Jermain Taylor Conference Call Transcript

Norman Horton: Thank you and good afternoon everyone. This is Norman Horton. On behalf of Team Taylor and DiBella Entertainment, we would like to welcome and thank you for your participation today. On the line we have Jermain Taylor, his trainer Ozell Nelson, and his promoter, Lou DiBella. We will have an opening statement from Lou DiBella, and then we will open up for questions. I present, Lou DiBella.

Lou DiBella: Thank you everybody for joining us. On Saturday night the 16th, I think we have a historic night of boxing, and really one of the most justified and competitive and exciting main events that I can remember.

I was thrilled to be involved in the first fight. While the outcome wasnít what we wanted, it was a great night for boxing, and a terrific, explosive seven rounds of boxing.

On the 16th thereís a terrific undercard it features Ronald Hearns and his toughest fight to date. It features two great title fights at 115 pounds, Fernando Monteil against Martin Costillo, and Cristian Mijares, who might be the best young 15 pounder in the world, against Jose Navarro. Those are two terrific appetizers to whatís going to be a great main course.

I listened in a little bit yesterday to the phone call that Jack Loew, and Arum and Kelly Pavlik had. Theyíre very confident -- I understand their confidence, but it seemed a little bit to me like they bordered on cockiness and maybe a little bit of insulting, sort of undertone. Theyíre entitled to do that, but I think maybe if they look back on that last fight, theyíll remember a second round where the fight could easily have ended, and weíd be talking very differently on this phone call.

Kelly deserves all the credit in the world for ending that fight in the seventh round, but that fight could have easily ended in the second. I believe then that I promoted the better fighter in the contest. I believe now that I promote the better fighter in the rematch. And itís my firm belief that on February 16, that last fightís going to be erased and the result is going to be different. I also think - I anticipate that thereís going to be some questions, which Iíd like to nip in the bud right here, about the election of the rematch immediately. But I think that that is one of the reasons why I am so proud to have promoted Jermain Taylor from his first fight through his career.

He has never run away from a challenge; he has never lost confidence in himself. He has never been anything but a great champion and a great competitor, and I fully expected him to elect that rematch -- it didnít surprise me in the least. I know why he elected it -- because he knows he can win. And on February 16, he will win.

Ozell - and Ozellís back in the corner in the lead trainer. Thatís a place heís used to being; that a place he was throughout Jermainís amateur career, and he has never been out of Jermainís corner -- not as an amateur; not as a professional.

I had the chance to go camp and watch these guys work, see how hard theyíre working, see how well theyíre working, and Iím thrilled to be involved in this event. Iím thrilled that Iím going to be there on February 16, when Jermain Taylor, once again, establishes his supremacy in the middleweight classes. And, you know, Ozell and Jermain -- thereís no need for little speeches -- theyíre going to do most of their talking on the night of February 16. But weíll open it up right now for questions and get right to the meat of things and what you guys want to hear.

So, weíll open it up for questions. Go ahead Norm.

Norm Horton: Thank you Lou. Weíll take the first question now.

Chris Givens: Hey Jermain, Lou, Norm, everybody.

Lou DiBella: Hello Chris.

Chris Givens: Jermain, I know that you always have a lot of anticipation before you fight as it gets close -- weíre only ten days away now. Iím wondering if this time itís a little bit of a different sense of anticipation based on the circumstances of this fight. Is it different now than it is normally about ten days before a fight for you?

Jermain Taylor: Yes, itís very different, itís all about revenge now. Iím just going in there getting back everything this man took from me.

Chris Givens: What is training like right now as weíre getting this close to it? I mean, youíre not having to leave Vegas this time, but what - where are you right now?

Jermain Taylor: Just the other day I did about 18 rounds in the gym. Iím in great shape and itís been a great training camp here in Las Vegas. Iíve got to give it to Ozell my trainer, he stepped up, and everythingís going perfect.

Chris Givens: This time a lot of the early betting lines are out, and I think this time youíre going to be a rather heavy underdog, a position that youíre not used to. Does that change your approach to anything, knowing that youíre not going to be the favorite fighter in this one?

Jermain Taylor: Oh no, it doesnít make a difference at all. Iím going in there and take care of business. Fights that have me as the underdog are the fights when I look my best.

