OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions: Thank you for joining us on the international media call for David Lemieux versus Glen Tapia, which will be the co-main event for the exciting upcoming battle between Canelo Alvarez versus Amir Khan on May 7 at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
This will be the first of our series of weekly media conference calls with the under-card fighters for Canelo versus Khan.
On Cinco de Mayo weekend, Canada’s biggest boxing star and former IBF world champion, David Lemieux, with a record of 34-3, 31 knockouts, will be looking to make an impression and use his power against a swift contender from Passaic, New Jersey, Glen ‘Jersey Boy’ Tapia. He has a record of 23-2, with 15 knockouts. That will be a 10-rounder in the middleweight division, which will be the co-main event.
David Lemieux is back and ready to be on top of the middleweight division on May 7th. Glen Tapia is ready to rise to the challenge with this exceptional opportunity to showcase that he is a serious and dangerous contender in the middleweight division.
This co-main event between David and Glen will surely be a thrilling, action-packed bout. That is what I sought out to do with this under-card, is obviously give the fans watching in person and those watching the Pay-Per-View broadcast the best bang for their buck with exciting fights.
Tickets are available and going really fast. People are really excited about experiencing the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. People are really going to get a great thrill out of being there live in person. If you can’t be there live in person in Las Vegas, obviously you can order it on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Lastly I just want to thank our sponsors, Cerveza Tecate, Born Bold, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Casa Mexico tequila, and DOOM Fight Like Hell on May 13th.
So let me go with the participants. First off we’ll start off with Glen ‘Jersey Boy’ Tapia. He is known as one of the most exciting fighters to watch in the sport with a record of 23 wins, 2 losses and 15 knockouts. He’s been a professional since 2008.
Glen is a tough fighter who has taken some of the fiercest opposition in the sport, including James Kirkland and Daniel Thompson, Michel Soro. He’s one of the most decorated amateur fighters of his time. Glen has competed for the NABO and USBA super welterweight titles.
Glen will look for an opportunity to start off 2016 with a victory when he faces power-puncher David Lemieux on May 7th.
To all the media, I’m happy and excited to put on this great card. Without any further ado, let me introduce to you Glen ‘Jersey Boy’ Tapia.
GLEN TAPIA, Middleweight Contender: How you doing, man? How you doing, Oscar?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Good. Talk about how excited you are, and about your training.
GLEN TAPIA: I’m so excited. It’s a big fight, a big card. It’s a big opportunity. It’s just amazing. I feel so good. You know what makes it even a little bit better, everybody doubted me, you know, so when I go out there and win, it will make it better. I just can’t wait. I thank you, Oscar, for the opportunity.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Beautiful. Now we can turn it to questions from the media, please.
Q. Glen, listen, I look at this matchup. I think it’s probably going to be exciting. I look from your end of things. You have three things going against you here. You’re coming off a year layoff, you’re coming off a knockout loss, and you’re moving up in weight, going in with David Lemieux. Most guys might have one bout to shake off some rust, test out the new weight. You’re going right into this kind of fight at 160 pounds. Explain, describe or talk about your rationale for taking on this kind of situation given the three things I just outlined.
GLEN TAPIA: Yes. On paper, looks bad. Like you said, I’m moving up in weight. I just lost my last fight, as I said before. I’m not just moving up a weight, I’m moving up a weight to fight one of the strongest punchers in the division.
It looks wrong. I know the people, everybody will look at it like, Oh, man, this is a bad call, why he’s doing it? That’s not my job to even care about that, you know. Most guys that are talking are the critics and everybody. They’re not in the gym with me. They’re not training. They don’t see my practice. I really can’t worry about that. I just have to worry about being 100 percent in shape. I’m training hard every day, just going in there and handling my business.
Q. Did you give any thought, Glen, or your manager, the people around you, about potentially maybe getting a fight under your belt, see how you feel at 160, get over that knockout in the ring? Was that your decision or was everybody on the team on the same page about the situation?
