Boxing

Freddie Roach Conference Call Transcript

Rob Garcia (ph), who has been Oscar De La Hoya's strength and conditioning coach for many of his fights going back I believe to 2001, and Freddie Roach, two-time trainer of the year. They are joining us from Puerto Rico. Rob, if maybe you want to make some -- give some comments first and then we'll turn it over to Freddie..

ROBERT GARCIA : OK. As far as camp is going, we are probably ahead of schedule as far as comparing this camp opposed to the preparation from previous camps. Oscar is on weight as we speak and eating healthy, training hard. There has been no injuries so to speak of this camp.

He's moving around quite well and the level of sparring is probably higher than it's been with having guys like Shane Moseley around and him really being able to push Oscar. I've never seen him this focused. I think there was a big mistake for Mayweather to motivate him in this way, but that being said, I mean, that was putting the ball in our court and brought the advantage to us.

So we've been taking advantage of that motivation and we've been hard at work every day from 5:30 in the morning to 10:00 at night, you know, making this all happen to put out the best fight that we can possibly put, and I'm sure there's going to be -- sparks will be flying and it will be an electric night.

RICHARD SCHAEFER : Great. Freddie, if you would like to make some comments, please?

FREDDIE ROACH, TRAINER FOR DE LA HOYA : Well, this is my first time working with Oscar and it's been a pleasure. I'm really happy that he chose me. His work ethnic is unbelievable. He's trained really hard.

I was a little leery about it at first because he was a little bit older and so forth and a little bit, very successful and I thought his work ethnic might not be as good as it is, but it's great. Everything I ask him to do, he does, and we're working really hard with great sparring partners. And I can't wait until May 5th .

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our first question comes from Tom Stewart of the Bangor Daily News.

TOM STEWART : OK. This question is for Freddie. And Freddie, I just want to know what has surprised you the most about working with Oscar?

FREDDIE ROACH: I guess his determination, his work ethnic, because I'm used to working with guys like him and so forth, and you know, Oscar is always ready to train. But I wasn't sure how dedicated he was, but I was really surprised and happy that he's so dedicated and trains really hard.

And you know, no matter what task we tell him is in order for that day, he does it and we have a very good response. I'm really happy where we're at right now.

TOM STEWART: All right, great. And just one other follow-up question, how would you compare Oscar's punching power to other fighters that you've worked with?

FREDDIE ROACH : He's a very good puncher, has a great left hook, he has the right hand and its getting better and better. He just needs a little more confidence in it and, you know, I've worked with a lot of fighters and so forth and he has good speed also. So you know, he can knock out with one punch, but you know, he'll come with the combinations and he's got very good power.

ROBERT MORALES: Oh, good, good. You know, Roger was just talking about, you know, that Oscar's size really isn't going to help him in this fight, that it's all about skill and he started pointing out guys, you know, guys like Henry Armstrong and what Ali did to Foreman and Leonard and Hagler and that kind of thing.

What do you think about that assessment? I mean, to me, it seems like Oscar's definitely best chance is to lend that left hook and that's really his only chance of winning. What do you think?

FREDDIE ROCHE: Well, I agree. I think we'll use that size and strength, but you know, he also has great boxing ability also. I mean, it's not like, you know, Oscar is just a pure puncher.

But in this fight though, we're going to be a little more physical, but you know, he's a very good boxer and he'll set it up in those -- he'll do it intelligently.

TRAE THOMPSON: Fredy, I was just going to ask you, is there anything Oscar especially really likes working with you on while he's training?

FREDDIE ROACH: You know, we worked together on the media tour and clicked right away. We have had very good work and I think that's our favorite thing to do together is strategy because of what Floyd might do and taking advantage of his mistakes and so forth.

And we really work well together. We did 10 rounds yesterday and it's going really well.

TRAE THOMPSON : Is that something where it doesn't take long for him to kind of flip the switch when he comes in for training or does he just kind of rev up throughout the day as you all keep going?

FREDDIE ROACH: Well, we run at 5:30 in the morning. We're on the road by 6:00 and then we have some down time and then by gym time, he's, we're ready to go.

And you know, the intensity on the training is just great and, you know, every combination, we break it down on why we're doing it, you know, or the reason why and when we can use it and when we can't use it.

And he didn't really have that kind of communication before he told me, and it's working out real well because every punch has a purpose and there's a purpose behind every punch.

DAN RAFAEL: Freddie, can you just give me your assessment of what it's been like to see Oscar sparring with Shane? What's that been like?

FREDDIE ROACH: Shane can emulate Floyd a little bit and he actually has the speed, maybe even a little quicker, but the work has been great between the two. It's been our best work yet and I'd like to thank Shane. You know, I can't call him a sparring partner of course because he's a great fighter, but the work has really helped with us.