Chris Givens: Ozell? Are you on the line Ozell?

Ozell Nelson: Yeah, Iím here Chris.

Chris Givens: I want to ask you a question. Jack Loew, heís made this comment to the media several times recently, and he mentioned it again yesterday on the phone. When the question was asked about his thoughts of you being in the corner that his standard response has been that, ďJermain makes a lot of amateur mistakes. Heís brought a lot of mistakes with him.Ē Youíre the one who taught him those mistakes so heís happy that youíre back in the corner because you taught him those mistakes.

Wondered if you had a response for that and what your feeling on that comment is?

Ozell Nelson: Well, I would say they are the same bad habits that kept Kelly from making the Olympic team so Jack can say what he wants to say. Iím not going to get into a tick for tack with Jack. Years ago there was a hit movie ďGhost BustersĒ on February 16th we will be looking to bust the Ghost.

Chris Givens: Okay, and are you pleased at this point, with where Jermain is in training?

Ozell Nelson: Iím very pleased with Jermain. Jermain been working hard, heís been doing everything that I asked him, and we are just ready for this fight.

Chris Givens: All right, thanks guys. Iíll let somebody else get in now. Thank you.

Dan Rafael: Thanks. Hi Norm, Ozell, Lou, Jermain. How are you guys today?

Jermain Taylor: Hello Dan.

Dan Rafael: Quick question Jermain. You mentioned in some of your opening remarks about, you know, now itís about revenge, getting everything back that the man took from you. One of those things that you canít get back -- win or lose -- is the middleweight championship.

Did you give any thought to taking the fight at middleweight, even though I know your contract said you had the option to do it at 160? Thereís been a lot of debate about - or rather the contract said you could do it at 166. Did you think about maybe (unintelligible) and trying to do it at 160, and making it for the championship?

Dan Rafael: And how important, and what - and how important is that to you?

Jermain Taylor: Itís not important to me at all, but, I just want the fight to begin. I donít care what weight or whether itís for the belt or not. I just want to get in there and get back what I lost with Kelly, because I know I can beat the guy.

Dan Rafael: Do you think it detracts at all from the match? I mean itís a great fight -- we all know that -- but does it detract in any way, shape or form, maybe from the public interest that itís not a championship fight?

Jermain Taylor: I donít think so. I think that hereís a guy who beat me. He beat me for the championship, but you know, can he do it again, or was it just - or did he just get lucky? People want to see good fights and thatís what me and Kelly are going to give them.

Lou DiBella: I want to pop in here for a second.

Dan Rafael: Sure Lou.

Lou DiBella: If Jermain wasnít such a great champion, the first fight probably wouldnít have happened because guys like myself and Al Haymen were saying, ďJT, the weightís been a problem for you. You donít need this now. Go up at 68, thereís plenty of guys in the higher weight classes. Take your first fight at 68 here.Ē And what JT felt strongly about was, you know, Pavlik was there, people were saying they wanted to see the fight, and he was going to suck it up and make the weight in that first fight, no matter what to make that fight happen. And thatís because heís a great champion. He probably shouldnít have fought that fight at 60, and there was no way this one was going to be at 60.

So I mean, I think people got a sensational night of boxing the first time, one of the best middleweight fights Iíve seen since Hagler/Hearns. Arum and I have talked many times about that and heís seen them all, and we agree on that one. And youíre going to see, you know, more of the same. This fight continues now -- this epic continues into the eighth round, I think thatís what the public cares about. You know, there was no way in the world this rematch could have been at 60.

Dan Rafael: Okay. Jermain let me follow-up with what Lou was saying there. How many times have you gone over that second round in your mind, and how many times have you kicked yourself, or you know, punished yourself emotionally, mentally, for now being able to finish it when he was so clearly in trouble?

Jermain Taylor: Well, I think about it all the time. What comes into my head is how I could have trained harder or finish him off in the second round.. And all the should haves, could haves in the world is not going to change anything.

Dan Rafael: Do you watch it at all or do you just donít even bother looking at it?

Jermain Taylor: I have watched it a couple of times, but not a lot. Itís not something I like looking at.

