. He’s a fighter who is improving and learning and becoming not only a fighter, but a boxer learning the craft. You have to, obviously, owe it all to his trainer.

His trainer is a friend of mine, a fighter that I grew up with, that we have many great memories together. He’s a tremendous, tremendous fighter. In his day, World Champion, and it is unbelievable and very admirable of what he’s done outside the ring, being the Trainer of the Year in 2012. What other fighter, World Champion, can say that [indiscernible] become a Trainer of the Year? He’s only, it’s only just the beginning, which is incredible.

Without any further ado, let me introduce to you the trainer of Marcos Maidana, Robert Garcia. Robert?

R. Garcia
Thank you, Oscar. It’s always great to hear somebody like you, Oscar, to say such great things and It’s great to know that we’ve known each other for such a long time. “The Moment” is going to be an event that people are not going to want to miss. I have Chino Maidana, who in the past three years has been learning so much from me and my team, my whole staff in the gym.

He’s learned so much that this is the time, “The Moment,” for him to get the shot at the best in the world. We all understand and know that Mayweather is the best at what he does. He’s been the best for the past 15 to 16 years and it’s just an honor for us to be part of this event. We want to go out there and do our best in trying to upset the world and give everybody a great fight.

O. De La Hoya
Thank you. Thank you very much, Robert. It is my pleasure now to introduce to you a man they call “Chino.” He has a record of 35 and 3. Only 3 losses and 31 knockouts, which is unbelievable. His knockout ratio is 82%. When this fighter steps into the ring, you know you’re going to get an exciting fight. There’s no doubt about it. Anybody who tells me that Marcos Maidana has been in a dull or boring fight, I don’t know what you’re watching.

This kid comes to fight. He has a heart. He has desire, but what’s most interesting now, for “The Moment,” is that he has a super trainer who has taken him to a whole new level in such a short period of time. It is definitely going to be very interesting to see him up against the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. He does hail from Margarita Santa Fe, Argentina. Like I said, he has a record of 35 and 3, 31 knockouts. Marcos Maidana.

M. Maidana
I’m very happy to be part of this event. I have prepared myself for the best part of my career.

Q
Hi, guys. Oscar, it’s good to hear you, man. Oscar? Oscar, well, obviously, you’ve been in the ring with Floyd. You had a great fight with him. You tried everything you could. As Floyd has said in the past, there have been guys that you thought had the blueprint to beat him, I guess Shane, Robert Guerrero, Canelo. What couldn’t they do? What couldn’t you do that you think Maidana can do?

O. De La Hoya
I actually have no idea what they have been working on in the gym. That’s a question that you can ask Robert Garcia. Mayweather has said all the fighters have tried and then all of them have failed, but in every challenge, in every fight, it’s always a new opponent. It’s always something different. There’s always something different that every fighter brings to the table. Robert Garcia can answer that question for you.

They’ve been training hard. I’m sure they’ve been studying Mayweather. I’m not sure what they’re thinking, but I’m positive they have a game plan and they have to execute that game plan. There are different reasons why everybody lost to Mayweather and, obviously, because he’s best.

Q
What is, in your words, as a guy that’s been in there with him, and a guy that probably came closer than anybody to beating him, what is difficult? Put us in the ring with Floyd. What is difficult about him?

O. De La Hoya
He’s just, he’s slippery. He’s just slippery, slippery to hit. Obviously, and this is my experience, I’m just talking for myself. This is my experience. Obviously, he is a competitor and has a fighting spirit. Obviously, if I was younger, I would have beat him. That’s just the way I feel. Nobody has beat him before. That’s reality. He’s undefeated.

Q
Robert, you there?

R. Garcia
Yes, I’m here.

Q
What do you say to people who say the guys that have come to Floyd, and this is kind of a fact, the guys that have come after him have lost almost worse – Gatti, Diego Corrales, guys like that. I know Jose Luis Castillo had some success, but what do you say to people who say that and then say that he’s tailor made for Floyd? What is your answer to that?