GLEN TAPIA: That fight came up first. Then it’s like we can do something else. I said, No, no. I didn’t want something else. This is perfect, a perfect opportunity. What a way to start 2016, huh?
I’ve been in the gym since, like, I didn’t fight in 10 months. I’ve been in the gym for, like, nine months working, working, working, understanding it was a mistake. It was a diet issue. It was something that really happened during that fight. So people look at me like I was weak or whatever. It was because I really had to lose like 13 pounds, 14 pounds in two days.
Boxers understand, the whole camp, I was in camp for five weeks after the Dawson fight. I was training to lose weight. I wasn’t even training for boxing. If you’re a boxer, you understand those are two different training sessions, you know? It was just to kill myself. It was all wrong.
After this fight, the whole world doubted me. Rightly so. They’re not wrong for doubting me. They’re not even wrong for feeling this way. I understand why they feel this way, because I put myself in that position. I lost my last fight. I’m the one that did it. I’m the one that went through all this stuff with my last fight, you know.
In my mind, I just had to stay positive for these nine months, ten months, working hard, hard, hard, hard, not even knowing when I’m going to fight. They tell me this day, they tell me November, then November the whole card got canceled. Then they told me December. Then they told me I’m not going to fight then. Then they told me January. To stay consistently in the gym and work and work and work and work –
Q. Oscar, you heard the things that Glen was talking about as far as the layoff and moving up, not doing things right. What is your take on the notion here that we have two fighters who are action fighters, both punchers, both coming off of knockout losses going into a tough fight?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: My take is it’s going to be a make-or-break fight for both guys. I think that’s what really makes it exciting, is that both guys know that they have to perform.
David Lemieux is, you know, coming back and wants to prove to everyone that he still belongs in the top of the middleweight division and is going to be world champion again. Glen Tapia, he has to go out there and prove that he is a middleweight that he can compete against the best middleweights in the world. So I think it’s going to be a terrific fight.
And you take a look at Andre Ward, who just fought last Saturday, had a year layoff. He looked terrific. He looked amazing. Like Glen was saying, he was in the gym, he was training. So I think that long layoff maybe did him some good.
Q. Glen, now that you’re back, I had one more question for you. When you were talking before you got cut off, you were talking about how you were going to fight in November, December, January. You were still promoted by Top Rank at that point. What was the situation regarding the contract there?
GLEN TAPIA: No, they didn’t release me because of that. It was actually just a great opportunity they saw. We can’t give you something like that, something so big like this, so why not take it. They just released me. It wasn’t nothing. No bad blood. See, this is a business, man. I understand the business side of it. I’m not going to sit here and start talking bad about the promotion.
I put myself in that position and I take full blame to be in that position. That’s why I was training every day, like I was saying before. I was training, training, training, and staying motivated because I knew something was going to come. Even though it was so hard to keep training and stay motivated, I just knew I had to stay focused and train hard because something was going to come.
It ended up coming bigger than it was. Oscar, I got this call from them. It ended up being bigger than it was, than I expected, than anybody expected. This is a great opportunity, you know. My job is to prove you guys wrong, you know. So it’s going to be kind of fun, you know, for me, because I like that. I’ve been counted out a lot, so it is what it is. I just got to work hard, work hard, just show you guys 100% Glen.
Q. Oscar, what are the expectations on this card, on this Pay-Per-View card? Do I see Glen Tapia and David Lemieux as possible rivals, opponents for Canelo down the line?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Look, we expect a huge event on May 7th. All indications show that this is a major Pay-Per-View event. The fact that we have great sponsors, the fact that we have two great fighters, the fact that the whole card from top to bottom is stacked, a brand-new arena in Las Vegas, it’s going to be a blockbuster event.
And, yes, I do see the winner from Glen Tapia and David Lemieux facing Canelo down the line. This was obviously by design. Right now Canelo is the man in boxing and he’s the Pay-Per-View star.