Dan Rafael: Okay. What would you do differently if you have him in trouble in the rematch? You know, you get him hurt or you have him knocked down -- how would your approach change? You know, I can appreciate the fact you were trying to finish him off, but you know, a combination of you being unable to certainly, Kelly, his heart and his will, had something to do with that. But if it happens again, and youíre in a similar situation with the way you punch, certainly a possibility, what will you do differently if you have him in that kind of condition again?

Jermain Taylor: If I get him in that position again, Iím going to finish him. Thatís what Iím training for. I just felt like I wasted a lot of energy. I threw a lot of stupid punches and I should have put them together, gone to the body, uppercuts, I could have done a lot of things I didnít do.

Dan Rafael: You know Jermain, a lot of people would look at it say itís the second round of a fight, youíre a well conditioned professional athlete; you are a reigning world champion. How is it conceivable that somebody of your youth and experience wouldnít have energy in the second round of a fight?

Jermain Taylor: I underestimated him just a little bit and paid the price for underestimating him. Kelly was in great shape for the fight and I should have been in better conditioned for the fight, my mindset wasnít right.

With this training camp, itís all work. Iím talking about every day; Iím talking about getting up doing what Iím supposed to do every day. And it wasnít like that last camp, Iíll be honest with you.

Dan Rafael: Ozell, could you address that for a minute about, you know, what you guys have talked about or gone over in your training camp? That if Jermain does put him in a position where heís got him in trouble the way he did in the first fight, how to approach going after him to finish him off, and to still have energy, whether itís the first round of the fight, second round, or the tenth round?

Ozell Nelson: Well, in this training camp right here, weíve been doing a lot of hard digging work, lot of bag work, lot of gut-checking work. I mean like we do 12 rounds - all right were not done in 12 rounds, we going two more.

And so, I want to make sure this time around if Jermain gets him hurt in the seventh, eighth, ninth, heís out of there. Jermain is going to have the stamina, the wind, and heís got the experience to get him out of there. And he will get him up out of there this time.

Dan Rafael: One more thing for you Ozell. When you went through the first training camp with Emanuel, and you were watching the way things were going, did you have a notion that maybe Jermain was taking him a little bit lightly, or he wasnít in the great shape? Because, you know, again, you know, it seems sort of surprising that he would run out of gas in the second round.

Ozell Nelson: Well, I wanted to add a little bit more core work to it, but you know, as Emanuel Stewart being a Hall of Famer, great trainer, we both looked at Jermain in training and thought he was looking great. And so, as I guess, as we all kind of took Kelly a little lightly. We thought that Jermain was going get him out of there, but he didnít. So now, we know that Kelly comes to fight; he knows that heís in great shape, and this time that we are turning over all stones -- we are not leaving no stones unturned. Jermain will be prepared for grudge fight, toe-to-toe, we will be able to do that.

Dan Rafael: Okay. Ozell, thank you. Jermain thank you. Good luck to you guys next week.

Jermain Taylor: Thank you.

Operator: Thank you. Your next question is coming from Franklin McNeil of Star Ledger. Please go ahead.

Franklin McNeil: Hi guys, how you doing?

Jermain Taylor: All right.

Franklin McNeil: My first question is for you Jermain. It has to do with, you know, a lot is being talked about - a lot is being said about knock downs and knock outs, but when I look back at this fight, you were leading on all three judgeís score cards by a relatively large margin. And you were doing that using your speed and elusiveness, for the most part. Is that something that youíve looked back - when you look back at that fight and say, ďI was beating this guy.Ē Do you take anything from that?

Jermain Taylor: I do. I mean I was beating this guy half-ass. I wasnít even all the way there. I mean, to be honest with you, in those later rounds, I went into a survival mode.

I was tired, and I just felt like I didnít do what I was supposed to do in training camp. And this time Iím doing exactly what Iím suppose to doÖ I feel like I lost what it took to become world champion and thatís why Iím not world champion anymore.

Franklin McNeil: And leading in to that fight, Manny for the most part, was talking about you having to look spectacular, knock-outs, things of that nature. Is it more important, at this point, to look spectacular or to do what Jermain does best, and just win this fight using all your tools? Whatís more important now?