R. Garcia
Against Floyd, that is true. Those that have tried and come forward, they have failed, but the fact is that Floyd has never faced somebody with the power and the heart, the determination that Chino has. This is a fighter who doesn’t worry about anything. He’s not worrying about, I’m fighting the best pound-for-pound in the world or the best fighter in history. He’s not worried about that. He gets ready to fight and do what he does best and he does it against anybody.

It doesn’t have to be the best in the world. He goes out there just to try to hurt his opponent and that’s what he’s training to do. He throws punches from different angles. He has tremendous power in both hands. Everybody knows that. There is no secret to that. He doesn’t respect whoever is in front of him. That’s one thing that he’s going in and not thinking of, or not having in mind, I’m [indiscernible]. I have no chance against him. No, he doesn’t feel like that. He feels like he could beat him and anybody else in the ring in front of him.

L. Ellerbe
Let me touch on that, too. I think that the difference in this fight is that a lot of fighters in the past have come in – really they say one thing, but this guy is a little different in my eyes. We know that we’re in a tough fight because one, this guy brings it from the opening bell. A lot of people talk about it and they get in there and they look and they make attempts a first couple times and they get frustrated.

This guy, he continues to bring it and bring it and bring it and bring it and he doesn’t stop. We have to be prepared for what he’s going to bring to the table. Floyd hasn’t faced anybody like that before and, on top of that, his knockout percentage. Like I said, it’s a known fact, when he hits guys, they fall. Floyd’s objective is obviously not to get hit with none of that, but like I said, we know what we’re in for. That’s what Floyd is preparing for, a very, very tough fight.

Q.
What is your response, Marcos, when you hear, or if you even pay attention, to people saying others have tried to come right at Floyd and he chops them up, he turns the gameplan against them, that kind of thing?

M. Maidana
I’m going to go out to win it. If others haven’t been able to do it, I’m training to do it. I’m training to be the first one to do it.

Q.
Leonard, what is your reaction to ESPN naming Floyd again, once again, the highest paid athlete?

L. Ellerbe
He’s extremely humbled. It’s a great feeling. We have a wonderful team and he’s very grateful for all the support from the fans to be in this position.

Q.
One of the things you were talking about this past weekend in Vegas was the fact that you guys, it’s all about the dollars, and it’s all about making the big events. Can you comment on that a little bit, too?

L. Ellerbe
Well, yes, at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to. Doing it at this level, that’s what you’re trying to do, is maximize every opportunity possible with every fight as it relates to the revenue. We have a wonderful team. Like I said, Floyd is truly grateful and blessed and he’s very thankful to the fans.

Q.
Hi. Question for Marcos and for Oscar. Bob Arum made some very strong comments last week that this fight was too one-sided, that the odds were too long, that it wasn’t a good fight and, basically, suggesting that Marcos has no chance to win and that people should not watch it. What is Marcos’ reaction to that? Does it make him angry? Does it make him more determined? What’s his reaction?

M. Maidana
It doesn’t bother me at all. All I’ve got to say for people doubting me is to and order the fight because they’re going to enjoy a good fight. They’re going to be beat Floyd Mayweather.

R. Garcia
If you guys want me to say something about that, I’ve been in this before where we are the underdogs. It surprised me for Bob Arum to say that because he knows that I’ve trained a lot of fighters under his banner, and a lot of times I’ve been the underdog on those fights, from Steven Luevano to Brian Viloria, when he beat Archie Solis. Brandon Rios himself, Bob Arum thought Peterson was going to dominate Brandon pretty easy and we upset it, the whole HBO and the whole people thinking that Peterson was their next star. So, we’ve been in it before.

I think Bob should know better than that. He knows that I’m training Chino Maidana and he knows what I can do with Chino. I think it’s probably just part of the way he reacts, the way he wants to react. Of course, the companies don’t work together, so it’s something that he’s going to try to do to prevent us from having a great night and having a great fight. Of course, Showtime Pay-Per-View is doing good [indiscernible]. That’s all he’s trying to do.