I believe that Glen Tapia and David Lemieux are more than capable to showcase their talent and give you guys a great show, and possibly be in line to fight Canelo. This is why this fight is so important for both fighters, as well.
Q. Glen, how do you feel right now with this possibility of having Canelo down the line in the future? David Lemieux is a big puncher, but I think that you got a great punch, too. How motivated are you with this opportunity with Canelo down the line?
GLEN TAPIA: It’s great because he’s a great fighter, he’s a great champion. He’s becoming a legend. He’s done so much in this sport. It’s great. It’s motivational. It’s beautiful in the future, you know.
But I just got to worry about Lemieux. I can’t really worry about nobody else. I got to worry about Lemieux and just get through this fight. I can’t really think about Canelo or anything. He’s a great fighter. He’s done so much. Being so young, he’s my age. So, you know, he’s accomplished so much in this sport. So God bless him. I hope we do meet in the future because that means I did good in this fight (laughter).
Q. The Canelo fight, do you think this different weight will show a difference in the result?
GLEN TAPIA: The critics are making it worse than it is. Some of the boxing critics, man, it looks like they hate boxing because every fight they see that the promoters make, they talk bad about it. This one sucks. This one sucks.
I feel like this is a great fight. This is a great challenge for both guys. This is what the sport is about, taking challenges, going out there and taking a big challenge. It’s so big because first Kahn is going up in weight to take a big challenge, a big step. Then Canelo is going out there to fight a guy that’s a great fighter, man.
Kahn is a great fighter. Canelo is a great fighter. Canelo is a big puncher. It’s going to be fun to see what Kahn tries to do to win this fight, you know, if he boxes, if he tries to stay in there a little bit. You never know.
Kahn can use his speed and box around. He could possibly win this. Canelo is smart. He’s a smart boxer, too. He’s not just dumb. He’s not just going to go in there and brawl with you, throw some dumb punches or get hit with some stupid punches. He knows what he’s doing in there. It’s going to be fun to watch. I can’t wait to watch it.
Q. Glen, you lost your last two fights after starting your career 20-0. A loss here, though, things might change. Is this a desperation time for you in your career? Is Lemieux fighting you at the worst possible time, do you think?
GLEN TAPIA: No, I didn’t lose my last two fights.
Q. Two of the last five.
GLEN TAPIA: Okay. Yeah, desperation, no. I don’t know. Everything is on the line for me, you know, it’s do-or-die. I understand how big this is for me. This could either keep me in the game or get me the hell out the game. So I understand how important it is.
I just understand my skill. I understand what I can bring to the table. I feel like I haven’t showed it to you guys. I haven’t showed it to anybody because I was killing myself going down to 154.
Freddie Roach was telling me before, when I first came with him, after the first fight, I knocked out the first kid. He’s like, You should move up to 160. I think you should move to 160. He kept telling me that through the years. I never understood what he meant. I used to think in my mind, I’m knocking these guys out. Why is he tell me to move up to 160? I’m beating these guys easy.
After this fight he told me why, the reason why he was telling me that. He said because I wasn’t looking like I’m looking in the gym. Like he says, like these fighters like Pacquiao, all these guys, they see how I look in the gym. They think I’m an amazing fighter.
Then when I fight, I’m losing in the gym going down in weight, just killing myself to go down there. People don’t understand how big I am. I am a really tall guy. So going down the weight was just killing me.
I feel so happy now after eating. This is a whole different thing, you know. People don’t understand weight, how losing that weight, what it can do to you, how it can affect you. It was affecting me a lot, from my skills, from everything, in my last fight.
Q. What is it about your opponent Lemieux that most concerns you?
GLEN TAPIA: Concern? I don’t know. I don’t really feel concerned. He has good power. He has good pressure. He could come in, he has good pressure. He got good power, I guess.
Q. Glen, you talk about how it’s a big difference for you to fight at middleweight than at 154. In 154 you probably come in a little bit lighter. Are you coming in heavier and maintaining?
