Boxing

Robert Guerrero And Joel Casamayor Marquez Vs. Diaz Il Undercard Media Conference Call Transcript

K. Swanson: Thank you, everybody, for calling in. We did have a conference call last week with Richard Schaefer and Oscar de la Hoya to talk about our exciting card on July 31st, particularly the undercard fights, which round out the card so nicely. Richard is claiming it is one of the greatest cards that Golden Boy has put together for the viewing pleasure of all of the boxing fans out there.

Today we are going to kick off the undercard by having this call with Robert Guerrero and Joel Casamayor, who will be fighting each other in a 10-round, junior welterweight division bout. Translating for Joel Casamayor will be Luis DeCubas, Jr., who is his manager. So, without further ado I'm going to turn it right over to Richard and we can get started..

R. Schaefer:
Great. Thank you, Kelly. Just a few homework things here, we have July 31st at the Mandalay Bay an HBO Pay-Per-View fight card, headlined by Juan Manuel Marquez versus Juan Diaz for the Unified Lightweight World Championship.

The undercard, which we announced last week, got tremendous coverage and was really embraced by fight fans and by all of the media. I'm not standing alone when I say that this really is the best card we have ever put together at Golden Boy, top to bottom. In fact, many of the media outlets call it one of the greatest cards in boxing, top to bottom, presented in the last few years from any promoter period.

Before I introduce Joel Casamayor, I would like to announce as well that we have just added another fight, an IBF Super Middleweight World Title elimination bout to determine the mandatory challenger to World Champion Lucian Bute, which will be Bika versus Mendy. Bika versus Mendy is going to be a 12-round fight and we are working currently on securing a one hour free preview window so that fight fans from around the world are going to have an opportunity to see that great fight, that great battle as well.

But now, without any further ado, it is a pleasure for me to introduce to you one of the big stars of the sport, who really is the premier Cuban fighter of this era, but really has captured in the process many fight fans from around the world. He's a four-time World Champion in two different weight classes. He won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1992. He's certainly one of the craftiest and toughest boxers in the world. He has won six of his last seven bouts, including a spectacular knock out when he knocked out Michael Katsidis. His lone loss was to Juan Manuel Marquez in what ended up to be a very close fight. It is a pleasure for me now to introduce to you Joel Casamayor.

J. Casamayor:
I want to thank Richard Schaefer and Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to fight on this great card. I feel it is a great opportunity and I'm very pleased to be a part of such a big show in Las Vegas. I am training great. I'm ready to go and come July 31st there's going to be a great fight on a great card.

I'm training great; I feel great. Robert Guerrero is a great fighter and it's going to be a great fight. I want to thank Golden Boy one more time, Mandalay Bay, HBO Pay-Per-View and the Las Vegas Commission.

R. Schaefer:
Great. Thank you. He is going to be fighting across the ring form one of the young emerging stars of the sport with a record of 26 and 1, with 18 knock outs. He is already a three-time World Champion in two weight classes and is clearly one of the fight games most popular fighters, not only for his knock out abilities and talent in the ring, but also for his devotion to his wife, Casey, during her battle with cancer. Robert "Ghost" Guerrero is really an exceptional young man, a tremendous fighter with tremendous charisma and a tremendous personality and heart. His last bout was a TKO win over Robert Arrieta in April and now as a 27-year-old young man, he's looking to re-gain a world title yet again.

A win in this fight - and he knows how important this fight is for him - will put him right into the middle in the hunt for either the 135-pound or the 140-pound division. It is really an honor and a pleasure for me to introduce to you to Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero.

R. Guerrero:
Thank you, Richard. First of all, I want to thank HBO for having me on the card; also Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to be on such a great card. I'm excited to be on it and I can't wait for the fight. Joel Casamayor is going to be a hall-of-famer in the sport. He is one of the guys that I looked up to as a young fighter, also being a lefty, and I learned a lot from him. It's going to be a great fight and an interesting fight. I'm excited about it and I can't wait. The opportunity is huge and it's time one of the big names gave me an opportunity to fight them. I really, truly appreciate that Casamayor is giving me that opportunity, so I'm excited about it and I can't wait.