Q.
Oscar, what were your thoughts about Arum’s comment?

O. De La Hoya
Well, my thoughts were that, once again, he was, maybe he’s using reverse psychology. Maybe he does feel in his mind that Floyd is going to have an easy time with Maidana and that people shouldn’t buy the fight, but that’s Bob Arum for you. What he really is telling you is buy the event. What he really is telling you is Marcos is going to beat Mayweather. That’s what he’s really telling you. That’s who Bob Arum is. We’re doing our event. He should do his event and, therefore, the boxing fans and the boxing world wins.

Q.
Just a question for Leonard quickly. Leonard, Bob Arum used the word “thug” or “thuggery” several times when he was referring to your promotions, to Floyd, and your camp in general. It would seem to be a fairly inappropriate choice of words. What were your thoughts on that aspect of it specifically?

L. Ellerbe
I didn’t think about it one bit. I don’t think about a damned thing about what he says and comes out of his mouth. Everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. We’re doing our thing and they’re doing their thing. We wish him the best. We don’t have anything bad to say about anybody. We’re looking forward to our great event on May the 3rd. We’re going to be in a sold-out arena and we’re going to have a big, big event on pay-per-view.

Q
What has changed since you started training with Robert Garica?

M. Maidana
I better now that he’s been working with Robert Garcia. I feel much better. My punches are connecting even stronger now because the punches are being thrown in a better location and with precision. I feel a lot better. I feel much, much better now that I’ve been working with Robert Garcia.

I’m fighting and beating great fightersMost of them have the same style, very similar style and defensive, but I already beat Broner the way I did and I think I can do the same with Mayweather, but until I’m in the ring, and we’ll look at things that no one has seen.

Q
Robert, what was your reaction to Leonard Ellerbe popping up on you guys on media day?

R. Garcia
It was something that we did not expect, but Leonard, the few times that I’ve met him, showed us to be a very professional person. They know what they’re doing with the promotion. They know what they’re doing with their job. I’ve enjoyed working with them. It was an honor to have somebody like him visit the gym. He loved it there.

My gym is a facility that has everything. We have a complete boxing facility for a lot of great future fighters, too. And just to be part of this event and to get know better these people that we’ve only seen on TV, working with Mayweather now, and now working with them. To have him show up to media day, it was awesome. It’s awesome. We were joking around, having fun, and that’s what it’s all about.

Q
Marcos, what did you think?

M. Maidana
The truth is, I didn’t even know who this guy was, but he came to my gym and I have nothing against him.

Q.
Hi, guys. Thanks for taking the time to do the call. I appreciate it. The first question is for Marcos. Marcos, a lot of people are saying the only way that you can beat Floyd Mayweather is by knockout. I’m wondering if that’s true. Is that the only way to beat Floyd Mayweather, by knockout?

M. Maidana
With Broner, everybody thought I had to knock him out and I beat him with decision. I am preparing myself to go 12 rounds if it’s necessary. I’m preparing to hurt him every time I throw punches and if a knockout comes, then great, but I am preparing myself to win after 12 rounds.

Q.
Alright, great. Oscar, I’d like to welcome you back. You’ve been kind of quiet. I’m wondering, what’s your prediction for this fight?

O. De La Hoya
I have no prediction whatsoever. I’m just going to enjoy the fight, just like everybody else and may the best man win.

Q.
Okay, thank you very much. My other question is for Mr. Maidana. How are you, Champ? I just want to ask you, you and Mr. Mayweather both hold titles. Do you see yourself as a challenger coming into this bout or is Mayweather’s equal?

M. Maidana
I am a champion and I am ready to fight for my title. Most importantly, I am preparing to beat Mayweather. The last thing that I’m worried about is my title. I want to just train and beat Mayweather.

Q.
Okay, thank you very much. One last question for Mr. Garcia. How are you? Mr. Garcia, how will Marcos be able to keep swinging to keep moving forward when Mayweather is known to almost lull his opponents into zombies? That seems to be his biggest asset in the ring, as far as I can see. How will Marcos be able to keep swinging and keep moving forward?

R. Garcia
Mayweather has fought great fighters and great big names and has beaten them all, but he has never fought somebody with a style like Chino has. Maidana has a style that is pretty awkward and confusing to his opponents and frustrates his opponents and has tremendous power. That’s a big thing in this fight and a big factor that the world is going to see.