GLEN TAPIA: No, see, what happened in my last bout, I came in like 176 in the beginning of the camp. I only had six weeks, five weeks to lose weight. It was stupid. I should never have done it.
But now I’m walking around like 168, 169. I’m not really killing myself. Even me walking around 171, 172 is not really too much. But I’m getting down there real easy. I’m thinking about probably in a couple weeks I’ll be 164, just walking around 164 the whole time, not really worrying about the weight. That’s not even an issue.
I’m eating good. I’m healthy. I’m just feeling good. My body feels good. I’m running longer. I’m training longer. It just feels good, man, you know.
Q. Do you feel like people overlook the fact you might be catching Lemieux at the right time? He’s coming off the knockout loss and he just missed weight for his last fight which got canceled. There’s the possibility he’s killing himself to make weight, practically in the same position you were a year ago.
GLEN TAPIA: I guess, but not really. He lost against GGG. His résumé is better than mine. For me to sit here and act like I’m better than him and I’m this, I’m that, it would be stupid. It would be ignorant.
I’m humbled enough to understand on paper he’s a better fighter than me. But I’m here to prove that he’s not, you know. So that’s the whole challenge. That’s why this is a great fight.
Q. Oscar, with Golden Boys signing Glen Tapia, was the intention to immediately match him up with David Lemieux or was this a long-term deal?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: I remember Glen Tapia fighting against Kirkland. The heart he showed, the power, the skills that he has. Like Glen mentioned, you know, he’s a big kid. He’s a big fighter who belongs in the middleweight division with his frame.
It makes a huge difference when you have to kill yourself to make weight. It makes a huge difference when you can eat better, when you can train, spar more rounds, run more miles. It changes your mentality when going up in the ring and facing guys like David Lemieux. Glen Tapia, it was a perfect fit for Golden Boy because he’s a skillful fighter, a fighter with a lot of potential. And, you know, he has a tough challenge in front of him May 7th.
Q. Glen, you mentioned Lemieux fighting Triple G in his last fight. He had a hard time. What can you take away from that performance against Triple G in terms of applying it for this fight with David?
GLEN TAPIA: He showed skills. He showed a lot of skills in between those shots. Triple G, he’s hard, he’s a skillful fighter. He’s one of the top guys. You can’t really judge on Lemieux through that fight, you know. You don’t know what he went through outside the ring, either. So you never really know.
But he showed a lot in that fight. He first showed a lot of heart to stay in there. I think after that body shot to the knee, he got up, he would have kept fighting, a tough guy like that. He shows a lot of heart. He’s a great fighter. I love watching him. He’s a great fighter, type of guy that I like to watch, knocks guys out. It’s fun to watch him. He showed a lot in there, man. He’s a great fighter.
Q. Did you see any flaws in the way that he faced Triple G, any weaknesses at all in his fight in your mind?
GLEN TAPIA: Yeah, I saw a couple things, just like I saw in other fights. Everybody got flaws, you know. Actually you got to worry about what he does right all the time, most of the time. Because if you’re worrying about what he’s doing wrong, you’re thinking about that most of the time. He’s doing a lot of good things, too. So you got to watch out for those good things. Sometimes it takes away from what he’s doing wrong.
It doesn’t matter. All right, he does a couple things wrong. But if he doesn’t throw the hook the same way, it doesn’t matter if he has his left hand down too much. It’s just things that can take away from the fact that he’s doing wrong, you know. I don’t really care about that.
Q. The fact that David didn’t make weight in his last fight, what does that tell you about him in terms of him trying to make the middleweight weight limit?
GLEN TAPIA: Man, I’m the wrong person to talk about weight. I almost killed myself my last fight. You never know. You never know. Us as fighters, we go through so much. I’m sure he was going through so much for him to make it. I understand. I understand. It is what it is.