Jermain Taylor: Just go in there and win this fight. I should have been more relax in this fight. I wasnít even trying to feel him out. I caught him with something that I didnít even know hurt him. Preparation is important and I will be well prepared for this fight and come away with a victory

Franklin McNeil: And also in the previous fight, a lot was made of peopleís perception of you, that you had to look good again. Is that something youíve put behind you? Is this about, just Jermain Taylor or this again, trying to prove something to fans and people even in your hometown?

Jermain Taylor: Iím not trying to prove nothing to nobody. Iím not trying to prove nothing. Itís all about me this time. Itís all about going in there and just making Kelly look like nothing. I was beating him on just half-ass stuff, so imagine whatís going to happen this fight.

Franklin McNeil: And one more question. You have to go to the catch weight. Kelly Pavlikís perspective is that heís big or heís stronger -- that the catch weight of 166 is going to be advantageous to him. Why is it advantageous to you? Why is coming in heavier going to be advantageous to you in this fight?

Jermain Taylor: Itís just easy. I mean, itís easy Iím making the weight, and I was moving up one way or another. I have been fighting at 160 since I turned pro and it was time.

Franklin McNeil: Okay, thanks guys. Thanks a lot.

Tom Pedulla: Yeah, hey Jermain. I wanted to ask you about the decision to make Ozell the lead trainer. Can you just talk about what went in to that and what was, I guess, the dissatisfaction with Manny Stewart?

Jermain Taylor: I canít speak nothing bad about Manny Stewart. Heís a Hall of Fame trainer and a friend of mine. The chemistry just did not flow over from training camp when it came fight time. He taught me a lot and I learned a lot from him. I still use some of the things he taught me in the gym, right now.

And, as far as me and Ozell, heís been with me from the start. He built the engine. Ozell is much, much more than a trainer to me in the ring and out. He knows me and knows what buttons to push to get the best out of me.

When I started boxing it was all about hard work -- all about hard work and dedication. And if you put 100% in, you get 100% out. I just feel like these last few fights I havenít been doing that. I havenít been going 12 rounds in the gym like I used to go. I havenít been getting up every morning and doing my five miles of road work. I havenít been doing it.

In this training camp, thatís exactly what itís back to. Itís back to Ozell, its back to hard work; itís back to getting up every morning and doing what I was supposed to do. In which I know what Iím supposed to do, I just wasnít doing it.

Tom Pedulla: So in other words, he just has the ability to get that out of you?

Jermain Taylor: He does and I know everything will turn out just fine. I want to please him and I know he wants me to look good. I want to go in there and do exactly what Iím suppose to do.

Tom Pedulla: Ozell, could you maybe address why you feel youíve been able to get to Jermain in that way, and bring out the best in him?

Ozell Nelson: Just like Jermain was saying weíve been together forever. I know him and he know me, and he know that when I took him on a brick job, I let him look at me -- watch me work -- everything. I worked hard all day, and he saw the effort that was put in. I was teaching him hard work and dedication and I let him know I was expecting the same thing out of him. Hard work and dedication -- do what you suppose to do.

So, on that note, we work real good together, and he knows that itís back to hard work and dedication, and thatís what it takes.

Tom Pedulla: Thank you.

Tim Smith: Good afternoon guys. Jermain, just sort of listening to what you were saying and the questions about the training in the previous fights and in particular, this previous fight with Pavlik. It sounds like maybe you knew the things that you should have been doing, but you were not doing them. And you didnít feel like maybe you were getting - you were being motivated to maybe get out of bed and run at, you know, 5 oíclock in the morning and do the five miles?

Iím wondering if you - if maybe you began to just sort of, you know, take things for granted that you were still the champion. That, you know, even though you had a couple of lackluster fights, that maybe you didnít feel like you needed to push yourself as hard? I mean, can you sort of speak to that a little bit? I mean, I donít know whether that was the case or not, but Iím asking you.

Tim Smith: Did you just sort of take things for granted a little bit maybe?

Jermain Taylor: Yes, thatís exactly what happened. I took it for granted. In the sport of boxing, you canít take things for granted. Because in boxing, anything could happen in the ring. And itís all about being in shape. A person can win a fight just by being in shape, and Kelly proved that. I know what it took to get there, and I wasnít doing it. So yes, I took it for granted.