Q.
My first question is for Robert Garcia. Robert, right now Floyd Mayweather, Jr., he’s 37 years old and I’m curious, from your perspective, do you think he is as good as he’s ever been as a fighter?

R. Garcia
I think he’s in incredible shape right now and even though he’s been World Champion for the past 16 years, I think, right now, what he’s done lately with so many great fighters out there, I think he’s better than ever, so we’re preparing for the best Mayweather ever.

Q.
Okay. My question now is for Marcos Maidana. Marcos, that win that you had over Adrien Broner, it surprised a lot of people. You gained a lot more fans. I’m curious, what has it been like since that win for yourself going forward and the reception you’ve been getting from fans?

M. Maidana
This is the most important part of my career. The fight with Broner gave me a lot of exposure, but this fight itself is the biggest fight of my career and it would be a tremendous upset and that’s what I’m training for, to upset the world and to do it for my country. It would be huge for my country.

Q.
Marcos, you mentioned upsetting the world. Odd makers have you as high, down. They have you as wide as 14 to 1 underdog. I’m curious, do you use that as extra motivation or is just like any other fight, you just go out there and win?

M. Maidana
It doesn’t bother me at all. What motivates me is that if I win, I’m going to beat the best in the world and that’s what motivates me.

Q.
Okay. I have a question directed for Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar, throughout your career, you were known for big pay-per-view events. You had the one with Mayweather. I’m just curious, are you at all surprised the way that Mayweather has carried this sport with these huge pay-per-view events that have kind of exceeded what you did in your career?

O. De La Hoya
No, we’re extremely proud at what Golden Boy can do and, obviously, when you have a fighter like Mayweather who is easily promoted and who can be promoted across the globe. I’m just really proud to be part of it.

Q.
Hello, how is everybody? My first question is actually for Robert. Robert, I wanted to know, Floyd is known to become more offensive when someone challenges him and forces him to fight. As you can see, with the Ricky Hatton, his power became clear. Are you cautious about Mayweather’s power as well?

R. Garcia
No. We’ve got to be very careful, definitely. He’s a tremendous fighter with tremendous skill. When you throw punches accurate and land them good, you don’t have to put out the biggest punch in the world to hurt your opponent. It’s the way the world of boxing is. If a punch lands correctly, anybody could get hurt. We are very aware of that and we’ll prepare for that. We’re trained for that.

Q.
Marcos, are you curious about Mayweather’s power?

M. Maidana
I’m not worried. I bout with spot guys that hit hard and it’s nothing new to me, so I’m not worried about his power.

Q.
Okay, thank you. My second question is for Leonard Ellerbe. I wanted to know, Leonard, we seen a video on Instagram. Floyd is sparring fighters that weigh 168 pounds. Is this something that he does as a normal routine for Floyd?

L. Ellerbe
It’s a normal routine for Floyd. Floyd is always working out with much bigger guys because the smaller guys – it’s hard to work with smaller guys.

Q.
Does that mean that Floyd runs through smaller guys? They can’t take it?

L. Ellerbe
No, it’s just that he always looks to push and challenge himself by working out with bigger guys. They’re more physical. They’re stronger. He’s always looking to push himself.

Q.
With training camp with Roger and Floyd, Sr., is everything going good over there? Is everything good between the family?

L. Ellerbe
Everything is great. Both guys are working great together and we’re looking forward to May the 3rd.

K. Swanson
Okay that was our last question. Oscar, if you want to make closing comments, and Leonard, and then we’ll wrap it up.

O. De La Hoya
Thank you so very much to all the media. Love you guys. We are looking forward to this magnificent event May 3rd. Once again, Floyd Mayweather is back with a tough challenge again. Marcos is a fighter, a challenger who never backs down. He’s coming prepared. Marcos is as fast as ever, as smart as ever, so we’re really looking forward to it. Thank you very much to all the sponsors and everybody involved. We will see you soon.

L. Ellerbe
Just wanted to thank everyone for coming on the call. We all look forward to May the 3rd. It’s going to be a great event.