It was a mistake. Maybe he could change up his diet a little bit. Just one little thing, like not eating bread at a certain time, could change the whole thing. The next camp can be amazing. So I’m not worrying about that. I’m worried about I feel like he’s going to be 100 percent because he made the mistake, he learned from that mistake, it’s not going to happen to me no more.
Once that happens, people, they count you out. But they don’t understand it. He’s looking at it like, That’s not going to happen anymore. I messed up last time. He’s going to make weight.
I’m looking forward to fighting a 100 percent Lemieux. I don’t care about the weight. I don’t care that he’s going to have weight problems. I don’t care about none of that. That’s out the window for me. I’m not looking at it like I’m going to have an easier fight because he’s going to have a lot of weight problems. No, man. I feel like he’s going to come in 100 percent.
He made a mistake. It happens a lot in this sport with the weight. It is what it is. He came back and he’s going to be 100 percent, you know.
Q. When you were offered this fight, was there any trepidation on your part, any pause thinking what a risk this fight could be in your career?
GLEN TAPIA: No, no, no, no, not at all. I was real happy. I was like, Oh, yes. Talking about it, We should do this, we should do that. Different fights, my manager was telling me. We could do this, we could do that.
He saw that, no, this is great, great opportunity, a great card. It’s a great card with Amir Kahn and Canelo Alvarez. Adding me and Lemieux on to that is even better. It’s just an amazing card. De La Hoya did a perfect job. I was happy, you know, I was really happy. Like, yes, this is my opportunity that I’ve been waiting for for these last nine months, 10 months.
It’s been a lot of struggle, you know, to work and work and work. Like I was saying before, without a fight in mind, not knowing when you’re going to fight, it’s really hard to stay motivated in the gym and train hard.
I’ve been training so hard already. I know people looking at it like he’s is moving up in weight, it’s actually going to be bad for him. It’s actually going to be better for me. I’m going to be more healthier. I’m training harder. Everything is perfect. I’m just really happy, you know.
CECILIA ZUNIGA, Golden Boy Promotions: Glen, do you have any final words you want to say to the media members on this call?
GLEN TAPIA: Thank you, guys. I want to thank Golden Boy for putting me on this card, amazing card. It’s going to be a fun night in Las Vegas. I just can’t wait to show you guys.
You know, I guess some of you guys know I already got heart, but I can’t wait to show my potential, my abilities, you know, to make some noise in this 160 division. You know, I just can’t wait to show you guys that I am a force to be reckoned with.
I have made some mistakes in the past, you know. But I’ve changed that, you know. These losses, it helped me grow into a better person, into a better fighter. I just can’t wait to show you guys my abilities when I fight Lemieux May 7th.
CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thank you so much, Glen. Now we’re ready to turn it over to Team Lemieux.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much, Glen. At this moment I’d like to introduce to you a good friend of mine. He is the president of Eye of the Tiger Management, the premier management manager in Canada. He has the best fighters, obviously with David Lemieux being the star fighter in Canada.
So here is Camille Estephan.
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN, President of Eye of the Tiger Management: Thank you, Oscar. Hello, everyone. So glad to be on this call. Really looking forward to May 7th. Fantastic card. Looking forward to David putting on a great show with Glen Tapia. Thank you for the opportunity.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you, Camille. It is really my pleasure to introduce to you the former IBF middleweight world champion. He has a record of 34-3, with 31 knockouts. David is currently ranked as one of the top middleweight fighters in the WBC, the IBF, and will make his ring return on May 7th after a sellout crowd at the Mecca of boxing at Madison Square Garden in New York when he faced Gennady Golovkin for the Middleweight World Championship on October 17th.
David is a fighter who is hungry once again, who is ready to show the world that he is the best middleweight out there, and wants to get back on track and become world champion once again. It is my pleasure to introduce to you, coming out of Canada with a record of 34-, 3 with 31 knockouts, David Lemieux.