R. Schaefer:
Thank you, Robert. Clearly Guerrero vs. Casamayor will be a tremendous showdown; it is really a main event on its own with a great amount of fan interest in this battle. It is a pleasure to have these two world champions on the phone here.

I would like to open it up now to the media for any questions you might have for Casamayor, Guerrero or myself.

J. Casamayor:
The question was: Joel was preparing to fight Amir Khan and the Khan fight fell out; were there any big adjustments he had to make to fight Guerrero? The answer is no. I was getting prepared for Amir Khan and everyone knows that I am a warrior. I'll fight anybody in the world and it wasn't Amir Khan. It is Robert Guerrero and I made certain adjustments I had to in camp, but all I did was focus myself a little bit more and then forget about the Khan fight. I'll take care of Guerrero first and then I'll take it from there.

Q:
You've beaten Katsidis, who is now in line to be the mandatory for Marquez. You lost to Marquez, but now you're moving up and you're fighting in the higher weight class ever. What does a win over Guerrero do for you?


J. Casamayor:
You know Robert Guerrero is one of the best upcoming fighters in the world and it's always a great opportunity to bring him to my den. If I beat Guerrero, I'm in line for anybody and I could fight any fight I would want. I've been pushing Golden Boy and my manager, Luis DeCubas, because I want a rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez. I think by beating Robert Guerrero, I'll be in line for Juan Manuel Marquez or Amir Khan or whoever it is, but that's the fight I'm hoping for and it's the reason I took this fight.

Q:
Obviously, Marquez has a lot of options if he wins against Diaz. Obviously, you still have to beat Guerrero, but would you campaign at 140? This is the highest you've ever been at.

J. Casamayor:
I'm at 140 pounds right now, but as I said, if the opportunity opens itself at 135 pounds I could still probably make the weight. Whatever it takes to get Marquez back in the ring. Marquez is a great Mexican warrior. A lot of people have been asking for that rematch. It was a very, very close fight. I thought the fight was stopped unjustly, but I mean that's boxing. Basically, wherever Richard tells me there's a great opportunity at 35 or 40, whichever it is, I'm there.

Q:
Joel, you've always been very good. You have had a long, distinguished amateur career. You've always been a crafty fighter with good skills. Do you find yourself, as an older fighter, relying more on those skills?

J. Casamayor:
Of course, I think obviously when a fighter gets a little older in his career, he starts going a little more off experience. My ability is still there. One thing that has changed as the years have gone by is my focus. I'm a lot more focused now. When I was a lot younger, I thought I would get away with some of the things I did in training camp, I shouldn't have that I'm not doing now. Experience is going to be there, but the ability and the condition and everything is going to be there on July 31st."

Q:
Robert, obviously you may not be able to deal with this all on this call, but with your wife, I know kind of from a personal standpoint that the caregiver and the significant other in a relationship with someone who has cancer really has a lot to do if they're involved in the daily treatments and those types of things. Are you getting any help? Can you just kind of briefly talk about what the undertaking is in terms of caring for your wife?

R. Guerrero:
Yes. All of the family stepped up, everybody is playing their part in taking care of her. My wife is doing great. She's doing so great. That's why I'm taking big fights and getting back in the ring. If she wasn't doing too good, I wouldn't be taking any big fights because of the focus you need to be in there. With Joel Casamayor, it has to be 100 percent. She's doing excellent and the family is stepping up and taking care of what she needs and is giving me the ability to be able to just focus on the fight, train and do what I've got to do to be ready.

Q:
She may have said, "Go ahead and go back to your career," but what did it take for you inside to know that it was okay to go back? Did you have to look her in the eyes and have a heart-to-heart and say, "Are you sure it's time for me to go back?" Can you put us there?