Tim Smith: At what point in the fight with Pavlik did you say, ďOh boy, Iím in trouble here?Ē in terms of just your physical conditioning?

Jermain Taylor: I would say somewhere around the sixth, seventh round where I started getting real tired. And then I started going into a survival mode, backing up to the rope, I just wasnít doing what I was supposed to do. But I knew that I was still in the fight and one punch can change anything and I knew I had enough of a punch to take him out.

Tim Smith: Looking back at that fight, you said youíve only watched it a couple of times, but Iím sure you picked up on some of your mistakes. Other than just the physical conditioning, what do you think, strategy wise, was perhaps one of your biggest flaws in that particular fight?

Jermain Taylor: Strategy wise, I couldnít tell you. With Kelly you know how heís going to fight, he comes right at you, he got a good punch and he comes to fight.

Tim Smith: Okay. Would you be satisfied winning a decision in this fight? Will that satisfy you?

Jermain Taylor: Well, first I want to win the fight, if itís a knockout, decision, TKO, I will take it, but I would like to put something on him sending a big statement.

Tim Smith: Mmm-hmm. Okay. All right so; weíll see you next week, and success to you. Thanks a lot.

Eddie Goldman: Thank you. Hi Jermain, hi Lou, hi everybody. Howís everybody doing today?

Jermain Taylor: How you doing?

Eddie Goldman: Good, thank you. Jermain, at the pre-fight press conference for the first fight, you may remember Emanuel Stewart got up and gave a very impassioned speech, saying that you were still a better athlete than Kelly Pavlik. You had better amateur credentials, better pro credentials, had fought much better fighters than he had. Do you think any of that contributed to you in under-estimating him before that fight?

Jermain Taylor: I donít know. A lot of things could havecontributed to that.. Just by me being world champion, beating the guys that I wasnít supposed to beat. Going to the Olympics, a lot of things. I got too comfortable. I could sit here and make excuses all day, but it really dosenít make a difference. I didnít do what I was supposed to do and he capitalized on it.

Eddie Goldman: Whatís going to be going through your mind differently this time, as you approach the fight? And what was going through your mind as you got in to that fight?

In other words, how mentally, youíre going to be looking at him -- also, since you fought each other, you each traded punches, and you know his power and his strengths.

Jermain Taylor: I know that Iím in tip-top shape now. I know that I can go 12 rounds easy. I thought in that last training camp, I didnít know that I could go 12 rounds, and Iíll be honest with you, because I didnít go 12 rounds in the gym it show in the last fight. Iím much better prepared for this fight physically and mentally.

Eddie Goldman: So thatís what your training is focused on now?

Jermain Taylor: Going into this fight, I know that Iím in tip-top shape. Knowing you are in shape mentally and physically is a good feeling to have going into this fight. I have something to prove to a lot of people.

Eddie Goldman: Do you want to make a prediction for this fight or just see what happens?

Jermain Taylor: Iím not going to make any prediction about this fight, it all business and I have to take care of my business and thatís victory

Eddie Goldman: Weíll do that. Okay, good luck on the fight.

Jermain Taylor: Thanks.

Michael Woods: How you doing? Thanks for taking the time. First question is for Lou, and then Iíd like, after Lou speaks, to get Ozell, and then Jermain to weigh in on it.

Lou, Iím wondering what were some of the things that you heard in the conference call that led you to label Loew and Pavlik bordering on cocky, and you referred to the insulting undertones. What did you hear?

Lou DiBella: I think I heard the same things all of you did, and a couple of guys made reference to it. There were pot shots taken at, you know, Jermainís quote-unquote, amateur style, you know, Ozell teaching him his mistakes. Well, if Ozell taught him his mistakes, he also taught him enough to beat Bernard Hopkins twice to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world, and to have been in a position where he was seconds away, and one punch away from having Kelly flat on his back.

So I found that a little bit insulting, and frankly Iíve always respected Jack Loew and I thought heís been a class act. I felt that there were a lot of comments on that call that were, you know, derogatory. But you know the truth, I liked it. I liked it because if theyíre that cocky, theyíre making a big frigging mistake. And I hope they are that cocky.

Michael Woods: Mmm-hmm.