DAVID LEMIEUX, Former IBF Middleweight Champion: Hi, Oscar. Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody, for tuning in. I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to be back, back on the show, back on business, back on Pay-Per-View. I think this fight has a lot of great opportunities, the Canelo-Kahn under-card, to show the world what I can do. I’m hungry. I’m hungrier than ever. I’m very excited for this fight.
Tapia is a great fighter. He’s the type of guy who comes out and fights his heart out also, so it’s not going to be a cat-and-mouse type of fight. I’m pretty sure of that. But I’m going to be prepared for everything. I’m coming off a fight against Golovkin that I’m not too happy with. I’ve been doing a lot of adjustments to make sure that, you know, if any scenario of that which it was again, won’t happen again. So, you know, I’m doing the best I can do.
Brick by brick we’re building a strong foundation. I’m ready to get back in business. In my last fight, I didn’t make weight. I had some issues. I can talk about it all I want and say a lot of excuses whatsoever. There are no excuses. The people don’t care about the excuses. One thing I can say, this fight I’m coming in, I’m making weight, and I’m coming here for business. You have my 100 percent. I’m going to be stronger and better than ever. I’m extremely excited to be on the show and to be giving the fans, you know, the best of me, and the fighting, give the fans what they want to see.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you. We are now ready for questions from the media.
Q. David, you talked quickly about the weight issue. The media, the fans get very upset with fighters who are supposed to make weight, they’re training for weeks for this, they’re coming down. Not that it’s an excuse, but are you having weight issues or should you be going up to 168? Are you going to kill yourself to make 160 from now on?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Not at all. I’m a 160 fighter. I didn’t kill myself. I just tried something different. On the last week I had a little issue with the weight, with being sick, trying to make weight with the new adjustments, new nutritionist. I could go on and on with details, but it’s not a problem for me to make 160. It will be made on May 6th.
Q. You say you’re making adjustments after the Gennady Golovkin fight. For the most part, people think he is pound-for-pound the best middleweight around. Oscar will say, There’s a guy by the name of Canelo out there. You did fight Triple G. You fought your heart out. You got knocked down, took a shot on your knee. We all commend you for continuing because you certainly could have rolled over and looked for some other ending. What kind of adjustments are you making and are you thinking, do you have this in your mind, that you want Golovkin no matter which way your career goes, that you’re focused on him to have a rematch again?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I know myself and I know my qualities. Pound-for-pound, these champions, to me means nothing. To me, I just want to fight the most significant guy out there and to make my mark out there in any possible way.
I still think I can beat whoever I fight. I just have to be prepared, have a good time, no matter if they’re pound-for-pound or if they’re ranked No. 5 or whatever they are. I want to fight the best. I believe I can beat the best. I can be part of the top.
So to me, I have Glen Tapia, who is a tough opponent in front of me, so I’m preparing for this. I’m going to come in and have no excuse. I’m going to be ready for it.
Q. David, earlier on the call, Oscar mentioned that the wish of your fight against Glen Tapia would be a potential opponent for Alvarez. Wondering what your thoughts are on fighting Canelo if you’re able to beat Glen Tapia and fight him?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I like Canelo. He’s a good fighter. Like I said, I’m not afraid of nobody in the boxing world. I don’t just say this to try to promote myself or to show. I’m actually wanting to beat everybody and fight all the top names out there. I don’t want to avoid nobody.
Canelo, he’s a significant fighter in the middleweights. First of all, I’d like to see him make the middleweight line. Yes, it would be a great fight. First I have things to accomplish and to make sure I get everything straightened out with Glen Tapia on May 7th. Then I’ll fight anybody in the middleweights. It’s not a problem for me.
Q. What’s the lowest you think you could go if you were able to fight Canelo?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I’m a middleweight. I’ll never go below 160, not even for X amount of money.