R. Guerrero:
Being there by her side every day, every moment, you're able to see the progress and the treatments and her health. Especially her being in one of the best places in the world, Stanford, I was able to talk to the doctors one-on-one and get a read from them on how she's doing and the progress she's making, so it made the decision real easy to get back in the ring knowing that she's in the best hands in the world.

Q:
Officially, is she in remission?

R. Guerrero:
Yes. She's cancer-free. Now it's all about just maintaining and monitoring everything.

Q:
How long is the treatment?

R. Guerrero:
The treatment was a month long.

Q:
Just focusing on Casamayor a little bit, you said both of you are southpaws. He's obviously got a lot of experience. How does he compare to the people you've fought? What do you hope to gain experience-wise in this fight?

R. Guerrero:
Well, for one, Joel Casamayor is an Olympic Gold Medalist. He's had well over enough amateur fights. He's a very experienced guy, a Four-time World Champion. He's been there, done it. He's been in with the best. You've got to be on your toes with a Joel Casamayor. You can't take him lightly. Especially him being one of the elite fighters in the sport and also a lefty, you've got to take him seriously and be 100 percent ready and make sure no stone is unturned when you get in the ring with him.

Q:
Is there anybody on your resume that you can compare him with or do you expect to be shown a lot of different things that maybe you haven't seen before?

R. Guerrero:
No. Nobody can compare to Joel Casamayor on my resume. He is by far the best fighter that I'm going to be in the ring with and I'm up for the challenge. I'm excited about it.

Q:
Robert, let me start with you if you don't mind, please. You're about to take on a future hall-of-famer. I know you said that you grew up watching him. What do you remember? About how old were you?

R. Guerrero:
I actually grew up watching him. I've actually been in training camp with Joel and in Los Angeles with Joe Goossen and I learned a lot from him. He taught me a lot of things and I thank him for that, because a lot of that stuff helped me out at the beginning. I'm just excited. I can't wait to get back in. It's going to be good. It's going to be a good fight.

Q:
I asked Oscar this question I'm about to ask you and he didn't put out any names, but when they were putting together the fight card did you put any names out to Oscar, to Golden Boy or to Richard and say, 'You know what? This is who I have in my radar?' Did you do that?

R. Guerrero:
No. I just told Richard from day one; he showed me the list of the 135-pounders, 130-pounders and I told him bring anybody. I don't care who it is. I want to fight everybody. They brought me Casamayor and that's who I'll be getting in July 31st, but I want to fight everybody.

Q:
Got you. God bless everything with your wife, Casey, and your entire family. I know that you've become an advocate to raise awareness about leukemia. What have you been doing?

R. Guerrero:
Right now I've just been focusing on getting ready for the fight, but on my time off we did a lot of fundraisers. We did some wine tasting events. We did some pool tournaments. We were out there just raising awareness and raising as much money as we can for the LLS.org, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, just to give back, to help out the people that can't afford treatments or a bone marrow transplant, just to get the word out there to get onto the registry. We're doing it, and right now its time to focus on the fight.

Q:
A couple of questions for Joel through his trainer, please. Joel, Oscar, in not so many words, said that for a lot of fighters on this card that it is, I don't remember if he said must win, but he said that it's clearly a fight that they should all try to win. Do you see yourself fighting another few years? Do you see yourself not fighting if you lose this belt?

J. Casamayor:
Losing is not an option in my mind. I'm a winner. I've been a winner since the Olympic days and in the pros also. Guerrero is a great young fighter, but he stepped up too fast and he picked the wrong guy - a guy who's got his back against the wall and is so focused right now. When I'm focused, no one can beat me. I've proved that plenty of times against big fighters in big fights. Come the 31st, losing is not an option and retirement is not an option.

Q:
Robert, I've got a question. By the way, great win the other day at the event.