DAN RAFAEL: Fredy, how many rounds would you estimate they have sparred together for this fight?

FREDDIE ROACH: So far, I'd say about 40ish.

DAN RAFAEL: How many? 40?

FREDDIE ROACH: Yes, in that ballpark.

DAN RAFAEL: And do you sense it, you know, being maybe a little bit more competitive than it would be if it was just a regular sparring partner as opposed to someone he fought?

FREDDIE ROACH: That's what he reminds me of when they fought each other and trying to set each other up and so forth, very intelligent work and it's been great.

DAN RAFAEL: Does it ever get a little bit too heated though to get you a little concerned? Because they're both so competitive, you know?

FREDDIE ROACH: No, they both can handle themselves very well and, you know, there's no problem with that.

DAN RAFAEL: One more question for you, besides Shane, how many other guys do you have in there? And is Shane getting the bulk of the work?

FREDDIE ROACH: Shane is getting the bulk of the work, but I have three other sparring partners, two from Philadelphia and then I've got one local boy and they're very quick also. So I have four guys total and Oscar and one day he'll go with all four guys sometimes. Sometimes he'll cut it down to two, sometimes three.

RON BORGES, BOSTON GLOBE: Hey, I'm wondering, what do you have to do as a trainer, when you're coming into the situation like you are where you're dealing with a very experienced guy who has won many big fights and now you're going to work with him for the first time? What do you have to be careful to do or not do in the job that you've got?

FREDDIE ROACH: Well, you know, the biggest thing is not to try to change somebody of course, because you know, when the bell rings for the fight, they always fight their style, so the thing is, we're just improving on some moves and pretty much we're working on the strategy of the fight more than anything and how to beat this guy and how to handle him.

And what we are working on is how to handle this particular opponent. You know, Oscar has been a great fighter way before me and, you know, he's had a lot of success and so forth, but I think the, you know, the game plan for this fight, who has the better game plan, I think that will be the winner of this fight.

And we're working on it every day. It's getting better and better. It's, you know, not 100 percent yet, but we have a couple more weeks and by fight time, I think we'll be there.

RON BORGES: Is it difficult at all as the trainer and an experienced guy like yourself, when you see something that maybe you don't like yourself or that you would advocate yourself, do you have to sort of be careful a little bit or back off a little bit because he has a certain way of doing things?

FREDDIE ROACH: Well, the thing is if he has a certain way that's not effective in this particular fight, we'll stop and I'll break it down to him and explain to him exactly why, and that's been from the first day.

I said, Oscar, if I tell you to do something that you're not comfortable with, let me know because we can communicate here because if he's not comfortable with something I tell him, he's not going to do it. So if he talks to me, which we do a lot, and we'll figure out another way to go about it.

So he's been great that way and, you know, you can't -- you know, Oscar is a veteran of course and so, but he's really open to the camp some new ideas and so forth, and he's gotten them very well and we're working on it again every day.

RON BORGES: One last thing, obviously you knew he was a great fighter, but has there been anything about his skill level that surprised you at all, that he was better at something than you anticipated?

FREDDIE ROACH: Just his power is really good. He has an excellent right hand, but again, he just doesn't have really the confidence in the right hand that he does in the left, but we're working on that and he's getting better every day. And I think it will be a factor in the fight.

JIM JENKINS, SACRAMENTO NEWSPAPER : I wanted to ask you kind of as a follow-up to Ron, what's your -- your style of training Oscar, is it, would you say now that you've been with him a while, dramatically different from what -- what you've been used to before? Is there that much change in the camp?

FREDDIE ROACH: Well, I don't really know he's been doing before because I never trained with him and so forth, and I have a completely different style of course, and you know, that Floyd does.

I'm much more of an offensive minded and I think that's what it's going to take to win this fight is a more offensive fighter and more physical fighter.

JIM JENKINS: And one other thing, in your -- in your career, how would you -- two fighters looking at their styles and so forth, is there another fight in your background that you would say would be very similar to this match up?

FREDDIE ROACH: It's hard to say because this is like maybe once in a decade type match up. This is -- I think it will be the biggest fight of all time. Really, I don't really have any to compare to at this point.

TRAE THOMPSON: Yes, Freddie, just to go down memory lane a little bit, when you were around Eddie Futch, what did you learn from him about preparing fighters for big fights like this?

FREDDIE ROACH: You know, he taught me a lot about boxing. I think my success is due to him and, you know, he's a great teacher and so forth, and to me, you can't change them but you can help the guy just improving on his weak points.