Q. David, how different is David Lemieux after the Golovkin loss, after the weight problem? How ready are you for Glen Tapia?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Putting it that way doesn’t seem so nice, but it’s going to come out good. David Lemieux is going to be at his best. He’s going to have no problem with nothing. He’s going to be better than ever. I’m going to be the fighter I am. I’m going to be very explosive and give the fans what they want to see. They want to see action, they want to see blood, they want to see knockouts. That’s what I’m here for for the short and long run.
Q. How important is it for you, this Pay-Per-View, Las Vegas? How different will the show be for you, this showcase in Las Vegas?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Well, at my level, every fight is crucial, and every fight is very important. This is not just my career, but it’s also my life and my legacy. I take this fight very, very seriously. I’m not going to leave anything to regret afterwards.
I’ll make sure I come prepared. Every fight is extremely important. I’m extremely cautious also of the opportunity I have in front of me, fighting in Vegas, on a great card, new arena, on Pay-Per-View with all the boxing eyes watching.
Q. David, Glen spoke about this a little bit when he did his half of the call, about the fact that he had a lot of respect for you. He said your résumé is a lot better than his, even though you’re coming off of a loss, you were fighting Golovkin, not just some club fighter. In Glen’s two defeats he’s been stopped both times in his last five fights, but he’s also been stopped in a smaller weight class. You’re known for your punching power. Do you think this is the kind of fight where that will give you a big advantage, you’ll be able to stop him because you’re maybe the naturally bigger fighter, he’s been more susceptible against fighters that are not at the same level of a Triple G?
DAVID LEMIEUX: No. Every fighter has their quality. Triple G is Triple G. Glen Tapia is Glen Tapia. I think he’s going to be very serious and very dangerous at 160. Even though he fought at 164, he’s a big boy. Like you said, he had a lot of time to make weight. I think he’s going to be much more comfortable at 160.
I don’t think it’s going to be an issue. I don’t qualify a fighter by looking at it in those terms. I’m looking at the best Glen Tapia that’s going to be out there on May 7th, and that’s who I’m going to fight, that’s against who I’m going to mingle.
Q. Do you think for him coming off of the long layoff, almost a year to the day, one day short of one year since his last fight, Oscar spoke about this, that maybe it’s a good thing, he had time to go up in weight, to shake off that loss, basically heal from that mentally and physically, but also clear his mind basically and now come back in the heavier weight class? Where do you fall as far as the long layoff, how it might impact him?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Exactly like Oscar said. Look at Andre Ward, who was on a layoff. But it all depends of the fighter, what they do in their period of layoff. If they’re out partying, they’re out in clubs, partying, on vacation, yeah, that’s going to catch up to them. But if they’re in the gym, training, sparring, keeping the reflexes sharp, they’re ready for it. If it’s one year down the line, one month or two months, as long as they’re in the gym training, it doesn’t make a difference.
Q. Do you want to get a knockout in this fight? You’re known for knockouts. You’ve shown tremendous power against many of your opponents. Is that how you want to make the case that, Hey, I’m back, Triple G is in my rearview mirror, I want to score a knockout and fight the winner of the main event?
DAVID LEMIEUX: I’m a knockout artist. It’s the way I fight. I’m not going to lie to you and say I’m going to come in and just play around. Obviously I’m going to come in and throw some hard shots. If my shots connect, they hurt.
But, you know, I’m coming in there. I want to give the fans the best show. If it lasts one round, if the lasts 10 rounds, to me, as long as I look good, the fans are getting what they want to get, everybody is happy, I’m doing well, I’m winning round by round, that’s my main focus.
I used to, back when I was a bit younger, go in the ring and try to knock everybody out. It works with the small guys. But when it’s on top of the league, it catches up to you. I don’t think like that no more. I’m going to go in there, win every round, I’m going to be the best I can be, looking at the highest peak of the mountain.
Q. Given what happened with the fight being canceled a couple weeks ago, how difficult is it going to be for you to make 160?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Not difficult at all. I’m already almost pretty close to my weight. The last fight I had a lot of adjustments to be made. I changed a few things that didn’t work on my advantage. I can use excuses, but there’s no excuses. People don’t want to hear that. I’ll make 160. It’s not going to be a problem.