R. Guerrero:
Yes.

Q:
You're talking about a big fight with Joel Casamayor. Obviously, you've had some good wins over some quality opponents over the past couple of years, but as everyone knows, Casamayor is definitely your biggest fight. I know you've been kind of searching for a while for a defining fight for you, a big meeting and you're finally getting it with Casamayor. Going through your training you kind of mentioned that you've got to train very special for Joel. Can you kind of talk about what it is, what kinds of things you're doing in the gym that might be different than you've probably previously done before, whether it's technique or the type of sparring partners that you're using?

R. Guerrero:
Yes. Now everything has to change over to left-handed and get the right sparring partners. It's hard to match a sparring partner well because Joel is just so smooth and so good. Not many people can do that. It's about getting everything right and sharpening up on a lot of things and changing some things. So we're going to be ready for it. We're going to be ready. I know we're making the right adjustments to be able to put a good game plan together to beat old Joel Casamayor.

Q:
I've been telling you for quite some time now that you always seem a bit too big for your weight class. Moving up in weight now, are you feeling more comfortable in these events or do you plan on possibly going back down again?

R. Guerrero:
Yes. I mean right there, 135 pounds or 140, like Richard says, it puts you right there in line for either 135 or 140 pounds either way. I'm excited about it. I'm naturally a big guy, a naturally strong guy. I'm excited that I'm able to be right in my shoes and be able to be picking up both weight classes.

Q:
Joel, I know you've really been looking forward to a rematch with Marquez, but do you feel like there's any possibility of maybe overlooking Robert Guerrero, maybe under training as you look forward to a different fight?

J. Casamayor:
Without beating Guerrero there is no Marquez and there are no other fights. Guerrero was the first option on the table and that's the first guy we're focused on. I feel 100 percent. I'm training great. In reality it's first Guerrero and then everyone else. That's what we're going to take care of first.

Q:
My question is for Richard Schaefer. Promoters are usually thinking far ahead. What do you have planned for the winner of this fight?

R. Schaefer:
Thank you for the question. The good thing is both Casamayor and Guerrero are guys that are going to fight. They want to fight the best and the biggest names out there and they're not afraid of getting into the ring with anybody.

If Casamayor would win, this fight with Casamayor and Guerrero could become a potential fight of the year, so rematch is a possibility. There would be a possibility for the rematch with Marquez for Casamayor. Amir Khan was interested in a fight with Casamayor and there was some interest in the U.K. actually, because Casamayor is such a big name nationally. So there are many big-name options for Casamayor.

If Robert Guerrero is going to win, the same is true for him. I think Robert Guerrero has the opportunity to become one of the young, new faces, a major star, super star potential here in the United States because of the way he fights and the tremendous story he has with his wife and the kind of personality he has. I think he would be embraced, not just by the boxing fans, but by sports fans period as he has been as a Three-time World Champion. But I think a win over Casamayor really puts him in a position to go and fight a Marquez, to go and fight potentially an Amir Khan. The big names are there, and the good news is many of these big names are promoted by Golden Boy so it makes it very easy to get these fights done. I think that's what really makes this fight so intriguing.

They know how much is at stake in this particular show-down. I know that based on what I hear of Casamayor, he hasn't been taking training camp as seriously as he has been taking this one. He wants to turn back the clock. After being the undisputed lightweight champion of the world, he wants to capture the 140 pound weight class now.

The same is true for Robert Guerrero. He is motivated by the fact that his wife is doing much better. He is at ease. He's focusing on the job at hand and he knows that this fight is for him. I understand as well from his camp, people who have seen him spar, that they have never seen Guerrero as strong as he is here. I think it's one of these situations by moving up in weight that "The Ghost" Guerrero has actually gained even more power than he had before. I'm really excited about this show down and I'm excited about the opportunities ahead.

Q:
You mentioned that a lot of the big names are promoted by Golden Boy. How difficult is it to put a fight together with a big name that's not promoted by Golden Boy?