And you know, the good points you really don't have to work on because they're already there, and just to get inside of his head and let him be 100 percent and I think we'll be, we're there already.

He knows how to handle every step of the way and, you know, just he taught me a lot because if you get excited around the fighter, it gets him excited and so forth. So Eddie taught me some great lessons during my term with him, but you know, I thank Eddie Futch for my success.

EDDIE GOLDMAN, SECOND OUT (ph) RADIO: OK. As you know, in this fight, Floyd is the favorite. The last time I heard, the odds is around two to one. Do you think those are accurate and if you do, what do you think Oscar has particularly to work on to win this fight?

FREDDIE ROACH: Well, I think, you know, doing this fight, we have to deal with the speed of course because, you know, he is very, very quick and he uses his speed very well. And we just have to set things up and take advantage of his mistakes that he does make, because nobody is perfect out there and he does make mistakes.

We just have to take advantage of those mistakes at the right time. We're working on it and we're working on that every day, and you know, but his speed is his biggest asset by far. I mean, you know, speed will take you a long way.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: What do you think the size difference is going to mean in this fight, if anything?

FREDDIE ROACH: Well, I think it will come into play because that's why we want to be a little more physical in this fight and, you know, fight inside when we can catch this guy on the rope, so we can catch him.

I don't think it will happen a lot though because basically he's a runner and he's going to move a lot. And I think once he feels Oscar's power, I think he'll be on his bike.

EDDIE GOLDMAN: Did you watch the Corley fight, because Mayweather had a little bit of trouble with Corley before beating him?

FREDDIE ROACH: Yes, I watched that fight and we watched the Corrales fight, probably a very good fight there, so I took that into consideration because Oscar is a little taller and so forth, and he might try the same moves.

But you know, he's a very good fighter, you know, and he's quick. But you know, Oscar, we're in great shape for this fight and, you know, we're coming to win.

JEREMY SILKOWITZ, SWANSON COMMUNICATION : Hello?

FREDDIE ROACH : Yes.

KELLY SWANSON : That's not Jeremy. Would you please identify yourself?

JEREMY SILKOWITZ : This is Jeremy. I can't talk?

KELLY SWANSON: Oh, go ahead.

JEREMY SILKOWITZ : I'm Jeremy. I want to know what scares you how to deal with Mr. Mayweather?

FREDDIE ROACH : Could you repeat that?

JEREMY SILKOWITZ : I said, I want to know the strategy and how to deal with Mr. Mayweather?

FREDDIE ROACH : Watch May 5th and you'll see it.

JEREMY SILKOWITZ : Well, I want to ask you this.

FREDDIE ROACH : And you're going to enjoy it.

JEREMY SILKOWITZ : No, I want to ask you because you're the trainer, ain't you?

FREDDIE ROACH : Yes, but I'm not going to reveal our game plan at this point.

JEREMY SILKOWITZ : Well, I don't want to ask your game plan. I just want to ...

FREDDIE ROACH : Could you speak English, please?

TRAE THOMPSON : Just a quick follow-up, now important will the mental part of this be as far as here you've got two fighters who, they have so much experience. I mean, they're not going to give up any edge to the other. I mean, will that become a critical part as far as just thinking smart in the ring?

FREDDIE ROACH: I think that's the whole fight to be honest with you. The smarter guy who can keep his game plan in order and win this fight and that's what we're doing every day. And you know, 90 percent of the fight is mental, 10 percent is physical, because everybody is in great shape for fights.

I mean, it's the mental edge that we have I feel and that's what will win the fight.

RICHARD SCHAEFER: Great. Thank you all for attending. I just have another quick update. I just got the news in and there was in the last couple of days, was a considerable move in the betting line. Mayweather is still favorite, but Oscar moved down from plus 220 to plus 165 while Mayweather moved to minus 185, so it's getting -- it's starting to get much tighter on the odds and that's just the latest as of this morning. Thank you so much for attending.

Also, on Tuesday, April 24th, will be Floyd Mayweather, and on Wednesday, April 25 th will be Oscar, and then the following week, we will see you all in Las Vegas for the much anticipated event, The World Awaits, De La Hoya versus Mayweather.

Thank you so much and have a great day.

END


De La Hoya vs Mayweather "The World Awaits" is for the WBC super welterweight championship, Saturday, May 5 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, the fight will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes and in 176 countries around the world.

On Sunday, Apr. 22 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, HBO will premiere episode two of the all-access prime time series "De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7." The four-part series, with unprecedented access, will chronicle the fighters' preparations for the May 5 mega-fight at MGM Grand and will provide viewers with a compelling look at two extraordinary champions

Article posted on 21.04.2007



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