Q. David, when you heard that Glen Tapia had accepted this fight, were you surprised, given the fact he’s had trouble with punchers in the past, getting knocked out in both of his losses?
DAVID LEMIEUX: Am I surprised? No, I’m not surprised. Every fighter has pride. Every fighter wants to fight. They want to, you know, fight the top guys out there. At least for the real fighters out there, that’s what they want. But I’m not surprised. You know, if he wants to fight me, I’m ready to fight anybody. So it’s good. It’s going to be a good fight. He’s a good fighter. It’s exciting.
Q. I know you were very confident before you fought Triple G. I’m wondering, how long did it take to get over that fight? Were you over it immediately? Did it take some time to process what had happened?
DAVID LEMIEUX: No, no. I still think I can beat GGG if I prepare to my 100 percent. He’s a great fighter. But I believe in myself. I believe I’m a good fighter, too.
Q. Didn’t take long to get over that fight, what happened?
DAVID LEMIEUX: No, not at all. I wasn’t affected by it.
(Question posed in French and translated by Camille Estephan.)
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: He asked, do you feel there are major changes that need to be done, given that the last fight he didn’t make weight with a new regime.
Basically we are looking at going back to what we did prior to the last fight, which was a new technique. We are hiring a new nutritionist who will perfect things. We have done testing with regards to David’s body composition and got a medical opinion as to is David a middleweight or should he be a super middleweight. And the medical opinion, given his bone density, body structure, is that definitely David can do 160 without a problem. So we don’t foresee any issues.
Q. David, I was wondering, having the last fight canceled, did that in any way refocus you, sort of I don’t want to use the word like ‘scared’ you into a better refocus place so that you can continue on with Pay-Per-View fights? There’s no right time, but did it come along at the best time in a smaller fight in your hometown as opposed to a national stage?
DAVID LEMIEUX: You know what, everything happens for a reason. Looking at it now, maybe it was for the best thing that de la Rosa did not take the fight. I could have injured him badly if you’re going in the ring and you’re not too sure about what you’re doing. I would have been tremendously strong in that fight. I’m going to be tremendously strong in the future. If he’s not too sure about going in the ring with me, even though it was better for his-self, everything happens for a reason. Not going to be a problem.
Q. Oscar, with this fight, the loser, presuming there is one, doesn’t end in a draw, is going to have lost his last two in a row. I was wondering, you being promoter of both, what you see in terms of the person not coming out victorious.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yeah, I mean, obviously the wonderful part about this fight is both fighters know that it’s a fight that they have to win. The loser just shakes himself off and has to rebuild. I mean, we as promoters, we believe in our fighters. The winner moves on to bigger and bigger fights, and the loser then has to go back to the drawing board. But we’re always going to be supporting every fighter that is with Golden Boy 100 percent.
CECILIA ZUNIGA: Camille, David, do you have any final comments?
CAMILLE ESTEPHAN: Basically on my end, I’m really very excited because Golden Boy has shown their willingness always to put on the right fights for the fans, and we’re very happy and proud to participate in those types of fights.
We want to thank Oscar for living up to his words with the fans, with the media, and with his fighters, including his partners, myself and David. A big up to you guys. David, all yours.
DAVID LEMIEUX: Yes, I’m extremely happy to be part of this event. It’s going to be a great card. I’m extremely proud to be associated with Golden Boy, Oscar, Gomez, all the boys from Golden Boy are a great team. Great management with Camille Estephan. A lot of great people around me.
It’s going to be a great opportunity for me to be back on track and to be back in business May 7th when I’m going to be at my best and give the fans what they want to see.
CECILIA ZUNIGA: Thank you, David and Camille, for your time today. Thank you all for joining this call.
Oscar, if you have any final comments.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much, everyone. Like I said, we will be having a conference call to give you updates every week. We will see you next week. Thank you.