R. Schaefer
I think we have a pretty good track record. We can deliver big name fights for our fighters, regardless if they are promoted by us or not. I think the track record in that regard is pretty clear and shows that from Golden Boy, we have the commitment to get our fighters the biggest and best fights out there. Some of those names, Marquez or Diaz, Amir Khan, it's a fact: They are promoted by Golden Boy. These are some of the most popular and best names in these weight classes.

Q:
Joel, after you had the fight with Marquez you took some time off. It was over a year before you fought again in what was considered a tune-up fight. How much of the old Joel Casamayor is still there from a few years ago? You were considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters. How good are you at this point compared to the way you were a few years ago?

J. Casamayor:
On July 31st, I'm going to demonstrate what I've got left and the whole world is going to see that I am still one of the pound-for-pound guys out there. I don't want to talk much about it. I just want to show you guys, come July 31st, that I'm still the best fighter in the world.

I was going to fight Julio Diaz in April, but about six months after the Marquez fight, I hurt my back, so I took a little time off for the back injury. I feel great now and I'm ready to go. Come July 31st you'll see how much I've got left.

Q:
How do you feel about the weight issue, because you've been fighting over the years at slightly higher weights than Robert? Now this fight is at 140 pounds.

J. Casamayor:
I feel great with the weight. I feel really, really strong at 140 pounds. I forced myself a lot to make 130 and 135 pounds those years. I feel really, really strong at 140. I feel like this is the weight class for me right now and July 31st I'm going to show what type of fighter I am at 140 pounds. Hopefully, later in the year I'll be fighting a guy like Amir Khan or Marquez.

Q:
Robert, you obviously have the advantage of youth in this fight, while he has the advantage of experience. How much do you think is left of Joel Casamayor at this point in July of 2010?

R. Guerrero:
Every guy has their fight and Joel Casamayor - you can never under estimate him because he comes to fight. He comes to fight all of the time. He comes in great shape, as you've seen in the Marquez fight. He went head up with him. Unfortunately, he got caught with a good shot, but he was still right in the running. He had last year off to have a good rest and he's going to be rested up and ready to go. I know he's not one of the guys to take lightly, even though he's a little older. You've got to be in great shape for him. You've got to be always on top of it. The experience he brings to the table always brings a factor into it, so you've got to be on top of it.

Q:
Do you think he's the best fighter that you've ever fought in your professional career?

R. Guerrero:
Without a doubt. He is the best fighter I'll be getting into the ring with and I'm excited about it. What I've been begging for and starving for over the years is one of the top pound-for-pound, best fighters in the world to get in the ring with me. The 31st I'm going to have Joel Casamayor.

R. Schaefer:
First of all, a big thank you to Joel Casamayor and Robert Guerrero for taking time out of their busy training schedules in preparation of this great show down. I'd like to thank, as well, HBO Pay-Per-View, the Mandalay Bay, which is going to host the fight. Tickets are on sale for as little as $50, $100, $150, $250 and $350. You can see what many call the best card in many years from Las Vegas.

I'd like to announce as well that next week, in the next ten days actually, we are going to have the undercard press conference call with Danny Jacobs and Dmitry Pirog, the 12-round WBO World Championship for the Middleweight Title and Jorge Linares versus Rocky Juarez, the 10-round, Lightweight division bout. These will be scheduled in the next week to ten days. I'd like to thank everyone for being on this call. We'll talk to you next week. Thank you.

END OF CALL

Marquez vs. Diaz II "Fight of the Year: The Rematch" is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Marquez Boxing Promotions, and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and AT&T. The 12-round rematch of the "2009 Fight of the Year" is scheduled for Saturday, July 31 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, and will be for Marquez's Ring Magazine, WBA and WBO Lightweight World titles. The fight will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.

Tickets for Marquez vs. Diaz II are priced at $350, $250, $150, $100 and $50 and are on sale now. Tickets are available for purchase at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

NCM Fathom will broadcast Marquez vs. Diaz II in high definition LIVE to more than 270 movie theaters nationwide at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT. Tickets to see the fight on the big screen are available at theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.

Article posted on 10.07.2010



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