Lou DiBella: If theyíre that cocky, Iím confident that the next time heís doing the chicken dance, heís not going to finish the round.

Michael Woods: Mmm-hmm. Ozell, what about what Lou just said? Are you seeing them as being over confident?

Ozell Nelson: Well, I donít really know Jack that well, but, people say a lot of things and they won the fight and if he wants to talk the talkÖ be it. Iím not concerned about anything that Jack is saying.

Michael Woods: Mmm-hmm.

Ozell Nelson: They call Kelly Pavlik the ghost, well Jermainís gone be the ghost buster come February, just like the hit movie ďGhost BustersĒ..

Michael Woods: Mmm-hmm.

Lou DiBella: So youíre going to be calling us the ghost busters after the 16th.

Michael Woods: All right. Iíll be calling you the ghost busters after the fight. JT, what about it man? Are those guys being insulting and derogatory? Is this getting you pissed off?

Jermain Taylor: Have you notice the only person really talking is Kellyís trainer, not Kelly. Jackís not in the ring, Kelly knows what happen in the second round and that fight should have been over. His ass was beaten and he knows it, but I give him credit, he got up and did what he had to do to win the fight.

Lou DiBella: I mean one thing to be clear aboutÖ

Michael Woods: Yeah.

Lou DiBella: Weíre not losing sleep over it. No oneís upset here.

Lou DiBella: If thatís how theyíre walking into this fight, then they may have a much longer night than theyíre anticipating -- or maybe a much shorter one.

Michael Woods: Mmm-hmm. And last thing JT; is there a possibility that this loss was maybe the best thing that happened to you because it worked you up out of a malaise?

Jermain Taylor: I know what it took to get here, and I know what took in my life. It was a wake-up call for me and sometimes we that in life. Yes, it made turn out to be the best thing that happen to me.

Jermain Taylor: Because right now, I feel like Iím at the top of my game. I feel like Iím in shape, Iím going 12 rounds with no problem. Iím doing all kind of hard work; Iím doing whatever I want to do in the ring. I feel very good mentally and physically

Michael Woods: Yeah. Itís funny, after the call yesterday I thought those guys were doing a really good job, like psychological preparation, everything. Kelly sounded great, and Iím like, damn, Iím leaning towards them. And then Iím hearing you guys today, and Iím leaning towards you, and so Iím feeling like itís a 50/50. Good luck. Thanks everyone, I appreciate it.

Jermain Taylor: All right, appreciate it.

William Trillo: Thanks for taking my call Jermain. Jermain, you just said a few minutes ago that you had lost something over your last three fights. And thereís no denying, even your own trainer there, you know. Weíre all going to agree than Emanuel Stewart is a world-class trainer, and thereís no denying that youíre a world-class, top of the rung, fighter.

How is it that that combination didnít work, and how -- bottom line -- how did you lose the fire in those three fights?

Jermain Taylor: I donít know about the combination of things that didnít work. I mean, me and Manny are friends and I still talk to him today. You know, heís a great guy, I love him to death. I think it was more me. It was more of my mindset than anything. I wasnít doing what I was supposed to do. I wasnít thinking the way, how I used to think. I get up in the morning and run. You know, just because this is what I do, Iím a boxer, this is what I do. Like I said before, it was a wake-up call for me

William Trillo: Did you know back then that you were cutting corners, or did it take that loss for you to finally realize that the corners were being cut?

Jermain Taylor: It took that long. It took me getting my butt kicked -- and just like I said on the call, it was just a shame to say that, but thatís the truth. And you know, if you know anything about me man, Iím going to keep it real with you whether it hurt me or help me, whatever. Iím going to keep it real with you. You know, itís a shame to say that, but thatís what it took. It took a butt kicking to get me back on track and now I feel like Iím back on track and canít nobody beat me when Iím at the top of my game.

William Trillo: Lou, back during those fights where Jermain was winning, but was winning with criticism -- Iím sure you wonít deny that -- did you see the fire was lost? Was there a concern in you? And going into the first Pavlik fight, did you feel that the fire that Jermain possessed when he beat Bernard was no longer there?

Lou DiBella: You know, I - you know itís easy to say that kind of thing with 20/20 hindsight, but whatever you say about Jermain and however heís looked at in the ring when heís had a bad night or - heís a professional. He always conducts himself like a professional so, I never walked in thinking, ďNo heís unprepared, no he doesnít have the fire.Ē

And in fairness to him also, a couple of those fights that we made for him -- and Iím talking about the business people, and people around him -- because Jermain would fight anybody, were not the kind of fights youíre going to walk in and look great in. I mean, try looking great against Winky Wright or Cory Spinks.

William Trillo: Agreed.

Lou DiBella: So, you know, there was that aspect. In the Pavlik fight, I got a little worried when there were all the prognostications of, ďweíre going to knock him out in two or three roundsĒ, etcetera. And you know, as Jermain said, Emanuelís a great, great trainer, and thereís no pointing to where the problem lied, but thereís also no question that there was some issue with communication. There was some issue with that corner gelling during those fights.

And maybe also as Jermain, you know, like said, he keeps it real. You know, itís an athlete himself -- heís the guy that gets into the ring, you know. I donít get into the ring and no matter how much, you know, Ozell Nelson or Manny Stewart had to do with helping him prepare, the guy that walks into that ring is Jermain Taylor.

So, you know, Iím confident now. I hear the hunger again, I hear the desire, and I hear the fire that, you know, itís hard to hear when youíre already sitting at the top. When you get knocked down, and you got to be man enough to get up, thatís when you want to hear what youíre hearing right now, and Iím very confident right now, that this is the best of Jermain Taylor and that heís going to walk into that right and take care of business, you know. IÖ

William Trillo: WellÖ

Lou DiBella: Öthink itís human nature that when youíve had fights after - you know, when you go back-to-back with Bernard Hopkins, and follow it up with Winky Wright, that at some point thereís going to be a letdown. Itís also human nature that when you work your whole life to get out of poverty, and all of a sudden youíre sitting on millions of dollars, thereís going to be a letdown. Sometimes you need to be kicked in the ass to get motivated again. So, you know, Jermain Taylor is always be - is always going to be, you know, has always been a professional. Heís always been a terrific athlete; now heís a motivated, hungry athlete again, and I think youíre going to see something special on February 16.

William Trillo: Great answer Lou.

Jermain, youíve always been stand up with us. Good luck next week, we look forward to the fight.

Jermain Taylor: Okay, thank you.

John Whisler: Hey Lou, how are you doing?

Lou DiBella: Good John.

John Whisler: Well, you touched on it kind of already, you know, with Manny. I think there was some sense that under him, that, you know, it wasnít clicking with Jermain and Manny, it wasnít working. And some had even said to me that almost looked like Jermain had regressed a little bit. You know, through his career, it may not have been fair, but even in winning, people would say, I think, kind of the consensus was, ďheís a great athlete, a good fighter, but he has just not put it all together yet.Ē Is that fair, and is that accurate at all?

Lou DiBella: Well, if you watch Hopkins 1 and 2, I donít think itís fair or accurate. I mean, I think, look at Bernard Hopkinsí career and look at those two fights. You know, I donít care how close you thought the first one was, Jermain fought him second-to-second, round-for-round. You know, I thought we won the fight, but as even as you can be, and I didnít think there was a question in the world that we won the second fight. SoÖ

John Whisler: Mmm-hmm.

Lou DiBella: Öthis is a young man that walked in there and beat a guy thatís going to go in to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, and beat him twice as a young fighter. No, I donít think that thereís been a - that Jermainís careerís been a disappointment by any means.

Do I think that youíve seen the best of Jermain Taylor yet, no? But Iím going to emphasize ďyetĒ, you know. I think that after those Hopkins wins, to put him in a situation that we put him in -- and Iíve, you know, Iíve been with Jermain since he turned pro so I take some of this responsibility. You know, to make a Winky Wright fight where itís impossible to look good, to make a Cory Spinks fight when itís impossible to look good. I mean, to some extent, we set him up for some of the criticism he had.

And with respect to the Kelly Pavlik fight, well you know, Jermainís taken all the responsibility himself, and thatís because heís a man, and a champion. When he gets in there and he beats the you-know-what out of this kid on February 16, I think that a lot of these questions will stop.

And Iíll also remind you heís still - this is not a thirty-something year old athlete, this is still an athlete in his 20s, and I expect to see -- I think the best is yet to come.

Jerry Glick: Hello everybody, I hope I find everybody well.

Jerry Glick: Jermain, when you had him hurt in the first fightÖÖI know you chased after him and you kind of ran out of gas, but what do you feel you did wrong technically, as a finisher? Could there have been anything else that you could have done at that moment? And did you do anything in training to rectify that?

Jermain Taylor: I could have did a lot of things different. You know, hit the body and make him bring his hands down, and then go back to the head. I could have done a lot of things different. And what Iím doing in the gym is Iím working the body, Iím throwing a lot of punches to the body and using my jab the way Iím suppose to.

Jerry Glick: Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to Lou at the Broadway Boxing press conference, and he mentioned that youíre a 175 pound body, who was in a 160 pound division, and now 166. Can you comment on that, on your - on that youíre really more of a light heavyweight or are you not?

Jermain Taylor: Iíve heard that a lot and fighting at 160 for my entire career was hurting me. I glad to be fighting at this weight. I was moving up anyway.

Jerry Glick: All right, thank you very much and I wish you luck.

Jermain Taylor: Thank you.

Norman Horton: Weíre going to take one more questions then weíre going to be closing this teleconference. Next question..

Norman Horton: Last question.

Rizwaan Zahid: Hey Jermain, howís it going?

Jermain Taylor: Going good. How you doing?

Rizwaan Zahid: Iím all right man. Just a quick couple of questions. Itís like, I guess - Iím not sure if itís been asked yet, but if you win this fight with Kelly, will there be a third fight?

Jermain Taylor: When I win this fight with Kelly, I donít care. Like I told you man, like I told everybody, I donít care. Whoever they put in front of me, thatís who I fight. If they bring them to me I will fight whoever; it doesnít make a difference.

Rizwaan Zahid: Okay. And, just another one. Okay, well after Pavlik, letís say you beat him, what - I mean with Calzaghe moving up, is there any other one, I mean anyone specifically at least, you want to try to hit in this middleweight division?

Lou DiBella: Iím going to have to jump in right here.

Rizwaan Zahid: Whatís that?

Lou DiBella: Weíre focused on February 16, and itís my job to go to Jermain with the biggest opportunities and the biggest stuff thatís out there. Iím already starting to look in to it, but Iím not discussing with him orÖ

Rizwaan Zahid: Okay.

Lou DiBella: Öor with anybody else, what follows Kelly Pavlik because we have business to take care of on February 16, and itís serious business.

Rizwaan Zahid: Okay, fair enough.

Lou DiBella: When Jermain, when Jermain beats Kelly Pavlik, then frankly weíre going to have every opportunity in the world to fight whoever we want, from Joe Calzaghe to Roy Jones, to anybody else out there. The only thing I can tell you with certainty is we will never fight at 160 pounds again.

Rizwaan Zahid: Okay, fair enough. Just one more quick one if you donít mind? What would you say, just to sum it up quickly, what you say was your weakest point in the first fight, and like, maybe not necessarily what you lack in skill or what you didnít do. What would you plan to do in the second fight a little differently?

Jermain Taylor: Just train a lot harder. Thatís all I can tell you man. Just train a lot harder than what I did in that first training camp. Just train, go in there with the mindset of knowing that you in the best shape of your life. And not just talking it, actually being in the best shape of your life.

Rizwaan Zahid: Okay. Okay, great man. Anyway, just good luck next week, and weíll see the fight, and good luck.

Jermain Taylor: Thanks.

Norman Horton: Iíd like to thank everyone. And in closing, Ozell, Jermain, or Lou, do you have any closing remarks?

Jermain Taylor: I donít have any.

Lou DiBella: Just from my standpoint, be there on February 16, because youíre going to see history, youíre going to see one of the best pay-per-view fight cards in recent years, and youíre going to see a rematch thatís going to live up to all the hype. And youíre going to watch Jermain Taylor regain middleweight supremacy.

And thank you all for joining us and I look forward to seeing you on February 16.

Norman Horton: Thank you Lou, Jermain and Ozell. This will close our conference call.

Article posted on 09.02.2008

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